Saved by Grace Alone
A Biblical Analysis of Lordship Salvation
"For by grace ye are saved" (Eph. 2:5,8). If a person is saved, he is saved in only one way: by the marvelous, matchless grace of God!
What does this mean? What is GRACE? Grace is Gods unmerited favor, His undeserved kindness. Grace is Gods approval, Gods acceptance, Gods favor towards the sinner because of Jesus Christ. None of it is deserved. None of it is earned. The sinner does not merit it and cannot merit it. God has graciously and freely poured out His love and kindness toward the sinner who believes on His Son.
The Bible gives its own definition of Gods grace. In Ephesians chapter 2 Paul discusses salvation by grace alone. He defines Gods grace as "His kindness toward us [the undeserving ones described in Eph. 2:1-3] through Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:7). In Titus chapter 3 Paul writes that a person is saved purely by the mercy and grace of God (see verses 5 and 8, "not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us . . . justified by His grace"). In Titus 3:4 the grace of God is defined as "the kindness and love of God, our Saviour, toward man [even the undeserving man described in verse 3, "foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts, etc."].
The following relationships help us to better understand the grace of God:
The Relationship Between GRACE and WAGES
Grace has nothing to do with wages. A wage is something that a person works for and earns. Grace is something a person receives that he does not deserve and that he cannot and did not earn. A wage is payment for work done. Grace is something freely given based upon the work done by Another, even the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Relationship Between GRACE and DEBT
Grace has nothing to do with debt. Debt is something that is owed. Debt has to do with work and earnings. If a person works for someone, then that person owes him something. He needs to pay the worker for the work done. Grace is something freely given. God does not owe anyone salvation. If God were to give us what we have earned and what He owes us, it would be eternal death (Rom. 6:23a).
The Relationship Between GRACE and REWARD
Grace has nothing to do with receiving a reward. A reward is something that is given in return for good or evil done. Salvation is not a reward which God gives to a person in return for the good that the person has done. Salvation is by grace, based only upon the Person and work of Jesus Christ. It is based upon what He has done, not upon what the sinner has done. If God were to reward us for how we have lived, the reward would be eternal punishment. We deserve nothing less than hell.
The Relationship Between GRACE and MERCY
Grace focuses upon all that God gives to the sinner which the sinner does not deserve [such as eternal life, forgiveness of sins, peace with God, etc.]. Mercy focuses upon all that God does not give to the miserable sinner which he does deserve [such as Gods wrath, punishment, eternal death, hell, etc.]. God is gracious to the believing sinner in freely giving to Him the gift of Christ and all that comes with the gift of His Son (Romans 8:32), all of which he does not deserve. God is merciful to the believing sinner in that He has withheld His judgment and wrath upon him, all of which the sinner justly deserves.
The Relationship Between GRACE and FREE JUSTIFICATION
"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:24). When the Bible says that sinners are justified freely, what does this mean?
A key passage which helps us to understand this word "freely" is John 15:25"But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause" [this phrase without a cause is the same Greek word translated freely in Romans 3:24]. What does it mean when it says that the Lords enemies hated Him WITHOUT A CAUSE? It means that they had no reason to hate Him. There was not one thing that Christ did to deserve their hatred. Their hatred was undeserved and unearned.
Now let us apply this same meaning to Romans 3:24. The sinner is JUSTIFIED FREELY. He is justified "without a cause." There is no reason [found in the sinner] why God should justify this person. There is nothing that the sinner has done to deserve justification or salvation. The sinner is justified FREELY. This justification is not the result of anything that the sinner did. This justification or salvation is totally undeserved and unearned. It is by grace and it is totally free. The reason the sinner is saved is found in God, not in the sinner. It is based on the Lord Jesus Christwho He is and what He has done on Calvarys cross. It is not based on the sinners anything. It is based on Gods everything. God and God alone does the saving. Salvation is of the Lord! "Saved by grace alone, this is all my plea!" "Oh to grace how great a debtor daily Im constrained to be!"
The Relationship Between GRACE and BOASTING
If a person is saved by grace, then boasting [in self] is absolutely and totally excluded. "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith" (Rom. 3:27). Salvation is by grace and not of works, "lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8). All the sinner can do is boast and glory in the Lord, "That, according as it is written, He that glorieth [boasteth], let him glory [boast]in the Lord" (1 Cor. 1:31).
Boasting says, "Look at what I have done! Look at what I have earned! Look at the good I have performed! Look at my good works! Look at what I have accomplished! Look at my dedication! Look at my commitment! Look at my love for the Saviour! Look at my surrender to Christ! Look at my obedience to His commands! Look at my submission to His Word!" ALL SUCH BOASTING IS EXCLUDED because salvation is by grace through faith. The person saved by grace says, "Look at what my Saviour has done! Look at what He has accomplished!" The person who is saved looks away from SELF and looks unto the crucified and risen Saviour!
Saved By Grace Alone
A Biblical Analysis of Lordship Salvation
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