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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SALVATION! What is it? How do I know I have it?

Though so many, throughout the ages, have added requirement upon requirement for the attainment of Salvation, Paul, the beloved Lion of God, explained this to us better than anyone else could, in Romans 8!

Romans 8 (King James Version)

1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

24For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

25But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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By Christian N. Temple

The Case for Faith Alone

Do Free Grace advocates teach an empty, lip service type of faith, and teach that this is enough to acquire salvation from Christ? Must the sinner also claim Christ as Lord at the moment of salvation? Proponents of the Faith Alone position believe that any addition to the Gospel message of "believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" is an assault on the Biblical message of salvation by grace alone.

By assaults we are talking about additions to the message of FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE. All believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are responsible to be His representatives. We are ambassadors of Christ who are to give testimony to the person and work of the Savior. When it comes in the message, there is only one message (or Gospel) that we may proclaim and remain faithful to the Bible. Unfortunately, confusion abounds with respect to the content and presentation of the good news of God's grace in the person and work of Christ.(8)

According to Blauvelt, "An unbeliever, to avail himself of the salvation offered in Christ, must only accept Him as his own personal Savior, believing that His death for sin on the cross was final and sufficient forever. ... Mere verbal assent or mental acquiescence to the fact of Christ's death, without any conviction of personal sin, is inadequate."(9) We can see that the Free Grace position has been misrepresented as cheap grace.

Is simple faith "dead faith"? Not according to the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary, which says, "A proper definition of faith must take into consideration its complexity, for while the exercise of it may be said to be simplicity itself, it involves the whole personality."(10) It goes on to say that "Saving faith, therefore, involves active personal trust, a commitment of oneself to the Lord Jesus Christ. But it is not the amount of faith that saves, it is the object of faith that saves. Great faith in the wrong object does not alter man's lost estate one iota. Little faith (so long as it is faith) in the right object [Christ] must result in salvation."(11)

The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary seems to understand: "While transformation of life is not the ground for salvation, it is the evidence of salvation. And without some such evidence, (in greater or lesser degree) a question must be raised as to the genuineness of the faith of the individual."(12)

Salvation is an instantaneous act of God, a gift given to the sinner who accepts it. One needs only to realize he is lost and in need of saving in order to reach out for the Savior's hand. A person drowning in a storm at sea needs only to reach out in faith for that reaching arm of salvation in the rescue boat. He does not need to make the savior (the one reaching out to save him) the lord of all his affections. Neither does he need to know all that is required to be a follower of the sea rescuer, in order to be rescued.

The Faith Alone position believes itself to be the true Biblical teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Salvation is based on faith alone. Faith plus anything else is an incorrect and dangerous teaching. Paul corrected [Peter and] the believers in Galatia about the error of adding circumcision to faith. "Faith plus" is not the condition for eternal life. It is inconsistent to speak of a free gift which costs us something or gives us something to do to get salvation (Romans 4:1-6; 11:6). (See below)

A gift need only be accepted. It is not earned and does not demand a repayment. To demand such would be paying a wage and requiring a service. Faith alone proponents believe that good works and discipleship is something required of the Regenerate: The saved person should be overwhelmed with gratitude to the Savior for his free gift, and realize that following Christ demands discipleship, but it is not required (nor even possible) at the point of salvation to "make Christ Lord" of one's life.

The condition for salvation in the Bible is simple faith. Ryrie writes, "Salvation is conditioned solely on faith in Jesus Christ. That faith must be placed in Christ as one's substitute for, and Savior from, sin. But this and only this is the way to be saved."(13) In his footnote on Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." Ryrie says, "we receive and experience [salvation] through faith, which is both assent to the truths of the Gospel and genuine confidence in the Savior Himself" (Page 1791).

Romans 4:1-6

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Romans 4

1What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

Romans 11:6

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6And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

King James Version (KJV)

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