Grace is "the idea of kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved" (Thayer's).
Man is saved by the kindness of God. Man does not merit salvation through works (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 4:4).
God saves man by grace through the redemption (forgiveness of sins) that is in Christ Jesus ( Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7).
To be saved by God's grace does not mean that man does not have to do something to be saved (Matt. 7:21-23; Acts 2:37,40; Phil. 2:12).
If salvation was dispensed wholly by grace without man having to do anything to be saved, salvation would be universal (everyone saved) or by the arbitrary selection of men by God (some men's concept of predestination). The scriptures, however, teach neither universalism nor the denominational concept of predestination (Matt. 7:13,14; Jn. 3:16; Rev. 22:17).
"Having sinned a man forfeits all rights to heaven; if he is ever saved, it must be by an act of favor on the part of God, for God owes him nothing. This grace, this favor, which we all need, can be obtained only through Christ " (Sound Doctrine, Vol.1, Pg.59). Whether there be one condition of salvation or a dozen conditions required for salvation, no amount of works that a condemned sinner can perform will ever bring salvation to him as a debt. Salvation is always by grace!
Faith is "conviction of the truth of anything" (Thayer's).
To be saved man must have faith:
1) In God (Heb. 11:6).
" When it relates to God, faith, is the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ" (Thayer's).
2) In Jesus as the Christ and in His blood as the propitiation of our sins (Rom. 3:24-26).
"In reference to Christ," faith "denotes a strong and welcomed conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation " (Thayer's).
Jesus' blood atones for our sins (Matt. 26:28)
"Grace provided salvation and teaches how to appropriate it benefits; and we through our faith, lay hold on the salvation offered" (Sound Doctrine,Vol.1, pg.163,164)
Heb. 5:9 "And being made perfect, He, became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him."
Matt. 7:21-23; Lk. 6:46; 2 Thess. 1:7,8
"Genuine faith will do what God says, in the way God says do it, for the purpose which God says to do it "(Things That Accompany Salvation, Winkler).
|Abel's faith (Heb. 11:4)||Offered an excellent sacrifice (Heb. 11:4)|
|Noah's faith saved his house (Heb. 11:7)||By building an ark (Heb. 11:7)|
|By faith Abraham when he was called to go out (11:8)||Obeyed and went out (Heb. 11:8)|
|By faith the walls of Jericho fell (Heb. 11:30)||After they were compassed about 7 days|
Without works (obedience) our faith is dead. We can show our faith only through our works (obedience). By our works our faith is made perfect (James 2:17,18,21-22).
"By works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (Js. 2:24).
There is no conflict between what Paul said, "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" Eph. 2:8,9) and what James said, "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24).
"Paul is showing that, our works being imperfect, we can be saved only through the forgiveness offered in Christ; and James is showing that our faith in Christ is imperfect and incapable of justification unless it leads to works. Paul shows that works without faith will not save, and James shows that even this faith in Christ will not save unless it works" (Sound Doctrine, Vol.1, p.159,160)
"There is not an instance where 'by faith' means 'faith only" (Sound Doctrine, vol.2, p.139).
The Great Commission was some of Jesus' instructions to His apostles before He ascended back to Heaven. In this commission , Jesus told His apostles where they were to go, what they were to preach, and who would be saved. Jesus said, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15,16).
Jesus' answer to the question what must man do to be saved is believe and be baptized.
The apostles began to carry out the Great Commission on the first Pentecost after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus (Acts 2). Peter's sermon is recorded for us. He preached that Jesus was approved of God, crucified, and raised from the dead (Acts 2:25-35). He then emphatically proclaimed " God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). Some who heard Peter speak were pricked in their hearts and asked, "What shall we do?" Peter answered. "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:38). When some heard, and obviously, believed, they were instructed to be baptized in the name of the Lord for the remission of sins.
Everything spoken in the Great Commission came to past. The apostles preached the gospel as they had been told to do, and people were saved by believing and being baptized.
The book of Acts records numerous instances of the apostles or others preaching the gospel. People who heard the gospel and wanted to be saved believed and were baptized.
Philip preached Jesus to the eunuch. As they came to a certain water, the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? Philip answered the eunuch, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. When the eunuch confessed Jesus Christ as the Son of God, they stopped the chariot in which they were riding, and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and Philip baptized him (Acts 8:35-38).
A woman named Lydia heard Paul preach. After listening carefully to the things Paul said, she was baptized (Acts 16:14,15).
A Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They told him, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. They then spoke to him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. The same hour of the night, the jailer and those who were in his household were baptized, straightway (Acts 16:25-33).
Saul of Tarsus was told by Ananias to "Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).
Throughout the book of Acts, those who wanted to be saved did what Jesus said do in the Great Commission to be saved they believed and were baptized.
To be saved man must believe, but he must, also, repent and be baptized.
Man is saved by the grace of God. Without God there would be no salvation. However, God has ordained that man must believe and be baptized to be saved. God has done His part in saving man by sending Jesus to die on the cross and by raising Him from the dead. Has man done his part?"