GRACE AND SALVATION  Back to Resource Page

When they first heard about the salvation that Jesus brings, they asked a simple question, “what shall we do?”  Today, almost 2,000 years later, this remains the life’s most important question.  You would think all Christianity would have one consistent, biblical answer, but unfortunately, when you talk about salvation, our traditions and opinions get in the way.  However, at Community, we think it is possible to get a clear answer from the Bible alone, without appealing to the traditions, creeds, or opinions which often separate believers.   

1. WORKS METHOD  (WORKS ONLY):  Some people believe that getting into heaven is a matter of keeping all the rules and regulations.  They see God as the Great Cosmic Bookkeeper who keeps a daily record of who’s naughty and nice and then, at the end of life, rewards those whose good deeds outweigh their bad.  The Jews of the Old Testament tried this, as do many of our world religions, not to mention a lot of well-intentioned, but misguided Christians!  The problem is that no one is good enough to earn salvation!  The gift of salvation is something far beyond our ability to pay.  And, if our good deeds were that good, we wouldn't need Jesus (Galatians 2:21)!  So, don’t try to work your way into heaven.  It can’t be done.  

2. MIRACLE METHOD (FAITH ONLY):  Since we can’t work our way into Heaven, many people go completely in the opposite direction and say nothing on our part is required.  Salvation is completely and totally a matter of God's choice.  God has already decided who will go to Heaven and who will not.  While this is a popular view today, it is one that the Bible does not support.  God desires everyone to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) and salvation is a decision that every person must make for themselves (John 3:18).  In fact, God’s grace can be rejected (Galatians 5:4, Hebrews 6:4-6; 2 Peter 3:17, Revelation 2:5).   To make salvation completely a matter of God's choice, makes us little more than puppets on a string.  In the Bible, faith is more than believing—even the devil believes (James 2:19).  Faith is what you do based on what you believe!    So what’s the answer?   Simple.  Salvation has two sides: What God does (grace) and what we must do in response (obedience).  


GOD'S PART: GRACE (Getting love and mercy we don’t deserve!) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:8-10  

MAN'S PART: OBEDIENCE  (Certainly not earning grace, but accepting it)  

FAITH:  We must believe that God sent Jesus to be our Savior and our Lord.  To believe that Jesus is our Savior is insufficient, unless we make Him our Lord, Boss, CEO, Master.  Believing in Jesus, without the commitment to do what He says cannot save us (James 2:14-26).   “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16  

REPENTANCE:  God expects a change of our will, our attitude and our behavior.  We stop living for ourselves and make a commitment to live pleasing to God by following the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.    “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38  

CONFESSION:  God expects you to publicly acknowledge that Christ is your Lord (Romans 10:8-15).  You can’t be a “closet Christian.”    “Whoever acknowledges me before men,  I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32  

BAPTISM: This is our pledge of obedience, our union with Christ, the point of contact with the resurrection of Christ, and how our sins are washed away (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21).  But, without faith, repentance and the confession that Jesus is our Lord, it is just getting wet!   “We were therefore buried with [Christ] through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:4   God’s gracious offer of salvation is accepted by our faith and obedience. God’s salvation is free, but it cost Jesus His life, and it requires nothing less than our complete lives given back to God in faith and obedience.  Accepting God’s gracious gift of salvation obligates us to live a life pleasing to God, and conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).  Our good works are not a requirement for salvation; our good works are a result of salvation.  

We have been justified (declared not guilty in God's courtroom)!
"Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" (Rom 5:9)   

We have been reconciled (brought back to a peaceful relationship with God)!
"...we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." (Rom 5:1)    

We have been Redeemed (bought with a price)!
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us”  (Eph 1:7)  

We have been given God's righteousness (We are acceptable in God's sight)!
 "...not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." (Phil 3:9, see Rom 5:17, 10:3-4)  
"for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." (Gal 3:27)  

We have been forgiven of our sins: past, present and future!   
"For Christ died for sins once for all"  (1 Pet 3:18)
"And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.'" (Acts 22:16)  

We have been given the gift of God's Spirit who lives in us!
“Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”   (Acts 2:38, see 1 Cor 3:16, Rom 8:9-11)  

We have been united with Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection!
“Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  (Romans 6:3-4, see Col. 2:12)  
“For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body”   (1 Cor. 12:13)   

We have been declared holy, perfect, without blemish, free from accusation and blameless!
"By one sacrifice [Christ] has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." (Heb 10:14) "But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation--if you continue in your faith”   (Col 1:22-23)
"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight." (Eph 1:4)  

We have been declared a new creation, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a people belonging to God!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Cor 5:17)
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (1 Pet 2:9)
GRACE IS TRULY AMAZING! Back to Resource Page