Let the Bible Speak


"For by 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.)

Grace is favor not deserved. Romans 5.8 describes it like this: But God cormmendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. At Hebrews 11.1 the Bible defines faith: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The Bible speaks clearly about grace and faith. It shows a definite relationship between grace and faith; it pictures for us faith that cannot save and the faith that saves!

Little or weak faith (Matthew 8.26; 14.21; 16.8) avails not. Faith in the wrong things (Jeremiah 17.5; 1 Timothy 6.17) will not avail.

Without the grace of God there could be no justification, no redemption from the bondage of sin and no salvation for eternity. Titus 2:11-12 states: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world. God's grace, revealed in His Word to all mankind, produces faith that will save.

How does God's grace produce faith toward salvation? By teaching! The Word of His grace (Acts 20.32), which is also The Word of the Kingdom (Matthew 4.18-23; Luke 8.15) teaches us about God the Father, Christ the Son, Lord and Judge, and the Holy Spirit. It also teaches us about Satan.

We learn therein about our human nature, temptation and our tendency toward sin. In the Bible we also learn of heaven, hell and the judgment. We also learn how to overcome temptation, live as we should and gain--without merit--the salvation of our souls for the eternal home in heaven; and we learn the brevity of life, which includes, of course, the brevity of opportunity.

Romans 3.22 points out even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe.

Smith's Bible Dictionary pictures the righteous person as one who pursues the right course in life, and refers to Exodus 9.27, where Pharaoh is reported to have said to Moses and Aaron that he (Pharaoh) had sinned, whereas the Lord is righteous. The word pursues is a word indicating action. The words, right course refer to the course God has, in His Word, ordained for man to follow, for He is the righteous God!

The grace of God, through the Word of God, teaches us so we may believe wholeheartedly in God and in Jesus Christ, yet that is not enough. James 2.19-20 speaks clearly: Thou believest there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead? Verse 26 of the same chapter says, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

These works are not the works of mankind, but the works of God in which God predetermined that man should walk; and even these works would not have anything to do with saving a person unless and until that person has faith enough in God and Jesus Christ to cause him to want to prove that faith by his obedience. This is not salvation by works! It is salvation by the proving of one's faith, faith derived by being taught in the Word of grace or the Bible.

If you have learned enough from a sincere study of the Word of grace, which is God's Word, that you believe in God and Christ, knowing that they are supreme and that all their commands are right and sure (Psalm 111.7), you know enough to study the Scriptures to learn God's will for you and then obey that will in your life.

At 2 Timothy 4.7-8 the apostle Paul tells how he made sure his own salvation: I have fought a good fight, 1 have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at that day... We can see in this life two strong traits: faith and proof of that faith by actively pursuing the right course as given by God.

At 2 Timothy 2.5-16 we learn (Do we believe?) that not just any old works will do to prove one's faith. Jesus said (Matthew 7.21): Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. See also the words of Jesus at John 14.15: If you love me keep my commandments. And at John 15.14: Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.

If you have been taught the Word, what have you done with what you know? Have you confessed your faith in Christ before men (Matthew 10.32-33; Luke 12.8-9)? You should--it confirms your faith! Have you repented of your sins (Luke 13.3,5)? It's the right course! Have you been buried with your Lord by baptism into death (Romans 6.3-5) and raised to walk as a new creature in Christ Jesus (Galatians 2.20)? If not, you should. Grace is God's part in man's salvation; active, living, obedient faith is man's part.

If you have done, in answer to your faith, the things listed above, you are a new creature in Christ Jesus and He abides in you! Now, as a new member of the Body of Christ, search out His desires for your life; find opportunities to serve Him and others; be regular in attendance at all services, Bible studies, fellowship assemblies of the Lord's church. These will help you grow spiritually. As you involve yourself in those things that are of God you will continue proving your faith and securing your own salvation. God will bless you as you serve Him faithfully.

...be thou faithful unto death, and life will give thee a crown of life are the words of Jesus as recorded in Revelation 2.10.