SALVATION BY GRACE
"For by grace are you saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Salvation is only by grace (χάρις) and not by works!
Grace + 0 = Salvation
Salvation is by grace: 100% from God and 0% from man.
We are saved by grace, or we are not saved at all.
The Bible very clearly teaches us that our salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, the word "grace" in Greek is "χάρις" (Charis) which in the verse above focuses on the provision of salvation. Grace is the freely given undeserving favor of God to the unworthy. Grace is God's love in action to men who do not deserve it. In other words, grace is God's unconditional love to the undeserving. Grace is that God sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross so that we as sinners can be reconciled to Him. "He [God] hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
According to pastor and biblical scholar, Paul P. Enns, "Grace may be defined as the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation." Also, according to Bishop and author, R. P. C. Hanson, "Grace means the free, unmerited, unexpected love of God and all the benefits, delights, and comforts which flow from it. It means that while we were sinners and enemies, we have been treated as sons and heirs."
Grace + 0 = Salvation. We do not have to do works to earn salvation, as many people believe. Our salvation is totally a "gift of God." If it were by works, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to come to this world and die on the cross for our redemption. If it were by works, what would happen to people who are not able to do good works because of their physical, mental, or financial condition? It is straightforward, true, and biblical that God offers His free gift to all people: rich and poor, sick and healthy, as well as young and old by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ. "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace" (Romans 11:6).
There once was a preacher who had departed from the truth. To justify his teaching of salvation by works, he told the following story: A frog one day fell into a bucket of milk. He tried to jump out but always failed. The only thing he was able to do was paddle and paddle and paddle some more in the milk. Finally, the milk turned to butter from which he was able to jump out and find his freedom. The preacher's conclusion was, "Just keep paddling, keep on working, keep on doing your best, and you will make it." According to the Holy Scriptures, this is wrong and laughable. This is not the "Good News" of the gospel of grace. This is the "false gospel" or the "yellow gospel," which many Christian churches and all non-Christian religions in the world preach today. They believe that you have to do the best you can in your life to earn salvation and make it to heaven. They ignore and reject the truth of justification by faith alone, through God's grace.
Most people know the hymn "Amazing Grace" and enjoy singing it, but they do not know what grace means. If you ask someone, "Do you know grace?" he may answer, "Grace, who?" He answers this way because he thinks you are talking about somebody's name and not about the grace of God. Another may know what you are asking about, and because he is aware of his sinful condition, he will respond, "I'm too undeserving for God's grace." He does not know that God's grace is for the undeserving, and Jesus died on the cross for him. The apostle Paul tells us Jesus Christ died for people "who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1). God offers grace that provides forgiveness and new life through Jesus Christ. "For by grace are you 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).
Clearly, we see that we are saved without good works, but the Lord requires good works from us after our salvation. We must do good works after we are saved as new creations in Christ. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). The Lord does not require good works before our salvation to earn it through them because everything we have done is unclean as filthy rags: "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags..." (Isaiah 64:6). Augustine also said, "For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them."
Christians must help others to understand that God's salvation is only for sinners like you and me according to the Word of God. "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), but God's grace saves us.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
— Hymn by John Newton, 1779
Grace Greater Than Our Sin
"Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within!
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!"
— Hymn by Julia H. Johnston (1910)
If you have not yet been saved by grace, I invite you to come to God today through the Savior, His Son Jesus Christ, who loves you and gave himself for you. To receive eternal life, you must admit that you are a sinner and that you do not deserve eternal life. Realize that you could not lift a finger to save yourself. Only God can take away your sin through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, who died on the cross for you, rose again and offers forgiveness to all who put their trust in Him. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
by Ted Matamis, copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.
Salvation Is Of The Lord
Have you ever pictured what will happen after you die?
A common idea that many people have is that they will stand before God and He will weigh
their good deeds against their bad deeds to determine their eternal destiny.
Only the Bible tells us the truth about this:
"For by grace are you 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)
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began." (2 Timothy 1:9)
"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." (1 Corinthians 15:10)
"And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:14)
"And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace" (Romans 11:6)
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." (1 Peter 5:10)
"Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity..." (Ephesians 6:24)
"And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all." (Acts 4:33)
"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11)
"For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God." (2 Corinthians 4:15)
"To the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:6)
"Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men," (Titus 2:11)
"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:4)
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will
I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
"Grace means the free, unmerited, unexpected love of God, and all the benefits, delights, and comforts which flow from it. It means that while we were sinners and enemies we have been treated as sons and heirs."
— Bishop, Author and Scholar, R. P. C. Hanson
"Grace is the overflowing favor of God, and you can always count on it being available to draw upon as needed."
— Evangelist and Author, Oswald Chambers
"Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving."
"Abounding sin is the terror of the world, but abounding grace is the hope of mankind."
— Quotes by Pastor and Author, A. W. Tozer
"In the New Testament grace means God's love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love. Grace means God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves."
— Theologian, Cleric and Author, J. I. Packer
"Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind."
"All the grace contained in [the Bible] is owing to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior; and, unless we consent to Him as our Lord we cannot expect any benefit by Him as our Savior."
— Quotes by Minister and Author, Matthew Henry
"Grace is the very opposite of merit… Grace is not only undeserved favor, but it is favor, shown to the one who has deserved the very opposite. " — Pastor, Dr. Harry Ironside
"Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues." — Cleric, Theologian, Author, John Stott
"Grace is knowing that there is nothing you can do to make God love you more. And there is nothing you could ever do that would make God love you less."— Author, Robert Brow
"If heaven were by merit, it would never be heaven to me, for if I were in it, I should say, 'I am sure I am here by mistake;
I am sure this is not my place; I have no claim to it.' But if it be of grace and not of works, then we may walk into heaven with boldness."
"The bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of bi sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. Some have been the chief of sinners and some have come at the very last of their days but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support. It will bear me over as it has for them."
"The grace of the spirit comes only from heaven and lights up the whole bodily presence."
"Grace puts its hand on the boasting mouth, and shuts it once for all."
"Nothing but grace makes a man so humble and, at the same time, so glad."
"The grace that does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves His people, not in their sins, but from their sins. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord."
— Quotes by "Prince of Preachers," Charles Spurgeon
"Only those who are truly aware of their sin can truly cherish grace." — Pastor, C.J. Mahaney
"Grace does not depend on what we have done for God but rather what God has done for us. Ask people what they must do to get to heaven and most reply, "Be good." Jesus' stories contradict that answer. All we must do is cry, "Help!"" — Author, Philip Yancey
"When the mask of self-righteousness has been torn from us and we stand stripped of all our accustomed defenses, we are candidates for God’s generous grace." — Pastor and Author, Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer
"Grace is not looking for good men whom it may approve, for it is not grace but mere justice to approve goodness. [Rather] it is looking for condemned, guilty, speechless and helpless men whom it may save, sanctify and glorify."
— Theologian, Minister, and Writer of the Scofield Reference Bible, C. I. Scofield
"God’s grace is an essential concept for believers to understand, He freely offers His favor to mankind because Jesus; sacrifice on the cross purchased forgiveness and salvation for anyone who believes."
— Pastor, .Televangelist, Theologian and Author, Dr.Charles Stanley
"You must pay for everything in this world one way and another. There is nothing free except the Grace of God. You cannot earn that or deserve it." — Author, Charles Portis
"And as grace is free, so is it sure. Nothing can change, or alter, or turn away sovereign grace."
— Scottish divine, Rev Dr. Alexander Whyte
"Grace is everything Jesus. Grace lives because he does, works because he works, and matters because he matters. To be saved by grace is to be saved by him, not by an idea, rule, or church membership, but by Jesus himself, who will sweep into heaven anyone who so much as gives him the nod."— Pastor and Author, Max Lucado
"Grace needs nothing added to it. It’s either you believe it’s all God’s grace or you believe you have to help God do his work. God saved the believer by his grace, and the believer cannot take any credit for it – none whatsoever. It is totally a gift from God, and you have to understand that you don’t pay for a gift nor do you work for a gift."
— British polymath, Thomas Young
"Otherwise grace is no more grace," since it is bestowed on us, not because we have done good works, but that we may be able to do them.” — Theologian, Philosopher, and Bishop, Saint Augustine
"Christ is no Moses, no exactor, no giver of laws, but a giver of grace, a Savior; he is infinite mercy and goodness, freely and bountifully given to us."— Theologian, Priest and Author, Martin Luther
"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. And by the grace of God, I will." — Author, Historian and Minister, Edward Everett Hale
"We need to remember that we are saved by grace when we fail. But we need to remember it much more when we succeed."
— Pastor, Theologian, and Christian apologist, Timothy Keller
"Grace is available for each of us every day - our spiritual daily bread - but we've got to remember to ask for it with a grateful heart and not worry about whether there will be enough for tomorrow."
— Author, Philanthropist and Public speaker, Sarah Ban Breathnach
"Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. The law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along and straightens me out."
"Grace means undeserved kindness. It is the gift of God to man the moment he sees he is unworthy of God’s favor."
"If you are ready to partake of grace you have not to atone for your sins, you have merely to accept of the atonement. All that you want to do is to cry, God have mercy upon me, and you will receive the blessing."
— Quotes by Evangelist, Dwight L. Moody
"God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that can be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other."
— Theologian, Ethicist, Commentator on politics and public affairs, and Professor at Union Theological Seminary,
"Good men do not always have grace and favor, lest they should be puffed up, and grow insolent and proud."
— Early Church Father and Archbishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom
"I say salvation is the free gift of God. It is God’s free grace, I preach unto you, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Jesus Christ justifies the ungodly. Jesus Christ passed by and saw you polluted with your blood and bid you live."
— Cleric and Evangelist, George Whitefield
Justice......getting what we deserve.
Mercy.......not getting what we deserve.
Grace.......getting what we do not deserve.
Who is the source of Grace? God. (1 Peter 5:10)
Where was it manifested? In Christ. (John 1:14-17)
Who are its subjects? Sinners. (Ephesians 2:1-5)
How does it operate? It Justifies. (Romans 3:24)
— J.G. Steel
Great Gift: Ephesians 2:8, Romans 5:15
Richest Gift: Ephesians 1:7, 2:7, Corinthians 8:9
Acceptable Gift: Ephesians 1:6, 1 Timothy 1:15
Complete Gift: Colossians 2:10, Romans 8:32
Eternal Gift: Romans 5:20-21, 6:23
When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day's pay for his time, that is a wage.
When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize.
When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award.
But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award —yet receives such a gift anyway — that is a good picture of God's unmerited favor.
This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.
— G.W. Knight
Strength for Ministry (2 Timothy 2:1)
1. Saved by grace - Ephesians 2:8-9
2. Stand by grace - Romans 5:2
3. Serve through grace - I Corinthians 15:10
(Illustration of wick and oil. If the oil runs out, the wick burns. As long as there is oil, the wick doesn't burn. The question to ask: what's burning?)
4. Sustained by grace - II Corinthians 12:9
5. God can minister grace through my speech - Ephesians 4:29
6. God gives grace to grow - II Peter 3:18
— Colin Seitz
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear,
The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But GOD, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
— Hymn by John Newton
Sweetness of Grace
Grace is the sweetest sound
That ever reached our ears,
When conscience charged and justice frowned,
'Twas grace removed our fears.
'Tis freedom to the slave,
'Tis light and liberty;
It takes its terror from the grave,
From death its victory.
Grace is a mine of wealth
Laid open to the poor;
Grace is the sov'reign spring of health,
'Tis life for evermore.
Of grace then let us sing,
A joyful, wondrous theme,
Who grace has brought, shall glory bring,
And we shall reign with Him.
Then shall we see His face
With all the saints above,
And sing for ever of His grace,
For ever of His love.
— Thomas Kelly
. The Lord Jesus Christ specializes
in complete restoration of your life by His grace which is greater than your sin!
. You can experience God's grace no matter who you are or how much you have sinned!
. Not only can you be saved by grace, but also all your life is a gift of grace!
. God's Blessings Are Based on Grace.
. God never alters the robe of righteousness to fit man; He changes the man to fit the robe.
Law and Grace
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" — John 1:17
The most obvious and striking division of the Word of Truth is that between Law and Grace. It is vital to observe that Scripture never mingles these two principles.
Law is God prohibiting and requiring; grace is God beseeching and bestowing.
Law is a ministry of condemnation; grace, of forgiveness.
Law curses; grace redeems from that curse.
Law kills; grace makes alive.
Law shuts every mouth before God; grace opens every mouth to praise Him.
Law puts a great and guilty distance between man and God; grace makes guilty man nigh to God.
Law says "do and live"; grace, "believe and live."
Law never had a missionary; grace is to be preached to every creature.
Law utterly condemns the best man; grace freely justifies the worst.
Law is a system of probation; grace, of favor.
Law stones an adulteress; grace says, "neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."
Under law the sheep dies at the hand of the shepherd; under grace the Shepherd dies for the sheep.
— Condensed from Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth by C.I. Scofield
The Gift of Grace
"The grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men" —Titus 2:11
It stands to reason that a gift may be given, and yet we may remain none the richer for it, unless the gift is accepted. Of course, when a gift is not accepted, he to whom it was given is no more actually benefited than if the gift had never been offered at all. There are necessarily two parties to such a transaction.
All are not saved. But why not? Not because the grace of God does not bring salvation to every man, but because all men do not receive the gift which the grace of God has brought to them. Only they receive salvation who are content to fix the eye of their faith upon Him who is the Grace of God revealed, and to trust themselves with simple, child-like faith, to Him. Only they who receive God's gifts are the better for God's gift, although the gift has unquestionably been given.
— W. Hay M.H. Aitken
Question & Answer
QUESTION: What does it mean to be saved by grace?
ANSWER: The question, no doubt, has been taken from the Bible verses in Ephesians 2:8,9, " For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." In answering this question I would like to focus on three words in this verse. They are grace, saved and faith.
First of all, the word saved.
What is it that we need to be saved from? Ephesians 2:1-3 tell us that by nature we are:
(a) Spiritually dead in trespasses and sins.
(b) Children of disobedience who love to do what we want to do.
(c) Children of wrath.
We need to be saved from spiritual death, from a life of disobedience, and doing our own thing and most importantly from the wrath of God!
Secondly, the word grace.
The verse quoted tells us that it is by grace that we can be saved from these things. The source of our salvation is found alone in God's grace. What is grace? The root meaning of "grace" is "to give freely." Grace has also been de-fined as God's unmerited favor to us.
Can't my good works save me? What does the scripture say about works? "Not of works lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:9). "Not by works of righteousness which we have done" (Titus 3:5). Grace is the opposite of works. In Romans 11:6 we read "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." Because we are spiritually dead, having no life towards God, there is no way that we can earn salvation by our works.
What if I try to keep the law? What does the scripture say? "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith" (Galatians 3:10,11).
Doesn't baptism save me? What does the scripture say? "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel" (1 Corinthians 1:17). Baptism is not part of the gospel. Baptism is something we do in obedience to Christ. It is the answer of a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21).
We do not deserve to be saved but God in His grace has provided a way of salvation through the death of His beloved Son. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Thirdly, the word faith.
Faith is the key that enables us to lay hold of God's grace. "For by grace are ye saved through faith." Faith is simply believing that what God has said is true. "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31). "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). — John D. McNeil
"Oh, the love that drew salvation's plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man;
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary! "
— William R. Newell
Grace: Difficult to Understand
Grace is a difficult , perhaps impossible, concept to understand...
First, grace is unmerited favor. As a concise definition of grace, this serves well. More elaborate definitions have their place; but simply stated, grace is unmerited favor. It is undeserved on the part of the recipient. It is unearned and unearnable. Those kids had no claim on my grace. They were in a state of total demerit. Anything I might do could not be in response to any merit they had (for they had none at that point) nor as a reward for anything they had done (they only deserved to be punished). My grace that night was pure unmerited favor.
Second, grace is not cheap. Grace is expensive. It is free to the recipient but costly to the donor. The only way one may say that grace is not very costly is if the particular benefit costs the donor very little. My forgiveness that night cost those kids nothing. It cost me a lot of agonizing and soul-searching, which is nothing in comparison with what grace cost our Lord. But to use the word cheap in the same breath with the grace of God in salvation seems almost blasphemous. It cost our Lord Jesus His life. Some may insult grace, reject it, trample on it, or disgrace it, but that does not lower its infinite value.
Third, it is not easy to believe someone who offers grace. Those kids were dumbfounded when I announced the verdict of grace. They could not believe what they were hearing. And why should they? From day one they were reared (and so are we all) in a merit system, in which acceptance is based on performance. “Do this and you will be rewarded. Fail to do this and you will be punished.” This kind of merit system permeates all of life and most religions. It is not easy to believe someone who says that he or she will do something good for us that we do not deserve.
Human works are like termites in God's structure of grace. They start small, but if unchecked, they can bring down the entire structure. And what are such works? Anything I can do to gain any amount of merit, little or much. Water baptism could be one such work if I view it not as an important or even necessary result of being saved, but as a requisite to be saved. It is a work even if I insist that it is God who gives me the desire to want to be baptized that I might be saved.
The same is true for surrender. If surrender is something I must do as a part of believing, then it is a work, and grace has been diluted to the extent to which I actually do surrender.
Fourth, grace that is received changes one's life and behavior. Those kids, though really not bad before that night, showed a number of changes in their lives. Their bond to me personally was much stronger. They followed me around like puppy dogs anxious to do whatever they could to please me. And they had new insight into the love of their Savior for them.
The Gospel is the good news of the grace of God to give forgiveness and eternal life. Let's keep that Gospel so full of grace that there is no room for anything else to be added to dilute or pollute the true grace of God. — Charles C. Ryrie, So Great Salvation
Grace and Mercy
Grace is the love of God in active exercise towards the guilty and undeserving, while mercy is God's tender and compassionate regard towards the weak and suffering. Thus, the Good Samaritan showed mercy towards the man who had been robbed and wounded, while the creditor, in the Lord's parable, who forgave the debt of five hundred pence instead of sending the debtor to prison, showed grace (Luke 7:41,42).
The two words are closely allied in meaning, but they are by no means synonymous. We need supplies of both, like Timothy, Titus and the elect lady to whom John wrote (1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; 2 John 1:3); and we can at all times obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need at the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). Grace perhaps directs us mainly to the love in God's heart, while mercy looks chiefly at the need we have. — W.J. Hocking
"My grace is sufficient for thee." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
In a world characterized by unrest, the Saviour says to His own: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). In a scene marked by sin and its consequent sorrow, He declares: "These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full" (John 15:11). Well He knew the problems His people must face, the trials through which they must pass, and the tribulations they must endure. In view of all this, He made the simple but sublime statement, "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Cor. 12:9).
Saved by Grace
"And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, If thou be Christ, save Thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:39-43).
We see here the case of one who entered paradise in the simple character of a sinner saved by grace. He was a condemned criminal in the morning, a railing blasphemer in the course of the day, a ransomed spirit in heaven before the day closed. Led to cast himself on Christ as a justly condemned sinner, he went straight to heaven with Christ as a blood-bought saint. His was not to be a long and useful Christian course, nevertheless through the blessed Redeemer's blood alone he received salvation, by grace he was saved. And so it is for every sinner who repents and believes in Jesus. Yet, before the dying thief expired, he was enabled to bear testimony:
1. To the sinless humanity of the blessed Lord Jesus.
2. To own Jesus as Lord.
3. To speak of Christ's coming kingdom at a moment when, to mortal vision, not a trace of lordship or royalty was discernable.
These were good words and good works indeed. To confess Christ and flatly contradict a Christ-rejecting world are works of the first order--works that shed forth the sweetest perfume and shine with the brightest lustre.
Sweet indeed this testimony as it fell upon the ears and heart of the dying Saviour. Sweeter still the response which fell upon the heart of the dying thief. "Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise." This went far beyond the thief's expectation. The gracious Saviour was about to do "exceeding abundantly" above all that the thief "could ask or think." He had asked to be remembered in the time of the kingdom, and so he shall be, but the Lord Jesus said, "I shall have you with Me today."
This is the grace that saves to the uttermost. Why, oh why reject it?
Grace and Glory
The Psalmist in Psalm 84:11 affirms truly that "The LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly." This is a blessed assurance to believers who know that by grace they are saved, through faith; and that not of themselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8). Blessed it is to have learned that our God is not making demands on us, but in Christ Jesus has brought grace for all men so that salvation is available for all. It is God's love displayed in Christ, going out freely to all men, supplying forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
Not only does our God meet the sinner in his sins and saves him from their consequences, but He also supplies grace for the whole wilderness journey. "He giveth more grace," as James 4:6 tells us. But for this to be available to us, humility is necessary, for He "resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble." One source of grace day by day is the glory that continually beckons the child of faith, for we know we are almost home. The realization of this gives strength for each day and each moment along the way.
In 1 Peter 1:1-13, these two themes--grace and glory--are brought before us a number of times. In verse 2, the apostle prays that grace and peace may be multiplied to them. After being so long under law, as these Jews of the dispersion to whom he wrote had been, this word grace must at first have had a peculiar sound, but when understood, it became a blessed sound indeed! Our needs are many and, having no power of our own, as we continually bring these needs to our God, grace and peace are multiplied.
The Old Testament prophets prophesied of this grace that was to come unto us and, while not understanding it, they searched what and when this was to occur--"Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (1 Peter 1:10,11). Now we know, and have the privilege of entering into these blessings of grace which even angels desire to look into (v. 12), though not themselves the objects of grace. In all ages, God's salvation has been, is, and will be on the ground of grace based on the finished work of Christ, for on no other ground could ruined man be brought to God. But the age in which our lot is cast is one in which the grace of God is acting in a special way to bestow blessing beyond any period before or after this present age (Ephesians 3). That grace is come unto us. We are inheritors of it and of all those blessings secured in heaven (1 Peter 1:3), so that nothing can touch them or defile them. Thus, this age is rightly characterized as the day of grace.
But the day of the revelation of Jesus Christ is still future. In view of this we are exhorted to gird up the loins of our minds and be sober, and hope to the end (1 Peter 1:13) in the grace that is to be brought unto us then. It is the believer's privilege to live in the power of this now. What a day that will be! What strength it imparts even now! Clearly it is grace from first to last.
Just as the sufferings of Christ preceded and led to the glory that shall follow (1 Peter 1:11), so also it is for the believer as he looks on to the glory, though now, if need be, he is in heaviness through manifold trials (1 Peter 1:6). This trial of faith is one of the precious things of which the apostle Peter speaks--more precious even than gold tried with fire--as it will be found to be to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7).
We who know Him love Him now even though we have not seen Him as the apostle had. And though now we see Him not, there is a present joy, a joy unspeakable and full of glory, or as it literally is, "glorified" (1 Peter 1:8). Thus the joy of eternity is entered into by faith even now, and the soul is lifted above the power of things around. Truly He will give grace and glory. Let us delight in it and worship Him for it. — John B. Rogers
A farmer and an elderly woman
Some time ago a farmer was much troubled by an elderly woman who persisted, in spite of repeated remonstrance's, in breaking down the fences of his fields in order to provide wood for her fires. One day, he caught her in the very act. Without speaking a word, he walked back to his house, and instructed one of his sons to take the neighbor lady a large supply of firewood. This was done, and the woman was so touched by his grace that the farmer was never again troubled by her.
Dear Friend, have you experienced God's amazing grace? If not, you can experience it right now - no matter who you are or how much you have sinned. You can begin your own life - changing relationship with Jesus Christ. You might pray something like this: Dear God, I realize that I have been lost in my sins and blind to your truth. I know now that you sent your Son to die on the cross for me - to pay the penalty for my sin. Please forgive me. Come into my life and change me by your grace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Salvation is only through Jesus Christ!
Saved By Grace Alone,
Through Faith Alone,
In Christ Alone,
For The Glory Of God Alone.
I hope you have saved by grace through faith.
If not, it is the right time to think seriously to settle your eternal destiny before it is too late.
Salvation is only through Jesus Christ.
No one can save you, except Jesus Christ.
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
"For by grace are ye 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).
Admit that you are a sinner, and you need God's forgiveness.
Trust only in Christ to save you.
Believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins.
Turn (repent) from your sins, and accept Jesus into your life by faith
as your Savior to receive eternal life, living hope and assurance of salvation.
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