THE HOUSE OF GOD - part 14
Christ prayed: “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; FOR THEY ARE THINE” (Jn. 17:9). One can easily see from this Scripture that whatever Christ does, and for whomever He has done it, it is always in connection with the Father’s will. God gave a people unto His Son for His Son to pray for. God determined who those people should be before the foundation of the world, and John 17:2 tells us that these are the ones the Son was to give eternal life to. “As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.” Christ’s prayers are for those whom God has given Him, to whom Christ grants eternal life. The only way they can have eternal life, is for Christ to have died for them, taking their sins, and imputing His Righteousness to them. For those not familiar with these teachings, who have been taught lies through false gospels, welcome to the reality that is the Word of God. If a concept such as God loving everyone, and Christ dying for everyone truly exists in the Scriptures, then surely one would find at least one verse of Scripture which would detail Christ’s praying, interceding, and atoning for the sins of everyone. The fact that no such Scripture exists anywhere, but in the minds of those who have been mesmerized, deceived into believing there is such a Scripture, we see that if Christ did not pray for the world then there is no love of God for everyone, for not everyone has been given by the Father to the Son to pray for, and, consequently, Christ’s death could not have been for everyone either. Just as the Old Testament high priest made sacrifice exclusively for the people of God, so too, the great High Priest, Jesus Christ, has made sacrifice exclusively for the people of God. The Old Testament’s sacrifice was for the people God loved, the nation of Israel, and the great High Priest’s sacrifice was for the people God loved out of the world, and not for everyone in the world. Christ’s predominant motivation in praying for these people is that they are the people of God, the ones whom the Father has given to Him. Likewise, Christ’s motivation in dying for the people He now intercedes on the behalf of is that they were the people of God, chosen from the foundation of the world, and entrusted to Him. If this were not true, then we would have the absurd, nonsensical situation of Christ dying for everyone, but only praying for God’s people! Of God’s loving everyone, but only entrusting some of them to the Lord Jesus Christ! If you do believe Christ died for all mankind then before you proceed any further, you must find Scriptures which explain why, if Christ died for all, did He only pray for God’s people: those who are distinguishable from all other people by their belief of His Gospel alone. If Christ died for all then He would be the High Priest of the entire world, and not only the people of God’s House. If Christ died for the world then He would have inexplicably died for more than those the Father had given Him, and His prayers would also, for some unexplained reason, be for those whom the Father had not given Him. God’s Word informs us that Christ was not High Priest for all mankind, but exclusively for the seed of Abraham, God's true people, those Christ called His brethren (see Rom. 9:6-8), who are of His House (see Heb. 10:21; Heb. 4:14). The world does not believe the only Gospel of God, nor does it believe that the Gospel is God’s only power unto salvation. The world does not believe that salvation is by grace through faith, but through works, or an unnatural, incomprehensible combination of grace and works. Only “…they which are of Faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7). Scripture says that Christ is “…High Priest over the House of God” (Heb. 10:21 cf. Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22), not over the house of the ungodly. The House of God are the seed of Abraham. The ones who have been bought with a price—the precious blood of Christ—are the seed of Abraham "...if ye be Christ’s, THEN are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:29 cf. Rom. 4:14,16; 1 Cor. 6:19,20; 7:23). If ye be Christ’s you will believe His Gospel, for no one who disbelieves it, or counts any other gospel as being God’s power unto salvation, will be found to be in the House of God.
Members of God’s House believe only God’s Gospel, and count themselves saved only after having heard the Word of Truth which is the Gospel of their salvation “That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:12,13). Those who are Christ’s are the Father’s, and those who are the Father’s belong also to Christ the Son. Christ prayed for the people the Father gave unto Him, and said: “…for they are Thine. And all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them” (Jn. 17:9,10). Christ did not die for those He hoped would one day become God’s people, He died for those who were already chosen to be God’s people, and who were duly entrusted to Him. Christ was not merely speaking of His disciples there with Him, in John 17, but also for all those who would believe the Gospel of Christ through their word throughout the coming generations: “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word” (Jn. 17:20). Here we have one of the clearest evidences of Christ not praying for anyone else in all Israel, let alone the entire world, but for His own disciples, and those who would believe through their word; that Christ prays not for every individual ever born, but solely for those who have been given to Him by the Father who would all, in time, believe on His name. How perfectly all this fits with the Biblical teaching that God has chosen a people for Himself, not according to anything which they have done, but according to His own purpose and grace. How could Christ have died for anyone other than these elect ones, for it was only for those with Him, and those who would believe on Him, that He prayed? Both God the Holy Spirit, and God the Son intercede in prayer exclusively for the elect of God: “And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He (the Spirit of God) maketh intercession for the SAINTS according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:27). Writing to those saints, the apostle Paul says: “…It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for US” (Rom. 8:34). There is no such thing as universal intercession in all of Scripture, so how can there possibly be such a thing as universal atonement!
Hebrews 7 confirms intercession is made exclusively for those who come unto the Father by Jesus the Son. One can never dissociate those for whom intercession is made from those that come unto the true God by His only Son. “Wherefore He is able also to save THEM to the uttermost THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession FOR THEM” (Heb. 7:25). And who are they who will come unto God by the Lord Jesus? The Lord Himself provides us with the answer: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn. 6:37). Behind every aspect of salvation there is the Sovereign God. God elects, He predestinates, He causes His people to go to His Son Who died for them, He saves them by grace through the gift of faith, and they love Him because He loved them first. These all are the seed of Abraham, and Christ’s brethren (see Matt. 12:49,50). They are not the world, but have been chosen by God out of the world. “...They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed” (Rom. 9:8 cf. Rom. 2:28,29; Gal. 6:15). Just as those who are merely born of the nation of Israel are not the people of God (see Rom. 9:6), the people of the world are not God’s people either. God’s people are those who are of His seed, the children of the Promise, the ones God has chosen out of the world to be part of His House. They are not the seed who are only of the physical nation of Israel, nor of any other nation. The seed are they who are the recipients of God’s Inheritance who are scattered throughout the nations of the world. Those who obey not the Gospel of God are not the children of God, and, so do not form part of His House. God does not abide in the house of those who do not abide in the Gospel of His Son (see 2 Jn. 9). Hebrews 2:11 declares “...both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” “...Behold I and the children which God hath given Me” (Heb. 2:13 cf. Jn. 17:2,10). Again, we see the familial connection between God, His Son and those whom the Father has given to Him, and He to them. Not only would Christ, through death, destroy the Devil who had the power of death, He would “…deliver them (the children, His brethren, see Heb. 2:13) who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:15). Christ took on Him the nature of the seed of Abraham (see Heb. 2:16), He was “…made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest (of His brethren)…to make reconciliation for the sins of (His) people” (Heb. 2:17). Christ was made like unto His children, His brethren, His seed, His people, and not anyone else. He is the High Priest of His children, His brethren, His seed, His people, and of no one else. He is their Mediator, He is their Saviour. When someone shows you a picture of themselves and their family, you do not expect to see a picture of them and everyone else on the planet. The beautiful picture which Christ portrays in Hebrews 2 is one of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit along with all those whom the Father has chosen out of the world, and given unto His Son. The people of God, the people of God’s House, are the ones God has chosen and given to Jesus, and are not at all the ones who claim to have chosen Him, and given themselves to Christ. Anyone who claims to have come to God, or to have found God, are not of the people whom God has elected to come unto Him, and ordained to believe His Gospel of salvation by grace alone through faith alone.
The high priest was not any Johnny-come-lately, a transient, who was briefly employed to make sacrifice, and then moved on to the next town, or village. He was no stranger with whom the people had no affiliation. The high priest, chosen of God, had to be of the people that sacrifice was to be made for. He had to have a personal affinity with them.“The office of high priest was hereditary (see Exod. 29:29,30), being passed on from father to son, and no other families could perform the various peculiar offices and ceremonies.” “…every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins….And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron” (Heb. 5:1,4 cf. Num. 18:7; Heb. 7:5). “And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel that he may minister unto Me in the priest’s office…” (Ex. 28:1 cf. Isa. 66:20,21; Heb. 7:11-28). “…in things pertaining to God” means: “…in things in which God had to do with men; and so the high priest presided over the people of God in the name of God, and declared the will of God unto them, and blessed them; and in things in which men had to do with God; and so the high priest appeared in their name, and represented their persons”, making sacrifice exclusively for them. The role of high priest was to represent God to His people, and only His people to God. The office was given by God to a chosen one of His, for the specific purpose of making sacrifice for His people, and no other. To say Christ died for all mankind is to say that He is not High Priest over the House of God, His brethren, but that he is High Priest over the whole world, which includes those who are not His brethren. Nothing in all of Scripture will support such blasphemous nonsense. Seeing that Christ’s sacrifice was offered to, and accepted by, God (see Rom. 5:10; Eph. 5:2), the very nature of atonement means that all for whom it was made would be saved. Since it is painfully obvious that not all are saved it stands to Biblical reason that Christ did not lay down His life for the world, but exclusively for His Church, the people whom God gave to Him. One must realise that the people whom God has given unto the Son have been separated from other people. The purpose of their separation was for no other reason than God’s having chosen them from before the foundation of the world to be His people. Separation of God’s chosen from those who have been appointed to His Wrath is described in Matthew 25 as the Shepherd separating His sheep from the goats. An accepted atoning sacrifice is a declaration by God that all for whom the sacrifice was made have had their sins eternally atoned for.
Atonement was always made for a predetermined people, the success of which hinged solely upon God’s acceptance of it (see Eph. 5:2). The sacrifice of Christ was made on the behalf of His people to the Father. This perfect sacrifice was never intended to be made subject to the acceptance of individuals, it was not for the people to approve of it, but only the Father to Whom it was made. As Christ’s sacrifice was for a predetermined people, those whom God had chosen and given to Him, we see that Christ’s sacrifice was offered to God on their behalf. After all, God was the offended party, He was the one that needed to be appeased. There would be no sense for the sacrifice to be approved by the offenders instead of the one offended. The key to all this is that a sacrifice was made on the behalf of the offenders, in order to appease the offended party. Thus, it was the approval of the one offended which was sought. Once approved and accepted, the blessings would flow toward those the sacrifice was made for. God was the one who needed to be propitiated, and, therefore, the only one who could approve the sacrifice. The word propitiation means satisfaction. “The word ‘propitiation’ refers to a sacrifice that appeases God’s Wrath by satisfying His justice. To ‘propitiate’, in Scripture, is to placate and appease the Wrath of God on behalf of a guilty sinner who deserves to be punished, and in terms of the Gospel, it is to turn such Wrath into Divine favor.” God was the one whom Christ satisfied by means of His sacrifice for all whom the Father had given unto 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). Notice how those for whom God sent His Son were the people God loved. He did not send His Son because of their love for Him, but because of His love for them. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…” (Isa. 53:5 cf. Isa. 53). “The Hebrew word for ‘bruised’ here is ‘daka’, which should literally be translated in modern language as ‘crushed’. In the same chapter a few verses down, in verse 10, we read: 'Yet is pleased the Lord to bruise Him…' The same Hebrew word is used here for ‘bruised’ (crushed) as in verse 5. Thus verse 10 reveals to us that it wasn’t the Roman soldiers that crushed the Son of God, it wasn’t merely the scourges or the scoffing or the nails or the crown of thorns. Nor was it Jews who crushed Him. It was actually ‘the LORD’ who crushed His own Son! God’s Holy justice was offended by guilty criminals and the Lord demanded that the just nature of His Law be vindicated. Thus wrath had to be poured out on the guilty. But instead of the guilty suffering for their own sin, the Son of God in His love and mercy came down and bore their iniquities and was crushed in their place in order to satisfy justice and secure for them the pardon of God.” God directed that sacrifice be made by His Son for His people to His satisfaction. This is why there is now no condemnation for those who love God, for their sins have been successfully atoned for, God having accepted the atoning sacrifice offered by His Son for His people.
To obey the Gospel of God is to believe, and trust only in, the only plan for the salvation of men which God has ever formulated. To merely know the name ‘Jesus’, and to believe He is the Saviour is not enough, it is nowhere near enough in actually providing evidence that one is saved. One’s trust can only be in the true Saviour when one believes what that Saviour has actually done. To trust in something Jesus the Saviour has not done is to trust in a lie, it is to trust in a false Saviour, and it is to be a false witness of God. Those who trust in a false saviour believe in a false gospel. To truly be saved is to evince a trust in the true and only Jesus Who died for His people, making atonement for them, and to whom He imputes His Righteousness. To trust in the true Saviour one must believe that what He has done has/will save all for whom He has done it. To ascribe any failure to what Christ has done, or to reduce His Death to some vain attempt at saving all, is to believe, and place one’s eternal future in the hands of an untenable idea rather than a verifiable Scriptural reality. It is to place one’s eternal future in the hands of an impostor. Importantly, to rightly, savingly, obey the Gospel of God also incorporates a complete and absolute rejection of every other salvation plan, or method, which seeks to present itself as God’s plan. Just as you cannot go to the true God whilst arm in arm with a false god, one cannot truly believe in God’s Gospel, if one considers any other gospel as also having the power to save. To believe God’s Gospel is to believe that salvation can only come by belief in His Gospel, and in no other. To believe only in God’s Gospel is to believe that there is no salvation whatsoever before, or without, the exclusive faith given by God to His people which only believes God’s Gospel. God has only one Gospel, for there is only one Way to Heaven, and that is by the grace of God through the faith of God in the only Son of God. Salvation is by grace. The Gospel is the Gospel of that grace. The Gospel of God is a doctrinally detailed declaration of Who God is, and of how God saves His people from their sins. The Gospel is God saying ‘This is Who I Am, and this is how I save’. Those who believe God’s Witness are saved, those who do not believe, but who trust in some other way to salvation, and, therefore, through some other god—who, though going by the name God is not the true God, for his mode of salvation is not by grace alone through faith alone—stand condemned already, and will be eternally damned. “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:18). “…this is the Witness of God which He hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the Witness (of God) in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 Jn. 5:9-12 cf. 2 Jn. 9).
Salvation is only by an unmeritable act of God. Salvation is not something for man to gain, but can only be that which is God’s to give. Salvation comes only by the grace of God according to the will, mercy and purpose of God. Salvation can only come by the work of God. Any who believe and trust that anything they do, or have done, plays even the smallest part in attaining, or maintaining, salvation disobeys, nullifies, negates and renders useless, the Gospel of grace. If you do away with grace, you do away with God. This is why no man can be saved according to what he does, but only by what God does. No man can establish a perfect Righteousness acceptable to God, let alone atone for his own sins. Grace versus works, is nothing but God versus man. This author knows Whom he trusts, but whom will you trust for salvation? No work of man, or combination of man’s works and God’s grace has ever saved anyone. God does not save that way. God is an uncompromising God. God has one way by which He saves, and has made that way known through His Gospel. Any other way cannot be God’s way, and any other gospel cannot be God’s Gospel. One of the most well-known verses in all of Scripture says that salvation comes by grace, and grace alone. It does not add anything to grace, neither do the believers of the true God, nor does the true God’s Gospel. “…by grace are ye saved…” (Eph. 2:8). Only sinful man could possibly have concocted a god who actually requires man’s assistance to save him. An impotent, powerless god who requires man’s help is NOT the God of the Scriptures. Scripture says the saved man is born again “…not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:13). Salvation is not something which is hereditary, nor is it that which can be earned, willed, or attracted by man: “The birth, here spoken of, is regeneration, expressed by a being born again, or from above; by a being quickened by the Spirit and grace of God; by Christ being formed in men; and by a partaking of the Divine nature; and by being made new creatures, as all that believe in the name of Christ are; and which is the evidence of their being the sons of God: and now this is owing not to blood, or bloods; not to the blood of circumcision; or of the Passover…these contribute nothing to the life of the new creature: nor is regeneration owing to the blood of ancestors, to natural descent, as from Abraham, which the Jews valued themselves upon; for sin, and not grace, is conveyed by natural generation: all men are of one blood, and that is tainted with sin, and therefore can never have any influence on regeneration; no blood is to be valued, or any one upon it, but the blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin.…man's free will, which is carnal and corrupt, is enmity to God, and impotent to every thing that is spiritually good 'For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be' (Rom. 8:6,7): regeneration is ascribed to another will and power, even to the will and power of God…of the best of men, as Abraham, David, and others; who, though ever so willing and desirous, that their children, relations, friends, and servants, should be born again, be partakers of the grace of God, and live in His sight, yet cannot effect any thing of this kind: all that they can do is to pray for them, give advice, and bring them under the means of grace; but all is ineffectual without the Divine energy…But now our evangelist observes, let a man be ever so great, or good, or eminent, for gifts and grace, he cannot communicate grace to another, or to whom he will; none are born again of any such will: Salvation is of God, the Father of Christ, Who begets to a lively hope; and of the Son, Who quickens whom He will; and of the grace of the Spirit, to Whom regeneration is generally ascribed.”
Man is not the originator of God’s Gospel. The true Gospel has not evolved from the mind of man, but is that which is given unto men by its Author Almighty God. “But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal. 1:11,12 cf. Matt. 16:17; Eph. 3:3). “Paul denies that it was ‘after man’; after the wisdom of man, an human invention and contrivance, a device and fiction of man's brain; nor was it after the mind of man, or agreeably to his carnal reason, it was disapproved of by him, and beyond his capacity to reach it; nor was it of his revealing, a discovery of his; flesh and blood, human nature, could never have revealed it…but the whole Gospel is of God.” All the gospels of men have, at least, one thing in common: they all focus on man doing something to come to God, something that will placate God’s Wrath, and procure God’s approval of them. This is not the grace of God, but the works of men. This is not Scriptural thinking, but carnal reasoning. Salvation is not by the will of man—expressed in and by any of his works designed to gain God’s favour—but is purely by the will of God—expressed through His glorious grace which no man can merit. James puts it this way: “Of His own will begat He us with the Word of truth…” (Jas. 1:18 cf. 1 Cor. 4:15; 1 Pet. 1:3). If it was of God’s will it cannot be by man’s will at all. God does not save the way natural man thinks He saves, or should save, but only in the way God has declared He saves: by grace through faith, and not works: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10 cf. Rom. 1:5). A saved man is not a self-made creature, but one who is created in Christ Jesus, not because of good works, but so that he will perform good works. Those works are not that which saves him, but are merely the fruit of his being saved. A saved man is not a self-made creature, for he was a spiritually dead man prior to being made alive by God. Not being created in Christ Jesus because of good works, but unto good works, provides corroborative evidence that the grace by which God saves a man is NOT a grace which enables a man to perform works which will subsequently allow, empower, or pave the way for, God to save him. The grace of God is not given to enable a man to perform the works necessary for God to save him, for all that was necessary for a man’s salvation has been accomplished by the Godhead. If there were anything man could do which would prompt God to save him, salvation would not be by grace. God’s grace does not cause man to do anything so that God can then save him. That is just a cleverly disguised gospel of works. If salvation depends on what you do, then it is by works, and not grace, it is by you and not God. Lost men continue to teach and believe that they have chosen God, that they have come to God, and then God has saved them. Anything a man can think of doing so that God can then save him, grace did first. Grace chose man before the foundation of the world. Grace loved man first, and was the catalyst for man’s love. Grace causes a man to approach God, and believe in Him. Grace saves and keeps a man saved. Grace has washed away man’s sins and imputed the Righteousness of Christ to him. When it comes to salvation, grace always precedes any act of man. Grace opens the door to salvation, and takes man all the way through it. Man’s believing and loving God is not something which grace assists in, for grace is the reason, grace is the cause of a man loving and believing God. Again we are reminded of the fact that man, by nature, is dead in sin, equipped with a mind which is naturally opposed to the true God, does not seek God and does not want God. What can a man do whilst dead? Is it any wonder the Lord Jesus said that no man can come to Him, and that salvation is impossible with man, or by man’s efforts (see Jn. 6:65; Matt. 19:26). Grace does not come in order to help lift the man up from his spiritual death bed, GRACE MAKES THE MAN ALIVE! Grace makes a man love God, and believe God because man could do nothing of himself to that end. Man will always have a wrong view of grace and salvation as long as he does not believe in the spiritually dead state every man is in by nature. Man needs to be made alive, and does not merely require some assistance in getting up. Salvation is only made possible by that which GOD has done. God saves His people according to what He has done for them by grace. The grace by which God saves is “…an attribute of God, a characteristic of His Being. God is the God of all grace; He is the gracious God. God is in Himself beautiful, beautiful in all of His adorable virtues. That means that when the Bible says as it does in Ephesians 2:8 that salvation is by grace, it is the same as saying salvation is of the Lord (see Jon. 2:9; Psa. 3:8). How absolutely necessary! How else could dead, lost sinners be saved than by the Almighty God Himself? Unless God Himself puts new life in us we remain dead and forever enslaved in the prison of our sin.” Natural man keeps fighting against his only Hope, preferring his own ideas to the truth of God.
The word, for, at the beginning of Ephesians 2:8 means because. “We learn from the preceding verses of Ephesians 2 that we were dead in trespasses and sins, that in these sins we walked following the Devil, that our conversation or life in the past consisted in the fulfilling of our sinful lusts and desires. Thus we were children of wrath. But God is rich in mercy and full of love for us. And even when we were dead in sin He caused His love to reach us by quickening, making us alive in Jesus Christ — by grace. And He made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ. The purpose of it all is that He might show the exceeding riches of His grace. In other words, God saved us exactly in order that through that salvation the riches of His grace might be displayed. And this is possible simply because salvation is by grace! Here we have laid our finger upon the very heart of the Gospel message.” So we see the reason for grace in Ephesians 2:8 is inextricably connected with the kindness of God toward His people through Christ Jesus in verse 7: “That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. FOR by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:7,8 cf. Jn. 6:29). God’s plan of salvation is that it be by grace through the gift of faith in Christ Jesus: HIS Person and HIS Work. Salvation does not come because of any works of man, in accordance to any obedient deed of his, but solely by grace so that they will, after they are saved perform good works well pleasing to God. The good works do not contribute to their salvation, nor are they any reason for their salvation, but purely the result of God having saved them by His grace. Salvation does not come through faith in who we are and/or what we do, and don’t do. It is not our work, nor our obedience, but Christ’s alone which makes the difference (see Rom. 5:19). A man is not, and cannot be, “…justified freely by His grace” through man’s efforts to obey, but “…through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare HIS Righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS: that He might be Just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 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. 3:24-28 cf. Rom. 4:13,14; Job 33:24). Salvation is “Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:9). No greater evidence exists of the blindness and spiritual deadness of man, witnessed in those who cannot/will not see that salvation comes from God alone, that salvation is of the Lord, and that it is given according to His grace through the gift of faith in the Person and Work of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. The law of Faith, by grace, in Jesus Christ, in HIS Righteousness, EXCLUDES any, and all need, for the works of men. Boasting is excluded because Christ has done it all. Therefore, if all boasting is excluded, or shut out, there can be no works in which to boast. The principle of salvation by grace alone, completely does away with the whole concept of do and get, or do to get. Believing the truth about God’s grace is absolutely critical to salvation, for they can never be saved who deny grace by looking to themselves, and having faith in what they do.
The fact that the grace of God in the salvation of His people does in no way include any of their works as a contributing factor in their salvation may also be seen in the following Scripture, which tells us that 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). Again, we see that grace is not merely some instrument used by God to enable men to fulfil His requirements for salvation, but is that which saves. Man was not made to assist in his salvation, for man can do nothing before His salvation, before he is made alive by the grace of God. Any good works of man are performed after his salvation, and not before (see Eph. 2:10). Man is merely the recipient of salvation solely by, and because of the grace of God. Once a man is made alive, saved, there is nothing left to do, but enjoy the benefits of being made alive by grace. The grace of God is not given to enable a man to do that upon which his salvation will depend, but the grace of God is given to save. God saves, and grace is the means by which God saves. No works are attached to that saving grace, but what Christ has done to take away the sinner’s sins, and impute to him His Righteousness. The works of a man saved by grace do not contribute to his salvation, nor are they in any way the cause of it, but are what the grace which saves produces in the man. Any 'good works' claimed by man prior to salvation serve only to nullify the grace of God. Man’s good works are the result of saving grace, and are in no way the source, or co-source of salvation. Salvation does not have dual sources, but comes by the sole source of the grace of God. Grace is not the means used by God to empower His people to do that which will save them. Salvation is not based on our works, it is not based on what we do, whether it is by grace, or not, but on what God alone has done. If grace was given to enable a man to do that which was necessary to obtain salvation, then what need was there for a Saviour? Therefore, grace, when rightly seen in the Light of Scripture, is not that which empowers a man to save himself, but is the actual cause of a man’s salvation. Every born again man’s spiritual birth certificate reads, SOURCE OF SALVATION: Grace of God. “…by GRACE are ye saved…not of works…” (Eph. 2: 8,9). Grace did not come to produce works necessary to salvation, for grace itself is the supplier, that which provides salvation. Grace just came to save. The saved man does perform good works, but those works are the fruit of salvation, because of grace, and are in no way to be interpreted as that which induces the grace of God, or the salvation of a man. Without the tree there can be no fruit. It is not the fruit which produces itself, for the fruit is merely that which the tree has generated. The fruit does not work in conjunction with the tree, but is the result of the tree being what it is. A tree produces fruit, saving grace produces Christians. Grace does not require a person’s cooperation in order for it to save, for the grace of God contains all that is necessary to save. That is why the Scripture says “…by grace are ye saved…not works…” (Eph. 2:8,9).
Salvation is not by any works a man does, nor by any works which grace allegedly enables him to do. SALVATION IS BY NO WORK OF MAN’S OF ANY KIND! Salvation is by the grace of God through the faith which believes God’s Gospel, and no other. GRACE DOES NOT NEED TO EMPOWER A MAN TO DO ANYTHING, FOR EVERYTHING HAS BEEN DONE BY THE SAVIOUR. Grace is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, in the salvation of a sinner. Salvation is initiated by grace, salvation is accomplished when saving grace is given, and salvation is sustained purely by the grace of God. There is nothing a man can do, there is nothing for man to do, whether by grace or not, which forms the ground of his salvation, for the foundation of salvation is the grace of God revealed in what Christ has done for all God’s chosen. Grace is not the hammer which must be taken up by man so he can build the house, for grace is the House! Grace is salvation! IF SALVATION IS OF THE LORD (see Jon. 2:9), THEN SALVATION MUST BE OF GRACE. There is no rhyme or reason for anything to be added to grace, for it is grace which saves. THERE IS NO NEED TO ADD TO THAT WHICH SAVES YOU, IN ORDER TO OBTAIN SALVATION! “…by grace ye ARE saved…” (Eph. 2:5). Salvation is given by grace. People ask, ‘Yes, but how does grace save?’ ‘What is grace?’ Grace is God doing. To be saved by grace is to be saved by God BASED SOLELY ON WHAT HE HAS DONE. Otherwise salvation would no longer be by grace, it would no longer be salvation by God. It would then be a case of the chosen being created in Christ Jesus because of good works, and not unto good works (see Eph. 2:10; Col. 1:12). Grace comes from God, and is the sole supplier of salvation. In other words, God saves by what He has done, and not by what you do, or by what He allegedly empowers you to do. If salvation comes by grace empowering you to do something then salvation would not be by grace alone, but by grace and works. Salvation would become that which is merited, and no longer a gift. Therefore, man would be a co-saviour, rather than purely a recipient of that which was done on his behalf, and freely given to him. Grace is the reason for salvation, the cause of it, and there can be no salvation if it is not wholly and solely by grace. Grace is not something given to man which then becomes wholly subject to a man’s decision to utilize it to his advantage, or not. Grace does not present man with an option to choose salvation, for by grace is a man saved. Salvation is not merely made possible by grace, it is not something offered by grace, for it is “…the grace of God that bringeth salvation…” (Titus 2:11). Grace is not a proposal. It is not presented to you for your consideration. Grace is never a passive thing which can only be made operational by a man’s ‘free will’. Grace is active. It is dynamic, and lively. Grace is given to perform a work, and that work is eternal salvation. What grace does is governed by the One who provides it. A man is saved by no other will, but God’s will, and by nothing apart from God’s grace. The fact that salvation is brought to a man defines what grace is: a gift. Salvation is a gift by grace. Salvation by grace is complete. There are no missing parts, nothing which must be assembled, and nothing which we must do in order to make it work. There is nothing which must be added that is ‘sold separately’. We need not add the ‘batteries’ of our works to it, for grace is powered by its Giver. It has no on-off switch. Grace is always on and always active, drawing its power to save from the will and love of God. Salvation is complete because it is given by grace. Salvation is complete because it is of God, and is, therefore, eternal “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom. 11:29 cf. 1 Cor. 1:8). Therefore, grace requires no assistance from man to ensure that the salvation it provides is forever. Salvation is complete because it is of God. God makes the choice, and dispatches grace to complete His purpose, and fulfil His will for the life of the one it is given to. All the requirements for salvation have been filled by the Godhead. Importantly, grace does not enable man to determine whom God will save, for salvation by grace is that which is solely according to God’s own will and purpose to save those to whom it is given. Grace is not that which enables a man to do anything by which he can then attain salvation, or sustain it, for grace is that which alone brings eternal salvation that saves a man from his sins. Grace is unmerited and eternal favour. Grace is a free gift from God, and is fully conditioned on His will, and His love. The saving grace of God disqualifies everything else as being a necessary element in the salvation of a man. THE GRACE OF GOD IS THAT AGENT WHICH GIVES THE GOSPEL OF GOD ITS EXCLUSIVE POWER TO SAVE. Any gospel which takes away from grace by adding anything to grace, such as the works and vain efforts of man to ingratiate himself to God, is a gospel which has no power whatsoever to save anyone. God’s power to save is by grace alone.
EVERYTHING OUTSIDE OF GRACE IS ANOTHER GOSPEL. Every gospel that allows room for a man’s works is not testifying to the grace of God in the salvation of His people, but is rebelling against it, and everyone who believes such a gospel is a willing, albeit ignorant, participant in that rebellion. There is nothing for man to boast of if his faith is in the Gospel of the grace of God. Ephesians 2:9 presents no problems for those who truly believe in Ephesians 2:8. The Gospel of God is about the grace of God in the salvation of His people, and not about any works of man. The works of man are nowhere alluded to in the Gospel of the grace of God. To introduce a man’s works as part of the cause for salvation, is like insisting that a puppy is breathing because it was given to you. Scripture says that a man is saved by grace through faith, and that this is not by works, not by any effort on man’s part, for then there would be something for man to boast of, and at least some part of salvation would be according to what a man must do. This is clearly not what the Word of God teaches, for it plainly states that one is saved wholly by grace through faith. As with grace, faith, too, comes from God as a gift. If the faith a saved man believed with were that which is common to every man, then faith would be a work of man’s which would allow room and reason for the man to boast of what he has done, which would in turn give him cause to believe that, when it comes to salvation, grace is an instrument of enablement, a mere tool used to assist man in gaining salvation, and not one which is the actual power that causes a man to approach God with nothing to fear. “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee…” (Psa. 65:4). God chooses a man and causes that man to approach Him, wholly by grace, and only with the Righteousness of Christ. God needs no assistance, and grace requires no augmentation, for salvation is of the Lord, by the grace of the Lord through the faith which is given by the Lord, and His Righteousness imputed.
Again, Scripture makes it abundantly clear that one is saved by the grace of God through the gift of faith thus leaving absolutely no room whatsoever for a man to think that something he does either attracts this grace, or merits salvation in any way. God saves a man by grace through the gift of faith, and not through the works of man. The faith which is common to man, by nature, can never look away from man’s own works. The faith which grace provides looks to, and trusts only in, the Righteousness of Christ. Salvation is ALL of God. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom. 3:28 cf. Rom. 4:3). “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for Righteousness” (Rom. 4:5 cf. Rom. 4:16; Rom. 5:1; Rom. 11:6; Gal. 2:16). God’s grace does not need man to fulfil God’s will. God’s grace is the manifestation of God’s will, therefore, it is by grace alone that any are saved. God has predestinated His chosen to be His adopted children by Jesus Christ “…according to the good pleasure of HIS WILL,” to what end? “To the praise of the glory of HIS GRACE, wherein HE hath made us ACCEPTED in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:5,6). What makes a man acceptable to God is that which comes only by, and is within, the grace of God. In terms of salvation, nothing outside the grace of God brings glory to Him. Perhaps the perfect description of what grace is, is found in the phrase: “He hath made us accepted”. If it is God Who makes a man accepted, or acceptable, then salvation is solely by grace. If it is God, by grace, Who makes a man accepted, then it is a given that no one else can, and nothing else will. God and grace are the perfect combination, and all that salvation requires. When it comes to the salvation of a man, “God gives what He demands”. God demands perfect obedience, God gives, imputes, to His people the perfect Righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ. God demands atonement for sin, God gave His Son as a sacrifice for the sins of all His people. God demands His people believe solely in His Gospel, God gives the only faith which believes only in His Gospel to the exclusion of all others. God demands a man come to Him, God draws the man by His lovingkindness. Every condition for salvation has been met by the grace of God. God demands that every condition be fulfilled, consequently, God gives His grace to His people, thus ensuring that all conditions are faultlessly fulfilled by Him. When saving grace is sent, it is sent to save, and save it does, for this is the will of God. There are many more Scriptures which state clearly that salvation is by grace through the gift of faith which comes only from God, which speak of “…the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth Righteousness without works” (Rom. 4:6). "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (imputed) to him for Righteousness" (Gal. 3:6). Justifying Righteousness comes not by any works of man, but through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation by grace is not some arbitrary decision of God’s, but is based upon God’s will, mercy and purpose, and is given freely to those for whom Christ has established a perfect Righteousness. Grace is based on works, but not man’s works. That which Christ has done to atone for the sins of the people God gave unto Him, and establish a perfect Righteousness for them is what opens the door for grace to come through and have its way in God’s chosen people according to God’s will. Having said this it is always important to remember that all that Christ has done for God’s people was by the grace of God. The Son of God, and all that He has done, is part of, and because of, the grace of God, and there could be no salvation without either. “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 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; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7). This sister passage to Ephesians 2:8-10 teaches that a man is justified by the grace of God which, in turn, causes the saved one to abandon himself, to look away from himself and all that he has done, and look only to Christ and what HE has done to save the sinner from his sins. This is in complete contrast with the Arminian’s flawed view that grace enables a man to choose God, and perform the works he believes are necessary in obtaining, and maintaining, salvation. Arminianism causes a man to look within, the grace of God leads a man to look only to God. God’s grace and mercy are in His Son, Jesus Christ, and faith in Him which is given by grace is the only conduit to salvation. Grace through faith in Him. The presence of grace reveals itself in those whose faith is not in themselves, whose trust is not in what they do, but solely in God and what He has done.