True Grace of God
not for God’s infinite, inscrutable grace, where would
we be? We would be nowhere. We would be nothing. Period.
life begins with an admission, an admission of undoneness.
This undoneness is called sin. “For all have sinned
and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)
This frank admission is the beginning of real wisdom and progress.
theories may propose that man—by just one more peace
conference, one more breakthrough in science—can pull
himself up. Evolutionists may—very unscientifically—hypothesize
that man is getting “better” now than at any time
in the past. “New Agers” may dream—with
old Eastern thought—that man is on the dawn of a better
day—if only we can do just a little better ourselves.
the Christian is free to admit that we are at the mercy of
God’s plan of grace. “For all have sinned and
come short of the glory of God. Being justified freely by
his [God’s] grace through the redemption that is in
Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23, 24)
then could anyone think of adding anything to God’s
grace? Would there be anything a Christian can—or must—do
beyond being justified simply by faith because of the grace
of God? The Apostle Paul says, “For by grace are ye
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the
gift of God. Not by works lest any man should boast.”
On the other hand, in another place Paul does say, “Work
out your salvation with fear and trembling.” And, of
course, the Apostle James says, “Faith without works
is dead.” (James 2:20) Are these scriptures contradictory
to clear teaching that we are saved by God’s grace by
faith in Jesus Christ? Not at all.
Works and Salvation
of the Apostles’ apparent arguments against “works”
are taken from the context of keeping legalisms of the Law
of Moses, the Law Covenant. The Apostles dealt extensively
in this area, showing how once justified by faith, we cannot
please God by works of the Law. Needless to say, one could
not be justified before God in the first place by works of
the Law—instead of faith in Jesus.
does it mean to be “saved by faith”? Furthermore,
how are we to understand “salvation”?
one is saved from the condemnation which rests heavily and
squarely on all Adam’s posterity, “As in Adam
all die.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) There is nothing anyone
can do to save himself from this predicament of sin and its
consequence of death. “Our righteousness is as filthy
rags” Only God’s merciful grace alone can provide
a recovery from this no-way-out situation.
adds a further dimension to “salvation” when talking
to the Church at Rome, “For now is our salvation nearer
than when we first believed (Romans 13:11). If a Christian
had salvation when he first believed, how could salvation
be said to be “nearer” at any point after that
time? Also, Jesus himself taught, “He that endureth
to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22). Paul too
warns, “Ye are saved if ye keep in memory what I have
preached to you, unless ye have believed in vain” (1
is evident that after a Christian receives justification by
faith, he or she must “show his faith by his works”
(James 2:18). Justification is not eternal life. Salvation
from condemnation is one thing. And salvation to life is another.
The Christian must grow in Christ-like character and serve
God with his whole heart, mind, soul and strength. Once we
become “branches” in the true vine of Christ,
we must bear fruit. If a branch does not bear fruits of spiritual
development, it is “cut off.” John 15:1-8
Justified Must Bear Fruit
then is God’s grace? God’s grace—through
Jesus—enables the Christian to grow and mature. “I
am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and
I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without
me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). A Christian must
do his part after he is freely justified by God. To expect
grace to continue without growth is to “receive the
grace of God in vain” (2 Corinthians 6:1). One must
not presume on the grace of God. Grace received without responsible
living is grace received in vain.
kind of fruitage must a Christian bear? Peter says we are
to add to our faith, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness,
brotherly kindness and finally love. How necessary is fruitbearing?
“If ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so
an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the
everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”
(2 Peter 1:3-11).
grace does not stop with justification. Grace is the great
enabler that nurtures Christian growth. This growth process
is called sanctification. “And God is able to make all
grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency
in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians
9:8). The Apostle Paul’s personal testimony acknowledges
the role of grace as an enabler, “By the grace of God
I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was
not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all:
yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
1 Corinthians 15:10
grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good
works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk
in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 Does the Scripture contradict
itself? No. We are saved by grace through faith. Amen! But
the text also reveals that we must daily walk in the foreordained
will (good works) of God.
we try to do His will we shall realize more and more, as did
the Apostle Paul, how very imperfect we are, how we can of
ourselves do no work that is acceptable to God and how deeply
we need the grace of God in Christ Jesus. As our Lord Jesus
said, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those
things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:
we have done that which was our duty to do.” Luke 17:10
of the same Christians who believe expecting “works”
on a Christian’s part is demeaning God’s grace—also
believe countless billions will be lost forever because they
do not accept God’s grace now. Consider this question:
Which of these two views is demeaning to God’s grace—we
can do nothing now or God can do nothing later?
Gospel of the Grace of God
did Paul mean when he so eloquently referred to the “Gospel
of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24)? Paul himself identified
the “gospel” as given to Abraham, “In thee
shall all nations be blessed” (Galatians 3:8). He goes
on to explain, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the
promises made. He saith not, And to seeds as of many; but
as of one. And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Vs. 16).
Is the “seed” from Abraham only Jesus Christ?
Paul does not leave us to wonder. “Ye are all one in
Christ. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s
seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Vss. 28,
29). Which promise?
myself have I sworn, saith the LORD that in blessing I will
bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as
the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the
sea shore...and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth
be blessed” (Genesis 22:17, 18).
the “gospel of the grace of God” teach that the
Christian church, the seed of Abraham, would alone be blessed?
No! The gospel is this: In Abraham’s seed all nations
would be blessed. Truly, the “seed” would be blessed
by being a blesser to the nations. “So then they which
be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham” (Galatians
3:9). Abraham will be blessed because he will be a blesser!
If we are to be blessed “with Abraham,” not specifically
by him, we are to share the same type of blessing he does.
The Christian Church will be the bride of the “king”
and Abraham will be among the “princes of all the earth”
(Psa. 45:14,16). Abraham and his “seed” together
will be blessers—of the nations.
gospel of God’s love and grace has been “preached
[virtually] in all the world for a witness unto all nations.”
(Matthew 24:14) Are we to believe that if the nations have
had the gospel “preached” to them, the promise
to Abraham is fulfilled? A “witness” does not
mean a conversion of the world. The gospel was sent out to
“take out of them [the Gentile nations] a people for
his name” (Acts 15:14). Is this preaching alone all
there is to the blessing of the nations? Certainly it could
not be so. Although the gospel has been printed in every language
of the earth, precious few of earth’s billions have
really been able to hear or believe.
Grace to the Nations
the promise to Abraham so long ago, then, have been an overstatement?
Or is the promised blessing this—the future “healing
of the nations” (Revelation 22:2)? For the Christian
who has been blessed by believing the gospel, the promise
may seem to be fulfilled—but not so for the vast majority
of people blinded by Satan. “The god of this world [Satan]
hath blinded the minds of them which believe not lest the
light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of
God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
the gospel has not been understood—if even heard at
all— by the many but it will be in “due time”
(1 Timothy 2:4-6).
great opportunity for the masses of humanity to receive the
gospel will come when Jesus binds Satan a thousand years “that
he should deceive the nations no more” (Revelation 20:2,3).
Christ’s thousand-year Kingdom is when God’s grace
will bless the nations.
in this mountain [Kingdom on earth] shall the Lord of hosts
destroy the vail that is spread over all nations. He will
swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away
tears from off all faces. And it shall be said in that day,
Lo, this is our God we have waited for him, and he will save
us we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Isaiah
say God’s grace will only save a few now while Satan
is the “god of this world”—is not grace
at all. To say God’s grace does not require that a Christian
must grow and show his faith by his works—is not grace
at all. But God’s grace does enable the faith justified
Christian to grow. And God’s grace has planned blessings
for all others as well—blessings that “eye hath
not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart
of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love
him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
grace is grace.