“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
Is it faith that saves or God’s grace?
Many speak of ‘saving faith,’ but the text says, ‘by grace are ye saved through faith…’ Faith is not the cause or ground of salvation, but rather the result or evidence of it, Hebrews 11:1. Salvation is by the free and sovereign GRACE of God accomplished in and by the Lord Jesus Christ alone, Romans 3:24.
If you look at the Scriptures, you will find the word ‘saved’ translated 104 times in our King James Version of the Bible. In most cases it is used to describe temporal deliverance, either from physical death (Genesis 47:25; Exodus 1:17); escape from enemies (Exodus 1:18; Numbers 10:9); or relief from adversities and tribulation (Psalm 34:6; 107:13).
However, with regard to the salvation of sinners before God, we find the following important teaching of the Bible:
Salvation is entirely of the Lord, from beginning to end and not anything in us, or of us - Isaiah 45:17; Jonah 2:10.
Salvation is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ that He fully accomplished by His perfect obedience and sacrificial death upon the cross, Matthew 1:21; John 3:17; Romans 5:9,10. It is finished!
The salvation of sinners, that Christ redeemed and the Father therefore justified, is made evident in time by the Spirit granting repentance (faith) unto each one for whom He died, Romans 10:9,13.
We must not confound Christ’s words to the blind man in Luke 18:42 to mean that faith is the cause of salvation when He said to him, ‘Thy faith hath saved thee.’ No! Faith is the means whereby he entered into the enjoyment of the deliverance of Christ FOR him. Faith has no saving efficacy, but rather it is faith’s Object (Christ) that saves. All who look to Christ, by God’s sovereign redeeming grace, are saved and shall be saved because Christ has already saved them by His righteousness imputed to their account and the blood applied at His death. It is not by faith that salvation is procured, but rather revealed, Romans 1:17.
Salvation was obtained, procured and wrought out by Christ in His life and death, (Hebrews 9:12) and by God given faith saved sinners enter into the full enjoyment of what the Savior already accomplished for them, (Hebrews 9:14). All praise belongs to God in Christ for His saving grace revealed in faith to His redeemed ones!
Pastor Ken Wimer, Shreveport Grace Church, Shreveport, Louisiana