Salvation by Grace is for Faith' Sunday's Message June 8, 2008
by gonzodave coulon
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Salvation By Grace Is For Faith!
Precious ones in Christ, as an illustration of God's grace I quote the following from a review by Mr. J. Mark Bertrand of the new publication of the 1599 Geneva Bible by Tolle Lege.
"To be perfectly honest, the thing that has always interested me about the Geneva Bible isn't the translation itself, but the notes. They strike an interesting balance between the pastoral and the theological -- or perhaps I should say that they blend the two, as if there is no proper distinction to be made. I'll try to illustrate this with just one example. 1 Corinthians 4:7 reads, "For who separateth thee? and what hast thou, that thou hast not received? if thou hast received it, why rejoicest thou, as though thou hadst not received it?" The Geneva Bible makes two notes on the passage. First, it offers some practical application: "He showeth a good means to bridle pride: first, if thou consider how rightly thou exemptest thyself out of the number of others, seeing thou art a man thyself: again, if thou consider that although thou have something more than other men have, yet thou hast it not but by God's bountifulness. And what wise man is he that will brag of another's goodness, and that against God?" Then the Geneva Bible draws out a theological implication of the passage: "There is nothing then in us of nature, that is worthy of commendation: but all that we have, we have it of grace, which the Pelagians and half Pelagians will not confess."
If the Geneva note seems unreasonable, or that the verse itself is obscure, consider that the Corinthians had divided into groups which "quarreled" and claimed to follow a difference between Paul and Apollos. This was the main theme of the letter Paul wrote to correct a mistaken assumption (ref. chapter 1).
The KJV translation is very close to this Geneva verse. Bear in mind that the unsurpassed work of William Tyndale contributed almost 90% of the earlier Geneva and the later 1611 King James translations. The modern Amplified Bible rendering reads:
1 Cor 4:7 For who separates you from the others [as a faction leader]? [Who makes you superior and sets you apart from another, giving you the preeminence ?] What have you that was not given to you? If then you received it [from someone], why do you boast as if you had not received [but had gained it by your efforts]? AMP
The more recently discovered (Chester Beatty) sources of the NET Bible render the just prior verse 6:
1 Cor 4:6 I have applied these things to myself and Apollos because of you, brothers and sisters (see verse 1:10), so that through us you may learn "not to go beyond what is written," so that that none of you will be puffed up in favor of the one over the other. NET
To go beyond what was written at the time of this Epistle was the OT. Here, Paul was expounding the details of the New Covenant of God's graceful salvation. Which is a gift - not a means to an end of approved personal behavior AFTER death. Paul writes in the prior verse 5:
1 Cor 5ff ... Wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the motives of hearts. Then each will receive recognition (or praise) from God. NET
Now judgment for darkness and praise from God after death, or when Christ returns, is a far cry from salvation itself. "DO NOT GO BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN," and "as the Pelagians and half Pelagians will not confess."
The Pelagians referred to in this 400 year old Bible of the Puritans are today's professors, preachers, and followers of Arminian Christianity. A Christianity that promotes free will on the one hand and hides its graceless Governmental theory of atonement for salvation on the other. They will not confess eternal salvation by grace through faith from the moment of saving faith.
Now God's grace is because of Christ and His work. Grace is never a gift because of faith; rather, God's plan designed grace for faith. Grace is salvation. The gospel of the grace of God is to be believed because of the value of the death of Christ - the substitutionary blood of Christ is the core of the gospel message. Christ died for you.
The Arminian caveat says: Salvation by grace is for continued faith. The gospel laid upon the brass alter of judgment and the answer of confession is a half-step. The sin of pride is not left behind! It is a pretense of humility, an insult to God's grace, and a denial of the true gospel to say: I hope I go to heaven.
The one who believes in Christ completely for faith proudly claims and confesses: Salvation by grace is for faith!
Go well in Christ Jesus on this eighth day - the resurrection day of new beginnings.
That's my message.
My regards in Christ Jesus,
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