Sweet Sovereign Saving Grace

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Do you find the topic of grace boring?

Someone asked me, “Don’t you ever get tired of preaching on grace?” My response was “no,” because every other doctrine in the Christian faith is build upon and related to God’s sovereign grace.

Grace is something that is charming and beautiful. Once you have come under the strong grip of God’s saving grace you can never be the same person again. And neither can you ever be a base ingrate, either.

The apostle Paul was “dumbfounded,” absolutely astonished, that there were people who professed faith in Christ who were turning to a counterfeit gospel. They were “so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). They were turning to a teaching and philosophy that was “no gospel at all” (v. 7). They were changing their minds and deserting the message of grace in Christ. It is a strong word Paul uses meaning to desert or revolt in the military. They had changed their religion.

What they were being lead to believe was really no good news at all. It was a heresy, a cult of man’s making. It was diametrically opposed to the Good News in Christ.

If you are saved by grace, it is no longer on the basis of men’s deeds. Because salvation is by the unmerited favor of God, it is not at all conditioned on what we have done, and never can be.

These deceived believers were being led astray and turned from the message of grace to the message of the Judaizers who were teaching you had to become a Jewish person and be circumcised before you could become a true Christian.

They have their kinfolk in our day who teach similar philosophies. They add some private man made teaching to the message of grace. Instead of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone, they add a human teaching. Cults add to and pervert the message of pure grace. Do you add circumcision, baptism, good works, a religious system, etc. to the atonement of Jesus Christ? If you strive to please men, you are not a bondservant of Christ (v. 10).

Salvation by grace through faith is unmerited and freely bestowed by God, and is offered to sinful men out of the pure generosity and love of God. There are no strings attached to it. It is always offered as a free gift to be accepted with open, empty hands of faith.

When we accept God’s free gift of salvation by faith we are in the position of objects of His everlasting favor. Then why in the world would we ever want to change that relationship for a man made philosophy of religion?

Why exchange the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ for something of a different kind? Modern cults are turning from the true Gospel of saving grace to a false teaching of human works. Grace glorifies God alone. Good works to earn salvation glorify sinful men and religious leaders. It is not only different in character from the Gospel of Christ, but it is essentially evil. A salvation by works message is no good news for the lost sinner. It is not good news; it is a terrible distortion of the finished work of Christ. It is the exact opposite of the saving message of Christ. It is a perversion of Christianity. Anything that changes the message of salvation by grace through faith in Christ for a good works message is a perverted message that sends people to an eternal hell without God and without eternal salvation. The apostle Paul said, “If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace” (Rom. 11:6). If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of men’s good deeds.

Grace and works are mutually exclusive possibilities in regard to salvation. Either we are saved by God’s grace alone or we are trying unsuccessfully to save ourselves by our own works. There are no other possibilities. However, God has created us precisely “to do good works” as a result of being saved by grace alone. God prepared these works in advance for us to do. We are a part of His eternal purposes and if we are not producing good works to please Him we fail to be all He wants us to be and are not building His kingdom.

The believer is the object of the sovereign choice of God for salvation. In grace, the spontaneous overflowing love of God bestows the gift of salvation upon undeserving sinful people who deserve eternal punishment. Because we are elected by the sovereign grace of God all human works are entirely excluded from the question of salvation. Salvation is a gift from God with no strings attached to it. It can never be produced by sinful man or earned by him.


Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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