A recent article in The Enterprise was about the Grace of God and I just wanted to share some scripture on the topic.
Keep up the good work at The Enterprise.
Grace + 0 = Salvation?
Grace is one of the most misused and misunderstood words. Some have said, “Grace plus nothing equals salvation.” So there are some who believe that grace alone has done it all.
But is this what the Bible teaches? One scripture often quoted is found in Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith.” The Bible also says in Titus 2:11, “… the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appears to all men.”
If the statement that grace plus nothing equals salvation were true then this would mean all of humanity would be saved. If this were the case then why would we need the Bible? Why would we need to go to church? Why would we need to do anything? If grace plus nothing equals salvation then why would we even need to believe in God?
It is clear from the scripture that not everyone will be saved. “Not everything that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21).
Notice not everyone will be saved, also notice that the obedient will be saved. God’s grace caused Him to manifest Himself in flesh as Jesus Christ, assume limitations, freely give Himself on Calvary and arise on the third day for us.
Grace is not a license to sin (Romans 6:1-2). To receive the grace of God we must exercise faith. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please him …” in Hebrews 11:6. Faith is more than joining a local church, faith is more than “accepting” Christ and reciting a “sinner’s prayer.” Has he accepted us?
Peter said in Acts 10:35, “… he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Remember, this is about more than saying, “Lord, Lord.”
Jesus said, “… Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3-5) Jesus even stated that those who believe on him will receive the Holy Ghost (John 7:38-39). Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved …” in Mark 16:16.
True faith is shown by obedience. Obedience is not the same as the works of the law, the works of the law will not save us. If there is no obedience to the gospel then there is not faith. Jesus said, “… except ye repent …” in Luke 13:3.
He even commanded the disciples to preach repentance and remission of sins in his name beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). In the beginning of the new testament church they had Moses and the Prophets (Luke 24:27,44). One of the lessons we find on grace is found in Genesis chapter six, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). Then God gave Noah a plan to build an ark, by faith Noah moved with fear and built the ark (Hebrews 11:7).
This shows an example of grace being given by God and then received by Noah through obedient faith. God will not force us to be saved, it’s our choice. Noah’s example was given as a like figure to baptism according to 1 Peter 3:20-21. Notice Peter said, “… baptism doth also now save us …”
The same Peter preached on the day of Pentecost and made it plain what the hearers needed to do to be saved. Those hearing Peter preach said, “…what must we do?” To which Peter replied, “…Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)
Have you obeyed the gospel of death (repentance), burial (baptism), and resurrection (Holy Ghost)? As Paul said in Acts 19:2, “… Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” Much of this teaching is rejected by modern churches, why? Were the disciples wrong in following the commands of Jesus?
Yes, we must believe, but we must also repent. Yes, we must have the grace of God, but we must also have the covering of the blood by baptism in Jesus’ name. We must have the Holy Ghost (Romans 8:9). “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation …?” (Hebrews 2:3).
Pastor Justin Caudle
New Life Pentecostal
Mount Airy, N.C.