By Grace Alone
Through Faith Alone in Christ Alone
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9
The great number of different religions in the
world can easily overcome most of us with hopeless confusion.
However, that confusion can be greatly simplified when we realize
that all the religions of the world can be placed under two
categories: One, man saves himself by his works; Two, God saves man
by grace through faith in Christ. Writing by inspiration of the Holy
Spirit of God the Apostle Paul makes it as clear as human language
can make it that man is saved by Godís grace through faith in Jesus
The word saved can have shades of meaning depending upon what people are being saved from. Some have been saved from the threat of death; others have been saved from disasters such as fire, flood, storm, earthquake or volcanic eruption. Others yet, have been saved from bankruptcy, embarrassment or emotional trauma.
The Apostle Paul is talking about being saved from condemnation by Godís holy law.
In his natural state man is a sinner by nature, choice and actions. Unless he is saved by Godís grace man abides under that condemnation. Romans 3:19, "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." To be saved from the condemnation of Godís law means basically:
The reason that God sent His Son into the world was to make it possible for the world to be saved through faith in Him.
John 3:16, 17, "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
The instant a person under condemnation puts their complete trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior they are saved from condemnation.
Many times we have read of convicted murderers on death row making a series of appeals all the way to the Supreme Court or to their state governor. In some cases they were given a stay of execution for a period of time. In others they were pardoned from the death penalty. In some cases they were put to death at the appointed time.
What a difference it would make if every condemned sinner understood they are on Godís "death row", but they can be delivered and preserved from their sentence of death if they will turn in sincerity to Christ and trust Him as their Savior.
II. By Grace Alone
A theological definition of grace might be, "grace is the unmerited favor of God towards fallen man whereby, through the sacrifice of Godís Son on the cross, God freely bestows His salvation on all sinners who receive Jesus Christ by faith as their Savior.
Grace has also been defined as "God doing for us what we do not deserve." Indeed, Ephesians 2:8 says, "By grace you have been savedÖit is the gift of God." A gift is paid for by the giver and should the receiver of the gift do anything to pay for the gift it would no longer be a gift. The purchase price of salvation was fully paid at Calvary. There is absolutely nothing fallen sinners can do to add to that purchase price. What they can do is humbly and gratefully receive Jesus Christ by faith as their Savior. "As many as received Him to them He gave the right to become the children of GodÖ" John 1:12. One such grateful sinner saved by Godís grace wrote:
Naught have I gotten, but what I received,
Grace has bestowed it, since I believed;
Boasting excluded, pride I abase,
Iím only a sinner saved by grace.
Once I was foolish, and sin ruled my heart
Causing my footsteps from God to depart;
Jesus has found me, happy my case,
I now am a sinner, saved by grace."
The only salvation that makes us acceptable to God is when we are saved by Godís grace. III. Through Faith Alone
The venerable Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. preached, :"Man wants to buy salvation. What is wrong with the world now is that men are trying to find the means by which they can earn something that the Lord Jesus Christ wants to give away. The average man has an idea something like this: The angels are keeping the books up in Heaven. If he does a good deed, it goes in one column. If he does a bad deed, it goes in another column. When he dies, the angels will add up the columns. If the good outweighs the bad, he will go to Heaven. If the bad outweighs the good, he will go to Hell. That is the idea the average man has. But that isnít so. You donít go to Heaven for doing good deeds, and you donít go to Hell just because you do something bad. ĎAs a matter of fact, if you are a sinner, you canít do good deeds. The Bible says that "all our righteousnessesí are as filthy ragsÖí" Isaiah 64:6
Our text not only says "by grace are you saved
through faith", It also addresses the futility of trying to help
our faith out with our works. It adds, "not of works, lest any
man should boast." No one will be able to boast in this world or
in Heaven that they helped God out in salvation by the good
works they did.
What about repentance?
A good question each of us should ask is, "Where is my faith?" Is it in my works, my church, my religious practices, my goodness or in Christ?" IV. In Christ Alone
Jesus said it Himself. "I
am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father,
except through Me."
Instead of complaining that there are not many
ways to God and man should be able to pick out whichever one suits
him best, we should be immensely grateful God has provided an
absolutely reliable way.
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
Truth Helpers, Inc., 315 River Road, Elkton MD 21921-7936
Copyright © 2003 Truth Helpers Inc.