Saved By Grace

Written by Frank Jamerson.

The Bible teaches that “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). God’s grace that brings salvation “has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11), but not all men will be saved, therefore it is conditional.

The same Bible that teaches that we cannot earn our salvation, teaches that we must obey Christ in order to receive the benefits of His grace (Heb. 5:8,9). Is obedience a work? Yes, in the same sense that faith itself is a work (Jn. 6:29), but neither is a work by which men may boast.

The word work is offensive to some because they think about works of the law of Moses (Rom. 3:28), or works of human merit (Titus 3:5). God’s word says  that Abraham was not justified by works (Rom. 4:2). It also says the he was justified by works (Jas. 2:21). Does this mean that the Bible contradicts itself? Certainly not! Abraham was not saved by works of the Law, nor by perfect works. He was, however, saved by a faith that was obedient. “Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?...You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (Jas. 2:22,24).

The kind of works in Romans four is different from those in James two. The first is perfect works; the second is obedience to God’s word resulting in forgiveness through grace. A person has not earned anything when he repents and is baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). When a person “obeys from the heart” the teaching of Christ, he is saved by God’s grace (Rom. 6:17,18), not by merit. When the Christian confesses his sins and prays for forgiveness (1 Jn. 1:9), he has not earned anything, but has complied with God’s conditions for receiving the grace of forgiveness.

A person cannot save himself by good works, but he cannot be saved by grace without works of obedience. Christ is the author of eternal salvation “to all those who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).

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