SIMPLE SALVATION; BY
GRACE THROUGH FAITH
by Daniel LeEarl Hall
Paul and Silas told the jailer, "Believe
on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved; you and your household." (Acts
16:31) Some take this pure message and adulterate it with demands for human
performance, expounding elaborate scriptural expositions to support complicated
or restrictive guidelines for salvation.
The word translated salvation comes from the Hebrew word yasha or yesha, which
means to defend, deliver, preserve, rescue, save. The Greek words are soteria
and soterion which also mean to make whole or complete. Receiving Jesus makes us
complete. (Col. 2:10)
What are we saved from? From God's vengeance at Christ's second advent, for Paul
states, "when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in
flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who
do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will suffer the punishment of
eternal destruction, separated from the presence of the Lord and from the glory
of His might." (1 Thess. 1 :8) We are saved from eternal destruction, which is
removal from the presence of God and everything which results from that
Jesus referred to this many times, using metaphors to describe
the indescribable. Jesus warned against Gehenna, the lake of fire, the second
death, from hell. While the conditions described by Jesus in the parable of the
rich man and Lazarus seem similar, that was in Hades, which is only the
temporary dwelling place of the dead.
We are saved for eternal life with God. (Rev. 21: 1-5) Eternal life involves
more than just being around forever. Eternal life implies bliss forever. So,
what must we do to receive eternal life with God?
POINT 1: ETERNAL LIFE IS A FREE GIFT.
1. Romans 6:23: "The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. "
2. 2. Romans 3:24: "They are justified by his grace as a gift."
POINT 2: YOU CANNOT EARN A FREE GIFT.
1. Romans 4:4: "To one who works, his wages are not reckoned as a gift, but as
his due." You can't earn eternal life by works!
POINT 3: ETERNAL LIFE IS 100% BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
1. 2 Timothy 1: 9: "He saved us... not by reason of works, but by reason of His
own purpose and grace. "
2. Romans 11: 6: "If it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works;
otherwise grace would no longer be grace. "
3. Ephesians 2:8,9: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is
not your own doing. It is the gift of God, not because of works, lest any man
should boast. "
Those who claim that we earn salvation by works quote James 2:17, which says,
"Faith without works is dead." This is true, but the works are not to earn
eternal life. Good works are a natural result of God's grace and the faith and
eternal life that. God gives us, take place only after salvation, and are all
under the direction of God. Paul said, "We are God's workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
(Eph. 2:10) As James taught, real faith and good works are inseparable.
POINT 4: SO, WHAT MUST WE DO TO GET ETERNAL LIFE?
Here are the only requirements in the entire Bible:
1.John 3:15: "Whoever believes in him (Jesus) may have eternal life."
2. John 3:16: "Whoever believes in him should... have eternal/ife."
3. John 3:18: "He who believes in him (Jesus) is not condemned."
4. John 3:36: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life."
5. John 5:24: "He who hears my word and believes... has eternal life; he does
not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. "
6. I John 5:11,12: "And God gave us eternal life and this life is in the Son. He
who has the Son has life. "
7. John 1: 12: "To all who received Him, who believed in His name, he gave power
to become children of God. "
The words "whoever," "he who," and "to all" prove that this is written to all
people who live, not to a select group in one religion or organization or to an
"elite" class of people.
Believe in and receive Jesus Christ. When we do, God "grants us repentance. "
(Acts 11: 18) We go to God and repent of trying to earn eternal life by works,
and of our unbelief, and ask to receive Jesus Christ, for Him to come into our
hearts and live, by faith. (Eph. 3:17)
We were dead in our trespasses and sins, and believed when God moved us to
believe. So even belief is accomplished by God.
Some claim that this is "Easy Believism." They are right. God made it easy by
doing it all for us. According to John 6:29, belief is a work of God, not a work
of man! Don't let anyone tell you that if you don't preach the gospel to someone
and they end up in hell, it is your fault! Nobody's salvation depends on what we
do. What kind of a God would make one person's eternal life dependent upon what
some other imperfect human does or does not do?
Jesus stated at John 5:39,40, "You search the scriptures because you think that
in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you
refuse to come to Me that you may have eternal life." We come to Jesus, receive
Jesus Christ. In John 6:37, Jesus assures us, "all those who come to me, I will
not cast out."
So, what must we do to receive salvation? How do we receive any free gift? We go
to the gift-giver, receive it, and say, "Thank you." That's what we do to get
eternal life; we respond and receive it! We have about as much to do with our
"rebirth" by the Holy Spirit as we did with our first birth. All of the praise,
glory, and honor goes to God, the one who accomplishes salvation.