Holy by grace

by Richard Mansel, managing editor

God’s grace is powerful beyond human comprehension and the sole source of salvation.

Sin separates us from God and creates a gulf that we cannot bridge (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:10-18; 3:23). Grace allows us to be liberated from the slavery of sin and a destiny in hell (Matthew 25:46).

In Romans 5, we find the most comprehensive explanation of salvation. Paul says that by faith we have justification and access to God (Romans 5:1-2). While he seemingly contradicts himself a few verses later, the fuller picture is illuminating.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:9, NKJV).

The shed blood on the cross allowed man to return to God to be justified and reconciled. Christ brought salvation to the world by his sacrifice on the cross (Revelation 5:1-5).

Justification and reconciliation are possible by grace, which is through the blood. Grace allows us the opportunity to have faith, so we can be saved (Hebrews 11:6).

We cannot do anything to earn grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). In Christ and in his church, we live and labor to glorify Christ because we love him and his church (Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:20-21).

The blood of Christ continues to remit our sins as we walk and work in Christ (1 John 1:7; Ephesians 1:7). This shows our love and allegiance to Christ, since we will be judged by our works at judgment (Ephesians 4:1; Revelation 20:11-15).

However, in the end, we will still need the grace of God to enter heaven (Luke 17:5-10).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

By grace, we attain everything a Christian can want. Why would we give that up and walk away (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26-29)?

Holiness and sanctification are only possible because of grace. Yet, they are maintained by grace and faith. Gratitude for salvation should empower us to walk in them daily.

Without the blood of Christ, grace and hope would be meaningless. So, how can we turn our backs on such blessings? Why would we not come to Jesus for salvation today?

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

3 thoughts on “Holy by grace

  1. Richard, This is a good, biblical article for the Christian, i.e. one who is “In Christ and in his church …” (as you noted). It is a good reminder of how essential God’s grace is. If, however, it was also intended for a non-Christian readership, it falls short of explaining how God’s grace is accessed. You ended with the question, “Why would we not come to Jesus for salvation today?” I suggest a follow-up article explaining how one comes to Jesus, thereby appropriating the benefits of God’s grace.

  2. Very true that we are Holy by grace, that is how we are truly Holy – by grace. We are also however told to be Holy in behavior by “being Holy as I am Holy” (1 Ptr 1:15,16), and to walk worthy of God (1 Thess 2:12, Phil 2:27-29). So complete Holiness is by grace, but there is an action required, an action the denominations deny in teaching but that we must uphold in every lesson. Not just a one time action but a continual lifestyle that goes hand in hand with those who are in God’s grace. We must teach that this lifestyle is not only because we are thankful of that grace, but also because it is a requirement of those in His grace, (Heb 5:9, John 3:36). Thankfulness is a true reason for service, but we must be careful not to say thankfulness is the only reason for service, because requirement and obligation are also why we must be Holy as He is, (1 Cor 9:24-27, Phil 3:11-13). We can teach this truth and still give God credit for our salvation.

    1. Charlton, thank you for your comment. I agree with you. In a very short article, you wish you could include everything but you can’t. I will have a follow-up next time on the subject. Thanks again.

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