Lucia's Blog: THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION BY GRACE
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, August 16, 2018

THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION BY GRACE

 "11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works." 
Titus 2:11-14


A judge who shows mercy to the unrepentant murderer or thief is doing no favors either to the felon or his victims, both past and future. If he is unrepentant, he will continue to hurt others, and as he lives that life without self-control, he will despise the laws that condemn him as well as the members of the public who wish to restrain him. Grace and mercy that does not first judge righteously cannot bless anyone, even when it extends clemency. God, who is our all-wise Judge, is much wiser than that.

Our God is a LORD of mercy and steadfast love who has shown us His love and mercy through His Son our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Our sins wither us and make us fall, for they capture and doom us.  But thanks be to our merciful God who sent His only begotten Son to save us from our wretched state.  We were once helpless and broken in desperate need of a Savior to rescue us from the miserable slavery of sin.  Indeed, we are the clay and He is the Potter, for we all are the work of God's hands.  He is our Father, Master, and Potter!   He can mold and transform us into His image when we don't resist Him but will surrender to His will.  Indeed, He is the LORD of mercy who looks upon our wretched condition because of sin and desires to save us, for He cares about us with a steadfast love.  Our Father has given us hope through His Son who humbled Himself to suffer and die a cruel death so that He could save us from God's wrath.  Jesus' cruel death on the cross reconciled us to the Father, offering joy and peace.  Jesus became our High Priest who has already passed through the heavens and who sympathizes with our weaknesses, for He was tempted as we are, yet without sin.  God has indeed demonstrated His love for us in sending Jesus.  We, those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb, can stand with confidence before the throne of God because of what Jesus did for us.  What a gift of Grace!!  A gift we do not deserve, for we were condemned and spiritually dead because of our trespasses and sins.  Our sins separate us from God and His presence, (Romans 5:12-16).  One cannot receive eternal life and have sin, for sin separates us spiritually from God, (Romans 5:12).  Our sins condemn us.  Each one of us has broken God's Law because of our sins and have experienced spiritual death.  Death spread to all because we have all sinned.

I.   THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD:

The Grace and Mercy of God are one of the most beautiful and critical themes in the Bible.  We cannot sincerely claim to know God's will through His revealed Word and still deny man's need for God's Grace.  The doctrine of Grace has become a great controversy among many in the religious world. There are many conflicting views of Grace, leading to a lot of confusion even in the church.  Let me share with you five antagonistic views as found in the religious world.
  1. Universalists claim that God's Grace will save everyone no matter what they do.
  2. Catholics claim that the church clergy grants God's Grace through sacraments.  Thus, men are obliged to confess their sins to the priest to be saved.
  3. Calvinists claim that God's Grace is granted or extended unconditionally to a limited and predestined few whom God has already chosen before the world began, despite their character, conduct, will, heart, etc.  And of course, their famous claim is that once God saves the elect, they can never fall from Grace and be lost eternally.
  4. Protestant denominations commonly teach salvation by "Grace alone" and "faith only."  So God's Grace is granted only to those who have a good attitude, a good conscience and are sincere toward God.  Their biggest problem is that for them obedience is not necessary or required for salvation.
  5. Even among some supposed conservation churches, although they stress the need to obey the Gospel to become a child of God, afterward they claim that all that matters is the sincerity of our heart and our well-intentioned will to remain in Grace despite whatever sinful practices. That is, no matter how long he continues to live in sin refusing to repent, they will say that he cannot fall from Grace.  Hence they declare that we must not be “judgmental,” and rebuke those who are rebellious, walking in sin but instead must have fellowship with them despite their errors and sinful practices.

The Grace of God is abused and used carelessly.   It is a Bible word that deserves to be used the way the Holy Spirit used it in God's inspired Word.  The abuse of the Bible word "Grace" frustrates me!  It is amazing how quickly some are willing to abandon some of the most basic Bible truths.  Granted, the letter to the Romans has some difficult passages, but can we not agree at least on the general teaching of the letter?  If we spend a lot of time reading and studying commentaries written by men and burying our noses in useless speculation regarding God's Grace, we are not going to learn anything worthwhile.  These commentaries are dangerous and harmful because they are not sound in doctrine.  They promote a form of denominationalism that allows a minimum of conviction.  The book of Romans is the most misunderstood book in the Bible. They put law in general (rule of action) at odds with the Grace of God as if obedience to the laws of God is irrelevant to receiving His favor.  The fact is that the message of this book is "The Gospel is God's Power to save."  (Romans 1:16-17).  The Gospel of Grace demands obedience! (Romans 1:5; 6:17-18, 16:25-26).

The Grace of God extends to us the true favor of offering us the remedy to the soul-threatening disease called "sin."  It is good news although it pricks our conscience and gives us pain. We do our friends no favors by watering down the demands of God's Grace.  Let's investigate the true Grace of God as a contrast to the cheap versions offered by the modern doctrines of men falsely called "Grace."

The apostle Paul defines, describes and thoroughly explains "the Grace of God."  He points out two fundamental constituents of Grace:  
  1. The teaching or instruction of the Gospel of Christ, (Titus 2:11-12) and 
  2. Christ's sacrifice on the cross, (Titus 2:14).
God gave His only begotten Son for the salvation of all men. 
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  (John 3:16).  
Paul also says that Christ gave Himself for our redemption. It was an act of GraceThanks be to God for His indescribable grace!!!  

"Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His possession, zealous for good deeds."  (Titus 2:14).

II.   FUNDAMENTAL BIBLE DEFINITIONS OF GRACE AND MERCY:

Modern teachers twist and misuse the terms “faith” and “God's Grace.”  So let us clarify the Bible definition of Grace before we proceed with the study of these crucial issues.   Consider some fundamental definitions:
  • Definition of Grace:
Grace ( χάρις)  "...goodwill, lovingkindness, favor... It is the kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved... New Testament writers use (grace) pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offenses, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ... "  (Thayer's Greek Lexicon).  This well defines God's saving Grace as found in the Scriptures.  In other words, the Grace of God is His unmerited favor toward sinful man.  His grace comprises all of His unfolded provisions for the salvation of mankind.  These provisions are things that man cannot provide for himself to be saved.
  • Definition of Mercy:
Mercy  (ἔλεος) is "kindness or goodwill toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them...  especially the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ: Luke 1:54; Romans 15:9; Ephesians 2:4; (Titus 3:5 L T Tr WH; Hebrews 4:16 L T Tr WH)."  (Thayer's Greek Lexicon).

Hence, both "Grace" and "Mercy" include kindness and favor toward those whose circumstances are unfortunate, miserable and afflicted.  Mercy stresses the wretched and miserable circumstances of the object of mercy, whereas Grace emphasizes that they are unworthy or undeserving of favor.  The Scriptures show that all three in the Godhead express mercy.  The Father, (Romans 1:7, etc.), the Son, (Romans 16:20, etc.) and the Spirit, (Hebrews 10:29).


II.   WHAT DOES GRACE PROVIDE FOR US?

So, why do we need Grace?  What can Grace do for us?  How can we benefit from Grace?  Indeed, these are very critical questions that deserve correct answers from God's Holy Book.  Consider the following Scriptures that answer these questions well.
  • God's Grace Provides Forgiveness of Sins To Us:
"7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace."  (Ephesians 1:7)
Jesus' blood is vital to Grace.  Why?  Because God had to provide a sacrifice (His Son) to die for us so that we would not have to die, for men could not die eternally for their sins.  
"8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God."  (Ephesians 2:8).  
The word "save" means to rescue or deliver one from harm or danger.  You see sin endangers and harms our soul by condemning us to eternal punishment.  But God offers us deliverance even though we do not deserve such deliverance. Thus, deliverance from sin is not of ourselves but it a gift of God.  So it is of "Grace" which is "unmerited favor."
"5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—"  (Ephesians 2:5).

According to Ephesians 2:5, and 8, we are saved by "Grace" through faith.  Again, "Grace" is the unmerited favor of God.  God's Grace is not provided by an automatic bestowal of favor just because Christ died.  Nor is it granted by just a mental acceptance of Jesus.  We don't "get saved" by some "better felt than telt" process.  God's Grace is not offered to us in some mysterious manner.  
"4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus."  (Ephesians 2:4-7).

Because of God's great love toward us, He gave His rich mercy to show the exceeding richness of His Grace in His kindness toward us.
"3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."  (Titus 3:3-7).

Because of God's loving-kindness, mercy, and Grace, He saved and justified us.  The word "justify" means to declare one to be right or just; to pronounce one to be what he must be.  We do not merit or deserve such a righteous standing before our Almighty God because of the deeds we have done.  Rather, we have all sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23).  Sin deserves punishment,  for the wages of sin is death, (Romans 6:23).  So, without Jesus' sacrifice and His blood, our deeds, our sins merit their due punishment.  We do not deserve our right standing before God our Creator!  We can never deserve eternal life, for we have all sinned against God.  We have the hope of eternal life only because of what God did for us, by sending His Son to be sacrificed so that we might have the forgiveness of our sins.  Despite all this that Jesus did for the forgiveness of our sins, we cannot be saved unconditionally without us doing our part.  We are not worthy of the smallest of God’s blessings, but that does not mean that our obedience to the Gospel call has no value or merit. God has always placed conditions on man in order to be forgiven. One of those things is repentance, (Acts 17:30) and another is confession of sins, (1 John 1:8-9). There can be no pardon without man DOING his part. No one can claim salvation on his own merit without any dependence on God.  
"20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  (Romans 5:20-21).
Because Grace is so abundant, there is no sin that God cannot forgive, if a man will meet God’s conditions for pardon.  But God's Grace cannot forgive sins if we are not genuinely willing to repent and seek God's forgiveness according to His will.  The Grace of God is God's favor toward us because of His Son's sacrifice 
"9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."  (Hebrews 2:9).  
Romans 3:24-25 gives us more detail saying, 
"24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. It was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins."  
Romans 5:15 declares, 
"15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many."

Thus, we are saved, justified by the Grace of God in Christ which was made possible by His sacrifice.  Because of our sinful deeds, we all deserve to be punished eternally but thanks to God's lovingkindness and mercy, He sent His Son to die for us so that we could have eternal life instead.  The gift of God is something we indeed do not deserve!  (Titus 2:11-14; Rom. 3:23-26; Luke 1:76-78; 2 Tim. 1:9; Acts 15:11; 20:32; Rom. 5:12-21; 4:2-8; 1 Tim. 1:13-16; 1 Peter 1:3-16).  We must thank God until our last breath for such an undeserved gift!!

The greatest act of the Grace of God is His Son's ultimate sacrifice. 
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life."  (John 3:16).
No man can die for himself, thus redeeming himself, and bring about his own salvation. Why?  Because man's defiled (spotted) conscience can only be made pure by the blood of Christ, (1 Peter 1:19; 3:21; Heb. 9:14).  It was through Christ's death that He was able to do for man what he could not attain by himself.  This is what Grace is.  And man must respond to the Gospel of Grace if he wants to benefit from the blood of Christ.
  • God's Grace Provides Fellowship With God:
"21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds."  (Colossians 1:21). 
Our sins alienate or separate us from God, (Isaiah 59:1-2).  Our sins make us enemies of God, causing hostility between Him and us, (Col. 1:21).  On the other hand, forgiveness by Grace reunites and reconciles us back to Him.  We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus because we have been justified by faith.  We have obtained access by faith into this Grace in which we stand through Him as well.  So, we are no longer enemies of God but rather we are at peace with Him, and we rejoice in the hope we have in Him, (Romans 5:1-2).  
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved... 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ... 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."  (Ephesians 2:1-5, 11-13, 18-19).

Before we were saved, we were dead in our trespasses and sins because we had disobeyed God, (Ephesians 2:1-5).  That is, we were alienated or separated from God, (Ephesians 2:12).  Salvation by Grace, (Ephesians 2:5, 8) makes us alive and reconciles us to God so that we can have access to Him, making us His children and members of His family or household, (Ephesians 2:19).  God in His lovingkindness and mercy allowed His righteous Son to die for us so that we could enter into His familyGod's Grace did that for us!  Indeed, we could have never been reconciled and have peace with God if it had not been for the Grace of God.  We do not deserve such a blessing!  It is the gift of God to us because of His mercy (goodness) and love for us. 
"9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."  (1 Peter 2:9-10). 

  • God's Grace Provides Spiritual Blessing To Us:
Since our sins separate us from God, it is impossible to have fellowship with Him.  Our sins alienate us from all of God's blessings that He offers His faithful children.  When our sins are forgiven because of the Grace of God, then He can offer us once again all spiritual blessings.  Consider some of those blessings He can provide to us when we are forgiven of our sins.
    1. Eternal comfort and good hope through Grace, (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).
    2. We have access to Grace and peace with God, so we rejoice in the hope of glory, (Romans 5:1-2).
    3. We are strengthened by the Grace that is in Christ, (2 Timothy 2:1).
    4. God's Grace makes us sufficient, complete in all things at all times so that we can abound in good works, (2 Corinthians 9:8).
So all spiritual blessings that God gives to us, His children, He gives to us because of His Grace.  We deserve none of these gifts, for we have sinned.  But God in His mercy and love offers them to us when by His Grace we are forgiven of our sins, (Psalm 84:11; 1 Peter 4:10-11; Rom. 12:6; Heb. 4:14-16; 2 Thess. 1:11-12; Acts 20:32).  Isn't that marvelous!!  It is beyond words!! 
  • God's Grace Provides Eternal Life to Us:
The greatest gift of all that God offers to those who are forgiven of their sins is "eternal life" which is the inheritance for those who are sanctified and have a living hope reserved in heaven for them.
"7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."  (Titus 3:7).
"32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified."  (Acts 20:32).
"3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead... 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you... 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."  (1 Peter 1:3,4,7). 

I cannot fathom how one can honestly deserve such blessings as these!!  Yet our merciful Father in heaven who loves so so much offers them to those who obey Him and do His will.  That is "unmerited favor" indeed!

God's Grace is so abundant that it can forgive all sins and save all people of every age, nation, and language.  There is no sin that God's Grace cannot forgive.  There is no soul that God cannot save if he is willing to accept and obey the Gospel.  Jesus, our Lord, and Savior, offers forgiveness of sin through His blood so that we can once again have fellowship with His father and start enjoying all spiritual blessings in Him and of course, that includes eternal lifeMay we always praise God for His Grace and Mercy toward us!!  May we always appreciate our need for God's Grace and decide, before it is too late, to diligently learn what we must do to receive His Grace, (1 Peter 5:10; 1 Timothy 1:13-16; Jude 21).


III.   HOW DO WE LEARN ABOUT THE GRACE OF GOD:

It is disturbing to see how the doctrines of men about Grace overflow with speculation.  Calvinists affirm that the Holy Spirit acts directly on man's heart, over and above the power of the Gospel, to give him "irresistible Grace."  Others say, "Surely the Grace of God will cover the sins" of a person or group  or "I just can't bring myself to believe that a God of grace would condemn such a person."  I wonder how do they know that to be true?  Do they have a Scripture to support what they believe to be so?  Yet even when they are unable to provide a Scripture to support their argument, they still speculate endlesslySo, how do we know what Grace will or will not do?  Do we have the right to declare that God's Grace will cover certain sins even when we cannot find any Scripture to support that?  
  • The Gospel is Our Only Source of Knowledge About The Grace of God:
    • The Grace of God and The Gospel Go Hand in Hand.  
Grace give us the revelation, the Message of God, the Gospel that was preached by the apostles and that was passed on to us.  God's Grace is revealed through the Word which serves as a channel for God's Grace, "11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age."  (Titus 2:11-12).  Thus, the Grace of God that brings salvation is that which teaches us to deny ungodliness so that we can live righteously.  It is the Message of God where Grace is found.  "6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed."  (Galatians 1:6-9).

Here in this passage, Paul is contrasting the "Grace of Christ" with a "different Gospel."  That is the Gospel of Christ with a different Gospel.  Hence, Grace is a term used as an expression of revelation Acts 20:24  speaks of "the Grace of God."  Acts 14:3 as well as 20:32  refer to "the word of His grace."  Acts 18:27-29 states that some had "believed through Grace" which is explained by the statement, "showing by the Scriptures."  This definite article is found in the Greek Text, "believed through the Grace," to stress something special about the word "Grace."

Grace also includes obedience to God, (Titus 2:11-12).  It involves the standard of God's Word and our obedience to it.  Indeed, this is the Grace of God that saves!  Romans 6:1ff states the same about God's Grace and our obedience to it. God's Grace teaches!  So to know about Grace, we must first be taught.  How can one be taught?  By God's only revelation, His inspired Word, (Col. 1:5,6; 1 Peter 5:12; 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:2; Gal. 6:16; John 1:17; Acts 4:33; Eph. 3:2-8).
"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin."  

So if Grace abounds where sin is, then the more we sin, the more Grace there is.  That is not what Paul is saying!  Paul says we must not continue in sin and we must die to sin.  Baptism is an analogy of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  We are joined together with Christ in the likeness of His death, burial, and resurrection in baptism.  Baptism is that likeness.  When we die to sin, we rise to walk in newness of life.  This is salvation by Grace through faith, (Colossians 3:1ff).  It harmonizes with Titus 2:11-14.  You see the Grace of God that saves teaches us what we must do to be saved and live in all godliness and righteousness.  These are things we must do to be saved by GraceWithout our obedience to God's will and conforming our lives to His will, there won't be any understanding of Christ's sacrifice.  When we Christians sin, Christ's blood and that same Grace of God gives us forgiveness.  But of course, not without godly sorrow, which leads to real repentance and a change of behavior which is called the new life in Christ Jesus, (1 John 1:6-2:1-2).  The only way that God’s Grace can be brought together with our faith is by our full acceptance of Jesus’ Gospel and by putting it into practice. So there is no other way to know God's will according to His Grace.  For Ephesians 1:5-11 says that we become sons of God according to God's will, (verse 5).  We receive forgiveness according to His Grace, which He made to abound to us, having made known the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, (verse 9).  So we inherit according to God's purpose, for He works all things according to His will, (verse 11).  I want to stress that in all these things, God's Grace is working according to His will and purpose.  God is the one who extends favor, and He has every right to choose how and to whom to extend it.  (Ephesians 3:3-5) He stresses in verse 9 that the mystery of God's will is already revealed in the Scriptures.  Thus, the only way for anybody to know about God's Grace is through His revealed Word!

In 2 Timothy 1:8-10, God saved and called us according to His purpose and Grace which is revealed in Christ who brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.  So God's Grace works or functions according to His purpose.  Guess what?  The Gospel reveals God's purpose to all men.  So if we want to understand Grace, we must study the Gospel!!  Therefore, we have no right to teach or assume that God's Grace will do anything else without obeying the Gospel or doing what it commands to be saved.  In Acts 15:11 The Jews and the Gentiles were saved by God's Grace in the same manner, for God's Grace saves in a certain manner.  There is a way Grace operates  So how do we know the manner in which the Gentiles (all men) were saved?  Simply by hearing and believing the Word of the Gospel, (Acts 15:7).   "Now when the meeting of the synagogue had broken up, many of the Jews and of the God-fearing proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, were urging them to continue in the grace of God."  (Acts 13:43). It is undeniable that the Grace of God and the Gospel are inseparable.  Why?  Because "we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus.”  (Acts 15:11).  Moreover, Paul declared in Romans 1:16, that the Gospel is "the power of God for salvation."  As we can see from Acts 15:11 and Romans 1:16 the Grace of God and the Gospel are inseparable. Those who teach a certain "Grace" without connecting it to the demands of the Gospel are but false teachers that preach a false Grace.  

In Acts 11:14 Peter spoke to the Gentiles words by which they were saved, (cf. 10:33-48).  I must stress that no one will be saved by the direct operation of the Holy Spirit above and beyond the Word of God, the Gospel.  Grace can only save through the Word!  

In Acts 20:24, 32 we read that the Grace of God is manifested to all men through the instruction or teaching made  possible only through the "Gospel."  Paul's ministry was to testify about the Gospel of the Grace, (verse 32).  It is critical that we understand the connection between Grace and the Word, the Gospel.  The only way to understand Grace well is to learn it through the Word or the Gospel, (verses 20, 21, 25, 26; 14:3).  "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God...  And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified."  (Acts 20:24, 32).

Galatians 1:6-9 declares that we are called in Christ's Grace.  If we follow or preach another Gospel we are cut off or removed from God who called us in Grace. We are also accursed.  So to receive the benefit of God's Grace, we must first hear and obey the Gospel, for if we follow a different Gospel, other teachings, we are automatically removed from Grace, (Gal. 5:4).  Take note that those who desire to receive the benefits of the Grace of God must obey His instructions found in the Gospel.  The Grace of God does not annul man's obedient faith, but rather it demands it.  The Grace of God is conferred or granted only through the Gospel and is inseparable from it.  For this reason, all who reject the Gospel reject the Grace.  At the same time, the one who perseveres in the Gospel persists or continues in the Grace of God.

To persevere in the Gospel is to persist or continue in the Grace.  It is the same thing.  Paul and Barnabas urged the congregation in Antioch of Pisidia "to continue in the Grace of God," which means that they had begun to enjoy the favor of God as they listened to the Gospel that Paul preached and believed. Paul intended to continue teaching the rest of his message as the Grace of God permitted.  The apostle Paul defines, describes and thoroughly explains "the Grace of God."  He points out two fundamental constituents of Grace:  The teaching or instruction of the Gospel of Christ.  (Titus 2:11-12) and Christ's sacrifice on the cross.  (Titus 2:14).

The Bible teaches the will of God to all men, (Titus 2:11), but not everyone will be saved, (Matt. 7:13-27).  It is through God's Grace that men receive instruction on how to live godly and holy to be saved.  The Grace of God is a gift that man must accept by responding to it with obedience to God's commands.  All men can easily understand the Gospel of the Grace of God.  On the contrary, Calvinism speaks a lot of the "enabling Grace," but this is NOT the Grace of God, the one the Bible speaks of.  And according to this same theology, God's Grace is miraculously and irresistibly bestowed upon man without any effort whatsoever on man's part, even without man's desire to receive it.  This false doctrine arises out of another false doctrine called, “original sin” or "total hereditary depravity," i.e., man has been utterly and hopelessly depraved since Adam's fall in the garden. Thus, it is impossible for man to even desire to be saved.  They also assert that man is depraved (corrupted) of all good and is not able to believe. This, of course, contradicts the Bible passages that teach that the Gospel must be preached to all men and that all men must obey it to be saved.  The Gospel of the Grace of God is not obscure and mysterious or something inexplicable.  On the contrary, the Gospel must be preached to all men so that they can be saved, (Matt. 28:19).

The apostles ordained by God carried out this commission that began on the day of Pentecost, (Acts 2) where 3,000 souls obeyed the Gospel of the Grace of God, (Acts 2:37-41).  The apostles preached the Gospel not only in Jerusalem but all Judea, Samaria and to the remotest part of the earth, (Acts 1:8).  All the cases of conversion in the book of Acts show the efficacy of the Gospel of the Grace of God.  Today as well, we are saved by the Grace of God when we obey the Gospel.  It is only by the Grace of God that we learn how to please God.  Obeying the Gospel of the Grace of God demands that we fulfill the terms of salvation found in the Gospel.

God's Grace cannot be attained without the obedience of faith, (Gal. 5:6). Thus, the Gospel cannot be separated from the Grace of God with which He teaches all men, (Titus 2:11-12). So much so that the Gospel is called the "Gospel of the Grace of God." (Acts 20:24). Man cannot find favor (grace) with God without obedience by faith in Christ. To reject the Word of God is to reject "the word of His Grace." (Acts 20:32). To be saved by faith is to attain the mercy of God by obedience to the Gospel of Grace. All this has been possible through the blood and cruel death of Christ. “We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God. Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor. 5:20-21).

Salvation by faith in Jesus is founded on the Word of God, (Romans 10:17) that leads the sinner to obey the Gospel of Christ, (2 Thess. 1:8). There is no justification without obedience to Christ, His Gospel. Why? Because
  1. The sinner needs to hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to have faith, (Acts 8:35).
  2. The sinner needs to believe in Christ, (Acts 16:31-34).
  3. The sinner needs to repent of his sins since Jesus will judge him one day, (Acts 17:30-31).
  4. The sinner needs to confess his faith in Jesus (Jesus as Lord), (Acts 8:37; Matt. 10:32).
  5. The sinner needs to obey the Gospel of our Lord and Savior and be baptized for the forgiveness of his sins, (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:37-38).
  6. The sinner must persevere in the doctrine of Christ to live a pure, godly life and have an abundant life of good works, (Col. 3:16; Eph. 2:10, 4:20-21).

So, it is through the preaching or teaching of the Gospel that God teaches us how to be saved. It is the Gospel Truth that compels us to obey the Father since the One who heard the Father (Jesus) tells us that all who hear the Father and learn from Him can come to Christ (God, the Father, gives them to Christ). This also explains John 6:39All who obey the Gospel will not be lost by physical death but rather Christ will raise him up on the last day. Verse 44 makes mention of the word "draw." So, How is it that God draws man to Himself? We are drawn to Him simply by Christ's death, (John 12:32-33). The Gospel teaches us that Jesus Christ died, was buried and raised on the third day. Therefore, it is only through the Gospel that we are drawn to the Father and given to Christ. The Gospel is all that we need for our salvation. We are not drawn by "irresistible Grace" as Calvinism claims. But rather we are drawn to God by our own enlightened will when we learn who God is and desire to obey Him from the heart through His Gospel. Romans 8:30 explains this by saying, "and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified." Those who were called through the Gospel, (2 Thess 2:14) as revealed by the Holy Spirit and recorded in Scripture and later obey it are the ones that are destined to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. We are not called by the "irresistible" Holy Spirit entering our heart to countermand our "corrupt nature" miraculously.

Calvinism ignores Acts 2:38 that tells a man what he needs to do to be saved. On the day of Pentecost when those who heard Peter were pricked in their heart, they asked the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” How did Peter answer? Did Peter say they did not have to do anything? Did Peter say to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues? Did he say that the "irresistible grace" was going to change their heart? Indeed, what did Peter say? Peter simply said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." So, when are we going to hear this answer given by Calvinists? According to Calvinism, man cannot imitate the examples of the apostles in the book of Acts. Why? Because they say that man, out of his own will, cannot just hear the Gospel, believe, repent, confess Christ as Lord and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. I don't see any example in the book of Acts that supports or defends this position of Calvinism.

It is true that the Holy Spirit came from heaven, (Acts 2:1-4). But, what did He do? He came upon the apostles, giving them power to speak other tongues (languages) that they had never learned or spoken before (a miracle). So, what was the purpose? To convince the Jews that the Message of the Gospel they were preaching was from God and not from men. In Acts 8, we read of the work of the Holy Spirit. But, what exactly did the Holy Spirit do? He gave miraculous power to the evangelist Philip to cast out unclean spirits and to heal the paralyzed and lame (Acts 8:7), to convince people to believe the Gospel of Grace he was preaching, (Acts 8:12).
"But when they believed Philip preaching the good news (the Gospel) about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike."

You see the Holy Spirit was very much involved with the apostles in the preaching of the Gospel, BUT He never worked directly on the hearts of sinners to regenerate them, changing their character, so that they could believe in God. This false concept was never taught during the apostles' ministry. So, why did Jesus promise to send the Holy Spirit to them, the apostles? To guide them in all Truth. How is the sinner made alive? Calvinism asserts that the Holy Spirit works directly on the heart of the sinner to change him and make him alive so that he can believe in God, love Him and do good works. But the parable of the sower says otherwise, (Matt. 13; Luke 8). This parable teaches us clearly that life is in the seed and that the seed is the Word of God, (Luke 8:11). Likewise, James 1:21 says, "Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls." Moreover, 1 Peter 1:22-23 says,
"Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God."

Calvinism asserts that since man is born corrupt (depraved of all good), God has to send the Holy Spirit to work directly on the heart to regenerate it and change his character, bringing him to repentance, "irresistible Grace." They claim that this Grace is "irresistible," that apart from the will of the sinner, this "irresistible Grace" changes him and gives him faith. Once having faith, the sinner can love and do good works. They say that this Grace is "irresistible" since it is the work of the Sovereign God. They say that God is the one working salvation in the individual. Where they say faith is the direct and miraculous work and gift of God, (John 6:28-29.  In the context the Jews have asked what they had to do to work the works of God). They say that God appoints people to eternal life, (Acts 13:48.  These were appointed because they had believed Paul’s message).  They say a man cannot choose to be born again by hearing and heeding the Gospel call, but rather it is God’s Sovereign choice, (John 1:12-13.  Although verse 13 says that we are born not by the will of man, but of God, verse 12 had just declared that “all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God...”).  Calvinism in whatever form is no more than human philosophy, the “doctrines of men.” (Matt. 15:9). Why? Because there is no evidence of this false doctrine in the book of Acts of the apostles which is the book of conversions. Because there is not one example in the Bible that mentions God speaking to men directly to work directly on the heart of men to change or regenerate his heart.

In an effort to strip man of all responsibility and accountability to sin, the doctrines of Calvinism suggest that salvation is only a work of God and requires nothing of man whatsoever. To support their false argument, they abuse God's Grace citing Ephesians 2:8-10, ignoring the most fundamental concepts due to their prejudices about salvation in Christ. So, are we going to give those who abuse GRACE and its teaching the pleasure of abandoning God's Grace? NOT FOR A MOMENT! We cannot depend on a false promise of God's Grace that was never offered! If we are to overcome SIN, we must put into practice the teachings of GRACE, the Gospel, (Titus 2:11-12). We Christians must learn to grow in GRACE to have power over SIN! We are COMMANDED to grow in Grace, the doctrines of Christ to make certain our calling and never stumble. This is the only way we are going to enter the gates of heaven, where our Lord Jesus is, (2 Peter 1:5-11). We must keep working out our salvation with fear and trembling, since it is God who is working in us to please Him and do His will, (Philippians 2:12). Like the apostle Paul, we all must press on! We must live by God's divine standards, His principles of righteousness, His rule, and Lordship. We must allow GRACE to grow and work daily in us so that we can have victory over SIN.

  • What Grace Does, It Does Through The Gospel:
God’s Grace has already provided the blood of Jesus, the Sacred Scriptures, and faithful brethren who teach and edify one another in the church. What God's Grace does for men now is carried out through the Gospel. Consider the connection between what the Grace of God does and what the Gospel also does.  
    • Calling:  
      • We are called according to the Grace of God, (Gal. 1:6).
      • We are called through the Gospel, (2 Thessalonians 2:14).
    • Teaching:
      • The Grace of God appeared to teach and train all men to live godly and righteously that they might be saved, (Titus 2:11-12).
      • The Grace of God, the Scriptures instructs us and equips us for good works, (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
    • Produces Faith:
      • We believe through grace.  In Acts 18:27, the disciples believed through Grace.
      • Faith comes by hearing God's Word. By believing we have life in Christ, (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
    • Saving:
      • We have been saved through the Grace of the Lord Jesus, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and Grace, (Ephesians 2:5-8; 2 Timothy 1:9; Acts 15:11).
      • The Gospel is God's power (the implanted Word, the Message) to save our souls, (Romans 1:16; James 1:21; Acts 11:14).
    • Strengthening:
      • We are strengthened by the Grace that there is in Christ Jesus through His Word that we may be equipped for good works, (2 Tim. 2:1; 2 Thess. 2:16-17).
      • The Word of God's Grace can build us up and sanctify us so that we might receive our inheritance.  We are filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that we can walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him and bearing abundant fruit in every good work, (Col. 1:9-11; Acts 20:32; Rom. 16:25, 26).
    • Giving Eternal Life:
      •  We are justified by His Grace that we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  His words are spirit and life.  They are words of eternal life!  (Titus 3:7; John 6:63, 68).
    • A Brief Note of Application:
When one teaches those who practice sin that they must repent and obey God's terms to be saved, some accuse us saying that we are "playing God," "putting ourselves in God's place," or that "we are limiting the Grace of God."  They imply in an accusatory manner that we are in God's place, for we are deciding who will be saved through God's Grace.  Yet, they often say, "I just believe the Grace of God will cover those people."  Now the only real question at stake is, What does the Bible say?  You see, they ignore that the only way to know the Grace of God is to learn what God's Word says!  So if God's Word, His Gospel declares that all people who sin must repent to obey and please God, then how on earth can we be playing God when we preach and teach them the Gospel?!  We are just God's messengers who love their souls enough to teach them the Word of God's GraceWe are just declaring what God says they must do to receive and benefit from His Grace!

Moreover, those who claim that God will save them even when they continue practicing sin, but for some reason cannot find a Scripture that teaches or proves it according to them, aren't they the ones who are putting themselves in the place of God?  What do you think?  Aren't they placing themselves in God's place when they decide who will be saved without God having spoken anything about it?  So, why is it that when one rebukes sin, he gets accused of "playing God"?!  You tell me about it!  According to John 1:17, Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ and thus there is no conflict at all between Grace and Truth, for they go hand in hand, are inseparable and must work together!  God's Word is Truth.  Thus Grace works according to God's Word!  (John 17:17).  I must stress that Grace is not some kind of vague or elastic concept that we can stretch out and twist as we please just to cover whatever sins people want.  Indeed, that is God's place to say what His Grace will cover.  So, the only way to know that is by examining thoroughly what He has said in His inspired Word.  We must not "play God" even when we want to extend God's Grace where His Word has not spoken or given authority.  We must not limit His Grace where His Word has not limited it either.  We must not speculate about God's Grace, but rather do what God has said to do!


IV.   SO IS GRACE CONDITIONAL OR UNCONDITIONAL? 

Our religious friends disagree about whether Grace is received conditionally or unconditionally.  According to God's Word, to receive forgiveness and continue receiving the blessings that result from conditional Grace, there are certain things that we must do.  Surely, to receive Grace is dependent on our individual choice, how we act, think, speak, walk, etc.  Unconditional Grace implies that forgiveness and the resulting blessings are granted despite one’s choice or conduct.  That is, God would grant Grace completely on His own decision or determination without taking into account one’s will, desires and actions.  That is nothing more than "unconditional election," one of the most fundamental doctrines of Calvinism.  Surely, they ignore or reject that God offers salvation to all men in every place and that He gives each person the power to choose for himself.  It is up to each individual, their choice, to accept or reject God's offer of salvation!  (Rom. 8:28-33; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1; 2:9; 2 Thess. 2:13).  God offers salvation to all men and desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth, (2 Peter 3:9)!
  • Some Examples of Conditional Grace:
Many of our friends in the religious world are for the most part confused about their faith since they have been taught error and deceptive ideas that assume that Grace is completely "unmerited," in the sense that it is “unconditional.”  They go as far as to say that since we don't deserve Grace, there is nothing that we can do to receive it.  According to them, God will save the undeserving regardless of what they do: obey or disobey the Gospel Message.  So they end up being confused and in error about whether God’s blessings of forgiveness are conditional blessings or "merited" blessings.  And, according to them, since we cannot earn forgiveness, they wrongly conclude that there can be no "conditions."  To them it is a "denial of Grace" to say that one must do anything to receive forgiveness and be saved!  But guess what?  The Bible presents many great examples of people who received God's blessings by Grace but they had to meet God's conditions to receive His blessings!  They never would have received God's blessings had they failed to obey God's terms or conditions.  However, though they met the conditions and received the blessing, they still were not worthy of the blessing.  So, it was still a matter of Grace after all.  Let me give you a few examples.
    • The Fall of Jericho:  (Joshua 6:1-20)
In verse 2 we notice that God gave Jericho to Israel. Do you suppose they did not have to do anything to receive that gift?  Verses 3-5 give us the answer.  Notice what it says,
"3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4 Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 And when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”   

You see, for the people to receive the gift, they had to march around the city once each day for six days and seven times on the seventh day.  They also had to blow the horns, and shout.  When they did all of that, the walls fell down flat.  So, my questions are:  Was this act a favor from God?  Of course, for it was a gift from God, (verse 2).  Did marching, blowing the horns and shouting with a great shout "earn" the gift?  No, marching does not merit the destruction of a walled city like Jericho, for it was "unmerited favor."  A blessing they did not earn.  Thus, they received it by GraceSo, were the people commanded to meet the "conditions" to receive God's gift?  YES!  Would the people have received the gift if they had not met the conditions?  NO!  So, it was conditional Grace!

In Hebrews 11:30 we read, "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days."  This is a perfect example to demonstrate the kind of faith we must have to please God and be saved under the Gospel system of Grace, (cf. Hebrews 10:39; 11:6).  And just as Israel's faith demanded obedience to receive God's gift by Grace, so our faith demands obedience to receive God's gift of salvation by Grace.  Yet, it is still Grace, for the conditions do not earn the gift.

  • The Cure of Naaman:  (2 Kings 5:9-14).
Naaman was told by the prophet Elisha to dip seven times in Jordan to cure his leprosy, (verse 10).  Naaman afterward did as he was commanded to do so.  He went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to what Elisha had told them to do through God.  His flesh was then restored and clean like the flesh of a little child, (verse 14).  So, my question again.  Was this also a favor or gift from God?  Yes!  Did Naaman dipping in the Jordan earn the gift? No!  Why?  Simply because dipping in any river to be cured of leprosy could have never healed him and taken away his leprosy.  Again, this was an unmerited favor, so it was Grace!  You see Grace is conditional!  Why?  Because we must do something to receive Grace. The fact that one must do something to benefit from Grace does not contradict the concept.  So if Naaman is cured of his incurable leprosy, it is still a gift of Grace even though he had to dip himself in water to be cured and cleaned, why can't the removal of sin still be a gift by Grace even though one must dip, immerse in water (baptism) to receive the cleansing of sins?

  • Gideon's Defeat of the Midianites:  (Judges 7:1-22).
Gideon defeated a vast number of Midianites with only 300 men.  So, was this a favor from God?  Of course!   God promised He would save them and give the Midianites into their hands.  God saved Israel as He promised He would, (verses 7, 9).  Again, did Israel earn the blessing?  No!  Why?  Because according to verse 2, God deliberately arranged everything so that they could not claim glory for themselves claiming that they were saved by their own hand.  Notice what God said to them, "2 The Lord said to Gideon, 'The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me."'  So, again, did not Israel have to meet conditions to receive the gift?  Of course, they had to obey and do exactly what they were told to do to receive God's favor or gift!  Would Israel have received the victory if they had not surrounded the enemy, held torches, blown trumpets and shouted with all their might? As He did with Jericho, (Joshua 6:1-20)?  Would Israel have succeeded if they had not met God's conditions?  Never!  So it was conditional Grace after all!!

Now, take a look at the parallel that we can draw with Ephesians 2:8-9. This is a Scripture that teaches that salvation is a gift of God by Grace, not of ourselves or of works so that no one may boast. But many distort this passage saying that there is nothing that we must do to receive salvation.  Let me clarify this error using a few examples from both the Old and New Testaments:

Israel & Gideon 
(Judges 7
Our Salvation 
(Ephesians 2:8-9
Saved from Midian 
Saved from sin 
A gift from God
A gift from God 
By Grace
By Grace
Not earned by human hands 
Not earned either by human works 
Man cannot glory 
So that man cannot boast 
Conditions (obedience) was required 
Conditions (obedience) is required 

So, can we still deny that Israel was saved by Grace but still had to meet God's conditions to receive His favor, gift or blessings?  So, why deny that our salvation by Grace also demands conditions to be obeyed?

    • Noah's Salvation From The Flood:  (Genesis 6).
"So the Lord said, 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord."'  (Genesis 7:7-8).

Was Noah not saved by Grace?  Of course, he was!  He found Grace in the eyes of the LORD.  In Proverbs 3:24 the word "Grace" is used in this same manner.  Notice what both say, "Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor (or grace)."  "6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'"  
"13 And God said to Noah, 'I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits.  22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.  5 And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him."'  (Genesis 6:13-15, 22; 7:5).

So according to Genesis 6:13-15, 22; 7:5, Did Noah have to do anything to be saved by Grace?  Yes, for he built the ark as God had commanded him.  He did all that God told him to do to build the ark to save him and his family.  So, do you suppose Noah would have been saved if he had not obeyed God about building the ark?  No!  So, it was conditional Grace!  

In Hebrews 11:7 we are given an excellent example to teach us how we are saved from sin, (Hebrews 10:39; 11:6by faith using Noah's obedience by faith toward God.  God used Noah's excellent example from the Old Testament to show us the New Testament salvation by Grace through faith.  Notice that both demanded meeting God's conditions, (1 Peter 3:20-21; Romans 15:4).  So there are conditions or requirements attached that must be met even though the gift, favor, is unmerited (not earned). Grace is conditional, for one must do something to receive the gift of Grace.  Unmerited does not mean unconditional! Salvation by Grace is received conditionally.  For more Bible examples about conditional Grace please read, Exodus 17:6; Numbers 21:6ff; Genesis 19:19; Hebrews 11.
  • The New Testament Grace And Its Universal Nature:
It is already proven that Grace is conditional.  Although there are conditions attached to the gift of Grace, such existence of conditions does not remove Grace.  Let us consider the universal nature of Grace using the Scriptures to prove it.
    1. Titus 2:11:  "11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people."
    2. Romans 11:32:  "32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all."  God has mercy on all.  He offers His Grace to those who are in bondage to sin.
    3. Hebrews 2:9:  "9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."  Jesus tasted death for all humanity when He died for all, for God wants all men to be saved, (1 Tim. 2:4,6; John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9; Mark 16:15-16).
    4. Romans 2:11:  "11 For God shows no partiality."

As we can see, the New Testament clearly teaches that salvation by Grace is available to all of humanity of every nation, for God shows no partiality, (Acts 10:34-35; 15:11; Romans 5:15-21).  This Truth destroys all the Calvinistic system of theology about unconditional election and limited atonement!  You see Calvinism denies the fact that God's Grace is available or offered to all who want to meet God's terms of redemption.  Jesus died for all so that all mankind might have access to God's gift of salvation by Grace.  
    1. Calvinism asserts that Jesus' death is only available or offered to those whom God unconditionally chose before the world began.  
    2. That all others are lost and can never receive Grace.  
    3. That God does not even offer Grace to them and that Jesus never died for them.  
And though most modern Calvinists reject these views, it is still strict Calvinistic theology.  But the above Scriptures contradict their erroneous system of theology by proving that the Grace of God is extended to all people since Jesus died for all.  The Calvinistic view of Grace mocks God and makes Him look unloving, unmerciful and a respecter of people when they claim that Grace and the blessings that result because of Jesus' death are only extended to just a few despite their choice or conduct.  It is an absurd doctrine!!  

So according to Calvinistic Systematic Theology, if God's Grace is unconditional, then all humanity will be saved, for Grace extends to all!  This is nothing but "universalism"!  This is false doctrine and there is no Truth in it because it contradicts God's Grace and His revealed Word.  Furthermore, it contradicts those Scriptures that state that many will be lost, (Matt. 7:13-14, 21,-23; 25:31-46; 2 Thess. 1:6-9 and many other passages).  The only thing that is true is that salvation by Grace is received "conditionally" and it is offered to all people.  But each person must choose if he wants to meet the conditions given by God, and thus to benefit from His gift or favor.  God is no respecter of persons, for He offers salvation to all humanity.  However, many will be lost since they reject and refuse to meet God's conditions of Grace!  And since the Word of God explicitly affirms that the Grace of God is extended to all people, we must conclude saying that all men will be saved if they meet the conditions given by God to receive His grace.  God's Grace is for all, for He is not a respecter of persons.  But it is critical to note one more time that many will be lost, for Grace is conditional!  The Gospel teaches salvation by Grace.  Is baptism a commanded condition, for the one who wants to receive the forgiveness of sins?  Let me explain this with the Scriptures using Gospel examples of salvation by Grace.
    • The Jews:
In Acts 15:7-11, the Jews  ("we") are saved through Grace "in like manner as they." ("even as," "just as they will") Who are they?  The Gentiles.  You see Grace serves in a certain manner or way and that same manner or way is the same for all people, Jew or Gentile.  So what is that manner?  Is that manner conditional or not?  It will be better to go back to Acts 2:36-41 when the first Jews obeyed the Gospel or were converted to Christ.  First, Peter spoke to them, (Acts 2:14, 38).  The Jews had to be taught what to do to be saved, for Grace works through God's revealed Word instead of some mystical and speculative way.  When we read verse 36 of chapter 2, we find out that they had to believe in Jesus completely.  They had to know what they had done and who Jesus was.  In verse 38, we learn that they had to repent and be baptized for the remission, that is the forgiveness of sins.  That same day they were taught the Gospel, and 3,000 souls were saved and added to Christ, (verse 41).  So did the Jews earn salvation?  No more than Naaman, Gideon, Noah, Abraham, and others did.  You see the work done did not earn the gift received.  But wait a minute!  Was obedience then not necessary to receive the gift?  Of course, it was!!  Because Grace and salvation are received conditionally!
    • The Gentiles:
In Acts 15:11 both Jews and Gentiles were to be saved in the same manner.  In Acts 10:33ff; 11:14 we read about the conversion of the first recorded Gentile, Cornelius.  But Cornelius was commanded to hear the word of the Gospel, the Message to believe (have faith) and be saved, (Acts 15:7).  In Acts 10:43, Peter said, "everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”  Later, he retold the events saying, "Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe."  (Acts 15:7).  Thus, their hearts were cleansed by faith in Christ, (Acts 15:9), for He had granted the Gentiles repentance that leads to life, (Acts 11:18).  God accepts and rewards those who work righteousness, (Acts 10:47-48).  God commands all men to be baptized in water for the forgiveness of our sins.  God has not changed His plan of redemption and it is still the same as it was over 2,000 years when it began on the day of Pentecost where 3,000 souls were baptized to be saved.  47 “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?' 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.'"  (Acts 10:47-48).  Without water baptism, there can never be remission of sins.  You see Jews and Gentiles were saved by the Grace of God in the same manner, for it is conditional and such conditions are always the same!! One of those conditions is water baptism.  Period!
    • Paul:
Paul was saved by God's Grace.  He became a pattern to others who believe the Gospel to receive eternal life.  Paul is the apostle who emphasized or stressed the "doctrine of salvation by Grace."  So was Paul's salvation a pattern of conditional or unconditional Grace?  It was a pattern that we too must follow to be saved.  Remember that Paul had been a persecutor but by the Grace of God, Jesus appeared to him on his way to Damascus, (Acts 9:1-6).  Jesus commanded Paul to go into the city to be "told what he must do."  You see, Paul had things that he must do (i.e., conditions to be met).  He had to be told what those conditions there were (surely, he believed and repented at this point so far).  Paul was baptized in Damascus, for the man whom God sent told him what he must do.  He told him to be baptized and wash away his sins, (Acts 9:18; 22:16).  The apostle Paul, who taught salvation by Grace, and who established a pattern for our salvation, was saved by conditional Grace.  Of course, that pattern included water baptism to have our sins washed away!!
    • The Romans:
"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God."  (Romans 5:1-2).

Indeed, the book of Romans is an excellent treatise on salvation by grace through faith under the Gospel.  So, was the salvation of the Romans conditional or unconditional?  Before we answer this question, we must stress that we are justified by "faith," for by faith we have access to Grace.  So according to Romans 5:1-2, we must meet at least one condition:  faith!  (Romans 3:22-26; 4:2-8, 14-16; 10:14).  The Gospel is God's power to save all who believe, for faith comes by hearing God's Word, (Romans 1:16, 10:17).  This must be an obedient faith that leads people to repentance. God's goodness and mercy lead all men to repent.  But those who refuse to repent and obey the Gospel will sadly receive His wrath on the final day of judgment, (Romans 2:4-10).  One must believe in his heart (faith).  Again this must be an obedient faith that must confess with the mouth to be saved, (Romans 10:9-10).  Once again, if Grace were unconditional, then neither faith nor confession is necessary to be saved.  For confession is an outward physical act done with the mouth.  To be freed from the slavery of sin, one must obey the teaching delivered or taught.  This teaching includes of course baptism.  In baptism, we come into Christ and into His death so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life (born again).  "17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness."  (Romans 6:3-4; 17-18).  So, Paul's treatise on salvation by Grace demonstrates that Grace is conditional and one of those conditions is baptism.  Although forgiveness is a gift from God that we do not deserve, we still must meet the conditions to receive the gift.
    • The Ephesians:
"Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast."  (Ephesians 2:5, 8-9).  

The Ephesians are an example of salvation by Grace through faith.  So was this Grace conditional or unconditional?  Let us examine a few Scriptures that speak about their conversion.
  1. Ephesians 2:8-9:  This Scripture affirms that we are saved by Grace through faith.  But faith is conditional, for one must obey this condition to be saved.  So if Grace is unconditional, why do we need faith (Acts 19:8-10)?  The Ephesians were forgiven by Grace after they had heard the word of truth and believed it, (Ephesians 1:7, 13).  In Acts 20:24, 27, 32, Paul told the elders at Ephesus that he had testified to the Gospel of the Grace of God.  Thus, hearing the Gospel is essential to have faith.  The apostle Paul taught, not just faith, but also repentance, (Acts 19:8, 19).  As a result of Paul's preaching, the Ephesians were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, (Acts 19:5).  Hence those who were taught about salvation by Grace in Ephesians 2, were evidence to show that Grace commands that we meet the conditions set by God.  Baptism is one of those conditions required for salvation.
  2. In 1 Peter 3:20-21, we are told that Noah was saved by Grace but such Grace was conditional, for there were requirements to be met or obeyed.  Noah had to obey the conditions to be savedWater separated Noah (who received God's Grace or favor) from the wicked people who were condemned because of their lawlessness.  This is an excellent example of salvation by GraceToday we are also saved by water in baptism, for water is commanded by God for our salvation. Baptism saves us!  The power is not in the water, but in Christ's death and resurrection.  Our obedient faith leads us to meet or obey the conditions of salvation.  Like Noah, we are also saved by Grace through faith.  Today many object to baptism as a necessary condition to be saved.  They claim that such conditions violate the whole concept of unmerited Grace or salvation.  But why argue only about baptism?  Are not hearing, believing, repenting and confession with the mouth also necessary or vital conditions for salvation?  So if Grace is unconditional, then none of these conditions are necessary.  The Gospel declares that they are necessary!!  So if they are necessary for salvation, then Grace is not unconditional!  Again, we must stress that salvation by Grace under the Gospel is conditional.  So what are the conditions to be obeyed?  The Gospel plainly declares that baptism is a required condition to salvation, (Acts 18:27; 8:22; John 1:12-17; Gal. 5:4-6; Titus 3:3-8; Heb. 12:15-15).

V.  CAN A CHRISTIAN SIN AND BE LOST ETERNALLY?  FALL FROM GRACE:

There are many passages in the Bible that teach and warn us about continuing steadfastly in the faith to continue in God's favor, Grace to receive eternal life.  Many people believe that a Christian can sin and not be lost eternally.  This doctrine is called "the eternal security of the believer," "perseverance of the saints," "impossibility of apostasy," or "once saved, always saved."  This is one of the major tenets of Calvinism.  They believe that a Christian's sins do not affect his soul for eternity nor the way he lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, his attitude toward others.  For none of these things, according to them, have anything to do with the salvation of their soul.  Those who believe that they still will receive eternal life regardless of their sins, have no reason to be on guard against sin or repent of their sins since they believe in a false sense of security.  They don't realize that they will be lost if they do not repent of their sins, ask forgiveness for their sins, serve God faithfully and study His Word diligently to receive salvation, eternal life.  There can only be assurance and eternal security when we obey God and do His commands.  So can a child of God become disobedient, stop being faithful, fail to repent and show fruits of repentance and be lost?  Absolutely he can!  We must remain faithful and endure until the end to receive eternal life.  I must stress that we Christians are warned that unforgiven sins will lead us to be lost eternally.  Consider some Scriptures that show that a Christian can sin and be lost eternally:
  1. John 15:1-6:  We must bear good fruit or otherwise we will be cast off, cast into the fire and burned.
  2. Romans 8:12-17:  We must live according to the Spirit and not satisfy the works of the flesh.
  3. Galatians 6:7-9:  We must sow to the Spirit and not the flesh, for corruption cannot inherit the kingdom of God, Gal. 5:21).
  4. 1 Corinthians 9:27 and 10:12:  We must control and discipline our body and bring it into subjection, for we must avoid sin at all cost or we will be disqualified and rejected, (Rom. 1:28; 2 Tim. 3:8; Tit. 1:16). Those who are guilty of sin will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  5. Hebrews 3:6, 11-14; 4:9, 11:  We must avoid rebelling like the Israelites.  Israel failed to enter God's rest because of their lack of faith and because of their disobedience to God.  So we must hold fast our confidence (our faith) firm, steadfastly to the end.  If we depart from the faith and do not endure to the end, we will not enter the rest God has promised and prepared for His faithful ones.  The eternal reward is conditional based on our steadfast faithfulness.
  6. Hebrews 10:26-31, 39:  We must avoid willful sin, for there is no sacrifice for their sin.  But if they repent, God will forgive them.  As long as they refuse to repent and their sinful conduct continues, there is no sacrifice, for they trod underfoot God's Son and count the blood of Jesus with which they were sanctified unholy.  Their destiny is a fierceness of fire and punishment and vengeance from God.
  7. 2 Peter 1:8-11; 2:20-22:  We must grow in Christ and never return to the world of darkness.  There is security for those who keep growing in the Grace of God, adding those excellent qualities mentioned in verses 5-7 and making their calling and election sure to prevent stumbling and have an entrance in the everlasting kingdom of God, (verse 11).  Remember eternal security is conditional, for the Christian must not be entangled again in the kingdom of darkness, (verse 20) and turn from the holy command, (verse 21).  For if he does, he will be worse off than when he was ignorant of the Truth, (verse 20).
  8. Romans 6:12-18:  We must not allow sin to rule in our bodies nor present our members as instruments of sin, unrighteousness for that will lead them to spiritual death.
  9. Hebrews 6:4-8:  We must avoid at all cost falling away, for it be will hard to be restored.  Our destiny is to be burned like a field of thorns, (verse 8).
  10. Revelation 3:5; Exodus 32:30-33:  We must avoid having our names removed from the Book of Life, for only those who are in the Book will enter the eternal city.  Those who are not in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire, (Rev. 21:27).

God has continually warned His children of the danger of being lost eternally.  With all these warnings about being lost eternally if we don't continue being steadfast in our faith to the end, are you resolved to continue faithful, guarding your service and devotion to God so that you will not lose your eternal reward and be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity?  The doctrine of "the eternal security of the believer," or "once saved, always saved" it is a tempting doctrine, for it is comforting and tells people what they want to hear.  They refuse to believe that they can fall into sin and be lost eternally.  It contradicts the Bible.  We Christians can only be secure when we heed the dangers, and guard our souls and avoid sin.  We must be watching for sin in our lives and repent from a sincere heart (i.e., a change of behavior and habits) when were are guilty because of the weight of our sins.  Remember the destiny of our souls is at stake!!


CONCLUSION:

Again I say, studies of the Bible such as this one have been very fruitful for me as it deepens my understanding of God's Truth.  A Truth that illuminates my path in life and helps me shine my light along the way that I may not trip, fall and be easily deceived.   When we follow the light of God's Truth, that Light will show our path. When we turn off that light, (before we have actually arrived at our destination), we run the risk of walking in the dark and being misled.  I always marvel at God's jewels found in His Word designed to perfect us and make us more into His image.  The beauty of God's Word is its simplicity. Without the Word of God, there is no Light for us, (Isa. 8:20).  Christ is our Light, (John 8:12) that guides us to live a better life dedicated to God's service.  God's Word is a lamp to our feet that is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work, (2 Tim. 3:16-17).  Therefore, we must keep God’s light shining brightly ahead of us to avoid deception.  It's like seeking for a hidden treasure in a field, and when one finds it, he hides it again.  And in one's joy, he sells all that he has to buy it. That is exactly how my soul feels every time I dig deeper into the Scriptures and find God's hidden riches in His Word.  Such treasures are too precious to me! The Bible is God's treasure chest that helps us hunt for His precious gems found in His Word.  David said, "In Thy precepts I meditate, And I behold attentively Thy paths.  In Thy statutes I delight myself, I do not forget Thy word."  (Psalm 119:15-16).   Like David, I want to saturate my heart with God's Truth and treasure it in my heart.  I want to contemplate God's riches and treasures, and delight in the Lord's teachings.  

Spiritual death has reigned from Adam to Moses and sin was in the world, (Romans 5:15-19).  It is important to stress that we were not made sinners because of Adam's disobedience.  Adam was a type of the one to come, Jesus.  Both men changed the course of history for mankind. Yet, Jesus' actions were not like Adam's.  The free gift of Jesus is not like the trespass of Adam.  "15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many."  (Romans 5:15).  You see what Adam did, our Lord Jesus corrected and canceled out.  What Adam did brought death but what Jesus did brought abundant Grace to many.  We sin, but through Jesus, there is overflowing Grace, for the gift overflows!!   For Christ died while we were helpless!! I have no words to express my gratitude to God and His Son for what they did for us through the gift of Grace!!!  Our sins have been canceled out only by the Grace of Jesus and not by our own righteousness or doing.  What Jesus did was the biggest gift.  The gift overflowed to many because of the Grace of Jesus, for sin and death have conquered and defeated us, but Grace overflowed because of what Jesus did.  Notice the parallel here.  Jesus introduced Grace to the world.  Adam's transgression introduced sin and death (separation from God).  The Grace of God reverses the power of sin.  Grace overflows only through Jesus our Lord!!   

Jesus sinless sacrifice brought justification to this world, for without Him there was no hope to remove God's wrath.  Because of Jesus' suffering, sacrifice, humiliation, shame, and crucifixion, we are justified so that we might be acquitted by God.  God has the right to execute His wrath on us for our trespasses and sins, for we have committed many sins and missed the mark over and over.  But God sent the gift of Grace through Jesus to bring justification to us.  I cannot fathom how a loving and merciful God can stand ready to forgive us despite our enormous sins!!!  Indeed, we serve a glorious, loving and merciful God!!!

Our God wants to reconcile us to Him by Grace through Jesus. Justification can only be found in Jesus. But Jesus' act of righteousness does not automatically make us righteous.  His act of righteousness only made it possible for us to be justifiedWhen we are joined to Jesus by faith, we can stand in Grace.  Grace rules now through God's covenant of faithfulness (righteousness) leading to eternal life through Jesus, (Romans 5:20-21).  God has revealed His righteousness through His Son.  He sent His Son to be sacrificed and tortured for our sins, thus bringing Grace into the world.  God's Grace is powerful enough to transform the heart of sinners.  Jesus was the offering for our sins and perfect sacrifice for them "so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."  That is, that through Jesus we are declared righteous before God, for our sins are not counted against us.  But we must not receive the Grace of God in vain, (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).  What God has done for us through Christ to reconcile us to Him must not be taken for granted!  We must strive for holiness for without it we will not see the Lord.  Holiness must be essential in the life of Christians (those who have already tasted of God's Grace).  We must offer sacrifices to be in a relationship with God.  Obedience flows from Grace.  Those who are saved by Grace, redeemed, must be set apart and cease from sinning for God to remain with them.  The Grace of God teaches us to be holy in His presence.  The Grace of God must transform our lives into holiness and righteousness.  We must strive for holiness, for God is holy and demands that we be holy.  God makes us holy through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, (1 Corinthians 6:11).  Those who have been forgiven of their sins because of the Grace of God through His Son must be worthy of their calling, for God has sanctified them and made them holy.  Thus we, the redeemed, must live our lives reflecting the holiness of God, for His Son has paid the ultimate ransom price that we may live holy and be in fellowship with Him and receive eternal life.  We must continue being obedient, serving Jesus and standing firm in the Grace of God to receive our ultimate reward, heaven.  This is the Grace in which we stand!  

The Gospel of Grace is where we stand, (1 Corinthians 15:1-11) and we must stand in the Gospel, for we were saved through the Gospel.  Thus we must hold fast to that Gospel Message.  Our whole life is declared on this Message Our past (before we obeyed the Gospel), our present (we're presently standing in the Gospel Message) and our future (we are being saved, eternal life) are founded in the Truth of the resurrection of Jesus.  Thus we must not lose our grip and neglect to stand in the hope of the resurrection of Jesus.  The foundation on which we stand is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, and was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures and finally that He made many resurrection appearances.  The Gospel Message compels us to see ourselves for who we really are, for we are nothing, have no life within us, our sins are overwhelming and beyond.  Indeed we are unworthy.  The Gospel Message demands humility, for it causes us to see the wretchedness of our sinsThe Gospel changes who we are, for God takes us from our state of unrighteousness and ungodliness to being declared righteous when we obey the Gospel of Grace from the heart.  God's Grace becomes the catalyst for the transformation and renewal of our mind.  The Grace of God must compel us to work our salvation hard, otherwise, it is not grace!  Grace does not lead to laziness and negligence.  We cannot stand in the hope of the resurrection without holding fast to the Gospel Message.  The Grace of God must work in our lives, transforming us into what God wants us to be, in His likeness.  

Since we are awaiting the coming of our Lord Jesus, we must make every effort to be found without spot or blemish and at peace.  Since Jesus' blood has cleansed us, we must strive to remain clean and spotless.  We must grow in the Grace of God, our faith, that has been given to us through the Gospel of Grace.  We cannot afford to stay ignorant of the Scriptures because we may be carried away by error and lose our confidence and stability.  We must watch that we might not be led astray.  We must grow in Grace and knowledge to fight false teaching and the danger of falling away.  God's Grace teaches us to live godly and righteously.  We have all that we need to make it through and come out victorious in our relationship with God.  Grace helps us to grow in our character so that we can endure to the end.  In doing this, we can rest assured that we will not throw away our confidence and be shaken by error, sin, and false teachers.  We must hold on tight to the Grace of God, His teachings, the Gospel to not be carried away from our faith but rather move closer to the Lord, knowing what He has done for us.  

When we exercise self-discipline and self-control, we are placing our hope completely on the Grace of God.  It means we are going to control our desires, our wants, ourselves, materialism, the lust of the world.  Grace does not teach us to obey our desires, on the contrary, it teaches us to deny them, (Titus 2:10-12).  We are commanded to reject our desire and be transformed in our conduct.  Grace teaches us that Jesus died to deliver us from the slavery of sin.  We must set our hope completely on the Grace of God, for He redeemed us and bought us.  "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people."  God's Grace appeared in the form of Jesus.  Jesus came to this world bringing the Grace of God.  Jesus came, bringing salvation.  All humanity has the opportunity of salvation, for Jesus brought salvation to each one of us.  No one is excluded.  It does not matter how bad your sins have been, your mistakes or what sins you have committed.  Salvation is granted to all people.  God's Grace is for all!!  Jesus' atonement is not limited but offered to all who are willing to meet the conditions of Grace, salvation.  The Grace of God is training and teaching us how to live our lives godly to please God.  When we forget what God has done by Grace through His Son, we sin, for we are not keeping our mind on Jesus.  The Grace of God is a tool that changes our lives, to control our emotions, to be self-controlled, to be patient, to control our tongues and temper.  It also teaches us to live upright, compassionate, kind, giving, fair, thoughtful and just.  Grace is living the life that Jesus lived, for Jesus is the Grace of God revealed in Him.  Thus we must tell everyone about God's Grace and that Grace has come to bring us salvation!  

God offers us salvation by inviting us to come and partake on His gift at no cost to us since His Son has already paid the ransom for us.  This free gift is called Grace.  Jesus already purchased us by His blood.  Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father, who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."  (John 6:44).  Notice that this invitation of pardon that the Father is offering to us is through His everlasting Word.  It is the only way of salvation: by accepting his invitation, this free gift.  

God's pardon, His Grace, carries conditions which we are required to meet.  These conditions are vital to obtaining such Grace or pardon.  Consider these conditions:
  1. Hear the Gospel:  (Acts 11:14; Romans 10:17; James 1:21;I Cor. 1:18-21; 15:2; 2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 2:20).
  2. Believe the Gospel:  (Romans 1:16; Mark 16:15-16; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9).
  3. Repent of sins:  (Acts 2:38; Acts 5:31; 2 Cor. 7:10; Acts 3:19; Acts 3:20; Acts 26:20).
  4. Confess Jesus as Lord:  (Romans 10:9-10).
  5. Be baptized for forgiveness of sins:  (Mark 16:15,16; I Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3 and Acts 2:38).
  6. Live a faithful life unto death:  (Matthew 10:22; Acts 2:47; Romans 2:6-8; Eph.1:13; 5:23,25; 2 Thess. 2:10,13; Heb. 10:39; I Cor. 1:21; 15:2ff; I Tim. 4:16; Tit. 3:5; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; 8:11-12).  
God's Grace will be secured if we meet all of His conditions or requirements.    So when one is a sincere seeker, he wants to know God's Truth; he wants to understand God's plan of salvation; he does not establish his own righteousness; instead, he wants to submit to the righteousness of God, (Romans 10:2-3).  

The Bible declares that we are saved by Grace, by faith, that is, by believing the promises which offer salvation to those who repent and are baptized in water for the remission of their sins. The faith of Christ is doing something.  God says that in the water of baptism one's sins are washed away, (Acts 2:38; 22:16).  We are not saved by anything alone:  Grace alone, faith alone, works alone and water alone.  But we are saved by meeting all the terms that Jesus Himself insists on. God's love, Grace, and mercy sent His Son to die for us, (John 3:16).  God's Grace teaches us to repent and deny worldly lusts, (Titus 2:12).  Our works will perfect our faith, (James 2:22).  Baptism puts one into Christ, (Gal. 3:27).  Only in Christ is salvation found, (2 Tim. 2:10).  Remaining faithful is essential to salvation.  Paul told Timothy to "retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus."  (2 Tim. 1:13).  Belief in Christ and the Gospel changes and regenerates the heart.  Repentance changes the conduct.  Confession changes the Lord of life.  Baptism changes the status.  And remaining faithful changes the eternal destiny.  How serious are you about going to heaven?  Is your faithfulness exhibited by your devoted service?  Have you remained faithful in your service to the Lord?  Remember this is part of our faith and works.

So can a Christian fall away and be lost eternally? YES!  The Word of God is crystal clear on this. Why?  Because

  1.  A Christian can come short of the Grace of God, (Heb. 12:15).
  2. He can wander from the Truth, (James 5:10-20).
  3. He can stray away after Satan, (1 Tim. 5:15).
  4.  he can be “carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.” (2 Peter 3:17).
  5. He can be destroyed if he is weak, (1 Cor. 8:11).
  6. He can forsake the right way and go astray, (2 Peter 2:14-15).
  7. He can turn back from the holy commandment, (2 Peter 2:21).
  8. He can fall under condemnation, (James 5:12).
  9. He may be disqualified, (1 Cor. 9:27).
  10. He can be "thrown away like a branch and wither; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” (John 15:1-6).
  11. He can depart from the living God, (Heb. 3:12).
  12. He can come short of the promise, (Heb. 4:1).
  13. He can depart from the faith, (1 Tim. 4:1) and be carried away with false doctrines, (Heb. 13:9).
  14. He can cling to sin, (Heb. 12:1).
  15. He can shrink back unto perdition and not save his soul, (Heb. 10:38-39) and 
  16. He can fall from Grace, (Gal. 5:4).  
Therefore, the doctrine of “once saved, always saved,” "the eternal security of the believer," "perseverance of the saints," "impossibility of apostasy," taught by Baptists, Presbyterians and many others is completely false and a doctrine of demons. Such a doctrine contradicts all of the Scriptures that simply affirm that any Christian can indeed sin and fall from Grace and be lost eternally.  The man-made system of Calvinism from beginning to end is false.  It is a system of doctrines of men (and Satan!) whose primary purpose is to deceive millions of souls not to obey the Gospel of the Grace of God, (Romans 10:16; 2 Thess. 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17).  With all this being said let us be wise to differentiate between the Bible Grace of God and the false Grace of Protestant theology!

Thanks be to God for the Gospel of the Grace of God, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes!!!  (Romans 1:16)

May all men come to know Him and keep His Word, living by Grace and bearing good fruit.  May He help us walk by Grace and grow in His Grace so that we may have victory over sin.  May we also love the Truth so that we may please God and be saved.  May we learn Christ through Grace so that we may walk in the likeness of God, in His righteousness and the holiness of the Truth.  May we also abide in the Gospel of Grace with all perseverance.  May we be on guard for false doctrines as well as their false teachers, always abiding in Christ's Truth, striving with all of our heart and soul so that our Father in heaven can perfect our work.  May we stand firm, striving together for the Gospel of the Grace of God.  May we glorify God for His indescribable Grace to us.


"Knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel... Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God."  
Philippians 1:16, 27-28

Luci