Grace + Faith + Obedience = Salvation

GRACE IS GOD’S ACT

Grace is the unmerited, undeserved favor of God bestowed on a person through the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace is the source of salvation. Grace means that God initiates salvation. It includes every act on God’s part that brought salvation to mankind. God’s grace caused Him to manifest Himself in flesh as Jesus Christ, assume human limitations, freely give Himself on Calvary and arise the third day for our justification.

GOD ALONE IS THE SOURCE OF SALVATION

Salvation was initiated in heaven as God’s plan. Man was not counseled concerning it. In fact, man had nothing to do with its institution other than being the object of it!

  ” God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16closeJohn 3:16 For God So Loved the World 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV) closeJohn 3:16closeJohn 3:16 For God So Loved the World 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV) For God So Loved the World 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV) ).  “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he love us… “ (Ephesians 2:4closeEphesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, (ESV) closeEphesians 2:4closeEphesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, (ESV) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, (ESV) ).  “ For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” ( 2 Corinthians 8:9close2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (ESV) close2 Corinthians 8:9close2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (ESV) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (ESV) ).

From these verses the role of grace in salvation is evident – grace initiates salvation.

FAITH AND OBEDIENCE ARE MAN’S RESPONSE

Faith takes God’s grace, mercy and kindness and appropriates it to an individual’s own life. “For by grace are ye saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8closeEphesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (ESV) closeEphesians 2:8closeEphesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (ESV) ).

Faith is the agency in the heart of a man that receives the message of God’s great grace, applies grace to his own condition and sees a way our of his lost state. In other words, faith appropriates salvation.

 Obedience steps upon the scene and becomes the active agent, motivating one to act on what grace has provided and faith appropriated. Actually we can view obedience as included in true biblical faith and not something apart from it. Since many people think of faith as merely mental assent, we must stress that saving faith does involve obedience. At least nineteen passages in the New Testament adjure obedience to salvation. In short, obedience activates salvation.

     ” And we are witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32closeActs 5:32 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (ESV) closeActs 5:32closeActs 5:32 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (ESV) 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (ESV) ).

    ” He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9closeHebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, (ESV) closeHebrews 5:9closeHebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, (ESV) And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, (ESV) ).

The doctrine referred to in Romans 6:17closeRomans 6:17 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, (ESV) closeRomans 6:17closeRomans 6:17 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, (ESV) 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, (ESV) is explained earlier in that chapter. Romans 5:20-21 depicts the wonderful grace of God that always abounds more than sin and that leads to eternal life. Then Romans 6:1-7closeRomans 6:1-7 Dead to Sin, Alive to God 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. (ESV) closeRomans 6:1-7closeRomans 6:1-7 Dead to Sin, Alive to God 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. (ESV) Dead to Sin, Alive to God 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. (ESV) describes the means by which grace is applied. Specifically, the Roman Christians died to sin, were baptized into Jesus Christ, thereby being baptized into His death and being buried with Him in baptism, and arose to walk in newness of life.

In other words, they obeyed the command to repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit.  This experience identified them with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, thereby bringing to them the abounding grace of God’s provision. Their obedience, which was faith in action, was the channel through which the received God’s grace.