FOR GOD SO LOVED...WHO? (part 3)
Salvation follows, it is consequent to, and conditioned on, the will of God, not the will, or works, of men. Arminians’ claim that they had to make their choice for God before God could save them, but that they could not have made this decision without grace, is sheer nonsense, for salvation would then be conditioned on what a man must do before grace can actually make salvation functional in a person’s life. Their assertion is that the act of salvation is by grace, but that it cannot take effect in a person’s life unless man chooses God. Strict Arminianism says that this choosing is done independently of grace, otherwise, it would not be by man’s alleged free and independent will. After all, it would not be an independent ‘free will decision’ of man’s if it were in any way due to God’s influencing it. What they all fail to grasp is the fact that: works of any kind, including belief, cannot get a person saved, for salvation is conditioned on grace alone, on God alone—the One to Whom belongs all the glory for salvation—therefore, believing is merely an evidence that a person has been saved by grace, and never the cause. BELIEVING IS NOT A CONDUIT TO SALVATION, BUT AN EVIDENCE THAT SALVATION HAS ALREADY BEEN CONVEYED. Believing is the immediate fruit, and not the root, of salvation. Believing is a gift given, thus it cannot emanate from the heart of a dead sinner which never even desires the true God, but only from the will of a benevolent God Who saves only according to His will, grace, mercy and purpose. There is no correlation between grace and works in terms of that which saves a man, for the two are diametrically opposed. A MAN IS SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH, AND NOT BECAUSE OF FAITH. Scripture states that a man is saved only by grace through faith unto good works, and not because of good works, or even in conjunction with good works, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Faith is not a work of man’s, but is a gift from God. Salvation is completely conditioned on the will of God. Just as a man loves God only because God loved him first, so too, a man can only believe in God because God has given him the gift of faith to believe. Thus, faith is not a work of man’s, but is purely a gift given by God. None of the good works which have been ordained for the elect to walk in are, or can be, performed prior to their being created in Christ Jesus. The ground of salvation is the Righteousness of Christ. It is the act, or acts, of the Saviour to which the truly saved man appeals to, and never his own deeds. The chosen of God are “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience…” (1 Pet. 1:2), not because of, or due to any prior act of compliance. “…God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us (not by us), who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:3,4).
All the religions of the world teach that either getting saved, and/or remaining saved, is conditioned on works, on what you do. The Arminian savior—like all saviors of every religion’s false gospels—only makes salvation ‘possible’. The true Savior of God’s Gospel MAKES SALVATION HAPPEN!! “The Bible is clear that Christians are saved by faith alone. In that regard it is unique, for the religions of the world, all have some form of works system in order to gain right standing before their god. All the religions of the world dictate one must act a certain way, or do certain things, or commit more good acts than bad acts in order to earn the favor of their deity. Christianity stands alone as a belief system which bases salvation on grace alone without any semblance of works.” The Gospel of true Christianity bases salvation not on man, but completely upon the Deity alone. It is a 100% gift from God, and, therefore, His will, and no other’s. No part of salvation can be earned by man. Those chosen of God are saved so that they will obey, so that they will believe, not because they have obeyed, or have believed. The elect of God are chosen unto salvation, they are chosen to be saved, chosen to believe, chosen to perform good works. “Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He…” (Isa. 43:10). Grace is the very antithesis of works, therefore, none can be saved by what they do, but only by what God has done, hence the Bible rule: “…by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8 cf. Rom. 5:2; Gal. 6:14-16). There is nothing in that verse which suggests that salvation comes by any other way, or out of any collaboration with any other thing, or with any other being. It is by the grace of God alone that one is saved, therefore, ‘by GOD alone are ye saved’. The gravity of the situation is highlighted by Paul in his Letter to the Galatians: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21). “…if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily Righteousness should have been by the law” (Gal. 3:21). If there was anything a man could do by way of obedience, prior to being saved, prior to being made alive, then surely salvation would be by works, for salvation would be conditional upon an act of man, and grace would not be necessary. What would be the point of salvation by grace, if God had equipped man with that which was necessary to get him saved? If man was equipped to meet any condition salvation was based upon, how could salvation be by grace alone when man has been given what he needs to meet the demands of God’s law and justice? If salvation is, therefore, conditioned on man, then salvation would be by works, and not by grace; it would be through a man’s will, and not God’s will. However, it is translucently clear from the Word of God that “…by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal. 2:16), therefore, “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:27 cf. Gal. 6:14). "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth's sake" (Psa. 115:1). "Not unto us, O Lord! not unto us, but unto Thy dear and adorable name be the praise! We were enemies in our minds, and by our wicked works; but Thou hast redeemed us unto God by Thy blood: all our choicest actions were polluted and unclean, but Thou hast worked out for us a Perfect and Everlasting Righteousness." There can only be no boasting when there are no works present. Man has nothing to boast of in his salvation, for salvation is not conditioned on his works, but solely upon God’s grace. The saved man is saved by grace through faith without any works. There is no boasting in a saved man of what he has done, for he knows he has done nothing, for what can a man do before God has made him alive. “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake” (Psa. 115:1). The saved man boasts only in what can be boasted of, and that is, what God, by grace, has done for his soul: “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul” (Psa. 66:16 cf. 1 Cor. 15:10).
Salvation is not by works in whole, or in part, leaving only the grace of God as that upon which the salvation of a man is reliant. Salvation is wholly of God, and, therefore, not by man at all. If all the glory for salvation belongs to God, then all of salvation is of the Lord, according to His grace, and not at all by anything a man does. “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God” (Rev. 19:1 cf. Jd. 1:25). “Salvation, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, is of God; ‘salvation’ from antichristian power and tyranny, and from all enemies, and the everlasting salvation of the soul; and the ‘glory’ of it belongs to all the three Persons; they are glorious in themselves, and deserve all glory to be ascribed to them by man, and especially by the saints.” “…Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb” (Rev. 7:10). “Literally, ‘THE salvation’; all the praise of our salvation be ascribed to our God. They acknowledge their temporal, spiritual, and eternal salvation to the gift and free mercy of God, in whom they had trusted, and to the Lord Jesus Christ, by whose merits and Spirit they had gotten the victory. By ‘salvation’ is meant, not only temporal salvation, and those many deliverances, which God had wrought for them, and particularly in bringing them out of great tribulation, (see Rev. 7:14); but spiritual and eternal salvation, which is the salvation of the soul, and is owing to the free grace of God, and the blood of Christ; and the sense is, that God and the Lamb are the sole authors of it, and the glory of it ought to be given to Them, and to no other.” In other words salvation is credited entirely to the Godhead, and He alone is worthy of all the glory for it. “Let the salvation which we have attained be ascribed to Him… Salvation to our God; that is, the praise and honour due for our salvation belongs to God, since He is the Cause of our salvation…We must remember that ‘salvation’ is in the Bible a positive conception—not only being saved from some evil, but being placed in a state of positive blessedness: and these words will thus be a confession that such blessedness not only is of God, but belongs by right to God.” “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord…” (Psa. 3:8 cf. Jon. 2:9). “…of Him are ye in Christ Jesus…He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:30,31).
Believing can only come as the first fruit of salvation, therefore, it cannot be that which produces, or results in, salvation. Believing is not the root cause of salvation, but merely one of its many fruits. Nor is believing, the tree which bears the fruit of salvation, but it is the tree of the grace of God whose branches provide salvation that produces the fruit of believing. The root of the tree is not dependent on the branches, but the branches, and the fruit which they bear, are completely dependent upon the root which is the antecedent will and purpose of God. Belief is a fruit of the grace of God, and not that which bears the fruit. God saves His people by His grace, and by nothing the person is, or does. God does not wait upon the will of man to do anything, for it is by the will of God alone that a man is saved. Man’s willingness does not precede salvation, but comes as the result of salvation. It is God’s Power, and not a man’s free will by which he is made willing to come to God: "Thy people shall be willing in the day of THY power..." (Psa. 110:3). One of the most forceful Scriptures that clearly demonstrates how a man comes to God says: "Blessed is the man whom THOU CHOOSEST, and CAUSEST to approach unto Thee..." (Psa. 65:4 cf. Psa. 33:12). Not only is God the chooser, but He is also the cause behind a man’s approaching Him. It is not a case of God choosing, and then the man responding with a decision to approach God, but it is all of God, it is God Who chooses and it is GOD WHO IS THE CAUSE BEHIND A MAN APPROACHING HIM! Such is the inability of man—such is the Sovereign grace of God. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13 cf. Eph. 2:10). “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23 cf. Psa. 37:23; Prov. 20:24). The willingness of man to be saved always follows the willingness of God to save him, for man’s will cannot come into play prior to his being made alive by God. This willingness on the part of man is on a par with Paul’s seeing the light, not because he chose to see it, not because he was willing to see it, but because he could not but see the light. IT WAS GOD’S WILL THAT WAS ON DISPLAY ON THAT DAMASCUS ROAD, NOT PAUL’S. From God’s will comes grace, mercy and salvation, and He gives these things to whomsoever HE wills. This is how God operates, this is how God has dealt with those He has chosen from the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, to the Church of Christ in the New. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance” (Psa. 33:12), “not Israel only, but the Gentiles also; not all mankind, but a peculiar people, whom the Lord has chosen out of the world to be His possession, and who are His jewels and peculiar treasure; these are happy, being the Lord's portion, and the lot of His inheritance; and He chooses an inheritance for them, adopts and begets them unto it, and makes them meet to be partakers of it”.
God’s people are all beneficiaries, they are recipients of God’s grace and mercy, and not in any way deserving of His attention. Man is merely a recipient, but even his receptiveness to God is solely by the grace of God, for if he was not first made a vessel of mercy unto honor, he would never, and could never, have been saved (see Rom. 9). The effect of the influence of God’s Spirit on the heart is to make His people, those chosen before the foundation of the world before they had done any good or evil, willing in the day of His power: "Thy people SHALL be willing in the day of Thy power..." (Psa. 110:3). "Eternal life is not bestowed because man had any original willingness or disposition to be saved, it is not because he commences the work, and is himself disposed to it; but it is because God inclines him to it..." Man is not pardoned because of anything he has done but solely because of the will of God, because God chooses to pardon him based on His will and grace. "The sinner, however anxious he may be, and however much or long he may strive, does not bring God under an obligation to pardon him, any more than the condemned criminal, trembling with the fear of execution, and the consciousness of crime, lays the judge or the jury under an obligation to acquit him. Weep and strive he may, but in this there is no ground of claim on God for pardon; and, after all, he is dependent on His sovereign mercy, as a lost ruined, and helpless sinner, to be saved or lost at His will. Salvation, in its beginning, its progress, and its close, is OF HIM. "...GOD HAS CHOSEN the foolish things of the world to confound the wise...THAT NO FLESH SHOULD GLORY IN HIS PRESENCE. But OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus..." (1 Cor. 1:27,29,30 cf. 2 Cor. 1:21,22). He has a right, therefore, to bestow it when and where He pleases. All our mercies flow from His mere love and compassion, and not from our deserts. The essential idea here is, that God is the original Fountain of ALL the blessings of salvation." The very means by which God saves: His will, purpose, grace and mercy, is enough to show that man can do nothing to merit anything from God, let alone eternal life. If man had to do anything before he could get saved there would be room for him to boast, and salvation would not be by grace alone. Grace and mercy allow no room for merit. The fact that salvation is by grace and mercy does not prohibit man from doing anything to get saved, but highlights the fact there is nothing which a man can do in order to obtain salvation. “…without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Heb. 11:6); “…they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8). The saved are they whom God wills to be saved; they are saved only by what God does which they cannot merit; they are saved according to His good pleasure, and they are saved by that which they do not deserve.
Whether it is intended to, or not, conditioning salvation on anything a man must do, on the oxymoronic concept of man doing anything to get saved by grace, or to remain saved by grace, amounts to nothing less than combining religious tradition—man’s erroneous understanding of Scripture—with the Holy Word of God. To say that grace enables a man to make a free will choice concerning whether, or not, he will accept what has ‘been done for him’, is to think along the same lines as the Pharisee in Luke 18 who thanked God for what he, the Pharisee, did. Such a monstrous prevarication advocates the blasphemous idea that salvation is ultimately, not dependent upon the grace of God, but is reliant upon a man’s free will decision, thus promoting self-dependence, that man trust in himself as well as God. Significantly, the parable of the Pharisee and the publican was addressed “…unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others” (Lk.18:9 cf. 2 Cor. 10:17,18). Christ said of the Pharisee, and those of like mind: “…every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Lk. 18:14 cf. Psa. 147:11; 1 Pet. 5:5,6). Those who condition salvation on any act of personal obedience, on their character and conduct, are subscribers to the lie that it is not the grace of God in the death of Christ, which makes the difference—seeing it is alleged He died for all—but a man’s free will decision, his ‘response’ which determines his eternal future. Such obtuse ‘reasoning’ attracts the question, How did Lazarus ‘respond’ to the Lord’s command for him to come forth? Being restored to physical life was not due to any response on the part of Lazarus, for he was dead. How could he have responded? What could he have done prior to his being made alive? How could Lazarus have done anything before being restored to life? Was Lazarus’ coming back to physical life dependent on how he would respond to Christ’s command? Of course not, for how could anything be dependent on a dead man! Did the will of Lazarus have anything to do with the Lord’s ‘decision’ to bring him back to life? Certainly not. Lazarus was dead, and so, his being made alive was something which must of necessity have occurred outside the scope of Lazarus. His being made alive is a picture of a chosen man’s being born again, solely by God. It is not according to a man’s decision that he is made alive, born again, but is something which can only be subsequent to the command of God. Christ commanded that life be restored to Lazarus, and so life was restored. It is Christ Who has the keys of Hell and of death (see Rev. 1:18): “The Saviour holds the key, and can have access to death’s empire when He pleases, releasing all whom He chooses, and confining there still such as He shall please. Keys are emblems of authority” (see Matt. 16:19; Rev. 3:7; 9:1; 20:1). Christ commanded that life be returned to Lazarus, that life once again be in Lazarus, and so it was. It was God’s Word and God’s will that brought life, that made the difference, just as it is “…the grace of God that bringeth salvation…” (Titus 2:11). The result of the Lord Jesus’ command was the restoration of physical life in Lazarus, and so what else could have ensued other than Lazarus coming forth. This is precisely what occurs in the spiritual regeneration of a man. God commands that there be spiritual life, so what else could possibly eventuate from this command issued from, and because of, the will of Almighty God, other than one’s coming forth a saved person. THAT is grace! That is the miracle of salvation! A new creature has come forth created by God to the glory of GOD alone!
Grace is God doing all, for the one chosen to be saved could do nothing. To talk of a man’s decision, or response to grace, is sheer nonsense, for then God’s will would always be subject to, and would need to meet with the approval of, a man’s will before it could be accomplished. The physically deceased Lazarus could do nothing to will, or make, himself alive, so too, the spiritually deceased man can do nothing to restore life to himself, or play any part in being born again, for a spiritually dead man’s will and works are just as dead as he is. The new creature can do nothing until after it has been created. The thought of a sinful creature doing anything to transform itself into the new creature created by God in Jesus is preposterous at best, and a blasphemy against the God of all creation—both physical and spiritual. Therefore, the entire concept of a man being saved only after he makes a decision, or after he responds positively to the proposition said to be set before him by God, is utter madness, for the Scriptures clearly state that man is naturally dead in sins, without God and, therefore, without hope in this world (see Eph. 2:1,5,12). How any man who is without hope can do anything is a question to which there is no possible, logical, answer. Man must be made alive to God by God. Man is born again by the will of God, he is born of God. Salvation does not await a man’s consent before he can be made alive, for prior to being made alive all are unequivocally dead! Therefore, nothing is sought from the man, nor expected from the man which will ratify his salvation. Salvation is completely by grace, and not at all by works. It is completely by God, and not at all conditioned on man. It is God’s will, God’s purposeful act, which prompts Him to save a man, and not anything a man is, wills, or does. “There is nothing whatever outside God Himself which moves Him to do anything: He ‘…worketh all things after the counsel of His own will’ (Eph. 1:11),” not after the counsel of anyone else’s will. This is why the false teaching that God loves everyone without exception, and “…that He gave His only Son to provide them an opportunity to get saved by faith is so wrong, for such a ‘love’ on God’s part, so far from being love, would be the refinement of cruelty…offering a gift of life to a spiritual corpse, a brilliant sunset to a blind man, and a reward to a legless cripple if only he will come and get it, are horrible mockeries”.
The Word of God attributes no qualifications to the grace of God, for if there were any stipulations, or conditions on grace before it could save, then it would cease to be grace. Salvation is by grace, therefore, salvation is only dependent, conditioned and reliant upon the source of that grace: Almighty God. Grace comes only according to the will, act, and good pleasure of God. therefore, nothing outside of grace can possibly save. Neither a man’s will, nor his works, are responsible for salvation, for a man’s salvation comes only by grace: the will and work of God. Salvation comes not when it pleases us, but as with the apostle Paul, a man is saved according to the good pleasure of God, His time and His way. Listen to the language of Paul: “But when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace, To reveal His Son in me…” (Gal. 1:15,16). The term ‘grace’, and the phrase ‘saved by grace’ have been so mangled and distorted by the reckless ignorance of carnal man, as to render them completely unrecognizable and detached from their original meaning. Reckless ignorance is a poor substitute for right knowledge. If one is saved by grace, one is saved by God. A man who is saved by grace is saved by something, or someone, other than themselves, by something which is outside of their realm of capability, or desire. Scripture teaches that not only does man’s state of spiritual death mean that he is utterly incapable of doing anything to come to God, it also teaches that no man in that state has any desire for, or longing to worship the true God: “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11). Grace is the antithesis of works, so if one is saved by grace one cannot claim any works of their own as playing any part in that salvation. Salvation is not of any man, for it is wholly of the Lord. Salvation is “not of works” for “by grace are ye saved” (see Eph. 2:8,9). If salvation were conditioned on anything we do then it would not be solely by grace. Even if what we did could only be done by the grace of God, it would still not be salvation by grace, for it would ultimately be dependent on the will and work of a man. God does not save this way! God does not share His glory for salvation by His grace with anyone, therefore, no part of salvation could possibly be conditioned on anyone but God, and anything but grace.
The evidence that one is saved by grace is their being given the gift of faith with which to believe the Gospel of the grace of God. Without the gift of faith, no man can savingly believe the true Gospel of God. The gift of faith to believe the truth is as necessary to salvation as grace is, and without either one of these gifts there can be no salvation. “…by grace are ye saved through faith…” (Eph. 2:8), for without these gifts none can possibly be in a saved state. One cannot have saving grace, but not the gift of saving faith, and one cannot savingly believe the true God’s Gospel except by the gift of grace. These things are God’s gifts, and they are given only in accord with God’s will. Grace does not enable one to do anything to get saved, for grace is that by which one is saved. The only thing grace could be conditioned on, other than the will of God, is something man would be required to do. The words of the apostle completely rule out this possibility “…if it be of works, then is it no more grace…” (Rom. 11:6). Grace does not come by the works of man, but only by the will of God. Grace does not enable one to perform works in order to get saved, for it is grace itself that saves. Salvation is of the Lord by grace, therefore, salvation is by what the Lord does, and not because of anything a man does. If election, or salvation, are in any way influenced by the efforts—an act, or acts—of a man, including that of believing, then salvation could not possibly be something unmerited, or undeserved, for salvation would not be consequent to the will of God, but only the will and effort of a man. Salvation, rather than being a free gift, would be God’s response to what a man has done, and so, salvation would be a cooperative effort based on the will of God and the will of man: God wanting to save, but salvation only sanctioned after an act of man’s. The dual keys of will, God’s will and man’s will, would be required to unlock the door of salvation. The master key, and the individual’s key. The problem with this premise lies in the fact that the Door to Heaven can only be opened from the inside. Salvation by grace allows for no door knob which man can turn, and no key hole in which to insert the key of his will, or works. If salvation is by the grace and mercy of God, and grace is unmerited, and mercy is undeserved, how then can a man’s works play any part in his salvation? As soon as one attempts to bring in works, one’s obedience in character, or by conduct, so that one can get saved, and/or remain saved, one is operating under a reward system. Salvation then becomes a wage earned which God is obligated to pay, rather than a gift freely given/bestowed by love.
Christ Jesus is either All in All, or nothing at all. He is everything we could not ever be, and He did everything we could not ever do. That is why God does not need our contributing, supplementary acts—or should I say, considering the fact we are all sinners—our attempts at ‘obedience’, to get us saved, or keep us saved, FOR WE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM!! Saved by what He has done. If one is saved, then it is a given that they have been made so by a Saviour. What can something possibly need, which is already complete! “…by the obedience of ONE shall many be made Righteous” (Rom. 5:19). There is no need to add anything to a glass which is already full. Those who seek to obey to get saved are attempting to replicate that which the Lord Jesus Christ has already done! Whether they are aware of it or not, such a person is attempting to be their own saviour, and shunning the only obedience by which a man is saved: that of the Lord Jesus Christ. Righteousness—right standing with God—is a gift from God, and, therefore, cannot be that which can be achieved, or procured, by man: “For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of Righteousness shall reign in life BY ONE, Jesus Christ)” (Rom. 5:17ff). Again, there is no need for man to try and build for himself a righteousness which God will accept, for God is completely satisfied with the Righteousness established by His Son, by what only the Substitute for His people could do, and has done, on their behalf! “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the Head of all principality and power” (Col. 2:9,10 cf. 1 Cor. 1:30,31). Christ is “…able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him…” (Heb. 7:25 cf. Jn. 14:6). “When salvation and blessings are said to be of grace it means that the recipient has met NO conditions to earn it or appropriate it and that he has no claim upon it by way of (personal) merit.” Salvation is, therefore, completely UNMERITED by man, and so must be all by grace, the free favor which God has for His elect children. “…if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace…” (Rom. 11:6). If salvation is by grace, then it is solely by God, it cannot be by works, by anything which a man does. If man had to do anything prior to being saved, then salvation would not be a free gift by grace, but would come as a reward, a payment for something done, rather than that which love has given.
The Word of God teaches that under no circumstances can the favor of God be bought (see Acts 8:18,19). “Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience; it is purchased by the blood of the Son of God.” Salvation cannot be purchased, for it is free, and God is free to give it to whomsoever He desires to have it. Therefore, salvation is according to God’s will, not man’s. The apostle Paul taught that a saved man is “…justified freely by (God’s) grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24); “That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7). Being justified by grace is the only way a person can be an heir of eternal life. The true Christian is saved by God: “…justified by His grace…” and “...not by works of righteousness which we have done…” (Titus 3:7,5); “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5); The true Christian is saved by God: “…justified by His grace….according to His mercy…” (Titus 3:7,5); The true Christian is saved by God: “…justified by His grace…by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:7,5). The saved man is made an heir of eternal life by the grace of God, not by anything the man has done. He is made an heir by being made alive. All men are born spiritually dead in sins, the Christian man is a new creature made alive—born again—born spiritually alive, to God by God’s marvellous grace. The grace of God is something which is given “freely, gratis, as a free gift…without charge”. Salvation is supernatural, a free gift which, significantly, does not only come from God, but is something given by God. It is motivated by nothing and no one other than the Person and will of Almighty God. Salvation is not a responsive act, whether it be God’s response to what a man does, or as the result of a man’s response to what God does. Salvation is not the birth child of response, but an offspring which comes only from the womb of the will of God according to His purpose. Salvation is a planned act, a predestinated act, and is according to the predetermined will of God. If it was required of man to do anything before grace could impart salvation to him, then salvation would be by a cooperative, collaborative, combined effort on the part of God and man. But the Word of God teaches that salvation flows only from the will of God to those He has predestinated unto eternal life, “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. 1:5,6). God does not wait for man, grace does not wait for man to do anything, for it has been delegated by God to save His people according to His will. Grace does not wait for a man to do anything, for if it did, if grace had to wait for a man to make a decision for God, or perform an act of obedience toward God, then salvation would no longer be a free gift, but an obligation on the part of God, something demanded of Him which He would be impelled to provide. It would be a reward, or a wage, and a wage is never given unless it has been earned: “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Rom. 4:4). Salvation is not a debt which God owes to any man, for it comes only by grace which is the child of God’s will and purpose. Salvation is not an obligation which God must meet, but is a free gift which God gives to those He loves. God is not compelled to provide salvation, for it is something He gives by grace only according to His will. Salvation is no “debt of gratitude” on God’s part, but is a gift freely given according to His good pleasure. Grace is the exclusive servant of God. It hears no one else’s voice but His, and, therefore, comes only at His command.
If you have been fed the lie that salvation waits upon, is reliant upon what you do, then you have been taught the blasphemy that salvation is a reward born out of debt, and not something which is a gift that can only be according to, and solely because of, grace. The reason why we are spending so much time on grace is that the misinterpretation of John 3:16 rules out grace as that by which a man is saved, for its lie that God loves all and that Christ His Son died for all takes salvation out of the hands of an Almighty Sovereign God, and places it in the hands of each individual. Thus it removes grace replacing it with a man’s will and works. It changes salvation from a gift to an obligation. The proper bedrock consisting of the grace of God is indispensable to a proper, Scriptural, understanding of John 3:16. If you come to John 3:16 without the foundation of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, you will invariably end up with a false doctrine that can only lead you to a false gospel, the belief of which will not save you. Clearly, the Word of God states that it is by grace that one is saved, and that this salvation is a gift given, and not something earned—which would mean some act of man’s must precede it—which would in turn disqualify it as a gift. Salvation is a gift. Gifts are not merited, they can only be given. If you were inspired to buy something for a person who has treated you kindly, or helped you at a difficult stage of your life, etc., then it would not be a gift, but a reward, a thank you, something which the person has earned, and not something which has come purely out of, and motivated by, your love. The granting of a gift is not a thank you for something you have done, but something the gift-giver wants to do out of love for you, and not gratitude, or any sense of reward. Something which is given as a response to something done is not a gift, but a reward, a token of appreciation, and not a manifestation of love. Salvation is not a thank you from God, but a sign of His unconditional love. Salvation is a gift of God, and is given as a sign of peace toward His chosen ones. If salvation were not by grace alone then it could not be by grace at all. It would not be grace alone which makes the difference between saved and lost, but works. The reasoning behind this is seen in grace vs. works, or debt. If you work, your reward is a debt which is owed to you. If you have done nothing, then what you are given is a free gift. There is no such thing as a gift given as a debt, or a wage given as a gift. One is given, the other is earned. The one always rules out the other, hence, Paul’s reasoning in Romans 11:6. Grace requires nothing. Grace does not need man to do anything, for it is by grace alone that a man is saved. If grace required a man to do something before he could be saved, it would be like a person promising you a free gift provided you first did this, or that. SALVATION BY GRACE IS THE LOUDEST, CLEAREST, STATEMENT OF ALL THAT MAN CAN DO NOTHING TO OBTAIN IT. All the glory for salvation belongs solely to God, therefore, all of salvation must be all of God. This is what the Word of God calls grace, or being saved by grace. People have gone on about grace, and that they were saved by grace, and praise God for His grace, etc, never realising that what they believe is only Satan’s imitation of grace, and not God’s grace at all. Just as there are false gods and false gospels, so too, there is also false grace which has never saved, but only deceived. When it comes to doctrine, do not simply look at the label, but inspect the contents. Do not allow yourselves to be fooled, for whatever reason, by a man who uses the word grace, but always find out what he means by grace. If he attaches any works to grace, then it is not the grace of God he is teaching you.
One man has written that grace is “absolutely free, the true gift of God in Christ…” but incredibly he adds, “…our only responsibility is to receive the gift by faith”. OUR RESPONSIBILITY? What responsibility can a dead man have!! Grace is a free gift, but we have a responsibility? Though the grace of God is free, it is not free for the taking, only free in the giving. What this man, and billions like him, fails to comprehend is the fact that if man had a responsibility in salvation, then salvation would, in some way, be conditioned on man, and not solely upon God. Thus, salvation would by grace and works, by God and man, thus, grace could not be free at all. The gentleman in question who claims it is man’s responsibility to receive the ‘absolutely free’ gift of God by faith, then has the temerity to quote Ephesians 2:8, but his theology fails miserably because he misses the glaringly obvious fact that FAITH IS A FREE GIFT, TOO!! How can man have a responsibility to believe, when our believing is just as much a gift from God as salvation by grace is! A like-minded gentleman whose writings waxed lyrical about the grace of God in salvation, at first seemed to have an understanding of grace according to the Word of God. All seemed quite Scriptural in this man’s writings, until he said this: “Faith is man’s work”. Arminianism’s boast is “Faith is the sinner's gift to God; it is man's contribution to salvation”. If faith were a man’s response to God’s grace, it would be a man’s work, and not a gift from God that would be responsible for salvation. It would be a man’s natural, inherent, faith, and not the faith of the elect given by God through which they would be saved. But how, pray tell, can any man respond to God when all men are dead in sin? And when exactly would a man make his alleged ‘response’? before he is made alive by God, or after? How can a man respond to God before he is made alive, and what need would there be for, what would it benefit, a man to respond to God after the Lord has made the man fully alive to Him? Apparently, no sense makes sense to those who claim faith is a work of man’s, a gift given by man to God.
The Word of God teaches: “…ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…But with the precious blood of Christ…Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who BY HIM do believe in God…” (1 Pet. 1:18-21 cf. Jer. 1:5; 1 Cor. 8:6; Phil. 1:29). “…by Him all that believe are justified from all things…” (Acts 13:39). Believing is not an act of obedience, it is not our gift to God, but a gift given by God to His chosen people. The saving faith of God’s elect does not originate within themselves, for “…it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). It is not something which spiritually dead creatures generate from within, for saving faith is God’s property, and He gives it to whomsoever He has regenerated. Paul spoke of himself as “…one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful” (1 Cor. 7:25). The Christian loves God because God loved him first, and the Christian believes only by, and because of, God. The Christian is saved by grace, and believes with the gift of faith. Believing is not an act which is required, but a gift that is given. Yes, a man must believe, but the only way he can believe is by God granting him the gift of faith to believe. God is responsible for salvation, and so, it is God’s responsibility to save those whom He has elected before the world began. God is not obligated by anyone, or anything outside of Himself to save any, but has willed that certain ones be saved, and has done—thereby, ensuring they will be saved—all that was necessary to secure their salvation. God has taken it upon Himself to save His people from their sins, knowing full well that they could do nothing in their spiritually dead state to gain salvation. God could not have expected man to do anything, for all are, by nature, dead in sins. Ergo, salvation by grace alone. God accepted the responsibility, according to His will. Without being asked to, without being prompted by anyone, God took it upon Himself to make the salvation of His people a reality. In His Sovereignty, and being the Author of salvation, the Originator, or Cause of it, God took charge of the dilemma His people faced, and assumed responsibility for their salvation, thus providing grace and mercy as well as a Saviour Who would take away their sins, and impute unto them His perfect Righteousness. What responsibility can a man have in terms of being saved when prior to his being made alive by God, he is exceedingly dead in sins, dead to God, cannot even seek God, has absolutely no desire for the true God, for he does not know Him, and is, therefore, without hope in the world? The fact that salvation is by the grace of God shows conclusively that salvation could not possibly be by anyone else, and, therefore, by anything which anyone else has done, or by any part of salvation being conditioned on anything they are allegedly required to do.