Summary: The second in the Back to Basic series. Covering the doctrine of salvation. How we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Back to Basics 2 (the doctrine of salvation)
By Kenny McKinley
Last week we talked about the Deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, and the reason that we need to have a correct understanding of who Jesus was and is, and about how that was an essential doctrine of the Christian faith. Today we are going to be dealing with the issue of salvation, and how we are saved by grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone. Turn with me to the book of Ephesians chapter two, verses eight and nine (read text).
Now let’s look at what Paul was saying here in Ephesians. He said, Salvation is by GRACE, “For by grace you have been saved.” Grace is the unmerited, undeserved, favor of God. It is not earned or deserved in any way. It is Gods grace that saves. Paul goes on to explain that salvation is accessed by faith. We are saved BY grace, THROUGH faith. The Paul says, “And that not of yourselves.” Now some people have said that Paul was talking about grace not being from ourselves. Of course we know that grace is not of ourselves. That wouldn’t make any sense if Paul said, “You are saved by undeserved, unmerited favor, through faith, and that undeserved, unmerited favor is not of yourselves.” What kind of person would think that they are saved by their own undeserved favor? And what kind of person would think that they give themselves grace? But you would be surprised to know how many people have thought this, whether it is because they have never taken the time to actually look at what this verse is saying, or because that just what they have been told over the years. But Paul isn’t saying that grace is not of ourselves, we already know that. He’s saying that salvation is not of ourselves, and that no part of salvation is of ourselves. Including the faith.
Now your probably saying, “Wait a minute Kenny. The Bible says that we have to have faith.” Yes it does, but does it ever say that faith is of yourself? No, in-fact it says just the opposite.
Turn with me to Romans 12:3 (read), so who gives every man a measure of faith? God does. So if God gives a measure of faith to every man, and God gives grace which saves us, then we can safely say that salvation which is by grace, through faith, is not of ourselves.
So why does it have to be that way? Why does all of salvation have to be of God, and from God? Well stay in Romans there and lets turn back a few chapters to chapter three.
(Read Romans 3:9-19) In these verses Paul is speaking about all of humanity, he says that we ALL have sinned, that we are sinners by nature and sinners by choice, In verse 23 Paul sums it up by saying, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Now I’ve heard people say that they aren’t sinners, and that they don’t sin, but 1st John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, then the truth is not in us, and we have deceived ourselves.”
In Romans chapter 5 Paul tells us that this happened because of Adams transgression. Romans chapter 5 vs. 12 Paul says, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Paul goes on to tell us in the sixth chapter of Romans, verse 23 that the wages of sin is death.