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by Donald Mehl 
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Ephesians 2:8,9
(v8) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (v9) not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Grace is God freely giving to us that which we don’t deserve. Faith is having a rock solid belief and unshakeable assurance in what God has promised for us in His Word.

The clear gospel message teaches that Jesus went to the cross willingly to suffer and die in our place to pay our sin debt in full that we might have eternal life. The free gift of salvation is available by His grace to all who by faith choose to accept His plan of redemption and truly make Him Lord and Master of their life.

Among the last things Jesus said while on the cross before He died were the words “It Is Finished” as recorded in John 19:30. When He said 'It Is Finished', He was declaring that His message of redemption through His sacrifice on the cross was complete. It was done. Those words from the Greek are also translated as “paid in full”. The price for our redemption from sin was paid in full by our Lord’s death.

There simply are no works, religious traditions or rituals that we must do ourselves, nor is there anything we are even capable of doing to earn or insure our salvation. If we believe that any of those things are necessary, then we have been deceived and have denied the sovereignty of God and the infallibility of His Word. If our salvation was even partially dependent on ‘things’ or ‘works’ that we must do to receive it, then no human on the planet could ever be good enough to enter Heaven’s gate into the presence of a Holy and Righteous God.

Nowhere in scripture does it say that although Jesus’ death and resurrection is necessary for salvation, it’s just not enough. It doesn’t say, ‘Christ’s shed blood on the cross plus our baptism’. It doesn’t say, ‘Jesus’ sacrifice plus church membership’. It doesn’t say, ‘God’s love for us plus our confirmation classes, or our partaking of the sacraments, or our doing many good things’. It doesn’t say we must do this or that in addition to what Jesus has already done through His finished work on the cross for us to fully achieve or guarantee our salvation. He did it all on the cross for us. He paid the full penalty for our sins on the cross in our place. He suffered and died on that cross, then arose on the third day claiming victory over death and the grave exactly as He said He would so that we too might have life through Him.

In addition to Eph. 2:8 and 9, many other scriptures clearly show that the free gift of salvation is only offered to us by God’s grace and can only be received by our faith in Him. It’s simply not dependent on any works, traditions or rituals that many perceive as required to make themselves, in some way, more acceptable to God. Nothing we do of ourselves can ever make us worthy in His sight. He has promised to accept us just as we are and wherever we are in life, if we will only choose to follow Him. Several of those scriptures are as follows:

Mark 7:8,13 (v8) Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men. (v13) Thus invalidating the Word of God by your tradition, which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.

Rom. 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom. 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

2 Cor. 12:9a And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”.

Gal. 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Gal 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for the just shall live by faith.

Titus 3:4-7 (v4) But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, (v5) not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, (v6) whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, (v7) that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Heb. 10:10,14,17,18 (v8) By that will, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (v14) For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (v17) And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. (v18) Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

By His grace, the gospel message of salvation is a free gift to all who would choose to reach out and accept it. The moment we consciously make the decision to call on Him by deliberately inviting Jesus into our heart and life is the moment we become ‘born again’ or spiritually born into the family of God. In John 3:3 Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. Also as recorded in John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.

God loves us with a love that truly has no bounds. However, God hates sin and cannot look upon it. We are all sinners in His eyes and deserving of eternal death. It’s not His will that any should perish, so God in His infinite grace and wisdom made His plan of salvation available to all who would choose it. It is only through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross that we can receive His free gift. Rom. 9:22 teaches there can be no remission of sin without His shed blood.

Scripture is very clear as to how we can all have that born again experience. We must be convicted of our sinful nature, realize we are eternally lost without Him and understand that Jesus came to die on the cross to pay the full price for our sins. We must humbly fall on our knees, confess our sins before Him, repent of our sinful ways and invite Jesus to come into our heart and life as our Lord and Savior to become a born again believer washed by His blood. We can have absolute assurance of our salvation through the promises God provides for us in His Word. God’s Word is infallible and we must simply accept those promises by faith in Him.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

John 10:27-29 (v27) My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; (v28) and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. (v29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Acts 16:31 They said, believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.

Rom. 8:38,39 (v38) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, (v39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom. 10:9,10 (v9) If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; (v10) For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

Rom. 10:13 For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Eph. 2:8,9 (v8) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (v9) Not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

2 Tim. 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

1 John 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

God’s love for us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is so astounding that we simply cannot comprehend it. He paid the price Himself for my sin debt and yours. That’s why His grace is so amazing! Praise Him who died for us when we were yet sinners, and praise Him who paid the price for my sins so I could escape the wrath to come and enjoy the splendors of Heaven on the Hills of Glory forever.

I am just a sinner saved by His GRACE, through my FAITH in Him and His promises, and by NO WORKS of my own!

Don Mehl

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