Grace is the only way to Salvation

We are separated from God. Sin caused man’s separation from God, however God Loves us so much, that He provides the Way back into fellowship with Him through Jesus Christ. His steadfast loving kindness leads us to repentance, His grace, and mercy, forgives us of all our sins, even though none of us deserves it. No one can earn forgiveness, and reconciliation to God, it is a free gift, to those who believe, and accept it by Faith.

The original sin of Adam and Eve brought devastation to all mankind and separation from God. All men and women are born with the same sin nature in their spirit. We all have impure spirits and we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Isaiah 59:2(HCSB) But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.
Romans 5:8(HCSB) 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

BUT GOD: in spite of our ignorance and rebellion, He is RICH in mercy, and His GREAT love! Think about this… When we were at our worst God reached down and saved us from His wrath!! He loved us so much that HE made a way for us.

We were “adopted” into the family. First adoption is “from Him”—from God. “In love he predestined us for adoption.”Ephesians 1:4-5(HCSB)4 For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will,

So adoption was part of a God’s plan. It was his idea, his purpose. It was not an afterthought. He didn’t discover one day that against his plan and foreknowledge humans had sinned and orphaned themselves in the world, and then come up with the idea of adopting them into his family. No, Paul says, he predestined adoption. He planned it. The misguided but popular concept that all people are children of God and can truthfully call Him “Abba Father” is simply not true. Just as children do not choose to be adopted or choose who will adopt them, neither do Christians choose to become children of God. Instead, God chooses them. He predestines them “to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will”, having been chosen by God from “before the foundation of the world”
Why did Christ have to die for us? Because Scripture declares all men to be sinful. Greek – Hamartia means not hitting the target; to miss the mark. The Bible declares  Romans 3:23(HCSB)23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. In other words, our sin separates us from God who is perfect holiness (righteousness and justice) and God must therefore judge sinful man. Sin entered in through the fall of Adam,Romans 5:12(HCSB)Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.
The doctrine of total depravity is an acknowledgement that the Bible teaches as a result of the fall of man (Genesis 3:6) every part of man—his mind, will, emotions and flesh—have been corrupted by sin. In other words, sin affects all areas of our being including who we are and what we do. It penetrates to the very core of our being so that everything is tainted by sin and “…all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). It acknowledges that the Bible teaches that we sin because we are sinners by nature.
Salvation is deliverance from danger or suffering; to save from consequences of sin.
What are we saved from? In the doctrine of salvation, we are saved from God’s wrath, that is, from God’s judgment of sin Romans 5:9(HCSB)9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 

Our sin has separated us from God, and the consequence of sin is death

Romans 6:23(NLT) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Doctrine of Grace teaches that we are totally unable to save ourselves, to help in our salvation, to do anything to merit all or any part of our salvation, or to keep our salvation. We are saved totally as an act of God’s will, and we do not deserve it in any way. This is the most important first principle in understanding Grace–no one in the entire human race deserves any consideration from God, we are all rebels and sinners, and we all deserve Hell. Except for His own redemption plan, God could rightfully have sent the entire human race to eternal punishment long ago! The description Paul gives of believers before salvation fits the entire human race if they are without Christ:

Ephesians 2:1-3 (HCSB)1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.

In spite of us deserving wrath, however, God has exercised His Grace toward us in Christ.

Ephesians 2:4-5 (HCSB) 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5 made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!

What is the meaning of Grace? We were dead spiritually; we were fit for nothing but wrath; we were rebels and in bondage to sin and Satan. We were “dead” we were slaves to sin. A dead man cannot make himself alive. If there’s a body floating in the bayou, you can throw a life ring to him, but he can’t grab it! Therefore, Only God can make us alive to grab the life ring! Everyone is a slave in the spiritual sense. We are either slaves to sin, which is our natural state, or we are slaves to Christ.
Romans 6:6-8(HCSB) For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him,
But then God who is rich in His mercy decided to adopt us and therefore we were freed from being a slave. Galatians 4:6-7(NLT) 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

In the midst of that condition, God saved us.He reached down and called us out of Darkness into marvelous light when we still in our bondage and death! He breath life into us! A dead man can not do that!
1Peter 2:9(HCSB) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,a holy nation, a people for His possession,so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Jesus makes it clear that NO ONE can come to Him unless the Father draws Him to Jesus!

John 6:44(HCSB) No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. and God blessed us with the greatest possible gift–eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!

John 6:37-40(HCSB)37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me: that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day.

What is more, we can add nothing to Grace. Before we were saved, we had nothing to contribute to the process And we add nothing to it.

You might ask, “If this is all a work of God, where do I fit in the process?” The answer is you must believe, you must exercise faith in Christ for salvation, you must submit to the call. Romans 10:9-10(NLT)9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 

This exercise is not a work, however, because is involves no ability on our part and no effort on our part. That is the hard thing to understand about faith–it is not an action, it is a surrender, a throwing up of the hands and saying, “I can do nothing in myself.”

Our Father has devised a plan and made a way for us to stand righteous before Him. He has sent His own Son as a Sacrifice on our behalf, and those who believe in Him shall have everlasting life, and shall be seen as righteous in God’s sight.

This is Justification, to stand before God with all accounts paid, and clothed in the righteousness of His only Son, Jesus Christ. To be able know that you have Romans 5:1 (NLT) Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.–there is no more war between you and the Almighty.
Galatians 5:24 (ESV)“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires”. Where we once pursued selfish pleasures, we now pursue, with equal passion, that which pleases God.

And being obedient to the word and the Spirit that we are daily changed, in God’s eyes we are considered righteous and accepted because of our faith in Jesus’ work on the cross. Salvation is 100 percent a work of God–we are unable, because of our bondage to sin and rebellion, to do anything meriting God’s favor. God reaches down to save people–He conceived the plan, He sent His Son to accomplish the plan–He does 100% of the work.
Galatians 3:26(NLT) 26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Therefore your adoption is not based on your fitness, your worth, or your character. It is rooted in God’s eternal purpose and grace. And that means that your adoption is not fragile or flimsy or uncertain. God will not adopt and then find out that you are not worthy and unadopt you. He knows we are unworthy. And he chose us and predestined us for adoption. This is firm and sure and unshakable. He reached down when we were at our worst to make us sons and daughters.

Before the foundation of the world God saw that we would be sinners and planned the death of his Son so that our sins could be forgiven and God’s wrath removed. Through that we were adopted.

The Grace of God is so simple, and so profound that most of the greatest minds don’t fully understand it. It stands in opposition to the ideas that most of us have about earning our way in the world, about people getting what they deserve, about “fairness,” and about the independence of human beings. The meaning of Grace is one of the most hated teachings in the world because it so totally undermines and removes all traces of human pride.

When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their eternal security. Jude 24-25 (HCSB) Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.

God’s power is able to keep the believer from falling. It is up to Him, not us, to present us before His glorious presence. Our eternal security is a result of God keeping us, not us maintaining our own salvation. Because if we had to “MAINTAIN” our Salvation then it would be a works based salvation, not a grace based salvation.

The Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed, John 10:27-29(HSCB) My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. Both Jesus and the Father have us firmly grasped in their hand. Who could possibly separate us from the grip of both the Father and the Son? Jesus tells us that he gives eternal life to the sheep, the Christians.  He clearly and definitely states that they shall never perish.  There is no qualifier here.  There is no statement such as, “they shall never perish if they remain faithful.”  There is only the clear declaration that they shall never perish.  But can we snatch ourselves out of Jesus’ hand?  No, we can’t because the term “no one” includes the person who is saved.  Therefore, you cannot snatch yourself out of Christ’s hand.

John 3:15-16 (HCSB) so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. This tells us that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life.” If a person were to be promised eternal life, but then have it taken away, it was never “eternal” to begin with. If eternal security is not true, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.

What sin is so big that Jesus’ death could not atone for it? Every sin that man can commit against God and man, even the most heinous was dealt with at the cross. If this is so, then what sin can be so bad that it would cause God to “unforgive” or “unadopt” that which He has already paid for?

Romans 8:38-39 (HCSB)For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers,39 height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Our eternal security is based on God’s love for those whom He has redeemed. Our eternal security is purchased by Christ, promised by the Father, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

Also, those who are truly born again are new persons (2 Corinthians 5:17(HCSB)17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. In other words, real Christians are really changed. Real Christians war against their sin, real Christians have recognized they have sinned against God and have trusted in Christ to deliver them from their sins. If there is no war against sin, then there is no evidence of regeneration. Therefore, anyone who would say that once he is saved he can go out and sin all he wants is actually implying he is not regenerated.

Titus 1:16, “They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.”

The message of Grace is God Saves Sinners. It is His Plan, it was His Son who died and rose again, it is His Spirit who enlivens the preaching and witness of believers to awaken sinners to their need of salvation and lead them to faith in Christ.

So, to be saved by grace means that the judgment due to us because of our sin against God, will not be upon us; that is forgiveness. But in addition, we get what we do not deserve–being in the presence of God for all eternity. His Mercy fell upon us that while we were deep in sin His love was deeper, God demonstrates his love that while we were separated, Christ died for us. God demonstrates his love through one man, Jesus’ obedience we’re bought back in blood.

The only way to be saved by grace is by putting your trust in what Jesus did on the cross. He never sinned, and He bore our sin in His body. He paid the price. He satisfied the penalty of the law by dying on the cross, Because our righteous deeds are filthy rags before God, then we have nothing that is pure to offer God. Therefore, the only thing left for us to do is to trust what Christ has done on the cross by faith. That is why the Bible tells us that we are made right before God by faith. Therefore, to be saved by grace means to be safe from the righteous judgment of God by the unmerited favor found only in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Jesus + Nothing = Salvation. Period!

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