| Satan hates ďSalvation by Grace aloneĒ
Based on the article Ė ďAvoiding the SnareÖĒ By David W. Cloud
Most cults play the same game in salvation; they profess to teach salvation by grace through faith, but they redefine this in a way that is contrary to New Testament doctrine.
Though some deny it many religious sects teach that salvation is by grace plus law, faith plus works. Grace, according to their theology, is the power and forgiveness God gives to enable a sinner to keep the law and to thereby build
a holy character fit for Heaven. He who fails to build the right character by Godís grace will never see Heaven. They see Faith and works as two oars by which the believer is propelled to glory. This false gospel is a subtle mixture of grace and law that can never provide Bible security.
This doctrine of salvation cannot and does not offer any security for the adherent. There can never be assurance of eternal life for the cultist, because he does not, in practice, believe that eternal salvation is TOTALLY a gift of God through the finished work of Jesus Christ. The cultist, rather, is convinced that he, too, has a part in gaining eternal life. If he fails to develop the proper character, he will never inherit eternal life.
This is a dangerous deception propagated by false teachers. The New Testament refers frequently to the deception of false teachers: (Matthew 7:15, 24:4-5,11,24).
How does the true gospel of the grace of Christ differ from the gospel of cults?
1. Salvation is by grace ALONE through faith ALONE, without the works of the law in any sense whatsoever. Contrary to cultic doctrine, grace and faith, law and works are not mutually sympathetic systems and are not to be mixed concerning the believers justification..
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:19-20).
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them" (Galatians 3:10).
"But now the righteousness of God WITHOUT THE LAW is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood" (Romans 3:21-25).
"Christ hath REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (Ga. 3:13-14).
"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in ChristŪs stead, be ye reconciled to God. FOR HE HATH MADE HIM TO BE SIN FOR US WHO KNEW NO SIN; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM" (2 Co. 5:18-21).
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith WITHOUT THE DEEDS OF THE LAW" (Ro. 3:28).
"Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Ro. 4:4-5).
"AND IF BY GRACE, THEN IS IT NO MORE OF WORKS: OTHERWISE GRACE IS NO MORE GRACE. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Ro. 11:6).
"But that NO MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith" (Ga. 3:11).
The Good News of Christ is not salvation through grace producing the works of the law. It is eternal salvation by Godís grace alone through faith alone WITHOUT THE LAW. All who will be saved must come on these glorious terms, trusting in the shed blood alone for full salvation.
Those who, after initial faith in Christ, attempt to return to the Mosaic law to perfect their salvation are committing the same error as the Galatians of the first century.
"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham" (Galatians 3:1-7).
Those who persist in declaring their justification comes through ďtrust and obedienceĒ are in truth Galatian legalizers.
"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you" (Galatians 4:19-20).
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again in the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith" (Galatians 5:1-5).
2. Salvation is secure upon conversion. Only the true gospel can offer security. Note the following Bible confirmation of this precious doctrine.
Salvation is secure because it is a free gift, entirely unmerited by the sinner (Ep. 2:8-9).
Salvation is secure because it involves being declared absolutely righteous by God (Ro. 3:21-24). The Greek word translated "justified" is also translated righteous. To be justified is to be declared righteous. Notice how the terms "justified" and "the righteousness of God" are used interchangeably in Romans 3:21-24 quoted above. Notice too, that this righteousness is obtained "by faith," "freely by his grace." What is the sinnerís problem and curse? Is it not his lack of righteousness? Therefore, if God justifies the believing sinner, if God declares that sinner righteous, what more does such a blessed individual need? To be justified is to be righteous in Godís eyes, just as righteous as Jesus. To be righteous is to be saved and safe.
Salvation is secure because it is a present possession.
Justification is a present possession (Ro. 5:9).
Peace with God is a present possession (Ro. 5:1).
Reconciliation is a present possession (Ro. 5:10).
Atonement is a present possession (Ro. 5:11)
Eternal life is a present possession (1 Jn. 5:11- 13).
Being a child of God is a present possession (Ep. 1:6).
Being accepted in Christ is a present possession (Ep. 1:6).
Forgiveness of sin is a present possession (Ep. 1:7).
Being made alive in Christ is a present possession (Ep. 2:1).
Being made fit for heaven is a present possession (Col. 1:12).
Being delivered from the power of darkness is a present possession (Col. 1:13).
Being translated into Jesusí kingdom is a present possession (Col. 1:13).
Mercy is a present possession (1 Pe. 2:10).
Healing of sin is a present possession (1 Pe. 2:24).
My friend, do you enjoy these glorious spiritual possessions? Have you acknowledged that you are a sinner and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? A person is either saved or lost -- entirely saved or entirely lost. There is no middle ground, no growing into or perfecting salvation. Are you trusting the blood of Christ, and the blood of Christ ALONE for salvation? If so, the Bible says you possess all the spiritual blessings listed above, plus much, much more. They are secure blessings in Christ!
Salvation is secure because it is positional. There are only two types of persons in reference to salvation - the person outside of Christ, and the person in Christ. All are sinners. It is the sinnerís position in connection with the Lord Jesus Christ which determines his standing before God: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ep. 1:3). See also Ro. 6:11; Ep. 1:6; 1 Jn. 5:12.
Salvation is secure because it is by imputation and substitution. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Co. 5:21). "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us..." (Ga. 3:13).
The sinner has two problems before God. He is sinful and needs forgiveness, and He is unrighteous and needs righteousness. He needs his sin taken away and righteousness imparted or imputed to him. This is what God gives in the Lord Jesus. By Christís substitutionary death, He paid the price our sin demanded. He, therefore, offers full pardon and forgiveness. This is substitutionary atonement Jesus dying for manís sins.
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).
God gives the forgiven sinner righteousness by imputing Jesusí righteousness to his account. This is not a righteousness which God works in the sinner, but righteousness which God places on the sinnerís account. It is imputed, not infused. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Ro. 3:24).
When Christ was upon the cross the sins of the world was laid upon him. Our sins were credited to Christ Jesus, when God looked at his Son, he didnít see the sinless Lord, but he saw US, he saw a person who was guilty of the sins of the whole world. And upon Christ was poured out the wrath of GOD, and he died separated from his Father. He was punished with the death we deserved.
The bible teaches that if we believe upon Jesus Christ and accept the free gift of salvation, the perfect, sinless righteousness of Christ will be imputed to our account. When GOD looks upon the believer, he doesnít see an Ďimperfect sinnerí, but he sees the perfect sinless righteousness of Christ Jesus. As long as the believer trusts in Christ, he is JUSTIFIED, perfectly righteous in the eyes of GOD. Positionally he is perfectly righteous, though in practice he is imperfect. The believer is saved by position (Being in Christ Jesus), not by practice (not by perfecting his works).
The cults despise this doctrine of imputed righteousness. They hate the teaching that a saved manís standing before God has NOTHING to do with his personal works, but rests SOLELY upon Christís work and the righteousness God imputes to him on the basis of this work. Yet the Bible teaches this. Romans chapter four uses the words "impute," "reckon," and "count" eight times, emphasizing the blessed truth that the righteousness of Christ has been imputed to the believing sinnerís account.
There is standing, and there is walk. There is position, and there is practice. There is relationship, and there is fellowship. To confuse these is to pervert the gospel. The two are seen clearly in the book of Ephesians. Chapters 1-3 present the believers position in Christ; chapters 4-6 present the walk he is to maintain in this world. The pivotal verse in Ep. 4:1 says, "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called." Paul admonished the believers to walk worthy of their secure position in Christ. The position doesnít change, but the walk certain does. Ephesians 5:8 says, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but NOW are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." The believer has a secure position in Christ, but he is called upon to live up to this position in this world by walking in obedience to God.
Colossians 3:1,3 says the same thing: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God ... For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." In position, the Christian is dead to sin and risen with Christ; in practice he is to live up to this eternal calling by seeking the things which are above.
The Christianís standing and position and relationship is secure the moment he is born again. His state and practice and fellowship changes according to his daily walk with Christ. The true believer is perfect before God; he is justified and declared righteous. He is as righteous, in this sense, the day he is converted as he is after forty years of spiritual maturing. As long as he trusts in the merits of Christ, his standing in Christ as a justified sinner never changes. The standing is not affected by his growth. He is admonished to live up to this glorious, free position. The believer is challenged to obey the Lord, not in order to attain a position of righteousness, but to live up to the position God has already given him.
What a wonderful salvation! The better a believer understands these truths and his secure position in Christ, the more heartily he desires to serve his God and Savior.
So we see that the believer is once for all sanctified in Christ positionally at the new birth. Then he is to follow the Lord in obedience and growth in practical sanctification. Practical sanctification is where the believer grows in Christ by separating from sin and error, and increasing in holiness.
Those who teach that the believer must experience a complete and perfected practical sanctification to be saved are teaching another gospel. The work of practical sanctification is a life long experience that will not be complete until the Lord returns. To teach this, is to deny the multitudes of comforting passages that say a believer is complete and safe in Christ. "...he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ep. 1:6-7).
SALVAITON IS SECURE BECAUSE IT IS NOT SERVITUDE, BUT SONSHIP.
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15).
The man under the law is under the bondage of servitude. His relationship to God is based on faithful service to Godís law. He can never rest securely. The man under the grace of Christ has entered the eternal freedom of Sonship. His relationship is secure because it is based, not on his works, but on Christís work. Christ became a servant that sinners might be made free to serve Him in love and thanksgiving rather than in fear of possible failure and ultimate rejection. There is liberty in Jesus! He has redeemed the believer eternally from the slave market of sin. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Ga. 5:1).
Salvation is secure because the believer is promised certain deliverance from sin. "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we SHALL BE saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we SHALL BE saved by his life" (Ro. 5:9-10). See also Ro. 8:28-30.
Salvation is secure because the believer is kept by the power of God. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, WHO ARE KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Pe. 1:3-5). How can a believer be assured he will enjoy the inheritance spoken of in verse four? Because of the power of God spoken of in verse five!
From the previous studies, it can be seen that true Bible salvation does not have the uncertainty and legalistic admixture of the cultic gospel. The cultic gospel is false.
Does Salvation by faith alone mean a believer can live a lawless sinful life and still go to heaven? Those who continue to trust in Christ will continue to evidence their faith by loving obedience. They obey not to be saved, but they simply demonstrate that they have been saved. They keep on because God works in them. No one has any authority from Scripture to say someone is truly saved who does not continue in the things of Christ. On the other hand, this does not mean that the believer cannot enjoy a know-so position in Christ. He is safe in Christ already the very day he is converted. The Bible says so. This does not make him slothful; it inspires him with love and devotion to his Savior.
This is the good news of the Gospel that Satan hates so much! There are two religions in the World: God's true religion, and Satan's false religion. You have either accept the free gift, or you attempt to earn eternal life. There are just two my friends, which are you in?