We Are Not Saved by “Grace”

WE ARE NOT SAVED BY GRACE

“For all that we speak of grace, and however strongly we speak of it, we will remain prisoners of spiritual insecurity for as long as we imagine that we are independent islands. And rightly so: all spiritual blessings are to be found in Christ alone… If we simply speak of salvation by grace, people will imagine grace to be that force God gives to help us where we are at… grace can be thought of quite impersonally, as if being a believer is merely about believing promises and getting blessings… we are united to Christ, to know and love him personally from the heart, to know and love the Father as our Father, to be known and loved as children of God. It’s not quite that we get ‘grace’: we get Christ.” (Michael Reeves)

For more on this subject, visit reformation21.

 

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Grace: How Strange the Sound

GRACE: HOW STRANGE THE SOUND

“God is intolerant of sin, but just as infinite in his love and long-suffering. God is just and righteous, unable to let bygones be bygones, and yet he is free to have mercy on whom he will have mercy. To have mercy on the wicked, however, God cannot suspend his justice. God’s justice did not require the salvation of anyone, so his grace is totally free. When God is gracious toward sinners, it is not because his justice is sacrificed to his love, but because he has freely found a way to be ‘just and the justifier of the ungodly’ (Rom. 3:26). At the cross, not only God’s love but his strangeness–his utter difference from us–is most clearly displayed.” (Michael Horton)

For more on this subject, please visit Modern Reformation.

 

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Grace Alone: An Evangelical Problem?

GRACE ALONE: AN EVANGELICAL PROBLEM?

“If the Scriptures are clear that men and women are sinful by nature and cannot do anything to save themselves or even prepare themselves to be saved, the Scriptures are equally clear that it is God who saves by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone. This means that it is God who acts first, upon the sinner, while the sinner is dead in sin. For as we have seen, the sinner is enslaved to the sinful nature and its passions, and will not come to God, as Paul declares. But the good news is that while sinners do not seek God, God seeks sinners. And this is what we mean by the phrase, grace alone.” (Kim Riddlebarger)

For more on the subject, please visit the Systematic Theology page.

 

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Sola Gratia

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE

“The doctrine of irresistible grace does not mean that every influence of the Holy Spirit cannot be resisted. It means that the Holy Spirit can overcome all resistance and make his influence irresistible… Irresistible grace refers to the sovereign work of God to overcome the rebellion of our heart and bring us to faith in Christ so that we can be saved. If our doctrine of total depravity is true, there can be no salvation without the reality of irresistible grace. If we are dead in our sins, totally unable to submit to God, then we will never believe in Christ unless God overcomes our rebellion… Man is dead in trespasses and sins. He cannot make himself new, or create new life in himself. He must be born of God. Then, with the new nature of God, he immediately receives Christ. The two acts (regeneration and faith) are so closely connected that in experience we cannot distinguish them. God begets us anew and the first glimmer of life in the new-born child is faith. Thus new birth is the effect of irresistible grace, because it is an act of sovereign creation—’not of the will of man but of God.'” (John Piper)

For more on the subject, visit the Systematic Theology page.

 

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Sola Gratia

GRACE ALONE

“The Reformers maintained that the sinner is saved by the grace of God, His unmerited favor, alone. This doctrine means that nothing the sinner does commends him to the grace of God, and that the sinner does not cooperate with God in order to merit his salvation. Salvation, from beginning to end, is the sovereign gift of God to the unworthy and undeserving. As Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians, who were inclined to boasting: ‘Who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?’ (1 Cor. 4:7). No one can ever stand before God and say, ‘Look at me and at what I have done!’ God is no one’s debtor, not least in matters of salvation (Rom. 11:35).” (Guy Waters)

For more on the subject, visit the Systematic Theology page.

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Justification is by Grace Alone

JUSTIFICATION IS BY GRACE ALONE

“If we analyze salvation in its most basic sense, we will say that we are saved by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, this does not imply knowledge of our miserable condition by nature or of the remedy that we need to apply. For in order to put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must acknowledge that by the sin of Adam, as well as by our own iniquities, we are altogether lost. We ought to have already discovered this for ourselves. We will never understand that our sins condemn us in God’s sight, unless we know that we need to be put right with him. In other words, we will not be aware of the righteousness of God if we simply say, ‘We are saved by grace and by faith.’ For God cannot once deny himself, since he embodies sovereign justice; he is all purity and perfection and, therefore, he detests what is evil. Yet we are totally corrupt and there is only wickedness in us; it follows, therefore, that God must hate us. However, if he hates us, woe unto us, for we are damned. This is why we need to be justified before we can be pleasing to God. This means we must be cleansed from our sins and transgressions; otherwise, we could never appreciate God’s mercy (as I have said). If we acknowledge that we are sinners, we will realize that God hates sin, and yet though he hates it he has nevertheless provided a way to save us—by forgiving our sins, and by cleansing and purging us from them through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us spiritual cleansing. God washes us clean in order that he might receive us, so that sharing in his love, we may be assured of our salvation. This is why the Scriptures use the word ‘justification’.” (John Calvin)

For more on this subject, visit the Systematic Theology page.

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