Salvation by grace through faith alone is at the heart of the Gospel message. While eternal life is a free gift of God’s grace, it is applied to the individual by faith. Man cannot in any way save himself, but he can access the grace of God by simply choosing to accept the offer of salvation through the blood of Christ, when he is drawn by the Holy Spirit. It is through the exercise of the will that he responds to God by faith. Faith is simply believing what God has said, and resting in that promise. A person who is saved by God’s grace through exercising faith continues to believe the Gospel throughout his Christian life. It takes no effort on our part to believe. We simply respond and surrender to the drawing of the Spirit. In fact, true faith is resting in God’s promise, not clinging to it by works of our own merit. It is obvious then, that continuing to maintain one’s faith throughout life requires no effort, but a continued resting in the finished work of Christ. Make no mistake. The warnings in God’s Word are real. For example, in John 15:1-7, Jesus repeatedly warned the disciples to continue “in Christ.” For those who do not heed the warnings, the result is to be “burned.” Many other passages include similar warnings. The early Church held this view. “For when the soul that is united with Christ forsakes its faith, it is given over to perpetual death, viz., eternal punishment.” (Hippolytus, On Daniel, vi). We come to God by faith, but it is through unbelief that one departs from God. By maintaining faith we persevere to the end. But, through unbelief we can depart from God and be eternally damned. Jesus taught that in the last days many would abandon the faith. Paul called this the “falling away.” We need to be aware of the Scriptural teaching regarding our security in Christ, because the danger of apostasy is real.

This entry was posted in Bible, Book of John, Christians, Faith, Grace, Salvation. Bookmark the permalink.

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