The Grace of God
by Dick Ward
Did you know we are saved by the GRACE of GOD? Most folks who profess to believe the Bible are quick to say they understand man is saved by God's grace. Ephesians 2:8 clearly states we are saved by grace, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
It has amazed me to read creeds written by men which contend we are saved by grace ALONE! For example, the Baptists view contends for such: "We believe the Scriptures teach that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God;..." (Hiscock's Baptist Manual, p. 61). The word, wholly, means, entirely, completely, solely, exclusively." Does the Bible teach that lost people are saved exclusively by grace and nothing else is involved?
Does Grace Exclude Faith?
If a person or group of people say salvation is "wholly" by grace, and understand what they are saying, they exclude everything else. Would not such a view eliminate "faith" on the part of an individual seeking salvation? The Word of God plainly teaches us that man is "...justified by faith..." (Romans 5:1). I take it - faith and grace save because God's Book says BOTH are involved. If faith has a part in one's salvation, such proves a lost soul is not saved solely by grace!
Does Grace Exclude Obedience?
God's part (Grace) does not exclude man's part (obedience to God's commands). In the case of Noah finding "grace" in the eyes of God (Genesis 6:8) such did not exclude the obdient act of building the ark according to God's pattern. Noah could not have been saved from the flood-waters separate and apart from God's saving grace, but neither could he have been saved without strict obedience to God's instructions concerning the construction of the ark of gopher wood. God's grace in no way rules out man's working faith! Galatians. 5:6, "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love."
God's Grace is Inclusive
God's grace provided the means of salvation, but all men are not saved. The plan of salvation given through God's grace has be believed and obeyed before man can be saved. Let us notice some statements of Jesus:
"If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins."
"Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."
"Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
(John 8:24; Luke 13:3; John 3:5).
Let us never misrepresent God's grace, but rather let us appreciate it and take full advantage of it by doing our part. - Dick Ward
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! He can be reached at 18 El Dorado East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405; (205) 556-2407).
Email the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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