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Post  Admin on Mon 06 Dec 2010, 12:33 pm

____What Does It Take to Be Saved____
John + 6:47: "I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal
life." (Jesus Christ)
Romans + 10:9: "If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord and if you believe
in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved.
By believing from the heart you are made righteous; by confessing with your
lips you are saved."
In light of the above scripture, it would seem that arguments in support
of grace being the prime or sole salvation element are doctrinally
indefensible. However, given the following faith axiom, it would seem the opposite
is also true.
Acts + 15:11: We believe that it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus
that we have been saved
Ephesians + 2:8: "...it is by grace that you have been saved, through
faith..."
Those who point to these quotes when giving definition to their arguments
in support of grace being the prime mover of our salvation usually tend to do so for reasons that have more to do with how their particular
denomination interprets this teaching than with what scripture actually says about it. However, what both sides of this issue fail to consider is the possibility of there being a third, more comprehensive and enlightened view of this teaching; God's view, as it were.
Throughout scripture God has given us certain gray areas of mystery to
untangle. They often seem to suggest that contradiction appears within the very fabric of Christian doctrine, especially to those whose faith is young and without a clearer, more all-encompassing grasp of God's Word.
For instance: the question of marriage versus celibacy. If we are to
follow in Jesus footsteps when choosing the path of our discipleship, why, then, is marriage, according to the writings of Saint Paul, not a sin? Why does one have the gift of one thing, and another a gift for the exact opposite?
(1 Corinthians + 7:7)
This is not to say that the faith-versus- grace issue falls into a gray
area category. The scriptures quoted in the beginning of this teaching clearly dispel that notion. There is no wrestling with conscience here. So, then, where does grace fit into the mosaic of our discipleship? What is the doctrinal relevance of grace where the saving of our souls is concerned?
The period of enlightenment God has allotted us through the Church age is key to the solving of this mystery. From Pentecost to the
Resurrection/ Rapture God has set aside a special period of grace during which His Holy Spirit has been poured out onto the whole of mankind, and it continues to pour forth in order that none should perish for lack of the knowledge of God.
Hosea + 4:6
My people perish for lack of knowledge.
Joel + 3:1
I will pour out my spirit on all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall
prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the slaves, men and women, will I pour out my spirit in those days.
It is because of God's grace that the gift of faith is able to flourish on
the nourishment of His Holy Spirit. Parenthetically speaking, the word
grace holds many meanings. Kindness, honor, charity, altruism, generosity, good will, goodness and mercy are all synonyms of God's grace. If it were not for His grace, the faith gift of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, death and resurrection would never have manifested in the first place. However, grace alone cannot save us. For we have all been given the gift of free will; all of us. We can either accept or reject God's grace and Son.
John + 3:36
Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.
(Jesus Christ)
So, then, can grace alone save? Can the gift of faith in Jesus save us
without first being extended to us through God's grace? Without grace, faith would not have been possible to begin with. Without faith, grace would have no meaning or relevance within the context of salvation and the reconciling of God unto man.
Jesus is the perfect manifestation of both grace and faith. Without one or the other, He would not have been complete in the flesh, and that is an impossibility, since Jesus is, was, and will always be the pure embodiment of our Father in heaven, as are we whenever the Holy Spirit operates God's grace and gifts of faith through us.
2 Peter + 1:2
May you have more and more grace and peace as you come to know our Lord more and more. (4 thru 7) ¦through them (the gifts of faith) you will be able to share the divine nature¦adding goodness to the faith that you have, understanding to your goodness, self-control to your understanding, patience to your self-control, true devotion to your patience, kindness to your fellow men to your devotion, and, to this kindness, love.
Grace is part of God's makeup. It is the goal of faith that we be perfect
as our Father in heaven is perfect. There are other words that describe
God, which we, in our limited understanding and awareness cannot fathom or comprehend yet. They are words that cannot be uttered except by God, nor be expressed by mere human language. (Romans + 8:26)
It is our faith in this beyond of God that saves us from the past of our
ignorance; faith in His grace, His unseen, unheard existence and power.
Without grace, we would have nothing in which to place our faith. Without faith, we would not have access to the grace, loving kindness, Holiness and perfection of God.
And regardless of what lorded-over fellowships and churches may tell you, the responsibility of being a practicing Christian includes an inescapable mandate, unto the conscience of each Christ candidate: to search the scriptures for answers should doctrinal ˜contradictions and/or challenges confront us.
Scripture exhorts us not to place our faith in men or in our own
understanding. The faith we hold in God's grace is the embodiment of His Son, unto Whom all questions of doctrine must be addressed and studied through the magnifying glass of His Word and the enlightening power of Hid Holy Spirit, Who is the perfect teacher and solver/revealer of every mystery.
Romans + 5:1
¦through our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith we are judged righteous and at
peace with God, since it by faith and through Jesus that we have entered into this state of grace in which we can boast about looking forward to God's
glory.
Romans + 6:13
¦you should make every part of your body into a weapon fighting on the
side of God; and then sin will no longer dominate your life, since you are
living by grace and not by Law.
Colossians + 2:6
You must live your whole life according to the Christ you have received-
Jesus the Lord; you must be rooted in him and built on him and held firm by the faith you have been taught, and full of thanksgiving.
Galatians + 2:16
What makes a man righteous is not obedience to the Law, but faith in
Jesus Christ.
John + 3:16
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only son, so that
everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved. No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already, because he has refused to believe in the name of God's only Son. (Jesus Christ)
In the name of Jesus Christ
Amen
John Christopher
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