Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
From a letter to Jill, a sister who had fallen away from the faith and become a Baptist.
IV.“Of the Atonement for Sin . . . We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace. . . .”
Comment:An important part of what Paul said about this is often omitted, as in this case. He said that salvation is “by grace through faith”. Without an obedient response to God’s grace on our part (faith), God’s grace saves no one. God’s grace, by itself, is useless; it saves no one. It is evil, Jill, for your pastor to teach people that salvation is by grace alone.
The number of things that salvation rests upon are too many to list here. Some of them, off the top of my head, but from the Bible: We are saved by hope (Rom. 8), by enduring to the end in the love of God (Mt. 24), by baptism (the one that washes our souls, not our flesh - 1Pet.3:21), by the patience of Christ (2Pet 3), by doing good deeds (Rom 2), by sanctification and belief of the truth (2Thess. 2), and many, many other such things. In sum, the scriptures are telling us that what leads to salvation in the end is a certain kind of life, a holy, Spirit-filled life, not a doctrine or a ceremony.
So, you see, the Bible never says that salvation is by grace alone, or even “by faith alone”, as some teach. On the contrary, James emphatically states that salvation is “NOT by faith only”(James 2:24).
Next Time: Part Five - Article Thirteen: “Of the Church”