Saved by Grace through Faith
In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God“. God’s grace is indeed a wonderful thing without which none would have any hope. But we need to understand that saved by grace through faith does not mean we have no role to fulfill in our salvation. If we did not have any responsibility in God’s plan then Paul contradicted himself when he told the Philippians to “work out their own salvation” in 2:12.
Saved by grace through faith means God’s grace is conditional upon faith. If Grace were not conditional, everyone would be saved whether they had faith or not. Grace is defined as an unmerited beneficial disposition. God graciously provided a means whereby man could be saved through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Man did nothing to earn it, did not deserve it and can never repay what it cost God to provide it. God offered his way of salvation because of His love and Gracious nature. Grace as a biblical term represents God reaching down from heaven to fallen man with a plan whereby man could be saved from his sin and have a hope of eternal life with God. Mankind must meet the conditions God placed on His grace.
But salvation by faith does not mean salvation by faith alone. The Bible plainly states that our salvation is not in James 2:24 which reads, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only“. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 7:21 that “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” People who say “Lord, Lord” are believers. They have faith, but Jesus says unless they do the will of the Father in Heaven, they will enter the kingdom heaven. So we must understand that faith as a biblical term represents the system of faith which the Christian must live in obedience to in order to receive God’s grace. Paul affirmed this to be true in regards to the grace he received in Romans 1:5-6 which reads, “Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name“. This is why the writer of Hebrews wrote concerning Jesus in Hebrews 5:9, “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him“.
Grace represents everything God did to make salvation available to man. Faith is a Biblical term representing everything fallen man does in response to God’s grace. Grace is God’s role in man’s salvation, faith is therefore man’s role which manifests itself in obedience to God’s will. It is by faith that we obey (Hebrews 11).
When its all said and done, no matter what good we may do in obedience to God will still leave us short of earning our salvation. Nothing man could do can ever place God in man’s debt or repay God what is cost Him to save us. Nothing we could do can ever save us apart from the blood of Christ shed on the cross of Calvary. In the end, our works of obedience will leave us short and it will be the grace of God that bridges the gap between us and an eternity in heaven with Him. We are indeed saved by the grace of God through the faith of Christ. Please visit us at www.granbychurchofChrist.org to learn more about God’s grace and our faith.