Saved By Grace
Saved By Grace
In our last discussion, we looked at just a few of the examples of scientific foreknowledge found in the Bible to help us conclude that Bible is the inspired word of God. Scientific foreknowledge, archeological accuracy, and historical accuracy are all evidence that the Bible is God’s word. Because we believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word, shouldn’t we take it seriously? 2nd Timothy 2:15 tells us to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Doesn’t this mean that we should study for ourselves what the Bible teaches? In Acts 17:10-11, we’re told that the people of Berea “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
The Bible basically tells us about the following: 1) our beginning, 2) man is lost or separated from God because of man’s sin, 3) God’s plan for man’s salvation through his only son, Jesus Christ, and 4) the final judgment where each person will be judged as either eternally lost or eternally saved based on his obedience to God’s word.
Many believe that we are saved by God’s grace. Does man deserve salvation on his own? Is there anything man could do to deserve salvation? The Bible says in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” So we are definitely saved by God’s grace. But is it by his grace alone? It says we are saved by grace through faith? This statement should make us ask the question, “What is faith?” Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In other words, it’s our belief that we can be assured that what we hope for is true even though we might not have seen proof. Hebrews 11:6 states, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Also, in Hebrews chapter 11, we’re given several examples of faithful men and women. For example, in Hebrews 11:4 it is written, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Also, in verse 7 it states, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Other examples of faith in this chapter include stories of Abraham, Sarah, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, etc. Does being saved by grace through faith mean that just because they all believed in God that God would have allowed the same results for each example recorded? Notice that in each of the examples in Hebrews 11 that it states “by faith.” Let’s consider where did they get their faith? Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The term “by faith” then would imply that in each example above, some instructions were given to them by God. For example, what would happen to Noah if instead of making the Ark out of gopher wood, he decided to use oak wood? Because in this instance Noah disobeyed God, we can assume that the Ark probably would have sunk when the waters consumed the earth because we know from other examples in the Bible that God demands our obedience. See Romans 16:25-26 “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.” Let’s apply the statement “for by grace are ye saved through faith” to us today. Obviously we are saved by God’s grace. But remember that we should receive our faith from God’s word, the Bible – see again Romans 10:17.
So we need to consider all that the Bible teaches before we determine how one ought to be saved. For example, I often hear that all we have to do to be saved is accept Jesus in our heart as our personal savior. First, where is that taught in God’s word? Second, is there any example, any implication, or any command to do this? I could see where one might get this from John 1:1-12. Note that in verse 12 it states, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Could it be said that the phrase “received him” (it’s referencing Christ) is the same as “accepting him” here in this scripture? Also note that it mentions “even them that believe on his name?” What else does this verse say? It says “to them gave he power to become the sons of God?” What does the phrase “power to become” mean? Does it mean that one is a child of God or that one has already become a child of God or does it mean it is possible to become a child of God at some future point in time? Also we know that just believing in God does not automatically save us because of James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Satan obviously believes in God and we know he will be lost. We can see that just believing and or accepting Christ is not all we need to do to become Christians. So as one can see, it is important that we diligently study God’s word to see what instructions he has given us so that we can obey them and become faithful Christians.