THE HOUSE OF GOD - part 3
All those who make up the House of God are Christians. Believers in the one God of the one Gospel. Each Christian is a lively stone which is used in the building of the House of God in which God dwells. These are the ones God has chosen out of the world to be His people, believe His Gospel and be part of God’s habitation. God’s people are all chosen to be saved, chosen to believe. “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation…” (2 Thess. 2:13 cf. 1 Pet. 1:2). “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: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour” (Isa. 43:10,11). God has chosen a people SO THAT they would know, understand and believe HIM. To know and believe God is to know and believe God’s Gospel. To know and believe God is to know and believe the truth about Him. To know and believe God is to have been chosen to know and believe Him. One cannot know and believe the true God, if one’s trust is in a false gospel which does not reveal Him. Believing in the true Gospel is something which is eternally inseparable from having eternal life. “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 Jn. 5:12). “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name” (Jn. 20:31 cf. Acts 4:12). “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the Household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Eph. 2:19-21). Christians have been elected to know the true God, and believe His Gospel. They have been fitted, or equipped, to believe only God’s Gospel, and are, thereby, qualified to dwell in the House of God by the will, grace and purpose of God. These are the ones Christ has died for, whose sins have been blotted out (see Col. 2:13-15). They have no unbelief when it comes to God’s Gospel, for they have been chosen by God to know and believe His Gospel which alone reveals the true God. Christians only obey and only believe, the Gospel of God, and nothing whatsoever which contradicts it, for anything which contradicts the Gospel of God is anti-Gospel, and, therefore, anti-God.
God’s people have been given an understanding so that they may know God: “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (1 Jn. 5:20). “…He is called ‘eternal life’, because it is in Him; 'In Him was life and the life was the light of men' (Jn. 1:4). '…God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son' (1 Jn. 5:11 cf. 2 Tim. 1:1), and He is the giver of it to His people: 'As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him' (Jn. 17:2 cf. Jn. 1:12; 3:35); and that itself will chiefly consist in the enjoyment and vision of Him, and in conformity to Him.” God has given His people an understanding that they may know Him, and a faith that they would believe in His Gospel which alone reveals Him. You cannot know the true God by believing a false gospel. The Lord Jesus said “…I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (Jn. 14:6). In giving eternal life to God’s chosen, the Lord Jesus gives Himself to God’s people, and He will never leave them (see Jn. 10:28,29). The only way to know the true God is to believe the true God’s Gospel. The Lord Jesus prayed: “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (Jn. 17:3). Without eternal life given, one cannot know the true God, and if one does not know the true God, one cannot believe the true God’s Gospel, and, therefore, cannot have eternal life abiding in him. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the Wrath of God abideth on him” (Jn. 3:36) “…he that believeth on Me hath everlasting life” (Jn. 6:47). "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 Jn. 5:12 cf. 1 Jn. 5:1; 2 Jn. 9). “…if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24). He that obeys the Gospel has the Son, eternal life, and he that does not obey the Gospel of God does not have the Son, he does not have eternal life abiding in him.
True Christians recognize the principle, the concept, of salvation by grace alone, and so believe in the only God Whose only Gospel reveals that grace in the salvation of all His people through His Son. To know God is to love God is to obey God. To believe in God is to trust only in Him, and only in His Gospel. To claim to trust in God, but believe that other gospels also have the power to save, is to believe that there are other ways to salvation—thereby entertaining the possibility that salvation is not the exclusive domain of the grace of God (see Rom. 1:16,17). To believe such nonsense is to live in a world of religious fantasy. It is to deny the true God and the only power of God unto salvation: His Gospel. Those who do not believe, or, obey, the Gospel of God exclusively, are not part of the House of God. In light of 1 Peter 4:17, how could anyone be part of the House of God if they do not obey the Gospel of God? If their heart and trust is in the god of another gospel, they cannot be of God, they cannot be new creatures in Christ, born again of His Spirit through His Word. It is transparently obvious that those who do not obey the Gospel of God have not been given an understanding, they have not been translated out of the kingdom of darkness, and into God’s Kingdom of Light (see Col. 1:13). To believe in God’s only Gospel is to be separated unto Light. To believe anything other than, or in addition to, God’s Gospel is to reside in darkness. The Gospel of God remains hidden from those who do not believe it, it is veiled to them, and so they have no obedience toward God’s Gospel, evincing the fact that they are not righteous in God’s eyes. Those who do not believe the Gospel of God simply do not know God, for their ignorance of God and His Gospel is exhibited in their seeking after righteousness by their own obedience rather than by faith in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. There are only two types of gospel: the one which is God’s only Gospel which teaches salvation by grace alone, and those which include the efforts of men to obey the law. There are also only two kinds of people: those who believe in the obedience of Christ alone, and those who believe that one’s own obedience is essential to salvation. These are no different to the Jews of which Paul the apostle spoke: “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone” (Rom. 9:31,32). The apostle considered all such people lost, for he prayed for their salvation: “…my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved” (Rom. 10:1).
There are only two possible ways to Righteousness: God’s way, and man’s way. God’s way to Righteousness is by faith in the obedience of His Son as revealed in His Gospel of grace, and man’s way is by one’s own personal obedience as revealed in every other gospel, and which has never saved anyone. Only God’s Gospel reveals the Righteousness necessary to a man’s salvation. Just as one needs no other ‘Saviour’, but Jesus Christ the Lord, no one needs any other Gospel, but His only Gospel. Those who disobey the Gospel of Christ’s Righteousness alone, have their trust in a gospel which promotes the insufficient, and utterly profitless righteousness of man (see Psa. 39:5,11; Rom. 3:12). Those who trust in such false gospels are not righteous, for it is evident they have not been given the faith of God to believe in His Gospel of grace, nor the Righteousness of Christ which God’s Gospel reveals is the only ground of salvation. Christ did not become a curse for those who die in unbelief, but for those whom God has called out of the world to believe His Gospel, and entrusted to His Son Who has obtained eternal redemption for them (see Heb. 1:3; Heb. 9:12). All that has been done for the saved is eternally linked by the grace of God: election, predestination, adoption, salvation, faith/belief in God’s Gospel, redemption, sins taken away, the Righteousness of Christ imputed, etc. They shall all believe His Gospel just as all whom the Father has given to the Son will come to Him: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me…” (Jn. 6:37). Christians go to no one else, for they believe no other gospel, but God’s Gospel. All whom the Father gives to the Son, will come to the Son, the only Son of God Who is revealed in the only Gospel of God. No one is saved who believes in another god, so how can one possibly be in a saved state—have eternal life, be born again—who believes not the true and only Gospel of the true and only God?
The principal element of being part of the House of God is that all who abide, and all who have been ordained to solely abide, in the doctrine of Christ, are/will be saved. They are not among those whom the Lord Jesus will take vengeance upon, for these special ones are believers: they are new creatures who have been made to know God, and believe in the Gospel of God. Those who are in Christ have been made new creatures “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). They are “…His workmanship created in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:10). Just as they are chosen to salvation, the elect are made to believe. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Phil. 1:29 cf. Isa. 43:10). The elect of God have not been made new creatures so that they will continue to believe lies about God, so that their faith in false gospels would remain unperturbed, so that the momentum of their living in darkness and walking in ignorance concerning the true God be maintained, but have been made anew in order that they will know and believe the true God, and His only Gospel, and abandon all others. Christians are born again by the will of God (see Jn. 1:13; Rom. 9:16), they are the workmanship of God, and have all heard and learned of Him. Jesus said: “Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me” (Jn. 6:45 cf. Jn. 3:3). They have been saved by grace, and given the faith which comes from God. How can any of these possibly believe in contrasting gospels, false gospels, when they have all been saved by the one God, and granted the same faith to believe Him, to believe only HIS Gospel? Those who come to the true Jesus have all heard and learned of the Father. They have been appointed unto salvation through the death of God’s Son, and so are all ordained to believe the glorious Gospel of His Son (see Acts 13:48). None of them have been reserved for God’s Wrath, therefore, none of the saved will die believing in a perverted gospel. Writing to fellow believers, the apostle Paul stated: “For God hath not appointed us to Wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us…” (1 Thess. 5:9,10). All the called of God love His Truth. They do not reject it, but receive it with joy, for they have been blessed with the love of the truth. Those who do not love the Gospel of the true God do not love Him, for how can they love Him when they do not believe what He has said. (see 2 Thess. 2:10-12). Those to whom the Gospel is veiled show they are among the lost, and not those who are called unto salvation. “That they all might be damned who believed not the Truth…” (2 Thess. 2:12). “…ye are of this world…ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (Jn. 8:23, 24). “But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil…” (Rom. 2:8,9). Conversely, God’s people have been “…chosen...to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth: Whereunto He called you by our Gospel…” (2 Thess. 2:13,14). God's people are described by the apostle Paul as those who, “...believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:3). Faithfulness in, and accuracy concerning, the Gospel of God is what the Lord faithfully grants to all His children. If they were not accurate in their belief of the Gospel it would not be the Gospel of God they were believing in, nor the Faith of God they were believing with. The following words are not only true for the apostle Paul, but for all God's people, "...separated unto the Gospel of God….obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful" (Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 7:25 cf. Rom. 1:6; 1 Cor. 4:2). If God's people were not accurate in their belief of, and, therefore, faithful to, the doctrines of the Gospel of grace, it would mean they would believe erroneously concerning Who God is, what God has done and for whom He has done it (see 2 Tim. 2:15). In other words, they would not know and believe in the true God, but another god of another gospel who cannot save. False gods are characterized by erroneous teaching. The spirit of error can only lead a person to false gods, and the Spirit of Truth only leads one to the true God.
The true Church of God could no longer be called, "...the pillar and ground of the Truth" (1 Tim. 3:15), if it, or any of its members, taught the Gospel of God inaccurately, and, therefore, erroneously; if it was a haven for error as well as for truth. As the people of God have not been called unto uncleanness, but holiness (see 1 Thess. 4:7), so too, the elect man is called unto the Gospel, to believe God's Truth, and no longer disobey it. To believe lies about the True God is to believe in another god of another gospel. What you believe identifies the one you believe in. Error translates as unbelief in the eyes of God. Error is unbelief, for to believe erroneously is to manifest an ignorance of the truth, or a conscious rejection of the truth. Either way, error is unbelief. “YOU CANNOT BELIEVE TRUTH WITHOUT REJECTING ERROR.” Christ would not have commanded His people to preach the Gospel to every creature if He was not sure they would faithfully and accurately preach it. Christ’s command to preach the Gospel provides undeniable evidence that His people know the Gospel. In fact, Christ has so much confidence that His people know the Gospel that He commands they reveal it to others. If others are to believe God’s Gospel for salvation, then it is of a surety that God’s people have all been given the same faith, so that they will not only accurately believe God’s Gospel, they will also accurately preach it to others. If God has assured the accuracy of the preaching of His Gospel then He must also, with equal certainty, have ensured the accurate believing of it. This He has done in the granting of the gift of Faith to all His people so that they all believe in, and faithfully relay His one and only Gospel to others. This is why the Scriptures often declare that to not believe the Gospel of God is to reveal a damnable state. The doctrines of this salvation which all the elect people of God have been appointed to, are revealed in the Gospel of God. This is why God’s Gospel is the only power of God to save, for it is the only Gospel which contains the unadulterated doctrines which deal with the grace of God in the salvation of all His people. It is, therefore, only to be expected that all God’s people are of the House of God, for they all believe the only Gospel of God. The soul of every child of God rings true with the sound of the Gospel of God. It would be remiss of God, to say the least, in allowing anyone to be part of His Household who does not obey His Gospel. How can anyone be trusting in the true God if they obey, and follow the guidelines of a perverted gospel? God does not make mistakes, and He does not overlook, or excuse the deadly sin of unbelief toward His Gospel as the only true Gospel, and the only one which saves. The apostle Peter emphasized this when he clearly taught that those who are not of the House of God are they who obey not the Gospel of God. The words of the Saviour remind us all that unless there is repentance of all that is opposed to the Gospel of God, unless one believes the Gospel of God, salvation can never be. “…repent ye, and believe the Gospel” (Mk. 1:15).
Christians love God, and their neighbour, they do good to their fellow man etc., but none of this would mean a thing if they had never been given the Faith and love to rightly believe and obey the only true God, by believing and obeying the only true Gospel of God. Works without saving faith are dead works which profit no man. No one is saved without the requisite faith which God gives to His people, by grace, so that they will all know and believe only in Him. The requisite faith for belief in God’s Gospel is provided only by God’s grace. Many Scriptures make it abundantly clear that to not believe the Gospel of God, to believe any other gospel can save, in addition to, or apart from, God’s only Gospel, equates to damnation. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:16). “…whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:15). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the Wrath of God abideth on him” (Jn. 3:36). One very important point which is missed by those who believe that they are Christians, but who hold to false gospels, is that to properly, Biblically, believe God’s Gospel is to simultaneously disbelieve, reject, every other gospel which professes to be God’s Gospel. To savingly trust is to believe that there is only one God, and that He has only one Gospel which can rightly be called God’s power unto salvation. To consider oneself a Christian, and yet believe in a false gospel is to seek salvation under false pretences. Those who claim to believe the Gospel yet speak peace to those who believe in any false gospel, are no better off than those who disobey the Gospel altogether. One cannot demonstrate obedience by disloyalty, so too, one cannot show loyalty by one’s disobedience. One cannot trust in the true God whilst having allegiance to a gospel which is not His. Trust inspires loyalty and obedience. Those who do not obey the Gospel of God, have no trust in it, and, therefore, can have no allegiance toward it. The Gospel is the very means God uses to reveal Himself, and what exactly must be trusted in, for one to be saved. If you do not trust in God’s way of salvation you simply are not saved. You cannot be saved whilst trusting in a false way to salvation.
The Gospel of God is the unique Message of salvation by grace alone. According to the apostle Paul, the Gospel of God is unlike any other gospel, for belief in any other gospel cannot save. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8,9). The first thing we learn from these Scripture is the fact that the Gospel of God is readily distinguishable, distinct, from all other gospels. Obviously, Paul is saying here that for one to be saved one must believe only in God’s only Gospel, for belief in any other is to be accursed. There is no valid, Biblical reason why anyone claiming to believe God’s Gospel would even think of believing any other gospel, or of tolerantly declaring saved one who believes any other gospel. The saving faith God gives to all His people not only causes them to believe God’s Gospel, it also establishes an acute awareness that no other gospel can possibly save. The apostle Paul spoke of the ministry he had received from the Lord Jesus to testify “…the Gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24 cf. Acts 20:21, 32). Anything which contradicts this Message of grace alone is not what the gift of faith is given to believe. The Word of God declares that a man is saved by grace alone through faith alone, so it would be ridiculous for God, on the one hand, to save by grace, but, on the other hand, grant the saved a faith which did not believe that all of salvation is all by grace. Belief in any other gospel, or counting oneself saved whilst believing any other gospel, is the very evidence that one does not have the saving, justifying Faith which God gives to His people in order that they believe solely in His Gospel alone as that which saves. “Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9 cf. Rom. 10:16). Clearly, one either believes in the doctrine of Christ, or one does not. The saved believe in the Gospel of Christ, and so, they have the Father and the Son. The lost do not believe the Gospel of Christ, and so, do not have either the Father, or the Son. NONE are saved who do not believe God’s Word. To Biblically believe God’s Gospel is to have faith in no other, just as to Biblically believe and trust in Almighty God for one’s salvation is to simultaneously deny that there is salvation in any other, so-called, god. “…if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:9). “…if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (2 Cor. 4:3). Notice that such are not merely in error, they are not Christians who just have a few errors concerning God’s Gospel, but are nonetheless saved. NOT AT ALL! Those to whom the Gospel is hid, those who cannot see it, understand it, and, therefore, rightly believe it, error free, are currently in a lost state. Most people see believing the Gospel perfectly as some prohibitive intellectual challenge, but it is nothing of the kind, for the Gospel is revealed by God to His people. The Gospel is revealed perfectly, and it is believed perfectly, for God has given the gift of Faith to His people guaranteeing they will believe His Gospel intact, and error free. How else could the Gospel of God have survived, and continue to survive, if it were not God Who sustained, and ensured, its continuity? To savingly believe the true Gospel is to believe it with the gift of faith given by the grace of God. Any error in one’s beliefs concerning the Gospel shows conclusively that one does not believe God’s Gospel, and is not saved, for one has obviously not been given God’s justifying faith. Receiving and trusting in a gospel other than God’s Gospel is to reveal an accursed state, for all other gospels are nothing but perverted versions of the true. To not obey the Gospel, to not acknowledge God’s unique Gospel as His only power unto salvation, is to reveal a lost state. Lost people are made up of those who trust in perverted versions of God’s Gospel, for they cannot see, and, therefore, recognize the true Gospel of God.
The Word of God says God has only one Gospel. God’s Gospel is distinct from all the false gospels of the world’s religions, for God’s Gospel teaches salvation solely by grace through the gift of faith. God’s Gospel excludes any and every teaching which stipulates that man plays a cooperative part in his own salvation, for salvation is by the grace of God alone, not by the works of man, or his ‘response’ to grace. God’s Gospel of salvation promotes only grace, the work of God, and, therefore, allows no room, and consequently, no need, for the efforts of man. “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His Presence. But OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:27-31 cf. Jon. 2:9; Jer. 9:23,24; Rom. 3:22-28; 1 Cor. 4:7). “That is, ‘in the Presence of God’, as some copies, and the Arabic and Ethiopic versions read; not in their blood, birth, families, lineage, and natural descent; nor in their might, power, and dominion; nor in their riches, wealth, and substance; nor in their wisdom, learning, and parts: for however these may be gloried in before men, yet not before God. These are of no account with Him, nor will they be regarded by Him, or men on account of them; and He has taken a method in choosing and calling the reverse of these, to stain the glory of all flesh, that no man may attribute his salvation to any thing of the creature, but wholly to the sovereign grace and good pleasure of God.” The grace of God and the works of man are always contrasted throughout the Word of God. They can never form an alliance, a pact, for they are archenemies, diametrically, and eternally opposed. Grace and works are completely antithetical. They are eternally incompatible, for each cancels out—rules out any need for—the other. They are “so different in nature as to be incapable of coexisting”. Grace and works are the core issue of salvation. It is truly an either-or situation. One promotes salvation by God, whilst the other teaches there is no salvation without the obedience of man. There is no bipartisanship possible between grace and works, for the difference between them is immeasurable, and eternal. Salvation by grace alone is an eternal truth, and, therefore, stands opposed to any need for the lie of works to bring it into fruition. The eternal Gospel of God teaches that salvation is by God alone, and the gospels of religion teach that salvation is ultimately conditioned on, and, therefore, cannot do without, man.
God’s Word says that man at his best is altogether vanity, religion says that a man doing his best, can reach God. No matter how powerful “…a magnet can be, it can never attract non-magnetic (non-ferrous) material”. So too, the good works and obedience of man can never attract salvation, but only repel it, for salvation is only attracted to, and by, the magnetic pull of grace. There can never be a compromise reached between grace and works, for the price each would have to pay would be mutually destructive. The very essence of Grace is a denial of works, and the intrinsic nature of works is a denial of grace, according to the apostle Paul, “…if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). For grace to roll out the welcome mat for works would be to deny its exclusive power to save. Grace does not require works, just as man can do nothing to gain, or maintain, salvation. Grace does not require works, for no man can do anything to gain, or maintain, salvation, he is altogether vanity. Works appeal to grace for help, but every time it does it negates itself as being essential to salvation, as the apostle says in the aforementioned verse. Grace does not assist in one’s salvation, for it is by grace that a man is saved. Grace has no need of works, therefore, anyone basing the ground of their salvation on works, has no legitimate right to appeal to grace. Grace cancels out the need for works, therefore, one can appeal only to grace, or works, and never to grace and works. Paul adds, in his Letter to the Galatians “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law (works); ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). God’s House is a House of grace, and no work of man’s, including his belief of a false gospel, can ever gain him entrance. Salvation is solely by the law of grace, the ruling principle of grace, and not by the law of works. The law of works cancels out the law of grace, and the law of grace eradicates any purported need for works as being the ground, or even part of the ground, for salvation. No part of salvation is by the righteousness of an individual’s obedience, but only by the obedience of One, the Lord Jesus Christ on behalf of the individual. That is grace. Grace does not enable, grace simply saves. Salvation is of the Lord, by grace, and so, is something which cannot, in any way to any degree, be apportioned to man. Salvation is not of works, but solely of grace. Accordingly, we can only conclude that every religion, every philosophy, every concept of salvation which proceeds from the mind of man that demands a man must, at the very least contribute to his salvation, is nothing but a colossal lie which Satan has used, and continues to use, in order to captivate and deceive the whole world.
Man believing that he can gain, or maintain his salvation by what he does, is no different to a man trying to touch his elbow with his nose. Though lost man has expended much time and effort in gaining/maintaining salvation, his efforts at obedience only serve to expose the futility of his actions, and his state of utter hopelessness. “…verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity…surely every man is vanity” (Psa. 39:5,11 cf. Eccl. 7:20). Whilst many use the word grace in their teachings, the world’s gospels all condition salvation, the gaining or maintaining of it, upon a man’s will, works, efforts and attempts to do good and please God. Many so-called Christian organizations which do not overtly teach salvation by free will, do, however, foster an atmosphere of continued personal obedience as the ground of one’s salvation. Fearful superstition, rather than freedom in Christ, knowing He is the complete Saviour, is what runs through the veins of many who call themselves Christian. Those who form part of such congregations are trying to keep themselves ‘saved’, by their own righteousness rather than simply trusting in the fact that a true Christian is begotten: “.…unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, WHO ARE KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH UNTO SALVATION ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:3-5 cf. 1 Cor. 1:8,9; 2 Cor. 1:21,22). Any dependence upon anyone other than God, Who saves only by grace through faith, is a futile reliance upon that which cannot save. A man is saved not by grace enabling him to do that which is pleasing to God so that God will save him. Grace is God doing all that was necessary to save His people from their sins, and the faith given by God to them believes just that.
When Scripture says that a man is saved by grace, it means just that—grace. Grace is God doing. No one is saved by what they do, but only by what God does. Ephesians 2:8 may be rightly translated: ‘By what God does are ye saved and not of yourselves’. “…Salvation is of the Lord” (Jon. 2:9). None can even come to God, let alone please Him, unless God, by grace draws a person to Him (see Jn. 6:44 cf. Heb. 11:6). Man’s works, his efforts at obedience, his righteousnesses “… are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa. 64:6). God could never save anyone based on the ground of filthy rags which is all any effort of man’s to procure his own salvation amounts to. To say that a man can be saved by what he does, is to say that laying filthy rags before a Holy God is as good as, and will be equally accepted, as the precious blood of Christ shed in sacrifice, and placed before the Throne (see Heb. 9:12). It is the utmost in blasphemy. God’s people have “…washed their robes, and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14 cf. Rev. 1:5). The boldness Christ’s people all have to enter Heaven does not come from their works, but by the blood of Christ: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19). A man cannot make himself clean before a Holy God. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one” (Job 14:4). “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Prov. 20:9). No man, by nature, can do anything which will inspire God to save Him based on his good works. A man cannot be saved by works, salvation does not come when prompted by a work of man’s, for a man must be born again, he must be made alive, he must be made a new creature in Christ, and be clothed with Christ’s Robe of Righteousness. “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the Robe of Righteousness…” (Isa. 61:10). The Lord God says: “Curseth be the man that trusteth in man…” (Jer. 17:5 cf. Jer. 17:9). “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin” (Isa. 30:1 cf. Deut. 29:19). Woe be to those that seek to cover themselves with their own righteousnesses, and are not clothed with the Robe of the Righteousness of Christ. “…wicked men, who are enemies in their minds, by wicked works, to God, and commit acts of hostility against Him, and are in danger thereby of eternal ruin, do not consult the Word and ministers of the Gospel, but flesh and blood, carnal sense and reason, and seek to cover themselves with the rags of their own righteousness, and not with the robe of Christ's Righteousness, and garments of salvation, which the Spirit of God reveals and brings near; and so to their other sins they add that of trusting to their own righteousness, and not submitting to Christ's.”
The new creature is an eternal being, not born of blood, “…nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:13): “Of His own Will begat He us with the Word of Truth...” (Jas. 1:18). God does not need the will of man, as the Arminian gospel demands, for God begets His children with the Word of Truth by His own will. Unlike our physical bodies, which suffer corruption daily, and will eventually expire, the new spiritual man is without corruption, for he is born of the incorruptible Seed (see 1 Pet. 1:23-25), the Word of God, and, therefore, shall never die. In light of this, it is quite bizarre that for most who claim the moniker ‘Christian’, “The cultivation of the old man is considered more practical than the creation of a new man in Christ Jesus.” Works religion is consumed with cultivating a ‘better man’ rather than rejoicing in the fact that the saved man has been created NEW in Christ. God’s Word says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (Gal. 6:15 cf. 1 Cor. 7:19). In other words the difference between salvation and damnation is not what you, or I do, or do not do, but it is being made a new creature by God in Christ which makes the difference. Salvation is not by conformity to certain rites, or customs, nor by our individual efforts at obedience, “…but the grand inquiry is, WHETHER A MAN IS BORN AGAIN, and is in fact a new creature in Christ Jesus”. Paul says “And as many as walk according to THIS RULE (cannon, or, doctrinal standard); peace be on THEM, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16). Either one walks according to religion’s rule of ‘do and live disobey and die’, or one walks according to God’s doctrinal standard: “Except a man be born again; he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3 cf. 1 Cor. 15:50).
The Bible teaches that in order for a man to believe the true Gospel He must be blessed of God; he must be born again—born of God (see Matt. 16:17; John 3:3,5; 6:44,45), for the Gospel is God’s and He reveals It to whomsoever He wills. Salvation is not, and never has been, the result, or product of a man’s will or works, but wholly of God’s mercy and grace: “...I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but OF GOD that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:15,16; Ex. 33:19). There is the basis for salvation. It’s all about whom God wills to show mercy toward. The apostle Paul addressing the Christians at Rome, said: “…ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy…” (Rom. 11:30). The mercy of God is why the believer believes. The Psalmist says: “But I have trusted in Thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation” (Psa. 13:5). The starting point of salvation is GOD, and not what a man tries to do to please God. Speaking of those who believe on Christ’s name, John the apostle stated: "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but OF GOD" (Jn. 1:13 cf. 1 Cor.1:29-31). The faith that saves is not something which originates from within man, it is not a work that he can produce, but it is in fact a precious gift from God, it is something which has to be given to a man not something which can be earned by man. “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent” (Jn. 6:29). “The main and principal one, and which is well pleasing in His sight; and without which it is impossible to please Him (see Heb. 11:6); and without which no work whatever is a good work; and this is of the operation of God, which He Himself works in men; it is not of themselves, it is the pure gift of God: there are other works which are well pleasing to God, when rightly performed, but faith is the chief work, and others are only acceptable when done in the faith of Christ. This, as a principle, is purely God's work; as it is an act, or as it is exercised under the influence of Divine grace, it is man's act: ‘that ye believe’; the object of it is Christ, as sent by the Father, as the Mediator between God and men, as appointed by Him to be the Saviour and Redeemer; and believing in Christ, is believing in God that sent Him.” The only way to please God is through the gift of faith which God gives to those He chooses to be merciful toward. This is the work of God. “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith” (Hab. 2:4 cf. Rom. 1:16,17). Man can never become saved by ‘improving himself’ but is saved because he is a totally new creation in, and because of, Christ. Re-inventing oneself is not the way to God. Being re-created by God is that which is necessary in salvation.