What is Grace pt2, it is Received

What is Grace? (pt2).

It is RECEIVED through obedience.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

(Eph 2:8)

Some would have you believe that there is nothing a man must do to receive the GRACE of God. However, that extreme position teaches universal salvation to unbelievers, unrepentant, active sinners, and wicked & vile people.

These same teachers would then say, “well, you have to believe.” The scriptures teach that a person must believe before they can be saved (John 8:24). Again, this “faith only” extreme position teaches salvation to any ‘believer’ regardless of willful sins.  

By the way, belief is a work that man must do. “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:29; cf. 1Thess 1:3).

These very same teachers then tell me, “Well, you must repent.” At this point we’re getting closer to the truth. At least some of them agree with the scriptures that repentance is a requirement of salvation. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30; cf Luke 13:3).

They will also teach to be saved a person must confess Jesus. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). They agree with the scriptures, but they need to read just one verse farther, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” There is something man must do to receive the GRACE of God.

Is it any stretch then to teach that a person must do something to RECEIVE the Grace of God that has appeared to all men? GRACE is Received by man when they obey the Gospel. Read just a little further in Romans 10:16; “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” Obedience is connected to Belief.

Grace is the Gift of God. As seen above, mankind must RECEIVE (obey) that gift. Grace is the provision for salvation through Christ. Without His perfect sacrifice we could not be saved. How do we receive salvation through His Grace?

Paul wrote this, “And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (2Tim 2:5, NKJV). To be saved one must follow the RULES of Christ. “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2John 9).

When Peter preached at the beginning he told the new believers in Christ, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). Before anyone can receive the Gift of Salvation, they must believe and REPENT. It is commanded by Christ, It is taught by the Apostles, It is repeated by Paul, and it is a requirement for restoration of those who have obeyed but have sinned (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 17:30; Rev 2:5).

The person that believes must REPENT AND be BAPTIZED. Believers are immersed in (go UNDER) water to be saved. When Philip preached Jesus to the Eunuch, he asked, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” (Acts 8:36). Paul explained that Baptism (going UNDER water by faith) is accessing the working of God through faith for the circumcision of the heart. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Col 2:11-12).

Peter wrote that water baptism saves, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1Peter 3:21). Ananias told Saul of Tarsus that baptism will “wash away thy sins” (Acts 22:16).

Those that have obeyed the Gospel by putting on Christ in Baptism must then LIVE Faithfully. Paul said that it is possible to receive the Grace of God in vain (2Cor 6:1). That is what happens when believers LIVE unfaithfully to Christ. He wrote the Galatians that they could “fall from grace” (Gal 5:4). This happens when we turn from Christ to another gospel (cf. Gal 1:6-10; 2Cor 11:4). Paul wrote Titus telling him that grace is “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11).

When we obey the gospel through faith, we can ENJOY the comfort & hope of God’s Grace. “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work” (2Thess 2:16-17). We can have assurance in Eternal life when we do what is commanded for us to do.

The grace of God also gives opportunity to STAND us back up when we fall in SIN, and when we SUFFER trials. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1Peter 5:10). “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16; cf. 1John 1:9).

Grace is an exceedingly wonderful Gift from Jesus. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Grace is the opportunity, obeying the Truth is receiving His grace. (1Peter 1:22)

Spencer is an evangelist for the Franklin & Juniper St church of Christ in Borger Texas.

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