I have a message to give you today about the second Essential Doctrine of Christianity. The first was establishing the Deity of Christ which we did a couple of weeks ago. This one is called ‘Saved by Grace’. Its description starts in Ephesians 2 vss 8-9.
Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Eph 2:9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
We are saved by grace through faith in what GOD has done. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. If we could do something we would be bragging about it. Look what I did to be saved, I deserve to be saved, I deserve to go to heaven. I am proudly very good aren’t I.
Gal 5:4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
When you seek to be justified by the Law, as the Galatian Christians were doing again, they severed themselves from Christ. They no longer believed in grace of what Jesus did on the cross. They tried to be justified by the flesh and by the law. So they fell from grace. The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry says: “This verse plainly teaches that if you believe that you are saved by faith and works, then you are not saved at all. They believe this in the cults. They have a false Jesus and a false doctrine of salvation.” That is what makes them cults.
In my late twenties I hitch-hiked to Seattle and on the way back I stopped in Eugene, Oregon and hooked up with this group called The Full Moon Celebration of the Light. They were going to Shasta to celebrate the full moon. I got to know their customs a little bit and they had their own avatar. He had one unbelievable trick: he could look at one of his followers and they would fall to the ground and grovel in the dirt like a snake or something. He looked at me after I was noticing him a bit but I didn’t fall. He was this groups false Jesus and wherever they were going in their eternity was their false doctrine of salvation. They were in my opinion a cult as depicted here.
Gal 2:21 “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Christians do not nullify grace. But trying to be righteous by the law, by that we nullify grace and then Christ died for nothing. His death saves and forgives- paid the price for sin- that is what it does. It saves us.
Rom 3:21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
Apart from the law- we didn’t obey the law perfectly and become righteous on our own- we can’t. But Jesus did. He became righteous and gave it to us. We became righteous through Jesus. His life and death and this salvation was foretold by the Law and the Prophets. Leviticus and Isaiah among others.
Rom 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
Does not work- One who is not trying to be saved by good works or Law. He believes in Jesus who justifies the ungodly- us. This faith is given as righteousness. Salvation is not universal resurrection as Mormonism says. I think this Mormon doctrine means that everyone will be resurrected and go to heaven in their view. But they have a false Jesus and this salvation for all is not from the Bible. They have many gods and are considered a cult by most Christian scholars. True salvation is the forgiveness of sins which is accomplished by faith alone.
Rom 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
Rom 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
Rom 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Abraham believed God- what He said about going to the promised land and being the Father of Many Nations. This faith made him righteous in Gods eyes. He is the Father of Faith. This is the Old Testament roots of faith. Roman Catholicism denies salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They say you must do good works to be saved also and they can never be sure they are going to heaven- no eternal security.
I have been showing to you the Doctrine of Saved by Faith. It is one out of five Essential Doctrines of Christianity. It is necessary to believe it just as presented to become a Christian. If you change it even a little bit in what you believe you can make yourself not a Christian. This is the way the doctrine is. This is the way it has happened for salvation and this is what Jesus did to make salvation happen.
Why should you believe it? Because Jesus was God. He was the greatest of the historical figures who changed life on planet earth immensely. He worked miracles and He wants us to believe. We don’t have to be hung from our chest muscles from the ceiling to be His, nor pay a great sum of money like the Romans to become a citizen. And we don’t have to kill for a 100 foreskins to become a follower of Jesus Christ- just believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again which proves He was God. If you start a relationship with HIM you can trust Him for personal spiritual growth and the new life you need, for forgiveness and a regenerated mind- not magic but a mind secure in God and peace.