SALVATION BY… AND ITS ITERATIONS
Dr. Eusebio A. Tanicala
I used to read or hear that “salvation is by grace only”, others say we are “saved by grace through faith only”, and still others declare “saved by grace only + faith only”, and then later it has become “saved by grace only + saved by faith only + saved by Jesus only”. What is the truth? Why is it growing in number of items?
People keep on adding the plus sign (+) because when they read the Bible, there are more items and persons listed relative to our salvation. So that we will not commit what we call in logic, the “Fallacy of Partial View” we should get as many items and persons that are listed in the Bible. Are we saved by “Grace Alone + Saved by Faith Alone + Saved by Christ Alone”?
Do not stop on the third item. There are other persons and items we read from the Bible connected with our individual salvation. What prohibits us to add more if we find them in the word of God, the Bible?
1. Saved by God says Titus 1:3, 4; Titus 2:10, “God our Savior.”
2. “Justified by His blood, we shall be saved”, Roma 5:9, 10.
3. “Saved by the gospel if we hold fast to it”, 1 Cor. 15:2.
4. “We shall be saved by His life”, Romans 5:10.
5. “Saved by calling on the name of the Lord”, Joel 2:32; Acts 2:22; 9:14.
6. “Saved by the implanted word”, James 1:21; Acts 11:14.
7. “Saved by the teachings of Christ and the apostles”, 1 Tim. 4:16.
8. “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved”, Mark 16:16
9. “Repent and be baptized and receive the remission of sins”, Acts 2:38.
10. “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made to salvation”, Romans 10:9, 10.
There are other items found in the Bible. We shall in the following series submit other items. Below, we give a description of the word GRACE.
Grace (Xaris in Greek) “. . . but the N.T. writers use Xaris pre-eminently of that kindness by which God bestows favors even upon the ill-deserving, and grants to sinners the pardon of their offenses, and bids them accept of eternal salvation through Christ x x x is used of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increased them in Christian faith, knowledge, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, p. 666)
God in His kindness and mercy provided the basis of salvation, which is Christ becoming flesh who suffered and died for the sins of the entire world. Therefore, GRACE is wide and encompassing. In Christ, we have God’s love, Christ’s blood, Christ’s righteousness, Christ’s commands and instructions. The remission of sins of the entire world is not automatically applied to every individual when Christ appeared. Grace is available but not automatically imputed on sinners. God bids individuals to know about God, and to know about Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Knowledge of this death, burial and resurrection of Christ for mankind’s salvation should be known and appreciated by an individual. God bids us to accept this arrangement of salvation by appropriating the merits of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Accept it by FAITH. But biblical FAITH involves obedience says Luke 6:46-47, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like.” And Christ tells the story of the “Wise Builder Who Built upon the Rock Foundation.” The obedient disciple is expected to obey the instructions of the Savior.
Some Bible teachers and preachers define grace as a gift from God with no conditions and with no participation of individuals. That makes salvation attractive to many, but that is deception. It is not biblical. This is our illustration: Recently, there was a FREE book offer on the internet. To receive the FREE book, one should submit his name and address. Is the submission of name and address considered earning the cost of the book? No. But if one who is interested in having the free book does not submit his name, the free book will not arrive in his residence. So there is a condition to receive the gift of a book. There are offers in bazaars and malls about FREE items like “BUY ONE AND TAKE ONE FREE” during a Sale Period. Is the second item free or earned? It is still free but one should obey the condition of buying one item. Does a customer go to the bazaar or mall and argue with the manager that to consider the item to be FREE, that item should be delivered to his residence with no effort? If a company usually sells a car at three million pesos, but at the birthdate of the store franchise he advertises “Buy one and take one free” would you consider the second car free or earned? The second car is free, but one should buy the first car. To the giver, it is free because the second car costs nothing to the buyer. Likewise, this is true of our salvation. God offers salvation as free. But there are conditions to be met by individuals like Mark 16:15-16: Preach the gospel which should be accepted by a listener, then believe by the listener, then is baptized and then expect salvation.