Originally in SABeacon.com (see link at the bottom)
March 22, 2019 By Dean R. Chollar, Jr.
Does the Bible clearly teach that we receive eternal life by grace, as a gift, through faith, apart from any works? Yes! It is a clear glass of water.
In my first article, we talked about how the message of salvation can seem clear at first, but can sometimes become heavy, burdensome and even “muddy” over time. Before we begin looking at passages that might be misinterpreted to teach something different, let us take a look at some of the many passages that teach this wonderful truth so very clearly, like a clear glass of water as opposed to a muddy one.
Here’s one of the clearest passages regarding grace:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.
If salvation by grace alone occurred in just one place in the Bible, that would be one thing. However, consider this one also:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
If it were just these two, perhaps one could make an argument that we are misunderstanding salvation by grace. But the list just goes on and on. Here are just a few of the many more:
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
“but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.”
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.
Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
“We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
Over and over again, the scriptures clearly teach that it is by grace, through faith in Jesus that we receive forgiveness of our sins.
Over and over again, the scriptures clearly teach that it is by grace, through faith in Jesus we’re made right before God, and guaranteed our eternal life with Him.
Perhaps this is the very first time you have heard this message clearly. In that case, we urge you to put your trust in Jesus alone! Maybe you have already put your trust in Jesus, but since then the beautiful message of grace has become clouded with an oppressive set of expectations, weighing you down. Rejoice and reclaim the freedom that Jesus bought for you! All of your good works can now be done with an attitude of gratitude, rather than guilt and fear!
Maybe you have even mistakenly taught others a more confusing message yourself, or serve in a church family that doesn’t teach these truths clearly. We can only teach what we ourselves understand. The Lord forgives you and others, and will not hold it against you. Again, that is the wonderful message of grace!
In view of these many clear verses, we now need to move on and take a look at some of the passages that are often misunderstood. Stay tuned!
Dean R. Chollar, Jr. is the founder and CEO of CrossWay International. He travels extensively in the United States and has traveled to over 50 countries to develop and oversee our ministries. (Dean’s Bio). To contact Dean: email@example.com.