Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

All quotations from the Scriptures will be from the Authorised Version - the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures.

Please see sermons down the left hand column of the Blog about why the Authorised Version is the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures

and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Pillars of the Reformation - 2. Sola Gratia

The second pillar of the Protestant Reformation was 'Sola Gratia' - By Grace Alone. This pillar emphasies the origin of God’s redemptive plan and purpose. On what basis did God purpose to redeem sinners and save them from eternal wrath?  He did so freely by His sovereign grace. Nothing else and no one else moved God to redeem guilty, undeserving sinners. Grace has often been described as God's unmerited favour or taking the five letters of the word 'grace' - Great Riches At Christ’s Expense.

I. No one deserves salvation
There is not one single son or daughter of Adam’s sinful race that deserves to be saved. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God, all therefore all have forfeited any right to be saved and brought to glory. God is under no compulsion to save a single soul. He could have dealt with all of humanity as He dealt with all the angels that sinned. There is no salvation for fallen angels. They are lost for ever. They are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day, Jude v6.

Every one is born a sinner into this world. We do not become sinners because we sin. Rather we sin because we are born sinners. As the Psalmist said: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me, Psalm 51:5. Every one of us, every child born is born a sinner and is born in a lost state before and deserves not to be saved.

There is no merit to obtain God's favour in any of us. There is not an ounce of goodness in any of us before God. Our own righteousnesses are as filthy rags in God's sight. Mankind may look upon their fellow creatures and extol ‘good’ traits of character that they may witness or observe. However, before God there is none good, no not one.

II. Mankind actually deserves God’s wrath
Salvation by grace alone is God’s unmerited favour bestowed upon those who positively deserve His wrath. This magnifies God’s grace even more. Wonder of wonders He saves sinners who were deserving of His wrath. He acts towards them in a way totally the opposite of what they deserve. 

All are condemned already before a holy God, John 3:18. This is not something open to question. Being sinners, by nature and by practice, we are condemned before God and are under the sentence of divine wrath. This is what all mankind deserves. If God dealt with us as we deserved He would deal with us as He dealt with the angels that sinned. He would reserve us in everlasting chains to await the day of judgment.

III. Salvation being by grace, God can choose whom He saves
If sinners do not deserve salvation because they have sinned; if they actually deserved God’s wrath; then from this starting position God can save whom He will. Remember, He is under no compulsion to save any. If God chooses, ie. elects, to save some, and not others, no one can fault God for this. No one can accuse God of being unjust or unfair. It must be continually emphasised, He is under no compulsion to save any. Therefore is He saves some, out of all mankind, then that is entirely down to His sovereign grace, will and purpose. God is not subject to mankind, rather mankind is subject to God.   Salvation extols the sovereignty of God and dethrones man's high opinions of himself. This is why this particular doctrine is so much hated.
God, by His grace alone, purposes and accomplishes salvation in the heart of a sinner. This is where Protestantism and Romanism sharply diverge. It is not grace along with anything else. 

Two points need to be emphasised about salvation by grace alone:
[1] God is always the sole 'actor' in salvation by grace alone. Grace does not require the co-operation of the sinner. Rather grace triumphs in a dead sinner’s heart and life, in spite of the stubborn, rebellious, wicked heart of the individual. God's sovereign grace is always efficacious, without any cooperation by the individual.

[2] No sinner can by any action of their own, acting under the influence of God's grace, cooperate with God to ‘merit’ greater grace for themselves. It would no longer be grace then. God acts alone to save the sinner and to bless and keep that sinner until they are brought home to glory. The responsibility to bring about salvation does not rest on the sinner to any degree. Even after regeneration no converted sinner ever merits any blessing. Salvation originates in grace and it continues in grace and it will conclude in grace. 

It is all of grace! From election to glorification is all of grace. Christ is the author and finisher of our faith. Every blessing in between election and glorification flows from God’s grace. This is contrary to the teachings of Romanism. 

Sinners, therefore, do not cooperate or contribute in their salvation. God's grace makes a sinner willing in the day of God’s power.  This magnifies the Lord no end. Well may Newton write: Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me …

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