By Grace Alone
Through Faith Alone in Christ Alone
"For by grace
you have been saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest
any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9
The great number of different religions in the
world can easily overcome most of us with hopeless confusion.
However, that confusion can be greatly simplified when we realize
that all the religions of the world can be placed under two
categories: One, man saves himself by his works; Two, God saves man
by grace through faith in Christ. Writing by inspiration of the Holy
Spirit of God the Apostle Paul makes it as clear as human language
can make it that man is saved by Godís grace through faith in Jesus
TWO GROUPS OF MANKIND AS SEEN BY CHRIST
Jesus divided the
world into two groups - believers and unbelievers. "He who
believes in the Son has everlasting life: and he who does not
believe the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on
him"" John 3:36 To believe or have faith means to rely on. We
exercise faith every time we sit down in a chair. We "rely on" that
chair to hold us. We exercise faith every time we eat food. We "rely
on" those who have processed and packaged the food that it is safe
and nourishing. Even so, we must rely on Christ alone to save us
from the condemnation of sin.
We cannot "rely on" Jesus 95% to save us and 5% on anything
else. If we do, we are not truly relying on Him. As much as we would
like to do something to save ourselves, we must listen to the
scriptures that teach us that we must "rely on" Jesus alone for our
The word saved can have shades of meaning
depending upon what people are being saved from. Some have been
saved from the threat of death; others have been saved from
disasters such as fire, flood, storm, earthquake or volcanic
eruption. Others yet, have been saved from bankruptcy, embarrassment
or emotional trauma.
The Apostle Paul is talking about being saved
from condemnation by Godís holy law.
In his natural state man is a
sinner by nature, choice and actions. Unless he is saved by Godís
grace man abides under that condemnation. Romans 3:19, "Now we
know that whatever the law says, it says to them who are
under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world
may become guilty before God." To be saved from the
condemnation of Godís law means basically:
- To be delivered from the condemnation of Godís law
- To be preserved from the condemnation of
The reason that God sent His Son into the world
was to make it possible for the world to be saved through faith in
John 3:16, 17, "For God so loved the world,
that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His
Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through
him might be saved."
The instant a person under condemnation puts
their complete trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior they are
saved from condemnation.
Many times we have read of convicted murderers on
death row making a series of appeals all the way to the Supreme
Court or to their state governor. In some cases they were given a
stay of execution for a period of time. In others they were pardoned
from the death penalty. In some cases they were put to death at the
What a difference it would make if every
condemned sinner understood they are on Godís "death row", but they
can be delivered and preserved from their sentence of death if they
will turn in sincerity to Christ and trust Him as their Savior.
II. By Grace Alone
A reading of Ephesians 2:4,5 will give us an
insight into Godís grace: "But God, who is rich in mercy,
because of His
great love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead in
made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved;)"
an insight into Godís grace:
A theological definition of grace might be,
"grace is the unmerited favor of God towards fallen man whereby,
through the sacrifice of Godís Son on the cross, God freely bestows
His salvation on all sinners who receive Jesus Christ by faith as
Grace has also been defined as "God doing for us
what we do not deserve." Indeed, Ephesians 2:8 says, "By grace
you have been savedÖit is the gift of God." A gift is paid for by the
giver and should the receiver of the gift do anything to pay for the
gift it would no longer be a gift. The purchase price of salvation
was fully paid at Calvary. There is absolutely nothing fallen
sinners can do to add to that purchase price. What they can do is
humbly and gratefully receive Jesus Christ by faith as their Savior.
"As many as received Him to them He gave the right to
become the children of GodÖ" John 1:12. One such grateful
sinner saved by Godís grace wrote:
I gotten, but what I received,
bestowed it, since I believed;
excluded, pride I abase,
Iím only a
sinner saved by grace.
Once I was
foolish, and sin ruled my heart
footsteps from God to depart;
found me, happy my case,
I now am a
sinner, saved by grace."
The only salvation that makes us acceptable to
God is when we are saved by Godís grace.
III. Through Faith Alone
The venerable Dr. Bob Jones, Sr.
preached, :"Man wants to buy salvation. What is wrong with
the world now is that men are trying to find the means by which they
can earn something that the Lord Jesus Christ wants to give away.
The average man has an idea something like this: The angels are
keeping the books up in Heaven. If he does a good deed, it goes in
one column. If he does a bad deed, it goes in another column. When
he dies, the angels will add up the columns. If the good outweighs
the bad, he will go to Heaven. If the bad outweighs the good, he
will go to Hell. That is the idea the average man has. But that isnít so. You donít go to Heaven for
doing good deeds, and you donít go to Hell just because you do
something bad. ĎAs a matter of fact, if you are a sinner, you canít
do good deeds. The Bible says that "all our righteousnessesí are as
filthy ragsÖí" Isaiah 64:6
Our text not only says "by grace are you saved
through faith", It also addresses the futility of trying to help
our faith out with our works. It adds, "not of works, lest any
man should boast." No one will be able to boast in this world or
in Heaven that they helped God out in salvation by the good
works they did.
When the Philippian jailer fell on his knees
before Paul and Silas and asked, "sirs, what must I do to be
saved?", the only condition they gave him was, "believe on the
Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house"-Acts
What about repentance?
Repentance is part of believing. Repentance means
"change of mind". Before a person is saved their mind is all wrong
in regard to salvation and their relationship with God. In order to
be saved through faith they must have a change of mind about
trusting themselves, their works, or their religion and begin
A good question each of us should ask is, "Where
is my faith?" Is it in my works, my church, my religious practices,
my goodness or in Christ?"
IV. In Christ Alone
Jesus said it Himself. "I
am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father,
except through Me."
Peter said it to the spiritual rulers of Israel,
"Nor is there salvation in any other: for there is no other
name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved."
Is this narrow"? Indeed it is. But we can only be
broader than Jesus and the word of God regarding salvation at the
peril of our souls.
Instead of complaining that there are not many
ways to God and man should be able to pick out whichever one suits
him best, we should be immensely grateful God has provided an
absolutely reliable way.
Jesus has extended an invitation, "Come unto
me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28. The
best decision any sinner under the condemnation of Godís law can
make is to accept the invitation of Jesus and come to Him in faith
relying on Him completely for his/her salvation.
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from the NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.