BY GRACE ALONE (PART 34)
Are any of man’s works required to help or ensure his salvation? Let us see what Paul wrote: “…by grace are ye saved…NOT of yourselves” (Eph. 2:8); “…by grace are ye saved…not of works…” (Eph. 2:8,9); “…by grace are ye saved…lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9); “…by grace are ye saved…For we are His workmanship…” (Eph. 2:8,10). Clearly, a man can only be saved by grace alone. What a man does cannot save him even if it is believed to be in conjunction with grace. There is nothing a man can do, therefore, there is nothing he can boast of, for salvation is all by grace alone. Salvation by grace is a man being made a new creature in Christ, not a man being enabled to do that which salvation awaits. Salvation by grace is a man saved by nothing he has done. Salvation is not by anything a man is, or does but is purely by the grace of God. Salvation is not by any effort of man’s, but purely by the will and grace of God. Salvation is by nothing which a man can boast of, therefore, it must be and is solely and wholly by grace. Did Christ’s sacrifice on the cross need any subsequent supplemental act on man’s part in order to make it complete? No. Jesus Himself said upon the cross: “…It is FINISHED…” (Jn. 19:30), meaning ‘Paid in FULL’! God saves His people by His grace, for nothing else could have saved them. Salvation is not a, ‘God has done what He can and now we…’ situation. Salvation is only and all about what God alone has done. THAT is salvation by grace. The moment you condition any part of salvation on what you do, you no longer have the Gospel of grace, but a gospel of works which cannot and does not save anyone. God could have chosen to save a man by what the man did. God could have chosen to change a man’s nature and cause him to become holy and pure by his own deeds, but God did none of this. The reason is that man is a sinner. Man is dead in sins and so could never do anything which pleased God unless God made the man alive to Him. Sin is no joke. Spiritual death is nothing to laugh about. The Biblical reality of man’s spiritual death is just as real as his physical death. Man is nothing but a vain, hopeless sinner without God. God saves His people the only way they could ever be saved, by His will, by His grace and by His mercy. Salvation is God’s love displayed in His grace and mercy toward His people. There is nothing a dead man can do to make himself alive, therefore, it is God Who must make a man alive again to Him purely by grace. A man’s sins need to be vanquished, and the eternal punishment due unto him must be meted out to another, for man to become clean. Moreover, man needs the perfect Righteousness of God Himself before he can be accepted into God’s Throne room. All this could only be done by a gracious and merciful God upon a people whom HE has chosen, for none of them could ever, would ever, have chosen Him. “BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED”.
Returning to Christ’s words, “‘It is finished’, that is, the whole will of God; as that He should be incarnate, be exposed to shame and reproach, and suffer much, and die; the whole work His Father gave Him to do, which was to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and obtain eternal salvation for His people, all which were now done, or as good as done; the whole Righteousness of the law was fulfilled, an holy nature assumed, perfect obedience yielded to it, and the penalty of death endured; hence a perfect Righteousness was finished agreeably to the law, which was magnified and made honourable by it, and redemption from its curse and condemnation secured; sin was made an end of, full atonement and satisfaction for it were given; complete pardon procured, peace made, and redemption from all iniquity obtained; all enemies were conquered; all types, promises, and prophecies were fulfilled, and His own course of life ended: the reason of His saying so was, because all this was near being done, just upon finishing, and was as good as done; and was sure and certain, and so complete, that nothing need, or could be added to it; and it was done entirely without the help of man, and cannot be undone; all which since has more clearly appeared by Christ's resurrection from the dead, His entrance into Heaven, His session at God's right hand, the declaration of the Gospel, and the application of salvation to particular persons”, the persons God had chosen and entrusted to His Son. What Christ has done WAS FULLY EFFECTIVE, AND WAS FULLY ACCOMPLISHED upon His death, and NOT when someone 'accepts' what He has done. Christ said on the Tree, ''...it is finished..." (Jn. 19:30), not 'It is partly done and now needs man's decision to make it effective’. "...the single word that Jesus spoke (which is translated as 'It is finished') is 'tetelestai'. This certainly has the meaning of completion (which is what it primarily means in the context of John 19:30) but it can also mean 'discharge a debt' or 'paid in full'. It was common to the Jews and Romans of that time because it was the word they wrote on a debt that someone had, once it was paid. So this victory cry of Jesus would have also meant to His hearers 'Paid in full!' In Latin ‘tetelelstai’ is rendered with two words ‘Consummatum est’ meaning ‘It is consummated’.” The transaction is completed. The payment for sin was accomplished by Christ. His work of redemption was accomplished, and salvation secured for all those for whom He died (see Heb. 9:12), thus proving that Christ's Atoning, Vicarious death, was for a specific number of people all of whom were chosen to be, and so will be “…partakers of the Benefit…” (1 Tim. 6:2).
Christ’s atoning sacrifice was not a work done for all, but for all His people. The fact that all for whom He died and was raised again are saved is seen in Jesus’ own words “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37 cf. Rom. 4:24,25). Christ laid down His life for the Church, His people, His sheep. There is no one for whom Christ died that will not come to Him. God has not appointed those for whom Christ died to Wrath, but to obtain salvation by their Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Thess. 5:9,10). Writing to the believers at Ephesus, Paul declared “…Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God…” (Eph. 5:2); also, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25); in John’s Gospel Jesus said: “…I lay down my life for the sheep” (Jn. 10:15). According to Matthew 25:31-46 people are either sheep or goats. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Jesus laid down his life for any goats, those who will go away unto everlasting punishment. Jesus did not die for any people whom God has appointed to His Wrath. The sheep Jesus laid down His life for are referred to in John 10:14 as “My sheep”. “…I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep…My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (Jn. 10:14,27). All are not saved because all have not chosen, but all are not saved because God has not chosen all to be saved. God’s love is a Covenant love, a familial love, it is a love dedicated to His children, His family, His chosen. In all the incessant talk about a man having to ‘do his part’ in salvation, before God can save him, the actual reason as to why a man ‘has to play his part’ is seldom, if ever, given. Think about it. Man is dead in sins, cannot come to God, is without God, without Christ, without any hope and cannot attract God to him, salvation is all of grace through the gift of faith, and yet, the enemies of the cross insist that man has to ‘play his part’! The supreme question is, ‘How can a man do anything? What is man’s part that he must fulfil which salvation supposedly cannot do without?’ Even if a man could do something to initiate or maintain salvation, what could he do that grace, mercy and the Righteousness of Christ have not already done? People say, ‘We know that, but it is now up to each individual to choose to receive all this, to accept what has been done for them and the salvation that is now offered to them’. In the first place, they are assuming Christ has died for all individuals ever born, which is simply not Biblical. Secondly, they are saying, ‘God cannot do what He wants unless an individual grants their consent’. If you believe in a god like this, you do not have the God of the Bible. The entire basis for man responding positively to God so that God can then save him, takes who is saved out of the hands of the Sovereign God, and places it in the control of each individual. How can you have the God Who says He will have grace and mercy only toward those whom He is willing to save, if you simultaneously claim that in order to make salvation effective in a person’s life that person must make a positive choice for God? This would change Scriptures like “All that the Father giveth me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37), into, ‘NOT ALL that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me’. It would change verses like “…that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him” (Jn. 17:2) to, ‘that He should give eternal life to as many as accept Him and choose Him’. If salvation is not by Sovereign grace, one is left with an impotent god who can do nothing without a man’s positive ‘free-will’ decision. All this is tied inextricably to the lies that Christ died for all, and that man is not dead in sins, and so, the choice for salvation must be made by man and not God, by a man’s work and not by God’s grace alone. If you believe in works you cannot believe in grace. To believe salvation is by works, or by grace and works, is like seeing sense in the nonsensical statement, ‘The black car is white’, or 'the black car is black and white'. Salvation by grace through works, is like saying salvation is by what is undeserved through that which is deserved.
Salvation by grace and mercy cannot but draw one’s attention solely to God for salvation. There is nothing in Scripture which focuses on what a man must do, for all men are dead in sins. Salvation by what a man must do shifts the attention away from God onto a man, away from grace and onto works. It focuses on what a man must do rather than upon what God alone has done. The lost Pharisee ‘thanked God’, but only for what he, the Pharisee had done. He did not thank God for what God had done, but only spoke of his own works. Likewise, those in Matthew 7 who called Jesus ‘Lord’ spoke only of their deeds and not of any work of grace done by God. All such people will die in their sins. Lost people’s plea to God is based on their works, and not God’s grace. “The word ‘Lord’ is repeated in Matthew 7:22 to show their importunity, sense of danger, the confusion they will be in, the wretched disappointment they will have; and therefore speak as persons amazed and confounded, having expected they would have been the first persons that should be admitted into Heaven. Their pleas follow; ‘have we not prophesied in Thy name?’ This may be understood either of foretelling things to come; which gift wicked men may have, who have never had any experience of the grace of God, as Balaam, and Caiaphas, and others; or rather of preaching the word, which is sometimes called prophesying, (see Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 13:9; 14:1-5), and which may be done in the name of Christ, pretending mission and authority from Him, and to be preachers of Him, and yet be no better than ‘sounding brass’, or ‘a tinkling cymbal; yea, nothing at all as to true grace, or spiritual experience. ‘And in Thy name have cast out devils?’ Diabolical possessions were very frequent in the times of Christ; no doubt but they were suffered, that Jesus might have an opportunity of showing His power over Satan, by dispossessing him from the bodies, as well as the souls of men; and of giving proof of His Deity, Divine Sonship and Messiahship: and this power of casting out devils was given to others, not only to the twelve apostles, among whom Judas was, who had the same power with the rest, and to the seventy disciples; ‘And in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ that is, many miracles; not one, or a few only, but many; such as speaking with tongues, removing mountains, treading on serpents and scorpions, and drinking any deadly thing without hurt, and healing all manner of diseases and sicknesses. Judas, for one, was capable of pleading all these things; he had the gift of preaching, and a call from Christ to it, and yet a castaway; he could perform miracles, do wonders in Christ's name, and yet, at last, was the betrayer of Him. These pleas and arguments will be of no use to him, nor of any avail to any at the great day. It may be observed, that these men lay the whole stress of their salvation UPON WHAT THEY HAVE DONE in Christ's name; and not on Christ Himself, in whom there is salvation, and in no other: they say not a syllable of what Christ has done and suffered, but only of what they have done. Indeed, the things they instance in, are the greatest done among men; the gifts they had were the most excellent, excepting the grace of God; the works they did were of an extraordinary nature; whence it follows, there can be no salvation, nor is it to be expected from men's works: for if preaching the word, which is attended with so much study, care, and labour, will not be a prevailing argument to admit men into the Kingdom of Heaven; how can it be thought that ever reading, or hearing, or any other external performance of religion, should bring persons thither?” Do not be deceived, all those who claim works are a necessary part of getting saved and/or remaining saved, who insist a man cannot be saved without performing some act, will share the same end as those in Matthew 7. The Lord Jesus will profess unto them all: “…I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23). The saved man knows full well that he has been saved by grace alone through the gift of faith alone which believes in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. Nothing a saved man has done has saved him or keeps him saved. Nothing a saved man has done has in any way assisted in his being saved or remaining saved. Only God, the angels and the people He has saved, know that salvation is by grace alone.
Lost religionists whose focus is upon themselves instead of the true God, Who only saves by what He has done by grace, say, ‘God has done all that He possibly can, and now He waits patiently, hopefully, for someone to choose Him’. This, my friends, is the lie of the Devil presenting man as the powerful one and a god who can only save those who give him permission. Find me this god in the Bible, and I will personally destroy everything I have ever written about the One True Sovereign, All-Powerful, Almighty God Who does whatsoever He wills, and seeks no permission from any man to do it! “But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased…Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He in Heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places…And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou?” (Psa. 115:3; 135:6; Dan. 4:35). The Biblical reality is that: “God created you without asking, He will take your life away without asking, He will save you without asking.” In addition, God created you without being asked to, He will take your life away without being asked to, and He will save you without being asked to. Grace does not enable a man to come, it makes him come. Everything in a saved man that loves God and wants God and seeks God and worships God is by the grace of God at work in him (see Phil. 2:13). A man comes to God by the will and power of God, and not by any man’s effort (see Jn. 1:13; Rom. 9:16; Jas. 1:18). Salvation depends on nothing else but saving grace, and no one else but the God of grace. Once a person is made alive they are saved, and a person saved is one who has been made alive obviously through no effort of their own, but solely by God’s grace. Just like Lazarus, man cannot come forth before he is made alive. In other words, he cannot come of his own accord, of his own will, for he has no will toward God, but only against Him. Man, by nature, is as spiritually dead to God as Lazarus was physically dead to life. Lazarus did not come to Jesus and plead with Him to be made alive, for Lazarus was dead. This is a perfect picture of what is done in salvation: Jesus comes to a dead man and makes him alive. Dead men do not ask for life, they are simply made alive according to the will and grace of God. He comes to those who cannot seek Him, and makes them alive whilst they were yet His enemies. Salvation is not about God and man meeting in the middle, but about God reaching into the darkness and bringing His children into the Light. No one loves God, or wants God before He makes them alive. All whom He saves were enemies right up until the moment of their salvation. God saves the unrighteous, and makes the dead alive. There is nothing a man can do before he is made alive. No one can do anything because all men are dead in trespasses and sins. Incidentally, what is this lie that dares to say that Grace only enables a man to do what salvation requires, anyway? How is a man enabled to come? Why does a man need to be enabled to do something before he can come? Why can’t he just be made to come? Grace making a man alive is all a man needs to be saved. Everything that comes with grace will see him follow the only true God forever. Prior to this a man is dead and can do nothing. Prior to life giving grace there are only dead men performing dead works. And seeing that all men are dead before they come, it must surely be that their being made alive is what makes them come. Lazarus was not enabled, but was commanded to come forth an enlivened man. To enable a dead man to do anything would involve nothing less than making him alive, for how can anyone do anything whilst dead. How can a dead man be equipped to come alive? Anything done by a dead man would show that he is alive! When a dead man is made alive what need is there for him to do anything to become alive? Nothing, of course. Once a man has been made alive to God by God there is nothing which remains to be done in order for the man to have eternal life, for the life he has been given is everlasting.
The carnal mind, unlike the regenerated mind, is enmity against God: ENMITY AGAINST WHO THE TRUE GOD IS, ENMITY AGAINST HOW THE TRUE GOD SAVES AND ENMITY AGAINST THE FACT THAT THE TRUE GOD ONLY SAVES HIS CHOSEN ONES. The dead, carnal mind of man is enmity against the Sovereign God Who saves only by grace, but is alive to any god who is not completely Sovereign, and who does not save entirely by grace. The mind of lost men, especially lost religious men, is nothing but hostility itself toward the true God, whereas, the regenerated mind has nothing but love and praise for the Sovereign God Who does whatsoever He wills, and Who saves whomsoever He wills by His grace alone. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:6-8 cf. 1 Cor. 2:14). Anything and everything done by man prior to salvation cannot please God. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing…” (Jn. 6:63). “…an unregenerate man is nothing else but flesh, and has nothing but flesh, or corrupt nature in him; and who does not know, that no good thing dwells in such persons?” “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh…” (Rom. 8:5). Paul the apostle said: “…I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing…” (Rom. 7:18). By flesh is meant the corrupt nature, the natural sin nature of all men. Such men can obviously do nothing to please God, for their thoughts and ways are only in accord with their sinful nature, and not the Spirit of truth. “…to be carnally minded is death…” (Rom. 8:6). To be in such an unregenerate state is to be carnally, or fleshly minded, and is nothing else but the evidence of death. “…the carnal mind is enmity against God…” (Rom. 8:7). Nothing can come out of the carnal mind which is anything less than hostility itself against the only true God, therefore, nothing a man does who is not born again can ever please God. Consequently, this shows beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is nothing a man can do that can ever get him saved, or make up for his sin or find favour with God. Any favour a man ever finds with God can only come from within God, for “…they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8). Prior to salvation, nothing at all can be done by any man that can please God in any way. In light of this it is patently obvious that salvation comes before, and, therefore, not because of, any good deed, any work done by man. This is called salvation by grace, and it is self-evident that it is salvation exclusively by grace. What can a spiritually dead man operating under a carnal mind who walks after the flesh while not seeking the only true God possibly do to please God and gain favour with Him? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! The lie of religion that says a man must do, that a man can do, that a man should do something to find favour with God is nothing but a prevarication that comes from the bowels of Satan himself. Those that remain unregenerate, who have not been made alive by the Spirit of God remain in the flesh which can profit them absolutely nothing. What man does cannot profit him, only the Holy Spirit regenerating a man, making him alive by grace will profit a man (see Jn. 6:63).
Anything and everything done by man prior to his being saved by grace and given the faith with which to believe only in the true God, only in the salvation of His chosen people wholly by grace alone, and not by any works at all, is not pleasing to God. “…without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Heb. 11:6 cf. Rom. 8:8,9,14). In light of this, how can anything done by man before God saves him possibly be part of that which brings him eternal life? Christ’s calling Lazarus forth included within it the command to return to physical life. “Come forth” is to say ‘Come alive’ or ‘Be alive again’. It was the power of God that re-instated life in Lazarus. Without this power, Lazarus would have remained dead without any will of his own. Without God man is dead; without grace man is dead with no hope, for he has not God. The Scripture reads: “…by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8), not ‘by grace are ye enabled to be saved’. Salvation is not a case of man doing, but of God doing. Salvation is all about “…the Gospel of the grace of God” (see Acts 20:24), not ‘the gospel of the works of men’. A man’s being enabled by grace to choose God, strongly implies that grace is merely a tool of empowerment which a man may utilize, if he so chooses, in order to fulfil some condition upon which his salvation allegedly depends. Conversely, By grace are ye saved is a clear statement which declares that salvation comes by grace, and is by grace alone, in other words, by God Who gives it to whomsoever He wills to have it. Before salvation there is nothing a man can do which can please God, therefore, there is no part of salvation which awaits a man’s action, for the only action which can start salvation’s ‘motor’ if you will, and keep it going, is grace. A man’s coming to God is solely due to the ‘internal and efficacious operation’ of the Spirit of God. “The impulse to faith comes from God.” The saved believe in Him because of Him. The faith with which a saved man believes, is a gift from God, and does not originate within, nor can it be manufactured by man, for a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit (see Matt. 7:17-19; 2 Thess. 3:2). It is this faith given by grace which alone can and does please God, and not the natural faith of man which is corrupted and destitute of trust in the only true God, the God Who Authored the Gospel of salvation by grace alone. The faith which believes only in the Gospel of the grace of God is a GIVEN faith, not an inherent one. This faith is not one which a man can summon, but only that which God can give.
One man has written, “…the only way to be saved by grace is by putting your trust in what Jesus did on the cross”. Another has said, “The truth is that you simply turn to the Lord by faith to be forgiven of your sins, and you are saved immediately, completely and eternally”. This is considered standard ‘Christian’ teaching today, however, if we look closely at what exactly is being taught we see the religion of works as its foundation. These teachings are nothing but wolves in sheep’s clothing. Note the fact that both gentlemen are saying that the only way for free grace to save you IS BY YOU DOING SOMETHING FIRST! The first man has concocted a miserable hybrid of grace and works by saying the only way to be saved by grace is by you putting your trust in what Jesus did. This would be like God saying, ‘I will save you without you doing anything, as long as you do something first.’ Or, ‘I will undeservedly save you after you do something first that will deserve My saving you undeservedly’!! How can a man be undeservedly saved after he has done something! How can one be saved via unmerited favour by doing something? How can you attach any condition to salvation, which involves you doing something, so that you can be saved by nothing you have done! To be saved is God making you alive so that you will believe in salvation by grace alone. The only way to be saved by grace is by God making you alive according to His will and purpose. Believing the Gospel of salvation by Sovereign grace does not save anyone, but is the clear sign that a person has been saved by grace alone. Salvation by grace through works is as insane a concept as saying ‘I received this for free after doing that’. This is not salvation by grace, for as we have seen throughout this book, the Scriptures make a distinct and perfectly clear sound when they state no one can come to Jesus by any will of their own. Grace is what draws a man to Jesus, it is by the will of God that a man comes to Jesus, so to be saved by grace is God giving a person the gift of faith to believe solely in grace alone. If salvation is by grace alone, then how is it that a man must begin the process by doing something Christ Himself said could not be done.
The second man says that you will be saved after you turn to the Lord. He says, ‘…you simply turn to the Lord by faith’, as if any man at any time can do this at will. Again, we see salvation being conditioned on a man’s will according to what a man does, and not wholly on God and His will and grace. This man says God will save you after you believe! That you can have saving faith before you are saved! That your faith is the perquisite to God’s saving you. That is not grace, but works, and no man is saved by any works. How can a man dead in sins turn to the Lord by faith? How can a man turn to the Lord before the Lord saves him by grace alone through the gift of faith alone? He is saying that after you have turned to the Lord He will then forgive you of your sins and you are immediately saved. Those who knowingly deceive by teaching salvation in reverse order, and those who believe in salvation by any works before God can save you, are all destined for the same fiery Hell. Ignorance is no excuse, for it is the evidence of accursedness. "...if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (2 Cor. 4:3). God saves His chosen people by His grace alone. Prior to salvation a man lays lifeless and hopeless because he is dead in sins. God saving a man by grace is God making that person alive to Him. Listen to the apostle Paul: “…a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified… I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:16,21). Faith is the gift God gives to everyone He has saved by grace alone. God does not save by grace after a man has believed. If Righteousness comes after you have done something, then Christ is dead in vain. If salvation has any condition attached to it which you can, and must, meet, then Christ is dead in vain. A man saved by grace seeks to be justified by the Righteousness of Jesus Christ, not his own (see Gal. 2:17). The saved man does not believe he was saved after he did something, or believed something. The saved man believes he was and is saved purely by GOD doing something, indeed, by God doing EVERYTHING. THAT is grace! Those two men and their teachings contradict everything that grace is, and everything about salvation by grace alone by conditioning salvation not on what God alone does, but upon what man must also do. They, and all those who agree with them, are lost. If you do not believe in salvation by grace alone, you do not believe in the only true God. You are not saved. “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Cor. 4:3).
The above quoted men claim it is you doing something first so that you can, by what you have done, merit God’s saving you by what you do not deserve! This is nothing but a grotesque nonsense. This is so contradictory as to beggar belief that so many people claiming to believe in grace, think this is real Christianity! Coupled with good looking preachers in designer suits, with multi-billion dollar empires of books, CD’s, DVD’s and fancy websites, not to mention the more tolerant conservative religious organizations who have bowed their knees to works gospels, if only to remain financially viable, this is the empty pseudo-Christianity embraced by billions. The two aforementioned statements of doing before you can be saved by grace—which is nothing less than claiming you must do something to earn salvation before you can be given it for free—are saying, ‘God saves you by grace, BUT…’ This is the very essence of works religion, which says: ‘God will save you by what you do not deserve after you have done something to deserve it!’ It is perfect irony. Religion says God cannot freely save you by grace, before you have made payment! It is saying God cannot save you until after you have put your trust in Him, or until AFTER YOU HAVE TURNED TO HIM! Salvation does not come after you…but BECAUSE of HIM! THAT is GRACE! GRACE COMES BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING—GRACE COMES WITHOUT YOU DOING ANYTHING! GRACE IS GIVEN BECAUSE YOU CAN DO NOTHING! Salvation by grace is salvation by nothing you have done. Salvation is by nothing you have done before salvation, and during salvation. Salvation is entirely by the undeserved favour of God. God’s grace does not wait for dead men to comply with God’s will. God’s grace does not save anyone after they have done something first. This is the very antithesis of what grace is all about. Grace alone saves because nothing you do can save you. Grace saves not according to what you have done, or after anything you have done, but BEFORE you have done anything BECAUSE you can do nothing at all. GRACE SAVES THE DEAD AND MAKES THEM ALIVE FOREVERMORE. Grace saves you while you are busy performing dead works which cannot profit you at all. How can salvation come after something a dead man has done? How can this be according to Scripture when the Word of God says that salvation comes not by the works of men, but by God’s GIFTS of grace, mercy and faith according to the will, purpose and love of God. Grace and mercy can only be gifts, and the faith to believe this is also a gift given by God.
So you see, all of salvation is entirely by a free gift from God, it does not come after you have done anything, but only after God has done EVERYTHING. This is salvation by grace alone, and God gives it to the people He has chosen before the foundation of the world. The enemies of the cross have God’s grace dependent upon what a man does. How can salvation be by grace if you must do something before grace can save you? How can salvation be by unmerited favour if you must do something first. Grace is a gift, therefore, it does not come after anyone has done something first, but despite the fact no dead man has the ability to do anything. Salvation is not by your works, but WITHOUT YOUR WORKS (see Rom. 4:1-6). Salvation comes not because of the sinner, but because of God. That is grace. It comes because of God’s will, not by a dead man’s will. HOW CAN THAT WHICH IS UNDESERVED BE CONDITIONED ON WHAT YOU DO? How can that which is completely undeserved await what a man does so that it can be ‘deservedly given’! It is the same nonsense that claims ‘God chooses us because we chose Him’! How does this tie in with the Scripture’s declaration that “We love Him, because HE FIRST loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19). GRACE IS GOD FIRST! Grace is all God and God alone. If a man must do something first, then salvation is according to works, and not by grace at all. People say, ‘No its not works because a man can only do what needs to be done by grace’. They say, ‘It’s grace working in a man that is responsible for the man doing so that God can then save him’. The Devil is subtle, but his subtlety is an obvious deception when seen by the man who has been blessed by God. Those who deceive are the deceived. There is no verse in Scripture that suggests grace is that which causes you to perform some work, or do anything before God can subsequently save you. The Word of God says “By grace ye are saved” (Eph. 2:5). Grace is what saves you. The power of God is what saves you. You are saved by being made alive, and THERE is the truth that once and for all exposes the lie that grace enables a man to do something so that God can then save him. Nothing can be done before life. Grace makes alive that which was dead. Salvation is being made alive, by grace you are saved, therefore, it is grace alone that makes a man alive. Salvation in undeserved, therefore, salvation is God making alive that which was hopelessly dead. Whether it is by grace or not, if salvation depends upon what a man does, then it is not the Gospel of grace which is being preached and believed. If a man has to do, then salvation is conditioned on works and not by free grace alone. Biblical grace is completely anti-works! Man cannot do anything to deserve salvation, so grace must be salvation by that which no man can do. And if salvation is not by that which any man can do, it must be that salvation is only by that which God does. “By grace are ye saved”. The only way salvation can be by grace is by its not being conditioned upon what a man does, but solely upon what God does. The only way salvation can be by grace, is if it is not conditioned on what a man does at all. This is true grace which is not mixed with any work of man’s. Grace is given, grace brings salvation, grace makes alive, grace alone saves, grace is necessary, for there is NOTHING A MAN CAN DO!
If salvation is according to what God does, then salvation is by grace alone. God saves His people, He keeps them, He preserves them for Himself by grace alone. If salvation is according to works, what a man does, then salvation is by man alone. If God does it then it must only be God that could do it. If salvation is by grace, which by definition is ‘unmerited favour’, it is self-evident that it could not be by any other means, or in collaboration with any other means, otherwise it could not be unmerited. No work of man’s is necessary when one is saved by grace. Indeed, grace frustrates works. Grace negates, not only the need for works, but it also states that there are no works which can be performed by man that will lead to God saving a person by, and because of, anything they have done. If salvation is by grace, by nothing you have done, then salvation is something which can only be given. Salvation is by grace because of God’s love for His chosen, not by works because of a man’s love for God. There is simply nothing added to grace in Ephesians 2:8 that saves God’s people from their sins. “…by grace are ye saved…” A man is saved by the gift of grace through the gift of faith. Period. Grace saves (see Eph. 2:8); Works do not save (see Eph. 2:9). A man cannot save himself by grace, therefore, it is the grace of God that saves and salvation is of the Lord. God doing means man cannot do. God saving by grace means a man cannot save himself by works. God doing means man has nothing to do. Grace cancels out works. “…if by grace, then is it no more of works…” (Rom. 11:6). If Righteousness comes only by Christ, then any obedience to the law in an effort to establish a righteousness that will save, is vain (see Gal. 2:21).
If salvation is according to grace then pray tell what work could it possibly be conditioned on? If salvation is by nothing you have done, then what in the world can you do to merit salvation! What can a man do that grace does not do? What can works do which grace has not accomplished? What does a man who has been made alive need to do to be alive? Is a man saved by grace stillborn until he does something? Man doing would mean God would not have to do. Man doing would mean some part of salvation is not contingent on God, but only on something which a man can do. But, again, if salvation is by grace and not works, if salvation is by God and not ourselves, then what could there possibly be that a man is required to do? Believe? Believing is a gift given through grace (see Eph. 2:8). Repent? Repentance is a gift from God by grace (see 2 Tim. 2:25). Unregenerate and accursed man has it stuck in his brain that he must do good before God can save him, however, this is nothing but utter nonsense in light of the fact that GOD SAVES SINNERS! Salvation does not come after any reformation of a man’s lifestyle, but through regeneration by grace. While God’s people were enemies God loved them and saves them! Man not being able to will or do, shows that salvation must be a gift given by the gift of the grace of God, through the gift of faith which only comes from God UNDESERVEDLY. Grace is an act of God and it is this grace that actually saves. The alleged enabling of man by grace to do that which salvation requires BEFORE God can save him, is tantamount to saying God does not save anyone, but only gives grace so that some may do and save themselves. God would then no longer be THE WAY, but would merely provide ‘a way’ for a man to do so that he could be saved.
Obviously, if God has saved you after you have met the condition or conditions upon which salvation is allegedly based, then you have played a part in your salvation. Grace comes in the absence of man doing anything. Grace comes because a man can do nothing. Grace is not a reward, it is a pure gift. It is given to those chosen by God who could do nothing to save themselves. Grace saves the hopeless. Grace was prepared before the foundation of the world to be given to those chosen of God, because they could never do anything of themselves to earn their salvation. When you are dead you can do nothing. Therefore, if salvation is by grace then it is only by God; it is not only by what God does, but because only God can do that which saves a man. Therefore, without God, man is completely without that which is necessary for him to be saved. Salvation comes only by something done. Salvation comes only by that which is done by God through the means of grace. Seeing that it is impossible for a man to do anything to get saved, it must be that God gives grace in order that a man be saved. Salvation by grace is not man doing so that grace can be given, or man being enabled by grace to do something so that God can then be empowered to save him. Salvation by grace is not man doing before he can be saved, or so that he can qualify himself for salvation. Grace does not come after you are saved, but BEFORE you are saved. Grace comes to save God’s people and keep them saved. Salvation is by grace, for man can do nothing to attain it. How can a man trust in God Whom he does not even seek, and does not even love. Grace is God loving first. God’s love coming first shows that the notion of a man loving God first, a man doing anything to attract God to him, or to earn a reward from Him, is a religious myth predicated on the Satanic lie that man is not spiritually dead. It is a perception which only makes sense in, and is energized only by, the profoundly imperceptive minds of Scripturally ignorant, lost men. What a saved man does, does not contribute to his salvation, but is merely the fruit of it. The fruit does not come before the tree, for the fruit can only come from, and because of, the tree. Works do not bring salvation, but are the result of salvation. That which God has prepared for His saved ones to do, comes only after they are saved by grace and not before. These good works do not keep a man saved, but are the fruit of saving grace that alone maintains a man’s salvation. Man cannot choose God, for God has chosen His people before He even made the world, so obviously any choosing in salvation is done by God, and not His people. The fathomless truth of God’s having chosen who will be His, reveals man’s intrinsic inability to, and inherent incapability of, ever choosing the only true God. Salvation cannot be by works, therefore, it can only by grace, and grace is not of man, but only of God. Only those who reject the Biblical fact of salvation by grace alone, are lost.
From a purely human perspective it does appear that a saved man has chosen God, that God has come to a man following the man’s decision to love God, but the Scriptures paint an entirely different picture, a very clear picture, that brings us to the reality that is thoroughly opposed to such nonsense. God’s people love Him, not because they are so nice and good, but because God loved them first. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19). The entire reason for a man’s loving God is solely because of God’s love for the man. God’s love for His people came long before they loved Him. Salvation is by the grace of God because of the love of God by which His people love Him. God loved His people when they were dead in sins, “But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins…” (Eph. 2:4). Nothing any man does whilst dead in sins is any evidence of an antecedent love for God. No man ever loved the only true God before God loved the man. Jesus told the pseudo-Christians in Matthew 7 that He never knew them, because He never loved them. Those who love Him do so BECAUSE God loved them first, and those who do not believe in God do so BECAUSE He never loved them, He never knew them, they are not of His sheep. They are dead in sins and justifiably remain under the curse of death. Those whom God does not love He never loved, and, those whom God does not know He never knew (see Matt. 7:23 cf. Psa. 36:10). No man was ever alive to God before God made the man alive to Him. God’s love comes from His mercy and not because of anything a saved man did whilst he was dead in sins. God is the Initiator of all love toward Him, for a saved man’s love for God comes exclusively from God’s love for the man. God’s love for a man guarantees the man’s love for God. Far from loving everyone, God’s love is uniquely and exclusively reserved for His people, His children, His family whom HE CHOSE BEFORE the foundation of the world not according to anything they would do, but according to His Grace alone. Anyone who includes works as part of that which is necessary to get saved, or maintain a man’s salvation is still lost and dead in their sins. The gospels of the world have as their foundation the works of men. The unique and only Gospel of Almighty God has salvation based solely on the grace and mercy of God for His chosen people. Anyone believing and/or teaching a gospel that is in any way reliant upon a man’s righteousness is NOT teaching the Righteousness of Christ. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8,9). The only thing the Gospel of grace can be corrupted with is the works of men. Any gospel that preaches salvation by anything other than by grace alone is a false gospel that has never saved anyone who has believed it.
The Christian’s love for God is not based on his own initiative, on his own self-motivated efforts, but is the result of God’s love for His people. God’s love is everlasting, it never began and it will never end for His people. The love of God’s people for God did not begin with them, but with God. The following verse from James’ Letter is often misunderstood: “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you…” (Jas. 4:8). “Now this is not to be understood as if men could first draw nigh to God, before He draws nigh to them; for as God first loves, so He first moves; He takes the first step, and, in conversion, turns and draws men to Himself; though this verse does not respect first conversion, but after acts in consequence of it; nor is it to be considered as a condition of the grace and favour of God, in drawing nigh to His people, but is expressive of what is their duty, and an encouragement to it.” God is always first; grace is always first. Anything done by God’s people after their conversion is wholly because of God’s love for them through grace. Drawing near to God in spending more quality time in the Scriptures, or in prayer, etc., is all the result of God's love and grace for His chosen people, all part of the fruit, the “…good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10 cf. Phil. 2:13). To think that anything which we have done has drawn God to us, is to say that God loves us because we loved Him first. God doing after we have done something is not grace, but works. What God has done to save His people from their sins, was done before the foundation of the world was laid (see Rev. 13:8). Salvation is settled in eternity, and all of its recipients were made to be recipients by the love and will and grace of God. They are chosen vessels of His love, and so, cannot but love Him. They were made by grace to love Him. The only way a man can love God, is by God loving him first. Salvation precedes any and every act of man. Grace excludes any act of man, therefore, grace does not require any act of man, for it is grace alone that saves. Grace “removes from consideration” any work of man’s in God’s act of salvation. There is no other way a man can be saved but by the grace of God, and, there is no other way a man can love God, but by God’s loving the man first. “We love Him BECAUSE He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19). THAT is the beauty of grace! The appalling spiritual state every man is in by nature is seen in this extraordinary verse which shows that without the love of God, no man could possibly ever love Him! There is no love for the only true God in a man who is not loved by God. Grace is being saved by what God has done. Grace gives salvation just as God gives grace. A man is saved because of God, a man loves God because of God. All of grace brings salvation, therefore, all of salvation is by grace, and all the glory for it belongs exclusively to God. When it comes to salvation, grace through faith is the only means. The grace of God is that which gains and maintains a holy life.