I was asked by someone to share my thoughts on Grace, Faith, and Salvation, so I thought I would write a blog about it. Thank you to all those who read my blog and support us here at Grace Wins with your prayers and kind words.
Let's get started..
What is grace? Grace has many definitions, but in the New Testament it means the free gift, or unmerited favor of God. Now, what is free? Without cost. What is unmerited? It cannot be earned. The grace of God is absolutely free and for all man.
In John 3:16, the all familiar verse, God so absolutely loved "the world"; that word there is Kosmos which means the world and all of its inhabitants both literally and figuratively. So God loved the entire kosmos that He sent His son, notice here that the verse makes no reference to the death of Christ. I find that interesting as much of the teaching today is that we must believe that He died on the cross for our sins and was raised on the 3rd day. Here in John 3:16 whoever believes on Him, who? Jesus Christ, shall not perish but have everlasting life. How are we able to have that everlasting life? By the grace of God! Ephesians 2:8-9 I think says it best, "For by Grace you have been saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works so that no man can boast." Grace is free! Grace is intended to be shared with all of the kosmos. Grace is God's gift to His children.
Faith is persuasion, that is credence (belief in or acceptance of something as true.) Hebrews defines faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. I started writing this with a way of thinking that had been established over many years of being churched. The most common verse on our faith is always Ephesians 2:8 “for by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not of your own doing; it is a gift of God.” We are taught that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. But is that what this verse is saying? After doing some research and digging around, I don’t think so. Look at how the sentence is structured. By grace you have been saved (past tense) through faith, and this is not of your own doing. What is not of your own doing? Faith. If it’s not by your doing, who’s doing is it? I believe it is the faith of Jesus on our behalf.
How can I say that you might ask?
Let’s look at Hebrews 12:2 “Looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The word author there means chief leader..meaning the beginner..and the word perfecter here means completer, consummator, finisher. So we have the beginner and finisher of our faith. Hebrews also says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. If it were up to us to have faith enough to please God, that would leave the pressure on us to perform. Jesus took that pressure and it is through His faith that we are saved by grace! We no longer have to perform better to please God. We are in Christ, and God is please with Christ, and by being in Christ we are fully pleasing to God as well!
Salvation is simply what Jesus did on the cross. 1 Corinthians 15:22 says "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." The word all there is the Greek word Pas which means all, any, every, the whole. For as in Adam, the whole of humanity die, in Christ the whole of humanity will be made alive. Christ's death was to restore mankind, not to right relationship with God, but to restore God to mankind. See, we were enemies in our minds..our minds..God never changes His mind about us! We were the ones who created the hateful vengeful God. God has always loved us, so much so that He sent His son to prove it to us. When Jesus died on the cross, every single human being was rescued from sin and death and separation. Our salvation was taken care of 2000 years ago.
Having said all of that. Belief still matters. All of humanity was saved when Jesus died on the cross. All of humanity was rescued when Jesus died on the cross. So am I saying all of humanity will go to heaven? I think the bible is clear that all were saved but not all have eternal life. Eternal life is a result in our belief in Jesus Christ. John 3:16 makes this pretty clear. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” Nowhere in this text is there a mention of the death, burial, or resurrection of Christ. We are simply to believe in Jesus. That’s it. When we believe in Jesus, we are given eternal life!
Salvation does not equal eternal life.
I’ll give you a moment to digest that……..
We are taught and have learned that the only way to eternal life is through salvation. But what if I told you, that all of mankind has already been saved and that eternal life is the gift of God by our belief in Jesus Christ. Salvation and eternal life are two completely unrelated and different things.
What is eternal life?
Jesus tells us in John 17
“When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted His eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify You, since You have given Him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Eternal life is God’s gift through our belief in Jesus Christ..our belief in who Jesus Christ is and who God is! NOT our belief in His saving us. Not our belief in His death, burial , and resurrection. I have listed supporting verses below.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life IN Jesus Christ our Lord.”
1 John 2:23-25
“No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise He made to us - eternal life."
1 John 5:13
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life”
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live..’”
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me’”
I hope this sheds some light and clarity on where I stand and what I hold to as true about our relationship with Papa. Thank you for taking the time to read.
The Other Guy
7/13/2014 09:38:32 pm
What about those who die in their unbelieving state?
7/14/2014 02:09:15 am
If one dies not believing in Jesus Christ, they die without the gift of eternal life.
7/13/2014 10:55:20 pm
7/24/2014 08:05:23 pm
fallen mankind can never make it to a perfect heaven in their imperfect state? which was why God send His only begotten Son to pay the ultimate price - that whomsoever should believe in the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16-17) amen...
7/25/2014 02:19:56 am
Yeah, that's not at all what John 3:16-17 says, in fact, not even close whatsoever! Whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life. Period.
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I am married to the most beautiful woman on the face of this planet, Ashley, and have had the privilege of having a daughter, Haniah. I love them with all that I am!
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