Essential Doctrines part 6 Grace through faith

All Christians must believe we are saved by grace through faith and not by doing good works.“Saved” here means we are rescued from the penalty sin.Jesus dying on the cross paid the penalty we deserve, which if left unpaid, would have resulted in spiritual death and eternal separation from God.However, by trusting in Jesus Christ, through God’s grace, we will spend eternity in heaven.By God’s grace He gives us eternal life, as a free gift, even though we have done nothing to deserve it.All we do is receive the free gift of salvation by placing our trust in Jesus.John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,”

If salvation can be earned by good works, we could brag about it; we can take credit for saving ourselves.However, the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Romans 3:22 “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,” Here we see a right relationship with God (righteousness from God) is open to all who believe.Righteousness is a gift of true belief.

Romans 4:4-5 “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Paul is making a case that a gift cannot be worked for; if it is earned then it is given as an obligation and not a free gift.Those who place their trust in Jesus can receive the free gift.

Earning salvation, earning heaven through good deeds is the central teaching of most religions in the world.These religions say God balances good deeds against bad deeds and then decides who deserves heaven.Both Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses say they believe we are saved by grace through faith alone but when pressed both groups move towards a works based salvation.Muslims do not have the assurance of heaven because Islam teaches a person must be good enough to earn heaven.

Christianity alone says we are saved by grace through faith; you cannot earn heaven.Today, on this New Year’s Day 2010, believe in God’s Son Jesus Christ and that he died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins.This decision has eternal ramifications; please don’t put it off.

Go to part 6 here

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