THE HOUSE OF GOD - part 10
You cannot work your way into God’s House, nor can you negotiate your way into Heaven. You cannot qualify as a member of the House of God by what you do, or by how lovely a person you may be, or because the only reason you believed in a false gospel was because you were sincerely convinced it was God’s Gospel. You cannot appeal to your loyalty to something you thought was of God. This does not attract God’s attention. It does not cause God to look upon you with love, mercy and grace. Ignorance of God’s Gospel is not the impetus of, nor the segue to, God’s love. There is no mercy for the ignorant, for if the Gospel of God be hid, it is hid to them who are lost (see 2 Cor. 4:3). There is no mercy for those who have not had “…the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God.…shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:4). Who a man is, and what a man does is not the precursor to, nor is it the motivation for, God’s love. The love of God is prompted, it is set in motion, by the will, mercy and purpose of God, which are the essential components of the grace of God, and which grace cannot do without. All are sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God (see Rom. 3:23). All are sinners, therefore, none can attract the love of God by anything they do (see Isa. 64:6). Who a man is, and what a man does is not what prompts God to save anyone. Salvation comes because of the will, grace, mercy, love and purpose of the Sovereign God. After writing, and rejoicing in the fact, that salvation is by God’s having chosen His people, His predestinating them unto the adoption of children by Jesus to Himself, to the praise of the glory of His grace by which God, and not their individual works of obedience, has made them accepted, the apostle Paul states: “In Whom we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Eph. 1:11,12). All that has been done to save has been done by God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All of salvation is to the praise of GOD’S glory. No one shares in the glory for salvation, for salvation is not something which can be contributed to, but that which can only be received, by the grace of God, through faith. Contributing to grace is like trying to make a mountain out of a mole.
Moses said to God “…I beseech Thee, shew me Thy Glory” (Ex. 33:18). To which God replied: “I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Ex. 33:19). There is the goodness of God! “To paraphrase, God is telling Moses, ‘This is the essence of Who I am (My name). My glory is displayed by My freedom to show mercy and compassion to whomever I wish. I am not obligated to show mercy to any, because all have sinned and justly deserve My judgment. But I am free to show My glory both by giving mercy to some and by withholding it from others. That is Who I am’.” God shows His mercy to whomsoever He wills to show His mercy. It is also the very goodness of God which leads a man to repentance (see Rom. 2:4). The motivation to be merciful comes from within God Himself, and is not drawn out, or attracted by any man’s good deeds, or high sense of morality. All of salvation is due, and all the glory for it is to be directed solely, to the Lord God Almighty. Not because God rewards those who are obedient to the rules and regulations of their religion, but because of the fact God has shown grace to whomsoever He chose to be gracious, and because He has chosen those He would be merciful towards. There is no room for the works of man, there is no need for the works of man, when one has the Gospel of Grace. Who we are, and what we do does not instigate God’s love toward us. If what a man did to get right with God determined who God would love, then salvation would no longer be by the will and grace of God, but as something secondary to a man’s will and works. It would be man’s works which would applicate God’s love, rather than God’s Sovereign will being the motivating force behind His saving His people. The Christian’s love for God begins with God’s love for those whom He has chosen. No person’s love for God can ever be independent of the fact that where there is anyone who genuinely loves the true God, it is always because of God’s having loved them first. God’s love is according to His will, mercy and purpose. God’s love comes by grace, obviously not as a reaction to, or reward for, anything man has done, but despite what man has done. God’s love is by His grace and mercy. If there were anything man could do to inspire, motivate or draw God’s love, it would no longer be by grace. Grace cannot be cajoled. Grace cannot be coaxed by anything a man is , or does, for grace is independent of any outside force, if you will. Grace is solely motivated by the will and purpose of God. God’s grace comes from within Him, and because of Him. God’s grace is given because of what God wants, it comes because of God’s goodness, not according to the goodness of a man.
There is no redeeming feature in any man, for all men, by nature, are dead in sin, dead to God, hence there is none that seeks God, for, as Jesus the Lord says, “No man can come unto Me…” (Jn. 6:44). No man can come makes it manifestly obvious that man coming to God by his own volition is nothing but an untenable religious myth born in the minds of accursed sinners, and taught in lost men’s gospels which have no foundation in the Word of God. “…there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11), allows for no alternative other than the fact God must come to man if any are to be saved. “For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out” (Ezek. 34:11 cf. Lk. 19:10; Lk. 15:4,5). Christ says: “All things are delivered unto Me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). Remember, to know God is to obey God, is to believe the Gospel of God. No one can do this without the intervention of God in their lives. Those who promote the lie which says a man, of his own free will, can come to God at any time, have overlooked, or completely disregarded, one extremely important and pivotal fact: MAN IS DEAD IN SIN, and consequently, “…no man can come…” (Jn. 6:65), therefore, “…there is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11 cf. Job 11:7). The Lord Jesus declares: “…No man can come unto Me…” (Jn. 6:65), therefore, it is the responsibility of the Son to reveal the Father to whomsoever He will reveal Him. The true God is not sought by any man, therefore, He must come and reveal Himself to whomsoever He has chosen. In addition, the Lord Jesus said “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3). A man must be made alive, given birth to, by God if he is to see God’s Kingdom. Coming to Jesus, being born again of God, being made alive by God and to God, is not something which emanates from within man. Neither is it within the will of man to do so, for, by nature, no man even seeks God. It is not by the will of man, but by the will of God (see Js. 1:18; Jn. 1:13; Rom. 9:16). Despite man’s hurriedly running to whichever false god he is presented with, no man, by nature, seeks after the true God. Seeing that no man can come to God, it is clear that God must come to man if any are to be saved. Those who insist that man can choose God, can come to God, are burdened with the impossible task of proving when exactly this takes place. Does it happen prior to the Lord making a man alive, or after? If before, how? How can a man who is dead in sin, and an enemy of God in his mind, no less, possibly choose to come to God? (see Eph. 2:5; Rom. 8:6,7). All a saved man was doing, before God made him alive, was busying himself with being dead in sin. Before salvation, man is completely preoccupied with being dead in sin, and with all that entails. Moreover, what need is there for a man to come to God, after God has come to him, and made him alive? Man cannot come to God, therefore it is God Who comes to man. A man’s ‘coming to God’ is not something which is natural to man, but is a supernatural act on the part of God. Choosing and loving are primary acts done by God. God chooses first, God loves first, and any ‘positive reaction’ on man’s part is solely a work of God within the man. God makes a man alive. “We love Him, because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19), and “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us…” (1 Jn. 4:10). God did not send His Son for the people who would choose Him and love Him, but for the people HE chose and loved before the foundation of the world. It is manifest that God comes to man, and not the other way round. God draws His chosen to Him by His love for them which is according to God’s will, purpose and grace. The Lord says: “…I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jer. 31:3 cf. Jn. 6:44). Not only is there nothing which man has, is, or does which can draw God to him, the Word of God says that, no man is Righteous, by nature, therefore, there is no man that understands, or even seeks the true God, for all are unprofitable, and there is none that doeth good (see Rom. 3:10-12).
One may only take up residency in the House of God if one has been given the Faith of God that believes only in the Gospel of God. Only God's chosen people are of God’s House, and being chosen by God ensures that they all believe in the Gospel of God, for this is the only key that will open the Door to the House of God. It is important to note that none who are of the House of God are in the process of coming to the truth. None who are of that Household of Faith are gradually approaching a belief of the Gospel, for the House of God, the Church of God, is the pillar and ground of the truth. All who are of it believe the true Gospel, and only promote the true Gospel. To be travelling toward a destination provides immediate evidence that you have not yet arrived. So too, those who are in the process of learning the truth immediately signify that they do not yet know it, or believe it. If one does not know, or believe the Gospel one cannot obey the Gospel, and thus one cannot be of the House of God. God draws His people to Him, but like the net of fish being slowly dragged to shore it is not yet on the shore, until it reaches the shore. Likewise, those in the process of being drawn have not yet arrived at the House of God. Only those who believe that God’s Gospel alone is God’s power unto salvation belong in the House of God, for all those outside that House do not obey the Gospel of God. One is only part of the House of God after one has believed the Gospel of God, and not whilst one is still in the process of hearing and learning what the Gospel of God is. The only qualification shown in 1 Peter 4 which Christians have, and the unrighteous do not have, is a firm belief of, and singular obedience to, the Gospel of God. It is not a professed love for God, or good deeds which make a man to differ from another, but the grace of God which delivers the faith of God to believe only the Gospel of God which is the only power of God unto salvation.
Like God, His people have no tolerance for other gospels which are made up of the mere thoughts and opinions of men which all condition salvation on a man’s obedience. This is the distinguishing feature of every true born again Christian. It does not for one moment mean that Christians hate, or are to in any way hate the unbeliever, it simply means that Christians despise false gospels for, rather than save men, counterfeit gospels deceive men, helping to fuel their perpetual state of lostness. False gospels misrepresent the true God, and lie about how He saves. How could God, and His people, not hate such gospels. The whole motivation for God’s people to preach the Gospel is to obey Christ, and preach it to every creature in the hope that some at least will be blessed with the faith to believe it, and turn from all other gospels, and their claims to have the power to save. One cannot properly love the Lord with all one’s being if one is still attracted to any false god portrayed in false gospels. To disbelieve the Gospel of God is the distinguishing mark of all the ungodly. Their good works and religiosity cannot in any way make up for the fact that they do not obey the Gospel of God, and are, despite the opinion of the world, ungodly. Such people have not placed their trust in the Saviour Jesus Christ and His Righteousness, but go about seeking to establish a righteousness of their own, by obeying gospels which promote works as the means to getting saved, or ‘remaining saved’, by what they do whether they attribute their doing it to the grace of God, or not. They follow gospels which do not condition salvation solely upon the grace of God—what God does— but upon what a man must do. Any person who follows a gospel which dictates that they must do something to either gain, or maintain, salvation is one who believes in a false gospel, and not God’s only Gospel which is God’s unique Gospel, that places all dependence for salvation, and its retention, upon the grace of God alone. Those who do not obey God’s Gospel, who are not believers of it, who do not trust in God’s salvation plan, and the Righteousness of His Son, are not of the House of God. They are not of His people, for all God’s people obey God’s Gospel. Their trust is in the Saviour which only God’s Gospel reveals, and all other gospels shun. Their hope is in God. Their hope for salvation is in God, and not in anything they do. They do not indulge in navel gazing, they are not involved in excessive contemplation of themselves by focussing on what they do at the expense of what God has done, and how He truly saves. The hope of all God’s people is in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and no other.
Now, many so-called theologians and professors of religion, and so forth would claim that this all sounds too simplistic. That salvation is a far more complex matter which involves much more than a simple belief in God’s Gospel. That every individual’s circumstances and situation are different, and each ‘case’ needs to be judged on its own merits. Consequently, they have added man-made rules and regulations, and formed religions which are based, not on God’s Word, but on man’s many and varying opinions of what God’s Word is saying. The blind who faithfully follow these blind self-appointed leaders never realise that they are also just as blind as they are until they have all fallen into the ditch (see Matt. 15:14). Just as no man, by nature, can spiritually discern the truth of God (see 1 Cor. 2:14 cf. Job 28:20,21), man is also unable to recognize spiritual blindness in himself, or others. The only confusion about salvation, lies in the hearts and minds of lost people who faithfully follow/obey the religions of the world, and those who profess to be, but are not, Christians. The truth is very basic! The principle of grace is extremely simple! You cannot oversimplify truth! You cannot oversimplify grace! 1 + 1 = 2 God alone saves, and not you. That is simple truth, and that is the simple Gospel. Any man’s insistence that what he does, and abstains from doing, is an indispensable part of his getting saved, being saved, staying saved, or losing his salvation, is a man who has not yet been blessed by the grace of God. Insistence without insight is sheer pig-headed ignorance. God’s coming to a man causes the man’s view to be filled with God. What man is, does, or can do simply pale’s, not merely into insignificance, but into nothing, for when the grace of God arrives, a man’s heart, mind and soul are filled with God. Grace does not cause a man to look to himself—to what he can, and must do—but compels him to look to God, ALONE, for ALL of salvation. God says: “Look unto ME, and be ye saved…FOR I AM GOD, and there is none else” (Isa. 45:22). This Scripture clearly teaches that only God can save. Salvation can only be of the Lord, for only the Lord can save. Only God has the power to save, therefore, look unto Him, and ONLY Him, for your salvation. Do not trust in yourselves, or in anything you can do, but trust ONLY in God, for HE is God, and only God has the power to save. The saved man’s thoughts turn to God alone, for it is only God Who is the Saviour. The grace of God does not direct a man’s thoughts to what must be done to get saved, or stay saved, but fills the man’s very life with praise to God, and giving God all the glory for what God has done to save, and keep, His people forever. Saving His people, and keeping them saved, is what God does. The truth of the grace of God is undeniable, and it is unchallengeable, for it is eternal. No force in the entire universe can ever change the simplicity, or the eternal principle of God saving by grace alone.
Scripture says that Christ is “…the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. 13:8). The very next verse strongly implies that Christians are to be/will be just as unchangeable, in terms of the Gospel they believe, for they are not to be/will not be “…carried about with divers and strange doctrines…” (Heb. 13:9). God does not change, therefore, God’s truth cannot change, therefore, God’s people do not stray from the Gospel they have been blessed to believe via the gift of faith. Believe God’s Gospel of grace alone, and you will be saved. Believe it not, look to anything else for your salvation, allow yourselves to be carried about with various and strange gospels, and you will be damned. Trust only in the Righteousness of Christ as the only ground of your salvation, and you will be saved. Trusting in anything you do, believing that anything you do is essential in helping to ensure you will be among the saved, and you will be damned for all eternity. If you look to anything you do to save you, or ‘keep you saved’, Christ shall profit you nothing (see Gal. 5:2-5). Looking to what you do not only frustrates, but it also negates (invalidates, nullifies, cancels out) what Christ has done. Looking to what you do reveals a lack of trust, reliance, on what Christ has done. Just ask the apostle Peter what it means to take one’s eyes off the Lord, and naturally look to your own capabilities in the face of the circumstances which surround you (see Matt. 14:29,30). The apostle Paul stated that he did not frustrate the grace of God by looking to anything he did to play any part in his salvation. To do so, to look to anything which you have done, or continue to do as playing any part in salvation is to say that Christ has died in vain. “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21). What Christ has done is only for those who trust only in Him. To not believe in the Gospel of God, is to disobey the binding principle of grace which holds all of its doctrines together. To believe in any other gospel is a denial of grace. To say you, or anyone else was, is, or can be saved prior to, or without belief in, the Gospel of God, is to deny that salvation can only come by the grace of God.
To disobey the Gospel of God is to deny that God’s love is proactive. To disobey the Gospel of God is to say God’s love is merely a reactive love, and that man’s love is the predominant love between he and God. It is to say that God’s love cannot fully manifest itself until man loves God. It is to say that God loves us because we loved Him first. This is what all works gospels promote, and is a direct attack upon grace. Some may say God loves us first, but that His love cannot be implemented, through the outworking of salvation, unless we love Him back. Any teaching which stipulates that a man’s love for God must occur before any salvation can take place, is a teaching which highlights man’s love, not God’s love, as that which is the catalyst of salvation. If you believe that salvation is a consequence, a reward for something you do, or have done, then you disobey the Gospel of God which declares that salvation is only by what God has done by grace through the gift of faith. To believe anything less than, or in addition to, the grace of God in the salvation of His people, in other words, another gospel, is that which guarantees Christ will profit you nothing. You cannot look to Christ if you are looking to yourself. You cannot claim faith in Christ if you believe in some false gospel’s lie that what you do is in some way a required contributing factor in your ‘salvation’. To TRULY trust in God is to COMPLETELY trust in God. To trust in God is to trust ONLY in God. To truly believe the Gospel of salvation is to only believe God’s Gospel of salvation, and reject all others. To truly believe the Gospel of God is to actively, consciously reject, oppose and decry all other gospels as having any power to save. To trust in God is to trust in ALL that He has done as being sufficient to save, and keep saved all those whom He has appointed unto salvation. The Gospel of God is God’s power unto salvation (see Rom. 1:16), and the truth of that Gospel, the eternal principle of grace which gave birth to the Gospel, is what maintains the salvation of all for whom Christ died. Man is saved by the power of God, and He is kept by the power of God through the gift of faith in the God of grace unto salvation. To look away from God, to turn from trusting in grace alone for salvation, and look to anything which you do as forming any part of the ground of your salvation is to trust in a gospel, a way of salvation, which God has not authored. To believe grace must be supplemented by what you do, is to immediately nullify grace. You cannot appeal to grace if you seek to add anything to it. Either one believes in grace, or one does not. There is no middle ground. To believe salvation is by grace is to believe salvation is ONLY by grace. To believe the Gospel is to believe that the Gospel of God is the ONLY power of God unto salvation. To believe in God is to believe that He is the ONLY God. There are no other Gods, there is no other Gospel, and there is nothing else which can save a man, but the grace of God. Salvation is of the Lord, therefore, nothing man does can have any part in it. The Word of God declares salvation is of the Lord, not of man and the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord, as is justifying Righteousness. “…their Righteousness IS OF ME, saith the Lord” (Isa. 54:17 cf. Isa. 45:24), and their “…Salvation is of the Lord” (Jon. 2:9). The Lord God says: “…there is no God else beside Me; a Just God and a Saviour…” (Isa. 45:21). God also states: “…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me” (Isa. 46:9). There is no other God, but the true and only God. God is a Just God, He is the God Who saves all His people from their sins (see Matt. 1:21), and there is none like Him. No other God, no other Saviour, but God. No other god can save, for there is no other Saviour, but the true God. There are no assistant-Saviours, there are no co-Saviours, for there is no need for any other Saviour, but one: God Almighty. There are none like Him, for no one else can save, and, therefore, no one else is God. There is no gospel like God's Gospel, for no other gospel can save, and, therefore, no other gospel is the Gospel of God.
Salvation is according to the One Who saves, not according to the ones He saves, for Salvation is of the Lord. God is the cause and effect, the reason for, and the Distributor of, Salvation. There are no outward influences which persuade God to save, for salvation comes not by the efforts of any man, but purely by the grace and mercy of God. GRACE CANNOT BE MERITED, AND MERCY IS NEVER DESERVED! “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). In one fell swoop God here wipes out any notion that any part of salvation could possibly be won by anything man does, and shows, conclusively, that salvation can only be a supernatural act of God in making a person spiritually alive to God, in making them new creatures in Christ. A man must indeed be born again, and just as no man can influence his physical birth, no man can cause, or play any active role in, his spiritual re-birth. Salvation is by grace, which is why the Door to Heaven can only ever be opened from the inside. 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, one is operating under a reward system. That is the entire premise of works gospels: to gain a reward. Salvation is then made part of a reward system rather than that which comes by God’s modus operandi of grace and mercy, for neither grace or mercy are rewards, but gifts. Moreover, the concept of grace being given so that a work can be done to then merit, or attract, salvation, is so oxymoronic, so convoluted, as to beggar belief that anyone could fall for such self-eradicating nonsense. “If thou be righteous, what givest thou Him? or what receiveth He of thine hand?” (Job 35:7). “God can receive nothing but what He has given, or what He has a prior right to and is His due, and so cannot be laid under any obligation to man by what he does; nor can man merit anything at His hand, not even the least temporal mercy, and much less spiritual ones and everlasting life: and what notice God is pleased to take of the good works of men, in a way of reward, is not of debt, but of grace, and entirely owing to His goodness; and does not arise from any intrinsic worth in them, or from any advantage to Him by them.” Salvation is exclusively the domain of God. God needs no assistance, for salvation comes only from Him, therefore, it can come from no other source either partly or wholly. Grace needs no assistance, or contribution, from works, otherwise grace ceases to be grace. Salvation’s ‘start button’ can only be pressed by God through the means of grace. Salvation is of the Lord, it comes from Him, and it is His to give to whomsoever He wills.
Salvation is the sole domain of grace. Salvation is of the Lord, therefore, salvation is solely by grace. Salvation being only by grace clearly teaches that salvation is only of the Lord (see Jon. 2:9; Eph. 2:8). No one can reach salvation, no one can attain to salvation by what they do, for salvation belongs to grace, salvation belongs only in the realm of grace, therefore, it is only grace that can dispense it. To trust in the works of man is a relinquishment of the grace of God. It is an abandonment of the grace of God, replacing it with the will and works of man. Believing that you must do is a denial of grace, it is a denial of what God has done that alone saves His people from their sins. Believe the Gospel and you will be saved. Trust only in what God has done, and you will be saved. If any part of salvation, no matter how minute, is obtainable or maintainable by an imperfect work that sinful man can do, then the grace of God is neutralized (nullified) and Christ has died in vain. 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 acts of ‘obedience’ to get us saved, or keep us saved, FOR WE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM!! 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. 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 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). Those who do not believe the Gospel of grace will only continue to believe in themselves. Those who do not believe the Gospel of grace, alone, cannot be trusting in the true God. The Christian is complete in Christ. Therefore, nothing a Christian does before, or after, he is saved is what his salvation is conditioned on. The Christian is complete in Christ because he is completely saved by Christ. They are complete in Him, and because of Him “…seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25). So, we learn from this that if there is nothing a man can do to remain saved, there must have been nothing he could have done to get saved. Otherwise, the Christian life would begin by what a man does, and he would remain saved by what Christ has done. It's the opposite of what Paul said, “Having begun in the Spirit are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3). The Scriptures teach this throughout the Word of God. We are saved by God, salvation comes because of His will. God begat us with the Word of the Gospel, therefore, salvation is of the Lord. Not only do we love God because He first loved us, but we are saved by Him because of His love for us, and making us new creatures in Christ. Believing in yourself, believing that you can make a difference when it comes to salvation, involves believing, trusting and looking to yourself and/or your fellow man for answers including the answer to the ultimate question ‘What must I do to be saved’.
All men naturally look to what they can do to get them to Heaven, for all men are, by nature, without God, and have no ability to discern spiritual truths, no capacity to understand the things of God. “…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14 cf. 1 Cor. 2:9). “…the world by wisdom knew not God…” (1 Cor. 1:21 cf. Jn. 14:17; Rom. 3:10-12). Man is inherently corrupt. Man is dead in sin, therefore, in bondage to sin (see Eph. 2:1,5; Jn. 8:34). Man is spiritually dead to God, therefore, he is dead to the truth of God. He is naturally guided by his sinful nature by which he does not/cannot seek the true God, let alone know Him. The very fact that man, by nature, believes that he can come to God by his own free will, actually supports the doctrine of his spiritually dead condition, his spiritual bondage to sin and false gospels. It shows that such a man is still hopelessly trapped within a religious system which dictates that man can do, thereby, assuming that he must do, something before God will accept him. This is the mindset of every spiritually dead man, and the distinguishing aspect upon which all of religion is founded. The chief corner stone of religion being Satan’s lie that man would not surely die if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. No matter how much the free will teaching tries to incorporate grace into its world, everything it teaches all boils down to man doing something prior to regeneration. It teaches that man making a decision for God, is what salvation is conditioned on rather than on what God alone does by grace.
Throughout history man has built his temples, and filled them with idols to which he has devoutly bowed down to and worshipped. The false gods of other gospels have taken up the throne in the temple of man’s mind. Man has sacrificed animals as well as fellow human beings in vain attempts to appease imagined gods. Man naturally looks to his obedience for that self-assurance and inner peace he is constantly striving for that which will assure him all is well between he and God. This is the sin which deceives every man by nature, and the incontrovertible evidence that all men, by nature, are without God. Man has no natural propensity to look to the true God, for no man, by nature, knows God, therefore, no man has God. Those who know God, because they are known of God, look only to the obedience of Christ as that which justifies and makes a man righteous before God, and those who do not know the true God lay claim to their own obedience as playing at least some part in the ground of their alleged salvation. Man’s sinful nature is so dead to God and His only way to salvation, that even if lost man had God standing by his side, man would still look to his own obedience as his offering to God, rather than to Christ’s Offering of Himself to God on the behalf of God’s chosen people. Anyone looking to anything which stems from themselves which they believe will please God, and gain them salvation, or will cause them to ‘remain’ in a saved state, show conclusively that they are without God. Man has a natural proclivity for self-aggrandizement, and all of his perceived outward spiritual searching for gods and godliness is in reality an exercise in self-absorption. There is no reality to false gods except that which exists in a lost man’s mind. There is God, and there is man. A saved man believes in the true God by the grace of God. A lost man is in reality seeking only himself, for without God man is self-absorbed. Lost man is in a world of his own, and the only gods within it are those of his own making. No man seeks God, therefore, all men seek only for that which lies within themselves, within their own very limited scope of knowledge, and their very unlimited, vivid and yet cursed imagination. Cursed man is lost within a world of his own making. This counterfeit world is made up of man’s traditions and gods which have no place in reality, and which are only supported by man’s twisted theology, and sin-tainted conceptions, rather than God’s truth.
To rightly believe that one is saved by grace is to believe that ALL of salvation is by God, and that no part of salvation is reliant on a man and his sin-riddled attempts at obedience. People who obey false gospels which teach a reliance upon one’s own righteousness do not believe in grace alone, they do not obey God’s Gospel, but follow their own warped concepts of salvation, and believe in nothing more than their own private interpretation of God’s Gospel. Such false, and utterly futile, plans of salvation always include the principle of reward for deeds done, rather than the sole principle of salvation being an unmeritable gift, showing conclusively that salvation can only be by the grace of God. Grace is proactive, and so, salvation, in its entirety, is a proactive act of God. Grace waits for no man to do what cannot be done. In light of this, what could the Holy Spirit of God possibly wait for a spiritually dead man to do before making him alive unto God? Grace is a servant of God, and is sent out to save whomsoever God wills. Grace cannot come as God’s reaction to what a man has done, for then it would cease to be grace. Grace cannot come by any other reason than God’s will. The grace of God must come first, and can never be separated from its essential element: that it is given according to the love, will and purpose of God. The fact God loves first is proof positive that grace acts BEFORE man, and, therefore, WITHOUT man doing anything. Grace is never that which comes after an act of love by man, for man’s love for God can only ever be because God loved the man first (see 1 Jn. 4:19 cf. 1 Cor. 8:3). Grace is not a responsive act by God. Grace is not some impassive thing which lays dormant until it can be stirred into life by an act of obedience on the part of man. In other words, grace does not need to be brought to life by an obedient act of man before it can be utilized by God in the regeneration of His chosen. Grace does not need to be made alive before it can make a man alive. Grace is not indifferent to God, but is His servant, therefore, grace is something which is solely subject to God’s will, and, consequently, can only be given by God to those whom God has chosen before the foundation of the world. To suggest that God is merely reactive is to subscribe to the ludicrous notion which at best diminishes the Sovereignty of God, and at worst teaches that God has no plan for mankind, but He, instead, sits and hopes for the best. It is to subscribe to the nonsensical concept that God’s actions are not according to His will because He has no purpose, but His actions are only a reaction to what a man does, or does not do. All this does away with the Almightiness and Sovereignty of God, thus the very fact that He is God. Based on these erroneous conceptions of God, man has usurped God’s power and authority. The rebelliousness of mankind dictates that man is the one who is proactive, and the forger of his own destiny. The reality of the situation is that God would not be God if He were not different to men. God does what He wills and He wills all that He does, and so, God is Almighty, and there are none like Him. “But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased” (Psa. 115:3 cf. Job 42:2). God is not like men, and men are most assuredly not like God. Man is but a sinful creature trapped in a world of his own making where truth is viewed as a relative thing, that is, until he comes to the end of his life.
The grace of God needs no assistance from man to save anyone, for grace alone is that very thing by which God saves. The Gospel of grace alone is the very power of God unto salvation. Grace needs no works of man to augment its saving power, for it is only by grace that any man can be saved. God’s grace needs nothing a man can do to activate it, for if salvation comes, or is even prompted to come, by an act of man, then grace ceases to be grace. Grace is solely implemented by the will, love and purpose of the One Who gives it. The grace of God does not empower anybody to do that which will save them, for it is the very gift of the grace of God by which God saves His people from their sins. “…by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8), and not through that which grace has allegedly empowered anyone to do. Salvation is by grace, therefore, salvation is by God, and not through anything a man is, or believes he can do. Grace is not the walking stick that aids a man on his way to Heaven. Grace is that which carries a helpless, hopeless, godless, man into Heaven. That no man can be saved by his obedience—grace-fuelled, or otherwise—is a direct result of man’s Fall, and his subsequent dead-in-sin state. This is why God’s truth, God’s Gospel, meets with so much resistance. It is because natural man, even the religiously inclined, does not understand the true God, he cannot discern the truth of God, he cannot accept the principle of the grace of God as the sole cause of salvation. No man, by nature, can believe in God’s Gospel, and so man continues to blindly follow the dictates of his flesh, and unregenerated mind which has formed countless gospels, or methods to salvation, all of which are ultimately dependent upon what a man does, thus falling far short of God’s Gospel Standard of salvation by grace alone. Natural man cannot believe the true God, and so he cannot ever accept the fact that salvation is by the grace of God alone. That man surely did die at the Fall in the Garden of Eden, that all men by nature are dead in sin and without God, is the forerunner of grace. There would be no hope for man without the grace of God. The doctrine of man’s being dead to sin and without God is the pivotal doctrine in realising that there is no way a man can come to God by his own will, for all men are dead in sin, dead to the true God, without Christ, without God and without hope in the world. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23 cf. Rom. 6:23). No gospel which promotes man’s obedience as that which is essential to salvation has ever saved a single soul from the fires of Hell. Add anything to what Christ has done, add your obedience to Christ’s obedience, and all that remains is your obedience, for works always nullify grace. Being reliant on your obedience is the ultimate insult to the whole concept of grace and the Righteousness of Jesus Christ. However, where there is true grace there are no longer any works which a saved man appeals to as having any worth, or playing any part, in his salvation, for he knows that he is saved by grace alone.