Gospel of Grace Church
What We Believe


Preface

Gospel of Grace Church has seen fit to express what we believe and what we adopt as a confession of our faith. It is easy to merely say we believe the Bible and that the Bible is our only creed. The problem is that we are not the only group who makes such a claim. Thousands of groups claim to believe the Bible, from cover to cover, who differ greatly with one another in doctrine, each claiming the Bible as their authority. We believe most are deceived in their doctrine, while thinking they adhere strictly to the Bible's teachings.

It is our duty to tell people what we believe the Bible teaches. We believe we adhere to the doctrines of Scripture, and preach the true gospel revealed in the Bible. We want people to read this and search the Scriptures to see whether these things are so (Acts 17:11). Our prayer is that God will be pleased to use this writing to communicate His gospel, save His elect, and build up Christ's church in the faith.

This document concerns what we believe to be the basic gospel message of the Bible and some of the fundamental doctrines that spring from the gospel. This is by no means an exhaustive record of what we believe. The Bible is the only written word that is verbally inspired and infallible. It is our only source of doctrine and practice. We simply ask all who read this to consider it carefully and reasonably as it adheres to the Holy Scriptures.

The Holy Scriptures

We adopt to the fullest expression of our faith the Holy Scriptures given by inspiration of God, as the only sufficient, authoritative rule for all knowledge, faith, and obedience. The Scripture is said to be holy, in that, it is special, separate, and perfect. It is the very God breathed word concerning what He has said about Himself and the way of salvation.

II Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

II Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

I Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

( 2 Sam 7:28, 23:2, Psalm 12:6, 25:5, 111:7- 8, 119:43, 138:2, Daniel 10:21, John 17:17, Acts 3:18, 1 Cor 2:4, Heb 1:1- 2, 2 Pet 3:15)

We believe the gospel revealed in these Scriptures as the basis for all Scriptural interpretation, for all doctrinal matters, and for all motivation to obedience, and worship. The gospel we adopt is defined in the Holy Scriptures as God's promise of eternal salvation grounded upon the merits of Christ's obedience and death, His very righteousness, freely imputed to God’s elect. They know and understand this by God given faith.

Romans 1:16-17 I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every
one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

It is the ministry of this church, as a "ministry of reconciliation" by the "word of reconciliation" to encourage every sinner who hears this gospel to seek salvation to be based on the merits of the blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, as proclaimed in the Holy Scriptures.

II Corinthians 5:18-21 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

The Only True God

We believe in one God, the Maker, Preserver, Ruler, and Predestinator of all things without exception, having in Himself all perfections, and being infinite in them all. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, worship, and obedience.

This one true God reveals Himself in the Trinity of His sacred Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each a distinct Person but without division of nature, essence and being.

(Exodus 3:14, Deut 6:4, Psalm 110:1, Mark 12:29, John 1:1, 5:18, 8:58, 10:30- 33, Acts 20:28, 1Cor 10:9, 15:47, 2 Cor 3:17-18, Gal 3:20, 1 Tim 3:16, Titus 2:13, Heb 1:3, 1 Pet 1:2, Jude 4, 20-21)

It is the purpose of God in redemption to glorify Himself in the salvation of sinners, based on Christ’s merit alone. Each Person of the Godhead lovingly performs a specific office in the purpose of the redemption of the elect, and that it is all sure and certain because God is faithful to fulfill His promise based on the Person and work of Christ. Any other god that people may claim to believe in besides the true God, is a false god and an idol of their imagination. In light of this, and in compliance with the Holy Scriptures.

God the Father, before the foundation of the world, in love, chose a multitude from Adam's race that no man can number. He promised to give eternal blessedness to all these objects of His love, not conditioned on the sinner in any way, but on the obedience and effectual death of the Lord Jesus Christ, their Representative and Surety.

II Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Incarnation of the Son of God

God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to take on human, sinless flesh, by means of a virgin birth to obey His holy law, and die on the cross to satisfy His law and justice on their behalf, based on their sins being imputed to Him, thereby fulfilling all the requirements of the salvation God's elect.

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

(Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 53:2, Mat 1:21-25, Luke 1:31- 35, 4:18, John 3:16, 17:5, 1 Tim 3:16, Heb 4:15, 7:26- 27, 1 Pet 2:22- 23, 1 John 1:1-3, 3:8b, 4:9)

Christ effectually and fully accomplished this redemption, as He fulfilled all that God requires for their eternal salvation. This was signified and declared by His resurrection from the dead on the third day. Christ's blood and righteousness by itself insured His own resurrection from the dead. Christ's blood and righteousness by itself also insures the salvation of all whom He represented, lived and died as a substitute, and secured all that is included in salvation, from their regeneration and conversion to their final glorification.

Romans 4:24-25 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

(Job 29:14, Psalm 32:2, 85:10-11, Isaiah 53:11, 61:10, Jer 23:5- 6, Rom 3:21-22, 4:6- 8, 5:9-11,17-19, 8:1, 31- 39, 1Cor 1:30, 2 Cor 5:18-21, Eph 5:25-27, Col 1:21-22, Titus 3:6-7)

Doctrines of Sovereign Grace

We believe that God justifies His elect based upon the merit of the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ alone, freely imputed to them and received by the gift of faith, with no consideration of, nor contribution from, the sinner's efforts at obedience and reform. Jesus Christ the Lord, by merit of His obedient life and voluntary death, purchased by His blood, brought in and established an absolute perfect, everlasting righteousness that effectually satisfies the holy demands of God's law and justice. That righteousness is imputed to God's people for their only acceptability to God. This exclusive way of salvation shows God to be both a just God and a Savior. This is the essence of the gospel of grace. God's people hear it, understand it, believe it, and love it.

(Gen 15:5- 6, Psalm 103:2-12, 130:3- 4, Isaiah 1:18, 45:21- 25, Jer 33:14-16, Mat 1:21, Acts 13:32- 39, Rom 1:16-17, 3:21- 26, 4:5- 8, 10:4, 1Cor 15:1- 8, 2 Cor 1:20, 5:21, Eph 1:3- 22, Col 1:5, 2 Tim 1:1, 9-10, Heb 10:4-17)

In light of this, and in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, we adhere to the doctrines that are commonly referred to as the doctrines of sovereign grace. Grace means all of salvation based on the effectual work of Jesus Christ alone. These doctrines, in compliance with the Holy Scriptures, can be stated as follows:

Total Depravity and Inability of Man

Total depravity must be considered from two points of view: (1) Legal (objectively), as it concerns how God views us. In Adam we are guilty, legally condemned, owing a debt to God's law and justice, a debt of which we are unable to pay. We cannot even contribute to the payment of such a debt. (2) Moral (subjectively), it concerns how we view God. We are born as natural enemies against God in everything we are and do. This does not necessarily mean that we are all openly immoral and profane, or unconcerned about religion. Even totally depraved sinners are able to perform duties of religion and morality that would make them appear outwardly righteous to mankind.

Matthew 23:27-28 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Total depravity is revealed in the fact that mankind by nature is void of a righteousness that answers the demands of both God's law and justice. It is also revealed in that we, by nature, are totally opposed to obtaining such a righteousness by imputation ALONE, apart from our efforts of obedience. This is also revealed when sinners will count themselves saved, based on something other than the merit of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. This doctrine is revealed to show us our deservedness of God's wrath because of sin, to show us our need of free grace, and of a righteousness, which we can never produce.

Romans 3:10-12 There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

I Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

(Gen 3:5, Psalm 14:2- 3, Pro 12:10, 15:8, Isaiah 45:20, 64:6, Jer 13:23, 17:9, Mat 7:18, John 3:19- 20, 6:44- 45, Rom 1:20- 23, 20, 5:12, 6:16- 23, 7:5, 8:5- 8, 10:2-3, 2 Cor 4:3- 4, Eph 2:5, 4:18, Col 1:21, 2:13, Heb 9:14, 11:6)

Unconditional Election

In order to reveal and honor all the perfections of God's redemptive character in the full, free, eternal salvation, God chose a definite number of people, conditioned upon, and loved in Jesus Christ, for His sake alone. God the Father appointed the Son to be the Representative and Surety of every individual whom He had elected unto salvation and made them one with Jesus Christ, in union with Him in the eyes of His law and justice. By God's appointment, Christ took on the entire responsibility to do everything necessary to bring each and every one of the elect unto final glorification. Unconditional election automatically means unconditional salvation. God's elect people owed a debt to God's law and justice and could not be saved apart from conditioning all of their salvation solely upon the Christ Jesus the Lord.

II Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

I Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto
obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

I Thessalonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

Romans 11:5-6 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

I Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light:

(Psalm 89:19-37, Isaiah 49:5-6, 53:11-12, Luke 22:29, John 6:37- 40, 10:29, 17:2,9, Gal 3:16-18, 2 Tim 1:9, Gen 13:14-16, 17:4- 8,19, Deut 4:35; 7:9, 2 Sam 23:5, Psalm 65:4, 67:2, 105:8-10, 111:9, 132:11, Isaiah 43:10-12, 55:3-4, 61:6-9, Mat 13:11, Mat 24:22, 24, Mark 13:20, 22, 27, Luke 1:68-75, 18:7, John 17:2-3, Acts 13:48, Rom 8:28- 30,33, 9:11-16,23, 11:26-27, Eph 1:4-14, Col 3:12, 2 Tim 2:10, Titus 1:1, Heb 6:13-14, 8:6-12, 1 Pet 1:1)

Particular and Effectual Atonement

Particular and effectual atonement teaches us that Christ Jesus, in a labor of love, actually satisfied all the conditions and requirements for the salvation of God's elect by establishing a perfect righteousness for them by His effectual atonement. He did this for all those He represented, thus, glorifying His Father in their full salvation. God's love provided in Christ what His holiness demanded from His people. The elect are saved
through covenant promise, based on the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.

God the Son took on a human body, wrapped in His Deity, in order to do everything necessary to SATISFY all the conditions required for the justification of all those whom He represented, to be reconciled and saved eternally. Not one sinner for whom Jesus Christ lived and effectually died for as a substitute will ever perish. Christ's atonement, His accomplishment of redemption, and the righteousness of God revealed in the Gospel insures their eternal salvation. Christ and His meritorious work secures all things needed for His people to be made full partakers of all that He purchased for them, including the work of the Holy Spirit in them.

The merit of the life and death of Christ ALONE is the only saving difference between saved and lost or heaven and hell. In other words the merit of His Person and work is BY ITSELF WHAT DOES THE SAVING. This is to say His atonement is EFFECTUAL by itself. His blood and righteousness automatically excludes everything else as to the ground of eternal justification and acceptance to God. Christ's whole work resulted in the justification of His people. Christ, as Mediator of the Everlasting Covenant of Grace, brought in and established an everlasting righteousness which is imputed to His people and makes them to be accepted by the Father on that very ground and basis.

Isaiah 53:10-12 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.

Hebrews 2:9-10 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Hebrews 10:10-14 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.

(Gen 22:13, Exodus 12:3-13, Lev 16:21-22, 17:11, Psalm 22:1-18, 32:1, Dan 9:24- 26, Zech 13:7, Mat 1:21, 26:28, 27:35- 50, Mark 15:24- 37, Luke 23:33-46, 24:46, John 11:49-52, 19:16-30, Acts 17:3, 20:28, Rom 3:24- 25, 1 Cor 1:30, 5:7; 6:20, 15:3, 2 Cor 5:21, Gal 1:4; 2:20, 3:13, 4:5, Eph 1:7, 2:13-17, Col 1:14, 20-22, 2:13-14, 1 Thes 5:10, 1 Tim 2:6, Titus 2:14, Heb 9:12-14, 26- 28, Heb 13:12, 1 Pet 1:18-19, 2:24, 3:18, 1 John 1:7, 2:2, 3:5, 4:10, Rev 1:5, 5:9)

Irresistible Grace

Irresistible or efficacious grace refers to the application of salvation to the persons of the elect, whereby they are made actual partakers of salvation and experience spiritual life in this world. This is sure and certain because of the Lord Christ's death on the cross. This application is the effectual call of God the Holy Spirit through the preaching of God's gospel. God the Holy Spirit is the sovereign Agent who lovingly quickens the spiritually dead sinner. The gospel preached is then heard and understood by the quickened sinner being the means and power of God unto salvation.

Adam's sin is legally imputed, or transferred to each and every one whom he represented in each generation resulting in their legal condemnation and spiritual death, when they are born by natural generation. Even so, Christ's righteousness is legally imputed to each and every one whom He represented, which results in our legal justification and spiritual life.

Regeneration and conversion come together. Just as the sin of our representative Adam plunged all whom he represented into guilt, total depravity and all the particulars involved in this state, even so, the righteousness of the Representative Christ Jesus demanded that each and every one whom He represented be made actual partakers of all grace.

John 6:37-40 & 44-45 All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and him that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise Him up at the last day. {44} No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise Him up at the last day. {45} It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me.

Titus 3:5-7 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Romans 8:29-30 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.

II Timothy 1:8-9 Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

(Rom 10:17, 1 Cor 1:18-24. More texts under the “Regeneration" heading)

Preservation of the Saints

All whom God elected, Christ redeemed, and the Holy Spirit gives life, will without fail persevere in faith unto final glory by God's preserving grace. As God's people, we know that salvation from start to finish is based on the effectual work of Christ our Surety according to God's promise. We know the only true God who made the promise, and know the only true Christ who merited all grace. Therefore, we are fully persuaded that what God has promised, HE IS ABLE TO PERFORM.

Our confidence is not in ourselves, but in God our loving and faithful Savior, and we are encouraged and motivated by the assurance of salvation conditioned on the merit of Jesus Christ alone, which produces true love and loyalty to Christ and His sheep. This causes us to delight and be diligent in the use of all the means, which God has provided for our perseverance. God's people will be preserved by His grace, and His people will continue in the faith, believing in the absolute certainty of salvation conditioned on the Lord Jesus Christ alone. We know that any who profess to believe the gospel, and who later leave it, never truly believed the Gospel, and had never truly repented.

John 10:27-29 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

II Timothy 1:12 For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

II John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

(Psalm 31:23, 37:24, 28, 55:22, 66:9, 121:3-8, Prov 2:7-8, Jer 32:39-40, John 6:40, Rom 8:30- 39, Eph 1:13-14, 2 Thes 3:3, 4:18, 1 Pet 1:3-5, Jude 24)

These doctrines are revealed to show us God's faithfulness to fulfill His promise of salvation grounded upon the effectual blood atonement of Jesus Christ the Lord. Sinners in unbelief, by refusing to seek salvation based upon the righteousness of Jesus Christ and by refusing to repent from idolatry and dead works only remain in condemnation. Self-righteous men and women deny the severity of the problem and invent their own remedies. All who hear this gospel are commanded to believe God's gospel and to seek salvation based on the merits of Christ alone.

The Work of the Holy Spirit / Regeneration

We believe God the Holy Spirit makes all the objects of God's love, all whom the Lord Jesus Christ redeemed, full partakers of all that God has provided in all that Jesus Christ has purchased. He applies this to them as He regenerates them and calls them through the means of the Gospel, by the power of the Holy Spirit. He then brings them to faith in Jesus Christ and to repentance of self-righteous idolatry and dead works. He continually dwells in them that they might be comforted and assured by the certainty of their preservation based upon the accomplished death and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, without their own works.

Ephesians 1:9-14 Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will: That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.

John 6:63 It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.

James 1:17 Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.

I Peter 1:23-25 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away: But the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word, which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Christ's blood and righteousness by itself secured and insures all the work of the Holy Spirit in God's elect and that no part of the Holy Spirit's work in the sinner, though necessary and vital in salvation, forms any part of the ground of that sinner's justification. God the Holy Spirit's work in the sinner is the fruit and effect of Christ's work of redemption for the sinner.

(Deut 30:6, Jer 24:7, Ezek 11:19-20, 36:25-27, Zech 4:6, John 1:13, 3:3-8; 6:37, 44, 10:3-5 & 27, 17:2, Rom 5:5, Rom 6:1- 22, 7:6, 8:2, 5-16 & 30, 1 Cor 15:45, Eph 2:5, 4:22-24, Col 2:11-13, Titus 3:5, Heb 9:13-15)

God-given Faith

Because God loves His people, He gives them faith to actually know, understand, and experience His love. Faith, upon hearing and understanding the gospel receives Christ, and His righteousness as the only ground of eternal salvation. The faith God commands is something not found in man naturally and cannot be worked up by man's will or sincerity. Faith is not the work of man and is not the ground of salvation itself, but rather the fruit and effect of the life and death of Christ earned for God's elect, and are worked in the elect by the Holy Spirit.

God's people for whom Christ lived and died are now in a state of perfect righteousness because the whole merit of His work is imputed or transferred to their account and they are presented not only forgiven, pardoned, but holy, umblameable, unreproveable, and perfectly righteous. They are legally declared to be righteous. This is that same perfect righteousness that a holy God requires which we could not perform ourselves. They are in the state of non-imputation, which means they cannot ever be charged with sin. This is the only salvation that is not conditioned on man in any way, but rather conditioned on Christ alone. This is the essence of the gospel of grace and is where faith rests.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

(Deut 4:34- 35, Isaiah 45:6, 20- 25, Mat 13:23, Mark 16:16, John 6:40, 8:32, 16:8-11, 17:3, Acts 16:14-15, Rom 1:16-17, 3:26, 6:17, 21, 7:6, 1 Cor 2:10-12, 2 Cor 4:2- 6, Eph 1:13, Phil 3:7- 8, 2 Thes 2:13-14, Heb 9:14, 1 John 5:20)

The essence of the gospel is all of salvation is by grace alone and all conditioned on Christ. This means it is not of works or conditioned on sinners to any degree. The life and death of Christ is sufficient and effectual by itself to be the only saving difference between saved and lost. The merit of His blood and righteousness is what puts His people in an unchangeable, irreversible, perfect state of righteousness.

All that God requires for justification was victoriously accomplished by Jesus Christ. It is a perfect, full, and completely finished work that demands the justification of all them for whom were represented by the Savior. If the merit of the Person and work of Christ by itself is not enough to put us in a state of justification and answer all the demands of God's requirements, then nothing else will or can. There is absolutely no hope at all in what we do or are even enabled to do, we must have a hands off approach. Christ is our only hope. True faith believes this.

God-given Repentance

The love and goodness of God gives not only faith but repentance also. Repentance from spiritual idolatry and self-righteous dead works is the first evidence of God given faith. It sees that every effort at obedience and reform before faith were only evil and wicked attempts at removing God's wrath and gaining favor in opposition to His redemptive glory. These are aimed at the ground and cause of salvation, which casts shame and reproach upon the Person and work of Christ. Any works without faith are dead and need to be repented of.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Mark 1:15 The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Philippians 3:7-9 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

Godly sorrow over sin is that continual aspect of repentance whereby a saved sinner constantly sees his own sinfulness in his character and conduct. This is seen in order to constantly realize that his only hope for salvation and forgiveness is the blood of Christ and His righteousness imputed.

Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Psalm 130:3-4 If thou, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that Thou may be feared.

II Corinthians 7:9-10 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye
were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow works
repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.

Psalm 51:15-17 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise. For thou desire not sacrifice; else would I give it: Thou delight not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.

Good Works and Loving God and the Brethren

Acceptable obedience flows from God given faith. It is the obedience of saved sinners, not at all motivated by legal fear of punishment or promise of reward based on personal merit. True obedience is motivated by the assurance of a free salvation based on the accomplished effectual sacrifice and righteousness of the God-man Mediator, without any of our works added. This is the liberty and freedom of grace, the spirit of adoption and love, whereby saved sinners express love for God and love to one another. It includes any attempt to obey God's commands, to perform and maintain good works, to seek to bring our character and conduct into conformity to Christ our Savior.

This activity is response to the love and grace of God through Christ Jesus. As works without faith are dead, we also believe faith without works is dead. It is important that we know this obedience is not acceptable due to any merit of its own. It is only acceptable because it is performed by one in a justified state, motivated by the certainty of preservation based on Jesus Christ's merits alone.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.

I Peter 2:5 You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

James 2:17-18 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

Love to God and the brethren, is love that flows from faith in Christ, of which the natural man is incapable. It is of the Spirit and it respects first and foremost the honor of God's redemptive glory revealed in salvation based on the blood of Christ. This love will take sides with those who believe the gospel, and it will not count any sinners to be saved who are either ignorant of or not submitted to the imputed righteousness of Christ as the ground of justification before God.

John 13:34- 35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.

I John 3:13-16 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death. Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.


May the LORD use these truths for your growth and bless you richly.