"THOU SHALT SURELY DIE!" (PART 9)
Arminianism has no alternative, but to deny the biblical doctrine that man is dead in sin having absolutely no desire for the True God. Arminianism denies man must be regenerated, made alive, by God, to God. Arminianism denies predestination, election, adoption as well as other essential doctrines of the Gospel of the grace of God, including the atoning and substitutionary death of Christ for the people whom the Father has given Him. These opposed and repudiated doctrines are the very essence of God's Gospel Message. Arminianism is a lost man's lifeless version of what the true Gospel is. The Word of God makes clear that God has chosen some, He has PREDESTINATED them to His own glory. They are chosen of God, by God, to be saved. God does not choose the ones that ‘choose Him’ but has done the only choosing that needs to be done before He even made the world: "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, THAT we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. TO the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Eph. 1:4-6; cf. Rev. 4:11). Notice that there is no mention of man and anything he has done in these Scriptures other than his being blessed by what God has done. Predestination is to the glory of the grace of God and not a response to man's free will work. To predestinate is to predetermine. To predestinate is to do something before anything else is done. God has PREDESTINATED His chosen people in accord with the GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL, and no other's! And what is this predestination and election? GRACE!!! They are expressions of God's Sovereign grace. They are characteristics of God's saving grace and therefore that which salvation cannot do without. God does not need man's mythical free will for God has already predestinated, elected and adopted all those whom He wills to be saved. It is all summed up at the end of verse 6 where Paul says all has been done, including election and predestination, to the glory of God's grace. Man's subsequent involvement is his believing, and his believing is not a work, not something upon which his salvation awaits or is conditioned upon, but is a gift, the result, the only possible outcome of his being chosen unto salvation. Notice also that the elect are predestinated to be saved. God has "...chosen us...that we should be holy and without blame..." How can one be holy and without blame before God? By HIS CHOOSING US in Him. By the imputed Righteousness of Christ. "...by the obedience of One shall many be made Righteous" (Rom. 5:19). It is quite something to see a man is as happy as a child whilst accepting the lie that he has a choice to make concerning God and salvation, but then change into some wild, ravenous thing when confronted with the doctrine which states that God has predestinated some to salvation according to His grace and not what a man has done. God's people love the doctrine of predestination because it is a doctrine which is according to the pleasure of God's will and TO the PRAISE of HIS GLORY.
There are mountains of Scriptural evidence that can leave no one in any doubt, except for the spiritually dead man, that it was required of God that He do everything to save a man for without God man is in a helpless and hopeless state. Simply look at what God has done in the salvation of a man, and you will see that HE has done everything, that salvation is all of grace, and, therefore, all of God, which in turn proves that God had to do everything, and that man could do nothing to obtain salvation. What God has done by grace to save man from the punishment due unto him, rejects not only the need for free will, but also, the very notion of its existence. God has predestinated and elected those He loved unto salvation. Christ has paid the price of the sins of all those whom the Father gave unto Him. All man does is receive what has been done for him, and this receiving is no work, but a gift which every man it is given to receives with thanksgiving, for he has been made alive by God. The grace of God is a self explanatory phrase: God doing. Salvation is by God doing. Salvation is God doing and man receiving, not because he is such a righteous creature, but because God is a Righteous God. The Word of God reminds us that a man is not in Christ because of any free will decision on the part of man, for "...OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus..." (1 Cor. 1:30). The passage from where this Scripture is taken is filled with the doctrine of God's choosing man (see 1 Cor. 1:27-31). Salvation is indeed all the work of God and man plays no active part in it. A saved man did not choose but was chosen. A saved man did not desire God but was loved by God. A saved man did not adopt God, but God has adopted him. A saved man did not elect God but was elected by God. And, no man ever sought after God, but was sought after by God Who searches out His sheep until He finds them (see Ezek. 34:11,12).
That no man can save himself is testament to the fact that those who are saved, are saved by God, by the grace of God. Now, I must point out that contrary to what millions have been taught, NO MAN MAINTAINS HIS SALVATION BY WHAT HE DOES, OR DOES NOT DO! It stands to biblical reason that as there is nothing a man can do to obtain salvation, there is, likewise, nothing man can do to maintain his salvation. Ironically, the very concept of retaining salvation by what we do, far from being something meritorious, is that which denies Christ and what He has done: “...if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing” (Gal. 5:2); “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). God has not conditioned eternal life upon His people, but upon His grace. Religious people the world over are so very fond of using the word grace, yet it is interesting to note the great disparity between their use of the word, and their knowledge of what it actually means. Most claim to be saved by grace and yet fill their lives with ‘good works’ in order to ‘stay saved’. The principle of grace dispels any notion of the need for a man to do anything to gain, or retain salvation, for grace is all of God as salvation is all of God. God’s people ARE eternally redeemed, they have been given eternal life. Their eternal redemption, is not conditioned on what they do, for they have already received it. It has already been obtained for them by their Savior! One cannot separate the eternal aspect from what it is to be redeemed. God’s chosen have been promised “…eternal life” (1 Jn. 2:25; cf. Titus 1:2; Acts 2:38,39). If you are redeemed you are eternally redeemed. Just as no man played any part in obtaining eternal redemption, no man can do anything to lose it. Therefore, to lose one’s salvation one would have to undo what Christ has done, and this of course can never be, seeing that what Christ has done is eternal. He has obtained eternal redemption and He gives them eternal life (Heb. 9:12; Jn. 17:2). John the apostle wrote to those who believed on the name of the Son of God “…that ye may know that ye have eternal life…” (1 Jn. 5:13). They did nothing to acquire eternal life, nor was there any need for them to do anything to keep it, for this life which had been given them by grace, was eternal life. They had been given something by grace, which was everlasting. It was by grace and so its eternality was solely conditioned on that grace. Only by the grace of God does a man have eternal life. This life comes by grace and is forever. Christ has done all the work necessary to obtain eternal salvation for all those whom God has appointed to salvation (see 1 Thess. 5:8,9). A man’s eternal salvation rests upon the will of God, and the work of His Son. The reason why so many professing Christians have so much difficulty in understanding and accepting these simple truths is because of the reality that they are yet to be made spiritually alive to God. If you cannot see and understand the principle of grace in eternal salvation, ye are yet in your sins. THE SAVED MAN NOW HAS IN HIS POSSESSION, SOLELY BY THE GRACE OF GOD, ETERNAL LIFE AND THIS LIFE IS GIVEN, MAINTAINED AND PERPETUATED BY THE GRACE AND POWER OF GOD. The saved are “…sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ…” (Jd. 1:1; cf. Jn. 6:39; 2 Tim. 4:18). The word preserved here means “to attend to carefully, take care of, to guard, to keep one in the state in which he is, to observe, to reserve”. “For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not His saints; they are preserved for ever…” (Psa. 37:28). How can a man lose his salvation whose inheritance is “…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…” (1 Pet. 1:4,5). The Christian is kept unto salvation, through faith, by the power of God. The Christian shall never utterly fall away, for God is able to keep them “…from falling, and to present (them) faultless before the Presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude. 24). How can any who are truly His lose their salvation? Christ’s substitutionary and sacrificial offering of Himself to the Father has “…perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14). “Many are afraid this doctrine will lead people to be careless about their spiritual lives, therefore they stress…good works to retain one's eternal life. But, they do not see that this is a practical denial of Christ's finished and completed work. One is eternally saved because the work of Christ abides eternally (see Heb. 10:10). Salvation is not one holding on to God, but a declaration of God's Righteousness keeping one eternally saved, by His holding on to us.” “And I will make an everlasting Covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me” (Jer. 32:40; cf. Heb. 13:5). “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). The saved are made new creatures in Christ, eternally. To lose their salvation they would have to return to their original state of spiritual death. All the Arminian has to do is to locate Scripture that proves this, and, then, explain away the plethora of Scriptures which maintain that Salvation is eternal. Salvation is deliverance. It means 'to be rescued or freed from a place of danger and brought to a place of safety'. It also means 'to be preserved, to be kept'. Salvation is God saving, or rescuing, a sinner from the eternal punishment due unto his sin, and transferring him to a state of eternal safety and security.
“For by grace are ye saved…” is not referring to a one-off momentary event, but speaks of an eternal salvation. Being saved is not merely the starting point of the Christian life, it is the ENTIRE Christian life. The Christian life is preserved in the ‘syrup’ of salvation. ‘By grace are ye saved FOREVER…’ Grace does not merely introduce salvation into a person’s life, only to leave that person to fend for himself in trying to maintain his saved state, it also ensures that the person remains saved. Grace does not stop once you have been saved. If you are saved you are eternally saved! Eternal salvation conditioned on the grace and mercy of God is the only salvation there is. If salvation is reliant upon a man’s works, then what Christ has obtained could not rightly be called eternal redemption, but merely a potentially eternal redemption. The salvation God gives is in no way something temporary, which is conditioned on a man’s impotent attempts at obedience, but salvation given is given FOREVER! Salvation is eternal, it is given forever, because it is conditioned on grace and not works. Salvation is given by God’s will and it is maintained by God’s will. For salvation to be given in the first place necessitated the grace of God, so how can any man claiming to be a Christian possibly accept the heresy that a man is given salvation by grace yet must subsequently attempt to make that salvation eternal by what he does? How would the Christian ever know if he was doing enough to stay saved, and what would be the sign that would show him that he had lost his salvation, seeing that Christ has already paid the price in full for all a saved man’s sins. Which sin could therefore undo what Christ has done for His people, seeing He has nailed their every sin to His cross! Sin no longer has any power to keep a saved man from God nor can it pluck him out of His hand: “And I give unto them, eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand" (Jn. 10:28,29). The word perish in verse 28 means “to be lost, ruined, destroyed”. In light of this, how can any believe that though saved by grace through faith in what Christ has done, though sin has been paid for and Righteousness imputed to all God’s chosen, there is still no guarantee that any of His people will see Heaven? That after all that God has done to save His people from their sins, it is not enough to eternally save them from their sins? What could a Christian man add that God has not done? The alleged necessity of man adding anything to what God has done reveals a gospel of works and not God’s Gospel of grace. Man’s doing destroys grace.
The Christian is now passed from death unto life (see Jn.5:24; cf. Jn. 10:28; Jn. 6:44-47). God has qualified His people “…to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” and has “…delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:12-14). The power of darkness cannot drag the eternally redeemed man, who has been transferred into Christ’s Kingdom, back into its kingdom, for all the sins of the eternally saved have been forgiven! Christ, the Good Shepherd watches over His sheep and not one of them can ever stray from His view, or again become lost. The sheep of Christ will not stray and follow the voice of strangers (see Jn. 10:5) for they know their Shepherd’s voice (see Jn.10:11-14). If any part of salvation, whether it be the obtaining of it or the maintaining of it, is conditioned on what a man does, even if it were only in the last minute of his life, it would be a salvation by works. If salvation is by grace, then it must be all of grace (see Rom.11:6). In addition, who is to say when our obedience in maintaining salvation would no longer be required? Would it be in our last breath or would our obedience be necessary for all eternity? Who is to say, and where are the Scriptures to support such nonsense? Many teach that now that we are saved, we must continue in our Faith in order to maintain our salvation, otherwise we will lose our salvation. My friend, if any part of salvation was conditioned upon a man he could kiss salvation goodbye as soon as it was given to him. What could a man do that would ensure he stay saved? Works! But how could a man maintain his salvation by his works when there was nothing he could do to obtain salvation by his works? How could a man who has been given salvation by grace, since he could not obtain it by works, suddenly have the ability to maintain his salvation by works? Would his obedience suddenly become sin free? Initially, salvation would be of God by grace, but maintaining salvation would be a work done by man? The apostle Paul slams such heretical thinking, in his Letter to the Galatians: “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3). Paul assures all believers that “…He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). By the word perform, here, is meant: “to bring to an end, accomplish, perfect, execute, complete, to take upon oneself”. To try and remain saved by what we do, would be to “…desire again to be in bondage” (Gal. 4:9; cf. Col. 2:20-22). Such is carnal thinking, and those who agree with it are not yet made new creatures in Christ. They are yet to be made alive but remain in their sins. They simply do not understand the principle of grace. They evidently do not realise that saved people have been redeemed from under the law (see Gal. 4:4,5). The true Christian is no longer a servant to the law but has been made a son of God, “…and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Gal. 4:7).
What millions who remain in their spiritually dead state are so blind to, is the fact that salvation is not some one-off thing which God does and which we must then maintain by what we do. Salvation is ALL of God! From its beginning to final glory in Heaven, and for all eternity, salvation is all of God and all by God. Salvation is obtained by Christ’s dying for His people (see 1 Thess. 5:9,10) and is maintained by God. The salvation that a chosen man is given is an ETERNAL salvation, and God alone is responsible for it and its eternality. The Word of God speaks of “…the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30; cf. 2 Cor. 1:21,22; Eph. 1:13). The word sealed signifies: “ownership and security, together with destination (see Rev. 7:3-5) the same three indications are conveyed in Eph. 1:13, in the metaphor of the ‘sealing’ of believers by the gift of the Holy Spirit, upon believing (i.e., at the time of their regeneration, not after a lapse of time in their spiritual life…the idea of destination is stressed by the phrase ‘the Holy Spirit of promise’ (see also Eph. 1:14)”. To say that a man must maintain his faith to stay saved is to be blind to the fact that Faith and subsequent works are the result of salvation by grace and not the means to it, or the maintaining of it. Therefore, a man must not remain in the Faith to stay saved, but WILL remain in the Faith BECAUSE HE IS SAVED! Anything apart from this is nothing but a works gospel. Man’s insistence that he must do or he will lose his salvation, is spiritually dead man’s last desperate attempt to share in the glory for his own ‘salvation’. That though he was not able to get saved it is now up to him to stay saved. This is nothing but a false gospel and only false Christians believe it.
The fact that all of the glory for salvation belongs to God, leads us to the irrefutable and inexorable truth that God has done everything to secure salvation, and there is nothing left that a man must do, which demonstrates that there was nothing he could ever have done. If there is nothing that man can do to get saved, then surely there is nothing he can do to stay saved, particularly in light of the fact that a man’s salvation is something which is ordained and is, therefore, obviously based on God’s will and grace and not a man’s will and works. This proves that man is dead in sin for he can do nothing to please God, to come to God in and of himself. God has chosen man, sent the Savior to die, and pay the penalty, for their sins and having them charged to Him and His Righteousness imputed unto them. Christ's death was a Substitutionary death, and all those who have had/will have His Righteousness charged to them have had their sins charged to Him. Christ's death was not about paying the price for every man’s sins, but specifically for the sins charged to Him. The sins of His people. Becoming a curse upon the Tree for those whom He was sent to save is what Christ's dying was all about. Why did Christ die? It was not merely because of sin, but because of sin charged to Him. Not His own sin for He was without sin, but with the sins of all those He became a curse for. Whom did He become a curse for? Those whom He justified by bearing their sins (Isa. 53:6). By the grace of God He has satisfied the law, justice and holiness of God and provided His chosen with the gifts of Faith and Repentance by Grace. There was never anything a man could do and there is now nothing left for man to do. Clearly from Romans 11 we see that election is solely by grace. It is not by a corporate effort between grace and works, God and man, for the two nullify, or, neutralize, each other. Just as salvation is either by God’s grace, or man’s works, so too, salvation is either by God’s will, or man’s will. God’s grace is not subordinate to man’s will, and God’s will is not subservient to a man’s works. Salvation is not conditioned on a man’s works, but on God’s will. The Sovereign God has rule over everyone and everything, and His will is not subject to anyone else’s will, but only to His own purpose and glory. God has mercy on those He has chosen to be merciful towards, and He has no mercy for those whom He has not chosen. All are deserving of Hell. God’s choosing to save some from this horrible, yet thoroughly deserved fate, is testament to His glorious kindness and benevolence. The doctrine of free willism changes man from being a creature without hope, into one with such power and authority that it can determine its own fate, whilst turning the Almighty God into the one who has no hope of saving anyone by His will. If election is by God according to His will and grace, then it is NOT AT ALL by man and his will and work: by anything he can, and must do. If salvation awaits a man's decision then it cannot be all of God, it cannot be all of grace and man would share in the glory of salvation. One can never Scripturally change grace or works into grace and works. Salvation is by either one or the other (see Rom. 11:5,6; cf. Rom. 9:11).
A man who is without God cannot come to God. A man who is without God cannot choose God. A man who is without God is dead to God which is why a man who is without God must be chosen by God and made alive to God, by God. To satisfy God's Justice, Christ had to offer Himself as a Sacrifice for the sins of His people. To satisfy God's Holiness Christ had to impute his perfect Righteousness to His chosen and have their sins imputed to Him. To have done any of this God must first have chosen the one's He would call His people from before the foundation of the world. To save sinful man God must save him based completely on His Grace, on what He does, for if salvation were to be based, and therefore dependent, even in the smallest way, on a man's works, grace would no longer be grace. Salvation must be completely by God otherwise salvation would not be of God (see Jonah 2:9). If it were otherwise, Salvation would not be by the grace of God but something man has earned by his efforts at attaining it. SHOULD ANYONE EVER TEACH YOU THAT SALVATION IS BY A COMBINATION OF GOD'S GRACE AND A MAN'S WORKS FLEE FROM HIM!!! Should anyone ever say to you God has done everything He can, and now it's up to you, FLEE FROM HIM!!! "...there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Rom. 11:5,6). In other words, salvation is either by God or by man. "Upon election, being called 'the election of grace', the apostle forms an argument, showing the contrariety and inconsistency of grace and works, in that affair; proving, that it must be by the one or the other: and if by the one, then not by the other; and that these two cannot be mixed and blended together in this matter. If election is 'by grace', as it certainly is; for no other reason can be given why God has chosen one, and not another, but His own Sovereign pleasure" (Eph. 1:5), or "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Eph. 1:6; Col. 1:12). The true believer believes, in light of the above, that in and of himself, he could never have done anything to come to the True God, let alone in the proper and acceptable way. He believes that Christ’s Blood and Righteousness demanded and ensured his salvation. Grace rules out any need for works and works would rule out any need for grace. Those who insist that man must, and therefore can, do something to gain or maintain his salvation, fail to realise that the Law of Grace prohibits them from appealing to the grace of God in any area of salvation. MAN MUST DO IT ALL OR BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS DONE IT ALL. Paul the apostle phrases it this way: “Christ has become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law…” (Gal. 5:4). “Or ‘ye are abolished from Christ’; or as others by an ‘hypallage’ read the words, ‘Christ is abolished unto you’; for by their seeking for justification by their own works, it was all one to them as if there was no Christ, and no righteousness in Him, and no salvation by Him; they had nothing to do with Him, nor He with them.” Those who are trying to be justified by the law will not appeal unto grace, and those who are trying to maintain their ‘salvation’ cannot appeal unto grace at all. Why would there be a need for candle light when there is an unfailing, and unlimited source of electric light? You will not find anywhere in the Scriptures that man chooses God by grace but only that God has chosen man by grace. If election is by grace then it is by grace that a man is chosen by God unto salvation. There is no need for man to be enabled to choose for he has already been chosen. Therefore, it cannot be that a man chooses God, for the grace of God, the act of God, having chosen before the foundation of the world, eliminates any need for, and teaches the impossibility of, any man choosing Him.
Man choosing God is a work, and not at all grace. God choosing man is grace. People who say it is because of God's grace that they have chosen Him are no different to the Pharisee of Luke 18 who thanked God for what he, the Pharisee, did. The illustration of the Pharisee, and the publican shows just how subtle this shifting of the glory for salvation is. However fine the line between saved and lost may be, it is clear, distinct and well defined in the following passage from Scripture: “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I THANK THEE, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican, I FAST twice in the week, I GIVE tithes of all that I possess.’ And the publican, standing afar of, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful unto me a sinner’. I tell you THIS man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for everyone that EXALTETH HIMSELF shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Lk. 18:11-13). Notice here that the Pharisee thanked God that he was not like other men. He then proceeded to boast, just as the free willer boasts in his ‘decision for Christ’, of what he has done, obviously believing, in light of his attitude toward the publican, that his acts of obedience in some way contributed to his gaining God’s favour, even though he believed he was attributing all the good he did, not to himself, but to God. The publican, however, did not mention even one ‘good’ deed that he had done. He brought none of his righteousness with him, which is the case of every truly saved person (see Phil. 3:9), but humbly asked for God’s mercy, providing evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work upon him. The publican was not seeking, or expecting to be justified by any of his own works, whether he attributed them to God, or not. The publican, along with every truly saved man, shares the same mindset as the apostle Paul: “…God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Gal. 6:14). The publican did not expect his works to make the difference between Heaven and Hell, nor did he look to anything he did, but only to God, and His Mercy. To humble oneself is not a condition a man must meet in order to come to God, but is an evidence of God having come to the man. It is not man’s free choice for God that makes the difference between Heaven and Hell, but God’s free will choice of man. Christ said this man, the Publican, rather than the Pharisee, was justified. The word justified in this passage means “to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent, free, be righteous”. Notice also that Christ referred to the Pharisee, who attributed his good deeds to God, as one who did not merely have things wrong, and just needed a little correcting, but as one who exalted himself. If a man does not believe the Gospel wherein is revealed the Righteousness of Christ, he shows by his ignorance that he seeks to establish a righteousness of his own (see Rom. 10). So too, the man who believes that anything he has done is that which makes the difference between saved and lost, even though he praises God for it, exalts himself and not God, and remains in an unjustified state. God never overlooks the error that leavens the whole lump (see Gal. 5:9). The truly saved man does not say ‘Come and see what God has enabled me to do for my soul’, but “…I will declare what HE HAS DONE for my soul” (Psa. 66:16). Be not deceived.
Those who adhere to the doctrine of free will, that a man must make a free will decision before he can be saved, conditions salvation, not on God’s election of grace, and Christ’s atonement for sin, but on a work, or act of his own. Man must make his decision for Christ before salvation can be given to him rather than man’s receiving Christ being something which is the result, or fruit, of salvation by grace being granted a man by God’s love-motivated election of him. The free willer who insists he does not take any of the glory for salvation away from Christ because he attributes his positive decision for Christ to God’s enabling power, has been taught a lie. He is exalting himself, and not God, according to the Scriptures. Notice in our passage just how many times the Pharisee used the word “I”. He said it five times, whereas the publican made no mention of himself other than in his request that God be merciful to him. Notice, too, how there is no case to believe the publican was in any way boasting by his request for mercy, but plenty of reason to believe that the Pharisee was boasting in himself. The free willer is in the same boat as the Pharisee. He exalts not God, but himself, for he is constantly drawing attention to what he has done rather than only seeking to draw attention to God, and what He does. ‘I’, I’, I’, is all that self-exalting people say: ‘I chose Him, I love Him, I accepted Him, I sought Him, I found Him, I came to Him, I, I, I…’ The true believer says, ‘God has elected me, He chose me, He has visited me with His glorious grace, His Son died for me, His Righteousness was imputed to me, He took away my sins, He was merciful to me, He gave me the gift of faith, He caused me to repent and approach Him, He, He, He….’ I am sure the reader can see the difference between the two. One exalts himself while the other humbles himself, and is justified. The free willer’s gospel teaches a salvation by works, for it allows room for a man to boast in his salvation even though, he denies this because in his mind he is attributing his obedience, in the form of his free will decision for Christ, to God. What occurs in the mind of the free willer is not in accord with Scripture. Such people are lost. In this we see that boasting is not excluded by any gospel which teaches that salvation is conditioned on a man’s works—that something must be done by the man before he can be saved—but it is only ever excluded by THE Gospel Message which teaches that salvation is by grace through faith in the Person and Works of Christ Jesus the Lord, attributing all of salvation to Him, and conditioning no part of it on man.
You cannot describe and define God's grace by what you do, for God's grace is all about God doing. It is God doing what the sinner cannot do. Salvation is not about thanking God for what you have done but is all about thanking God for what HE HAS DONE for "...Salvation is of the Lord" (Jonah 2:9). "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what HE HATH DONE FOR MY SOUL" (Psa. 66:16). Salvation does not depend on man but solely upon the God of all grace. Salvation is all of God, by "...that free favour and unmerited love, with which He loves one and not another; and not because they are better, or had done or would do better things than others; 'then it is no more', or not at all, for it never was 'of works', was not influenced by them, does not arise from them, for it passed before ever any were done; and those that are done aright spring from it, and therefore could never be the rule and measure, causes, motives, and conditions of it; '...otherwise grace is no more grace...'; for it will lose its nature, and ought to change its name, and be no more called or reckoned grace, but a due debt; and a choice of persons to salvation should be thought, not to be what God is free to make or not, but what He is obliged to, as a reward of debt to men's works: '...but if it be of works, then is it no more grace...' if election springs from, and depends upon the works of men, let no man ascribe it to the grace of God; for there is nothing of grace in it, if this be the case: '...otherwise work is no more work' that will-free gift: but these things are contrary to one another; and so unalienable and unalterable in their natures, that the one cannot pass into the other, or the one be joined with the other, in this or any other part of man's salvation; for what is here said of election, holds true of justification, pardon of sin, and the whole of salvation."
If salvation is by the obedience of One then it is ONLY by the obedience of One and, therefore, requires no assistance from the obedience of any other. If saving Righteousness is imputed because of the obedience of One WHAT FURTHER NEED IS THERE FOR ANYONE ELSE'S OBEDIENCE in order to attain or retain salvation? If salvation is by grace then it is solely dependent on grace, it is ONLY by grace and, therefore, requires nothing to be added to it. Those who insist that a man's works are necessary to salvation, that the obedience of Christ alone is not enough, and that grace alone is not enough to save anyone without the augmentation of a man's works, i.e., his free will decision and moral rectitude in maintaining his 'salvation', do not have grace at all, they do not have Christ at all, but all they do have is a monstrous hybrid of distorted grace and works: a gospel whose god cannot save. Anytime you add a work of man's to the grace of God you automatically cancel out grace. This is why there can never be a coalition, ‘an alliance for combined action’, between grace and works for the one shuts down the other. Like oil and water, grace and works simply will not mix because they are not attracted to each other. Grace and works are mutually repulsive. Grace is attracted only to grace and works to works. The reason why grace and works are immiscible, why they will not mix together, is because the force of attraction between the 'molecules', if you will, of grace, and between the 'molecules' of a man's works is greater than any force of attraction between the two elements. In other words grace sticks to itself and works stick to itself and, as is the case with east and west, never the twain shall, or can ever, meet. Interestingly, the language of science phrases it this way “Substances which are immiscible do not form a solution”. Grace and works, as with oil and water which can never 'undergo mixing or blending', can never be, or form, a solution to man's dilemma.
God must do everything necessary to save a man for man is without hope and so can do nothing to save himself. All of salvation must be by grace for God to receive all the glory for salvation. If any work is added to grace, even if it is claimed the work is done only because of grace, you no longer have grace but works. Grace cannot enable anyone to do what only God can do. Grace does not delegate the responsibility of salvation to any man for only grace itself can save. How can you delegate the responsibility of opening a safe to anyone, when you are the only one who knows the combination? Any time you add a work to grace you take away from grace. Grace is God doing so to add anything to it, which a man must do, is to take away from what God has done. Any time you add a work to grace you are saying that what God has done is not enough and that part of the glory for salvation belongs to you. No work on man's part could ever Scripturally align with salvation by grace for it would always detract from what grace has done. This is why grace is something which is never commensurate with works, for the intrinsic message of salvation by grace is that salvation does not require works at all, for all of salvation is of God (see Rom. 11). Thus, the grace principle that all of salvation is, and must be, all of God is made perfectly clear. This is further evidence that no part of salvation is conditioned on the sinner, for in receiving all the glory for salvation it is made abundantly transparent that all of salvation is conditioned and reliant on God and, therefore, grace. If man were enabled by God to perform some work to get saved, then salvation would be dependent upon what man had to do rather than on what God, by grace, has done. Moreover, man would share in the glory for salvation. Nowhere in the Word of God will you find any such concept.