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Saved by grace (not by faith or by works)

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"I am telling you, if there is a God, when I get to heaven I'm not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in; I have earned my place in heaven. It's not even close."
-Former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

When I was a child I thought to myself something very similar. I remember being about 8 or 9 years old and thinking "Well, if God does exist then all I gotta do is be a good person; so there's no point in spending my life devoted to Him anyways." One of my friends agreed with me.

In fact, most religious people will agree: good people go to Heaven. It seems logical at least, that those who do good should be rewarded with eternal life.

The problem is that, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and there isn't a thing that any of us can do to our criminal, sinful record.

No matter how many good things one does, no matter how much they pray and love, no matter how much they give to charity and live selflessly; "God will not justify any human being by means of the actions prescribed by the Law" (Romans 3:20)

Imagine going into a human court of law and telling the judge that, even though you have committed murder, you also did community service. You tell him, 'Look, judge, please be merciful. I am sorry for committing murder, and I have done good things to make for the bad i have done. Can you please let me off the hook?" You know as well as I do that there is no way that judge is going to let you off - unless he is crooked!

It is even more so the same way with God. He is Holy, and being Holy means being righteous. God's Holiness and God's Righteousness demands perfect justice: that all the guilty reap what they sow... and "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).

So God, by His very nature, is compelled to destroy us due to our sins against Him. We are dead in our trespasses, and we cannot pay our debt, we are completely unable to please God, we have nothing to offer to Him that he hasn't already given us. The only was we can go free is for someone to pay off our debt for us.

In order for someone to pay off our sin debt, they would not only need to have something to offer God, but they would also need to be debt-free ourselves. That means they would need to be sinless and perfect; and be willing to sacrifice themselves on our behalf.

Only God can live a sinlessly and perfect; and because He loves us, that's just what he did: He came down from Heaven, was incarnate of the virgin Mary, and after 33 years of living sinless and perfect, He gave up His own life as a sacrifice offering to pay off the sin debt for all who believe in Him.

Praise God!

And that's why Jesus says, about Himself::

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life" (John 3:16)

So we are saved by faith in the crucified and resurrected Lamb of God, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Saved by faith, Right?

Wrong. "..by grace you have been saved through faith."
We are not saved by faith, but by grace through faith. "and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)

Many think that we are saved by faith, and 'by faith alone'. This, however, is not the case. It was God Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, who said:

"Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter." (Matthew 7:21)

Even the very original Gospel call sounded like this: "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is near!" (Matthew 3:2)

We must believe that Jesus Christ is our God and Savior, but we must also repent of our sins in an act of obedience to Him.

The Word of God, the Holy Bible is clear: It is not by faith alone.

"..we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth." (1 John 2:3-4)

Faith alone does not save us.... We know Him only if we obey Him. Even the demons believe (and they tremble at God's mighty power). Still, some verses in the Scripture seems to say that faith is enough.

"Whosever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13) and also that "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

To understand these verses what we need to understand that the biblical concept of "belief" is not just merely an intellectual assent to the truth. Jesus is God, He was crucified and He is resurrected. Simply agreeing with the fact of the matter does not justify you in God's sight, it is living out the fact: if you believe that Jesus is God then act like it. Obey Him, love Him, worship Him, glorify Him.

Faith, in biblical terms, is an action word. It means that you love God, that you strive to obey Him, that you repent of all your sins and that you hate everything else in this world, even your closest friends and family, in comparison to how you feel about Him.

We as sinful humans are completely unable to engage in this form sincere worship of God. Our sins have separated us from God, and our inner-man despises the Holy things of Heaven.

Our hearts are "deceitful above all else, and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9) and our flesh 'wages war against the Spirit'. Being incapable to respond to God in am appropriate manner, it is necessary that the work of salvation in a human life be performed, start to finish, entirely by God.

It is the unmerited favor, the blessed grace of God that overlooks our trespasses and initiates sincere faith in our lives, and turns sincere faith into real repentance. God calls, and God saves, not by faith or by works, but by His amazing grace.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Faith, in biblical terms, is an action word. It means that you love God, that you strive to obey Him, that you repent of all your sins and that you hate everything else in this world, even your closest friends and family, in comparison to how you feel about Him.
Greetings,

I am not convinced that this is correct. Would you mind Scripturally expounding on this... or remove it?

Bless you ....><>
 
Active

RJ

We are not saved by faith, but by grace through faith. "and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)
o_O, You didn't exactly quote the scripture right!:oops:
  • Ephesians 2 : 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- It does not say " we are not saved by faith"! In fact, it says we are saved by grace through faith! Not to argue ,but both grace and faith are a gift of God.
  • Here is another verse supporting faith from God: Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. If God gives it to you , it is a gift!
  • Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Faith clearly comes from God and is not a work of yours.
 
Active
Greetings,

I am not convinced that this is correct. Would you mind Scripturally expounding on this... or remove it?

Bless you ....><>
Sure!

"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:26)

"By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;" (1 John 2:3-4)

"If anyone love me, they will obey my teaching" (John 14:23)

"For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." (James 2:26)
 
Active
o_O, You didn't exactly quote the scripture right!:oops:
  • Ephesians 2 : 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- It does not say " we are not saved by faith"! In fact, it says we are saved by grace through faith! Not to argue ,but both grace and faith are a gift of God.
  • Here is another verse supporting faith from God: Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. If God gives it to you , it is a gift!
  • Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Faith clearly comes from God and is not a work of yours.
Yes, that is exactly right! And that is exactly what I was (trying) to say! :) We are not saved by our faith, but by God's grace! It is only by God's grace that He gives us faith! It is a supernatural work of God for a human being to have sincere, biblical, faith and repentance! None of us deserve that gift, they are given by grace! We are not saved by faith or by repentance or by good deeds, or anything else other than by God's grace!
 
Active

RJ

Yes, that is exactly right! And that is exactly what I was (trying) to say! :) We are not saved by our faith, but by God's grace! It is only by God's grace that He gives us faith! It is a supernatural work of God for a human being to have sincere, biblical, faith and repentance! None of us deserve that gift, they are given by grace! We are not saved by faith or by repentance or by good deeds, or anything else other than by God's grace!
Fair enough, saved by grace alone with both grace and faith a gift from God!
 
Active

RJ

Grace, faith, and repentance too! they are all gifts from God! Praise God :)
1) Word of Wisdom
2) Word of Knowledge
3) Faith 4) Gifts of Healing
5) Working of Miracles
6) Prophecy
7) Discerning of Spirits
8) Divers (or different) kinds of Tongues
9) Interpretation of (different) Tongues
James 1: 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
:laugh::thumbsup:
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Greetings,

regarding the reply given to me previously, those points are correct in as much as they are in themselves Scripture.
However, the 'doctrine' of "Faith, in biblical terms, is an action word. It means that you love God, that you strive to obey Him, that you repent of all your sins and that you hate everything else in this world, even your closest friends and family, in comparison to how you feel about Him." needs to be addressed.

Faith is not 'works of faith.'

Faith is a persuasion. A persuasion can be acted upon or not. If acted upon (manifested as what we tend to refer to as 'works' - faith without works...) it 'has life' and therefore, in relation to the LORD if such faith is holy, is counted as Righteousness.
Jude 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
The works themselves are not Faith. Faith requires 'action' or works. Faith is not an action word.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Again, "Faith, in biblical terms, is an action word. It means that you love God, that you strive to obey Him, that you repent of all your sins and that you hate everything else in this world, even your closest friends and family, in comparison to how you feel about Him."
These 'actions' are things we do because we have faith and the faith we have is alive (in contrast to being dead). If, however, that is all there is to what faith is as you suggest here, then we will be undone.
The Faith the Scriptures speak of is of such persuasion that we are able to endure and not waver under great persecution and trouble, under the proposal toi even do as Abraham was willing to do in regards to his son.
It is so much much more than being an 'action word'.

I realise you may have meant to say something along these lines (and that you may not have, too) but I wanted to clarify what you have written.
What you (everyone else included) may find or discover is that these things are easy to say or write or even mentally agree to BUT when push comes to shove, do we have faith and will our faith be alive or dead?

These things are not to be tossed around lightly. God is not mocked and in judgement, the concept of the action word will not benefit us one bit.

There is one faith and it is not our personal independent faith but that which comes from the LORD. What is ours, is our willingness and devotion and worship to act upon that which we are, by grace, persuaded of.

Ephesians 4:1-7
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

May these thoughts bless you ....><>
 
Loyal
Somehow this gets turned into a chicken and egg question. Which came first the chicken or the egg?
Do we do good things because we have faith, or does doing good things prove we have faith?

The Bible makes it clear faith is an action. (Jas 2; Hebrews 11; ) The Bible also makes it clear that it's OUR faith that matters.
God has enough faith for everyone, but yet not everyone is saved. (Not even the majority it seems).

Faith may be the reason we do good works, but it doesn't "make" us do them. Even the un-saved give to charities, adopt orphans, and feed the hungry.
Besides if our faith was really controlling our actions, we would never sin... yet we do sometimes. So if it's faith that's controlling our actions, we must lose faith sometimes.

On the other hand, if it's us that controls our actions sometimes, then it isn't God fault that we sin sometimes.
There is no verse in the Bible that says either... no verse that says GRACE ALONE, and no verse that says FAITH ALONE.
There is a single verse that says you are saved by both, then then there are a dozen other verses that say you are saved by doing other things.
Why build a doctrine on that one single verse? Almost as if the rest of the Bible doesn't apply.

Why do some churches ignore these other verses about being saved?
Matt 10:22; Matt 24:23; Mark 13:13; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:21; Rom 8:24; Rom 10:13; 1 Cor 15:1-2;
2 Thes 2:10; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet 4:18; John 3:5; Luke 10:25-28; Luke 18:18-20;
If we are going to build everything on just one verse, that doesn't even have the word "alone" in it.
Why not choose one of the other verses above that also say how to be saved?
 
Active

RJ

Faith may be the reason we do good works, but it doesn't "make" us do them. Even the un-saved give to charities, adopt orphans, and feed the hungry.
Besides if our faith was really controlling our actions, we would never sin... yet we do sometimes. So if it's faith that's controlling our actions, we must lose faith sometimes.
  • It is pretty simple: Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
  • I think you miss something here. Jesus said: "without him in us , we can do nothing." Of course, there are plenty of good people who do very good things, so what can Jesus mean? It is clear to me that, outside of Christ, unsaved man can do nothing that pleases God, or will be attributed to him as righteousness!
 
Active
Somehow this gets turned into a chicken and egg question. Which came first the chicken or the egg?
God came first,he designed both and it does seem to me grace came first.
It would be the gift of God to receive the faith to believe.
 
Active

RJ

It would be the gift of God to receive the faith to believe.
I believe this to be true:
Grace is any of God's gift to us, including Faith! Any work, that we say is essential, on our part, to receive this Grace is an insult to God!
 

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