“By Grace are Ye Saved”
Almost all professing Christians profess to believe that salvation is by grace. The Bible states the fact of salvation by grace alone so often and so clearly that you can hardly find any who claim to be Christians who openly deny it.
The trouble is that the vast majority of men and women, and the vast majority of preachers talk about grace in such a way that they frustrate the grace of God. The grace they talk about is not grace at all, but works and freewillism, presented in the name of grace!
It is therefore needful that we be constantly and clearly instructed in the doctrine of the grace of God. Grace comes from God who sits upon, and sovereignly rules this universe from his lofty “throne of grace.” Again and again, God the Holy Ghost inspired the apostle Paul to tell us that salvation is by the grace of God. Obviously, this is a matter of great importance. It cannot be overstated or stated too often, or stated too dogmatically. — “By grace are ye saved”
Salvation by grace destroys all room for human boasting (1 Corinthians 4:7).
“Boasting excluded, pride I abase;
I’m only a sinner saved by grace!”
If your idea of salvation allows you to boast that the difference between you and other people is something you are, something you have done, something you decided, or something you willed, you do not yet know the gospel of the grace of God. You have not yet been taught of God. You do not yet know God. No man, no flesh, can glory before God! God’s people know better than to boast even of their repentance and faith. We know that even these things are the gifts of God and the operations of his grace in us (Acts 5:31; 11:17; Romans 2:4; 1 Corinthians 3:5; Ephesians 1:19; 2:8; Philippians 1:29; Colossians 2:12). All the graces that are in God’s saints are the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Salvation by grace alone means that God gets all the praise, honor, and glory for it. God the Father gets all praise for planning it. God the Son gets all praise for purchasing it. And God the Holy Ghost gets all praise for performing it (Ephesians 1:3-14). — “As it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord!”
Here is a litmus test for all doctrine. If it makes you swell with pride, if it causes you to look to yourself and say, with regard to any aspect of salvation, “There, I did that,” it is heresy. It is not the doctrine of the grace of God. However, if it causes you to bow humbly before God, blush with shame, and say, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory,” then you can be sure it is according to the doctrine of the grace of God.
Any mixture of works with grace, any mixture of merit with mercy, any mixture of what you do with what God does is not only a terribly evil thing, but utterly damning to your soul.
We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Grace plus anything is not salvation, but damnation. Faith plus anything is not salvation, but damnation. Christ plus anything is not salvation, but damnation (Romans 11:6; Galatians 5:2, 4).