BY GRACE ALONE (PART 37)
51. Isa. 53:4-6 - Christ was, "WOUNDED FOR OUR transgressions." Why? So His PEOPLE DON'T have to be. “…for the transgression of My people was He stricken” (Isa. 53:8). Why? So HIS PEOPLE don’t have to be. Christ is the Substitute of all whom God has given Him.
52. Heb. 4:9 – “…There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.”
53. Gal. 2:21 - If you could earn Heaven, why did Christ die? “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (see #86, #8).
54. Rom. 3:20 - "Therefore by the deeds of the law there SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (see #33, #14, #82, #80, #87, #42, #73).
55. Gal. 5:1-4 - "Christ hath made us free", for there is no other Way; none could free themselves from the bondage of sin no matter how “good” they became.”
56. 2 Tim. 1:10 - "Our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death."
57. 1 John 4:14 - Christ was sent, "To be the Saviour of the world" (Jews and Gentiles), for none could save themselves.
58. 1 Tim. 4:10 - "The Saviour of ALL men, specially of those that believe." (all types of men)
59. Acts 16:30,31 - When the Philippian jailer asked, "What must I do to be saved?" Paul did not say, ‘Keep the Ten Commandments’, but rather, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
60. Luke 7:49,50 - Christ told the woman: "Thy faith hath saved thee", not thy works! (see #1, Acts 26:18; 2 Tim. 1:9).
61. Eph. 1:7 - "In Whom we have Redemption through HIS BLOOD, the forgiveness of sins”, not through our works.
62. 1 Pet. 1:3-5 - "According to His abundant MERCY", not according to our good deeds. (see #12).
63. Rev. 1:5 - Christ, "Washed us from our sins in His own blood"; we cannot wash ourselves with works. “…and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood…” (Rev. 5:9).
64. Titus 3:7 - We are "Justified by His grace", not by our good deeds, baptism, or church membership.
65. Titus 2:11 - "The grace of God that BRINGETH SALVATION hath appeared to ALL MEN."
66. Eph. 4:32 - We are forgiven, "For Christ's sake", not because of our good behavior. (see #88).
67. Eph. 2:4,5 - "(By grace ye are saved)", not by works. The two do not mix according to Rom. 11:6.
68. Acts 26:18 – Jesus said: “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me”, not faith in our own works.
69. Heb. 7:25 - Only Christ is "Able to save." Only He can "Make INTERCESSION for them."
70. Rom. 3:10 - "There is none righteous, no, not one." So how can anyone save themselves?
71. Rom. 3:12 - "There is none that doeth good, no, not one." So how can anyone save themselves?
72. Eccl. 7:20 - "There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." So how can anyone save themselves?
73. Rom. 4:25 - Christ has already died for the sins of His people. He, "Was delivered for our offences and raised again FOR OUR JUSTIFICATION." So what role does a person play in their own salvation?
74. Rom. 5:10 - "We are reconciled to God by the death of his Son", not by the fruits of our works.
75. John 6:28,29 - "Then said they unto Him, WHAT SHALL WE DO, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD, THAT YE BELIEVE ON HIM whom He hath sent." (see #59, #22, #10, #53).
76. 1 Pet. 3:18 - "Suffered for us...that HE might bring us to God." Do we have to help Him save us? Didn't He suffer enough to pay the price? Heb. 7:25 says He did. He saves to "the uttermost."
77. Matt. 5:20 - Your self-righteousness would have to surpass that of the Pharisees— Impossible! (see #70).
78. 1 John 2:2 - Christ, "Is the propitiation [payment]...for the sins of the whole world" (chosen Jews and Gentiles).
79. Rom. 8:8 - "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." So what chance does anyone have to be saved by their own works? A man must be born again, born from above (see Jn. 3:3).
80. Rom. 3:23-25 - Through Christ's death His people are "Justified freely" (made right with God). His death provides: "Redemption" (we are bought back to God), "Propitiation" (a settlement of our sin debt), "Remission [forgiveness] of sins." It is all by God's "Grace" not our works (see #1, #35, #36, #78).
81. James 2:10 - "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in ONE POINT, he is guilty of all.” We can't possibly save ourselves; God demands sinless perfection. We need a Saviour. Clearly, salvation is not by works, for a man would have to obey God’s law perfectly. Salvation is by grace through the gift of faith in the Person and Work of the Saviour, Jesus Christ. The saved man’s appreciation is shown to God by performing the works God has prepared for the man to walk in. He is not saved by those works, for he is saved by grace.
82. Romans 5:8,9 - We are "Justified by His blood", not our good works. That's why "When we were sinners, Christ died for us." Therefore, "We shall be saved from Wrath through Him."
83. Matt. 18:11 - Jesus came "To save that which was lost." Why? Because we cannot save ourselves. Otherwise, why send Christ to die for our sins if we could pay for them ourselves?(see #53, #8, #86, #76).
84. Acts 15:10,11 - "Through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved", not through works. Grace is not works; works is not grace, as explained in Rom. 11:6 (see #90, #1, #53).
85. 2 Cor. 5:21 - "Christ was made sin for us...that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him." Why trust our own "righteousness" if God imputes His Righteousness to all His people?(see Rom. 4:22-24).
86. Matt. 19:25,26 - "When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, WITH MEN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE; but with God all things are possible." (See #8, #41, #42, #81, #11, #45, #70, #19). In other words, salvation is impossible by works. Salvation is only possible by grace. Nothing is possible before life; no man can even see the Kingdom of God if he is not “generated, being begotten” by God
87. Rom. 5:1 - "Therefore being JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, we have PEACE WITH GOD through our Lord Jesus Christ." There can be no real peace when a person spends their life wondering if they have done enough good works. Peace is knowing it's been paid for ALREADY. (see #52, #50, #26, #53).
88. 2 Tim. 1:9 - "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." God had a "payment plan" ready before any of His elect were even alive to work!
89. Rom. 10:9-13 - "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [i.e. repent], and shalt believe in thine heart [i.e. Trust] that God hath raised Him from the dead, THOU SHALT BE SAVED...For whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord SHALL BE SAVED." (see #15). Who can call on the name of the Lord? Who do call on the name of the Lord? Only those who have been born again by the grace of God.
90. Rom. 11:6 - "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace..." Grace can only be grace. It cannot/does not save by anything else. Grace cannot save by works, for the moment you add works, grace ceases to be grace. If you try to add works to grace all you are left with is works, and if you try to add grace to works all you are left with is grace.
91. Gal. 1:4, 92. Rom. 1:16, 93. Gal. 3:21, 94. Heb. 9:22, 95. 1 Tim. 2:6, 96. Acts 10:43, 97. Isa. 43:11, 98. Gal. 3:24, 99. Heb. 9:12-14, 100. 1 Tim. 1:15, 101. Heb. 6:1.
102. Rom. 9:16 – “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” “not of works…not of ourselves…For by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:9,8).
103. Gal. 5:2 – “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” Add anything to what Christ has done, and He will profit you nothing. Christ is either your all in all, or He will profit you nothing at all. It’s Christ or you, grace or you.
104. Gal. 5:4 – “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” If you are looking to what you do, then you can simply forget Christ.
105. Gal. 3:10-12 – “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.”
106. Gal. 3:21 – “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily Righteousness should have been by the law.”
107. Gal. 4:9-11 – “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” Works are a bondage to that which cannot save – Grace is Freedom. Grace is the liberty given by God to be saved by all that He is and all that He has done.
108. Gal. 5:6 – “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” By God are ye saved.
109. Gal. 6:15 – “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”
110. Psa. 49:6,7 - "They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.”
111. Psa. 127:1,2 - “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep.”
What are the truths, the doctrines which must be believed that evidence a person’s being truly saved? That one is truly and savingly believing in the one, true, and only God Who saves only one Way: HIS WAY, THE WAY OF GRACE. What is the truth, and where is it revealed? Surely the truth is not something relative to what a person thinks it is, or believes it to be. The truth of God is what God says it is, and not what a person thinks or believes it to be. Saved people trust in God’s Words, not in their interpretation of what He has said. It is not the individual who says what he believes the truth to be that makes what he believes truth, for the Truth is God’s, and can, therefore, only be what God reveals it to be. Saved people trust only in God and His grace, not in themselves and their works.
The Scriptures state quite categorically that a born again man, a saved-by-God person, is born of the Word of God, the Gospel. Without that Gospel there can be no new creature. “…if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Cor. 4:3). All Christians are born of the Seed of God, which is His Word, which is His Gospel: "Being born again...of incorruptible (Seed), by the Word of God....which by the Gospel is preached unto you" (1 Pet. 1:23,25). “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth…” (Jas. 1:18). Literally all Christians are born of the Truth of God. A plant begets a plant begets a plant ad infinitum because of the seed of that plant. The process never changes, and so the product never changes. The Gospel of God produces Christians. No other gospel can do that. You cannot get a tomato plant from the seed of any other plant. So too, you cannot get a Christian from the seed of any other gospel! The unique Seed of God, His Gospel, only produces Christians, and Christians can only come from that incorruptible Seed. The process never changes, and so the product never changes. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CHRISTIAN WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. There is no such thing as a Christian who has been born out of a false gospel. There is no such thing as a Christian who believes his salvation is in any way dependent upon what he does. You cannot have a true Christian come from a corruptible seed. You cannot be a true Christian by believing in a false gospel. The seed must be incorruptible, and, therefore, it MUST be the Seed of God, the Gospel of God. A man MUST be born again, and he CAN ONLY be born again “…BY THE WORD OF GOD…” (1 Pet. 1:23). If a true Christian can be the only outcome, or fruit, of the Gospel of God, it is a given that no true Christian can possibly be produced by a false gospel. You cannot get a true Christian from a corruptible seed. You cannot be a true Christian if you were not born of the Seed of the Gospel of the grace of God. As the plant comes after the seed is sown, so too, the teaching (planting of the Seed) of what God's Gospel is, happens before one is born again and not after. The plant can never come before the seed. You cannot become a Christian, and then hear and believe the Gospel. The hearing of the Gospel must come first, otherwise, there can be no believing of it. “…how shall they believe in Him of Whom they have not heard…” (Rom. 10:14). If all you have heard is a false gospel, if all you have ever believed is a false gospel YOU HAVE YET TO HEAR OF HIM, YOU HAVE YET TO BEIEVE IN HIM.
Scripture teaches that a man trusts in Christ only after he has heard the Word of Truth which is the Gospel of salvation (see Eph. 1:12-14; cf. Rom. 10:14-17). Of course, after one is born again one’s understanding of the Gospel, and the intricacies of its glorious grace-based doctrines certainly increases, but what those doctrines actually are, coupled with a fundamental understanding of them which leaves no room for man to boast, and gives all the glory to God alone for salvation, is a matter which has been settled by God's revealed Truth and His glorious gift of Faith by grace to believe it. “For the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth” (Col. 1:5,6). You cannot know the grace of God in truth until you hear and believe God’s Gospel of truth. Salvation does not come before the hearing of the Gospel of God. The grace of God is revealed in the Gospel of God which says “…by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8). Scripture speaks of the Spirit of Truth, and the spirit of error. A person is led by either one or the other. A Christian is not one who has been led by the spirit of error to the True God, but only by the Spirit of Truth using only the Gospel of Truth, for how could the Spirit of Truth use anything other than Truth. Those who are led by the spirit of error do not believe the Gospel of Truth. “…when He, the Sprit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth… as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God…the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty…” (Jn. 16:13; Rom. 8:14; 2 Cor. 3:17 cf. Gal. 5:18). How can anyone led by the Spirit of God not be led to the only true God? How can anyone be led by the spirit of error to the True God? Those who are not led by the Spirit of God into all truth are they who do not believe in the Gospel of God. They are NOT Christians, nor can they be as long as they follow the spirit of Satan headlong into perverted versions of the Truth of God, which only present a distorted image of the true and only God Who saves by grace alone, and which have never led a man to the true Gospel of God, but always further and further away from it.
If the gospel you believe differs in any way to what God has said, then it is not God’s Gospel. Those who believe a false gospel are still in their sins.
The following is a brief presentation of the doctrines which make up the Gospel of God, which uniquely give all the glory to God alone for the salvation of His people.
The Gospel, or Doctrine, of Christ is fundamentally as follows: Man is dead in sins (see Eph. 2:1,5), without Christ, without God, and without hope in the world (see Eph. 2:12). This is due to man’s disobedience toward God in the Garden of Eden. God told Adam “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Subsequent to their sin, Adam and Eve “…heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the Garden (Gen. 3:8). This reveals the fact that after the Fall there was nothing left in man for God, no desire that would cause him to seek the true God, but only an antipathy, a deep-seated feeling of aversion, toward Him, and a fear of Him, not based on respect or reverence, but a fear due to guilt and the evil of having sinned against Him, as the following Scriptures testify: “…there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11); “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” (Jer. 17:9); “…the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart…” (Eccl. 9:3); “…there is not a just man upon earth, which doeth good, and sinneth not” (Eccl. 7:20 cf. 2 Chron. 6: 36); “…the carnal mind is enmity against God…” (Rom. 8:7). “The Greek word translated ‘enmity’ is ‘echthra’. It means ‘hostility’. It is translated incorrectly in the NASV and NIV as ‘is hostile’. No, ‘echthra’ is not ‘is hostile’, but rather, ‘hostility’ or ‘enmity’, ‘enemy’, ‘hatred’. The mind of fallen man is not merely hostile to God; it is hostility itself! The carnal mind is hostility against God!” Man’s natural, sinful and lost condition is so anti-God, so filled with a detestation of, and animosity toward, the true God, that in His summary of such a deplorable creature, the Lord Jesus concluded: “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him…” and, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing…” and, “…Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:44,63,65). “…Except a man be born again; he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3); “…flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God…” (1 Cor. 15:50 cf. 1 Pet. 1:23). The people of God are described by the apostle Paul, as: “…the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3 cf. Phil. 3:9). There is nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, that a man can do that can get himself to God, for it is God Who must come to the man.
When asked who can be saved, the Lord Jesus replied “…with men this is IMPOSSIBLE; but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). If all things, including salvation, are only possible with God, then nothing, including salvation, is possible without Him. In other words without God man has no hope of salvation. A man who is saved by the grace of God does not need works. Those who are not saved by the grace of God cling to their works. Clearly, salvation cannot be the result of what a man does, thinks, feels or wants, for it emanates only from God, because of God. Salvation is only by the will, mercy and grace of Almighty God. No man can procure it, by will, works or effort of any kind. Any man who attempts to obtain salvation by his works knows not the true God. No man, by nature, seeks the true God. Salvation is a gift from God because of God. Salvation is by grace. Salvation is “by grace through faith without works”. Salvation is something which comes either from man, which Christ has declared can never be, or by God, Whom Christ has declared is the only way. When man was without sin, he sinned, so what makes anyone think, now that man is a prolific sinner, that he can do anything to get back to God. “…there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Eccl. 7:20). Man’s not being able to attain salvation is at once a declaration that nothing within the scope of man’s abilities, capabilities, thoughts or religions can in any way be used to gain, or maintain, his salvation. That is why salvation is only possible with God, and must be something which is 100% according to the grace of God for Him to rightfully receive all the glory for salvation. This is in accord with the teaching just mentioned, that a man without God, and without the Gospel of God, is without any hope of salvation. Man, if left to himself, has no hope of eternal salvation, of everlasting life, of ever being born again. The true horror of man’s existence is seen in the Biblical reality that, if left to himself, he never can, or ever will come to the true God. It takes the will, love, mercy and grace of God to make a man alive to Him.
A man who seeks to do in order to establish a righteousness of his own in the hope that he can somehow appease the one he believes to be God, and gain his forgiveness, is a man who is alone, without the true God, and, therefore, hopelessly helpless in the world. Such a man does not know the Gospel, he does not know God, and he does not know the Way to God. “As it is written, There is none Righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10-12 cf. Psa. 10:4). The world cannot receive the Spirit of truth “…because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him…” (Jn. 14:17). This is the spiritual state of every man by nature. In his Letter to the church of God at Corinth (see 1 Cor. 1:2), the apostle Paul wrote: “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Cor. 2:11,12). “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God…neither can he know them…” (1 Cor. 2:14 cf. 1 Cor. 1:18,23). If you do not know the truth, the things that are freely given by God to all His people, you do not know Him. Those who do not know the things of God have not received the Spirit of God. Man is spiritually destitute! By nature, mankind is devoid of all spiritual life. Consequently, far from being that which facilitates the salvation of a man, his every thought, every action and every gospel is consistent with that which impedes his salvation by catering to man’s natural aversion to the true God’s Gospel of salvation by grace alone.
The Bible says “…verily every man at his BEST state is altogether vanity” (Psa. 39:5 cf. Psa. 39:11; 94:11). It is God Who makes alive, purely by His Sovereign will, grace and mercy (see Rom. 4:17). Man can do nothing. The fact that man can do nothing, in no way hinders God’s ability to save those He has chosen before the foundation of the world, for salvation is all by grace. Salvation is conditioned on what God alone has done, not on what a man must do. Salvation is of, and from the Lord. God owns salvation and He gives salvation to whomsoever He wills. The apostle Paul, addressing believers, wrote: “But God Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved;)” (Eph. 2:4,5; cf. Col. 2:13,14). The only alternative to being saved by grace, is being dead in sins. “...OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus...” (1 Cor. 1:30). It is BY GOD that a man is in Christ Jesus, and it is by Christ Jesus the Lord that His people believe in God: “Who BY HIM do believe in God…” (1 Pet. 1:21 cf. Jn. 6:29; Acts 18:27; 1 Cor. 8:6). God does not grant the gift of faith so that people may have a mere potential to believe, but the granting of this precious gift is to ensure they WILL believe, and ONLY believe, His unique Gospel which declares salvation to be by God and grace alone. God has chosen people from among every nation to be His people, His very own elected children (see Jn. 11:51,52; Rev. 5:9), and they all receive the same “…faith of God’s elect…” (Titus 1:1 cf. 2 Cor. 4:13), to believe the same Gospel that every believer is separated unto (see Rom. 1:1). They all obtain “…like precious faith…through the Righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:1 cf. Titus 1:4; Phil. 1:5) to believe the only Gospel which is “…the power of God unto salvation…” (Rom. 1:16). God did this according to His Own Counsel. He did not confer with man, nor was the giving of the gift of faith based on any man’s ‘good deeds’. “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counsellor hath taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and shewed to Him the way of understanding?” (Isa. 40:13,14 cf. 1 Cor. 2:16; Job 33:12,13). “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself” (Eph. 1:9).
“The Gospel is sent when and where God has determined within Himself it shall go; and persons are called by it according to His purpose and grace” (see Eph. 1:11,12; Jn. 3:5-8). God choosing those whom He would bless, before the foundation of the world, based on grace alone (see Eph. 1:4-6), is proof positive that man is dead in sins, and cannot come to God by will, or works. Salvation is by grace and mercy alone because there is no other way! God says, “…I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:15,16 cf. Ex. 33:19). Salvation is about God being merciful to whomever He chooses to be merciful. You cannot induce mercy, it only comes from the will and love of Almighty God. Salvation is not an amnesty, or a pardon, of sins. Salvation is not about being excused from the consequences of one’s sins, but is only possible by having had one’s sins punished in Christ. Salvation is about God being compassionate to whomever He chooses to be compassionate. No man can induce compassion from God, for it comes only from the will and love of God Almighty. Neither election or salvation come because of a man’s will, or his efforts. Salvation is all about God saving whomever He has chosen to save by His mercy, by His compassion, by His grace, and NOT by the will or works of any man. The word runneth in Romans 9:15, means “strenuous effort”. “…election, which is what the apostle Paul is discoursing of, is ‘not of him that willeth’, ‘nor of him that runneth’: that is, it is not owing to the will or works of men, to the desires, inclinations, and affections of their minds, or to the actions of their lives; these are not the motives, conditions, or causes of this act: ‘but of God that sheweth mercy’; in a free Sovereign way and manner, which He is not obliged to by anything the creature wills or works; God is at full liberty, notwithstanding whatever they will or do, to give His grace and mercy, when, where, and to whom He pleases; and therefore to give it to some, and deny it to others, can never be accounted an act of injustice, since God is not bound to give it to any.” If salvation is only by grace and mercy then it cannot be by works, foreseen or otherwise, and if salvation is by works, then there is no need for grace and mercy. “…if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). Works implies there is something you can do, while grace and mercy state clearly there is nothing you can do. Works implies reward. Grace and mercy are gifts. GIFTS DO NOT COME AS A REWARD, BUT BY AN ACT OF THE WILL AND THE LOVE OF THE GIFT-GIVER. Mercy is the only hope for the guilty. When mercy is required there can be no reward for anything done, for the need for mercy is a proclamation that nothing can be done! That the person who must have mercy to be saved is irredeemable by anything they can do. Man is so steeped in sin and sinfulness that when he does ask for mercy he cannot but think that his asking will in some way be rewarded. Moreover, by nature, a man never asks the true God for mercy, for he does not know Him. Mercy does not come as a reward, or after anything which a man has done. Mercy comes only according to the will of the One Who provides it, and God provides it not in accord with anything done by anyone else, but only Himself, by His predetermined will before He even made the world.
Why is God responsible for all of salvation, why does God alone receive all the glory for all of salvation, if there was something man could do to come to Him of his own volition. If man has any hope outside of God, then why is salvation by grace alone? Because salvation cannot be by works. Believing what you believe, is a work. Believing what God says, is a GIFT. Christ said “…no man can come unto Me…” (Jn. 6:65), either by his will, or his efforts (see Rom. 9:16), but only if it is given to the man by the grace of God: “…except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:65). That is grace. The elect are saved not by any of their works, but only by the Gift of God. The elect are saved, not by means of their own obedience, but by the obedience of ONE: “…by the obedience of One shall many be made Righteous” (Rom. 5:19); “(God) hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, NOT according to OUR WORKS, but according to HIS own purpose and GRACE, which was GIVEN us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Tim. 1:9), and not, as so many falsely teach, according to God’s foreknowing who would choose Him, for such an ‘election’ would be according to a man’s deeds, and by reward, something which he has earned, rather than by God’s own will, purpose and gift-giving grace. It would be an ‘election’ based on the electee, not the Elector. True election is made perfectly clear in the Word of God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as HE HATH CHOSEN US in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE, wherein HE HATH MADE US ACCEPTED in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:3-6).
The Scriptures speak plainly: “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Rom. 4:4 cf. Rom. 6:23). If man must do something before salvation, in order that salvation/election can then take effect, it is not salvation by grace, but salvation by works. It is not the election of grace, but election based on works. If salvation was dependent upon anything a man had to do, then it would be reckoned as a debt paid, and not a gift freely given. If man can do something to come to God then he is not without hope, and salvation would indeed be conditioned on a man’s will and works, and not solely upon God’s will and grace. Therefore part of the glory of salvation would belong to man. It would mean a man can, by his own will and effort, come unto Christ, and is not, therefore, solely reliant upon the mercy or grace of God. Salvation would be something God would be indebted to reward a man with, rather than a gift freely given by His grace. The reality of the situation is Christ is the Saviour of His people, and not they themselves. “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). Salvation is not according to, it does not take any instruction from man’s will, or works, but is solely in accord with God’s will and grace. If salvation is by God’s grace then it is by God’s will. If salvation is by God’s will it can only be by God’s mercy. If salvation is by God’s mercy then it cannot at all be by a man’s works. If it is by man’s works, then it is by man’s will. If it is by a man’s will then salvation is by a man’s works, and not by grace at all. The apostle Paul teaches in Romans 11 that salvation is either all of grace, or it is not by grace at all, and, if by grace, then not by works at all.
The Word of God says of Christians that the reason why God loves them is not because they loved Him first, it is not we who have taken the initiative; it is not anything that we have done which has attracted God to us, and prompted Him to love us and choose us, it is not we who have chosen God, it is not we who have made a decision to be saved, it is not we who have accepted Him, it is not that we have loved Him: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10). “We love Him, because HE FIRST loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19 cf. Rom. 5:6,8). God’s love is proactive, not reactive. God’s love is a creating and Sovereign love. It does not come in response to another’s love, but is the cause of a man’s love toward Him. The path which God’s love takes is totally and completely according to God’s will, and is in no way dictated to by a man’s love for Him. God loves His people before they loved Him. It took God’s love for a man to love Him. God’s love for His chosen is the forerunner of their love for Him. The order is irreversible, for God has chosen those whom He would love before the foundation of the world, hence, the impossibility of salvation being by any means other than the grace of God which is no less than the manifestation of His love for His chosen, and not their love for Him. Love for the Lord is of the Lord just as salvation by grace alone if of the Lord. God makes His people alive by His love for them before they ever loved Him, for before they loved Him they did not know Him, being dead in their sins. Only AFTER God manifests His love for a man by making him spiritually alive does a man love God. Salvation is all by God’s mercy upon a lifeless creature. God’s love is not a reciprocal love, but an initiatory love, a love which is independent, and, therefore, not that which can be induced, or attracted by, anything or anyone in the entire universe. God is the sole motivating factor behind a saved man’s believing. If God had never loved, chosen, and granted the gift of faith to His people, none of them would ever have known Him, savingly believed in Him and loved Him. It is God Who MAKES alive, and not man who comes alive. God makes alive by His grace, therefore, it cannot be man who comes alive by his works. Man is GIVEN eternal life, he does not attain it. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing…” (Jn. 6:63 cf. Phil. 3:3,9). Eternal life is not a wage paid, but a gift given (see Rom. 6:23). If it is God it is grace, if it is man then it is works. If salvation is by God it is a gift, if it is by man then it is a reward, a debt which God is obliged to pay, and so not by grace at all.
The Lord Jesus took away, He paid the penalty for, all the sins of all the elect of God whom God had given Him (see Isa. 53:4,5), and has replaced their sin with His Righteousness: “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). Salvation is not by the works of man, but only by the grace and Righteousness of God. “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth Righteousness WITHOUT WORKS” (Rom. 4:6 cf. Rom. 4:8). The Christian is Righteous because of nothing he has done. The Righteousness which is given a man is not a reward for anything the man has done, for then it could not be called a salvation purely by grace, and man would not need an imputed Righteousness to save him, for his own righteousness would suffice. The Word of God speaks of “…the GIFT of Righteousness…” (Rom. 5:17). If Righteousness is a gift then salvation must, and can only be, solely by grace. If salvation came after something a person did, it would be due to what they did, and not solely because of what God has done. Salvation is not a debt paid, but a free gift given. Salvation cannot be earned, only given. Salvation is not on offer, nor is it for sale, but is something which is freely given by God to those He has chosen before the foundation of the world, solely according to His will, grace, mercy and love. Salvation is not for sale, for it has already been purchased by the blood of Christ for the chosen of God, “…feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28 cf. 1 Thess. 5:9,10; 1 Pet. 1:18,19; Rev. 5:9). Christ’s Righteousness is freely imputed, or charged, to the elect sinner, by God’s grace based on the obedience of Another: Christ Jesus the Lord. If it is by the Righteousness of Another, then it can only be by the obedience of Another. “…by the Righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” (Rom. 5:18). “‘Came upon all men’; not all universally, but all sorts of men indifferently, Gentiles as well as Jews; or all that are His spiritual seed; all who are connected with the second Adam, all His brethren (see 1 Cor. 15:45). Or all men here is put for many men (see Lk. 6:26; Acts 22:15). ‘Many’ is sometimes put for ‘all’, as in Daniel 12:2, and again ‘all’ for ‘many’; and indeed these two words, all and many, seem to be used reciprocally by this context in particular,(see Rom. 5:15,19). If Adam brings death in fact on all concerned, Christ must bring life in fact on all concerned also. Again, a limitation is suggested by the whole reasoning of the Epistle, and specially by Romans 8:29,30, where the justified are identical with the foreknown and glorified, in the plain sense of the passage. The use of ‘all men’ with this change of reference is fairly illustrated by 1 Corinthians 15:22,23. For through that whole chapter the Resurrection of the Church is the sole subject; and 1 Corinthians 15:23 explicitly refers to ‘they that are Christ’s’: and yet, when the parallel of Adam and Christ is in view, the word ‘all’ is equally used there in both cases (see for other illustrations, though less exact, John 12:32; Titus 2:11). The view of Christ as the Head of all Mankind is, to say the least, far less distinct in Scripture than that of Christ as the Head of justified Mankind, the true Church”: “…Christ is the Head of the Church…” (Eph. 5:23); “…He is the Head of the Body, the Church…” (Col. 1:18). “And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, Which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22,23).
Salvation is not the result of anything a man has done, for salvation is by the grace of God, and the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). It is God’s grace, through the gift of faith in Christ’s Righteousness which saves. Salvation is not at all by a man’s works, by his obedience, but “…by the obedience of One shall many be made Righteous” (Rom. 5:19). NO OBEDIENCE BUT CHRIST’S WILL SAVE A MAN! The currency of man’s obedience can never buy what only the obedience of Christ has already purchased. No one can attain salvation, for it has already been obtained by Christ for all His people. Salvation is no longer for sale, it has already been bought. The currency of works could never have bought it. The price was innocent blood, and only the blood of God the Son has met the price (see Acts 20:28). Salvation cannot be by grace and works, nor can it be by works alone, for if salvation is by grace alone it cannot be by works at all. The works of man nullify, automatically cancel out, the grace of God and the work of Christ Jesus the Lord in the salvation of His people. The apostle Paul stated: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21 cf. Rom. 11:6). If Christ’s Righteousness is not the only Righteousness that saves, then He died for nothing. Paul also said: “Behold, I Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing” (Gal. 5:2). “…to join anything with Jesus and His Righteousness, in the business of justification and salvation, is interpreted by Him as a contempt and neglect of Him, as laying Him aside, and to such persons He is of no profit; and if He is not, what they have, and whatsoever they do, will be of no advantage; wealth and riches, yea, the whole world could it be gained, their works and righteousness, whatever show they make before men, God has declared shall not profit them; and trusting to these renders Christ unprofitable to them.” Those who make any appeal to God based on anything they have done do not know Him, and Christ Jesus will say to them all “…I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:23). Believing that your works play a role in getting you saved, or help to maintain a man’s salvation, is a sign that you are under the curse of sin. To truly trust, is to trust in Christ alone. It is to look to Him, no one else and nothing of ourselves: “And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil. 3:9). Salvation cannot be by God and man, nor can it be by man alone, for if salvation is by God alone it cannot be by man at all. “For by grace are ye saved…not of yourselves…Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9 cf. Rom. 3:26,27). There is no room in the Gospel of grace for a man to boast in anything he has done. A man is made Righteous not by his own obedience, nor by affixing his obedience to the obedience of Christ, for salvation comes only in response to, and by, the obedience of Jesus Christ alone.