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Salvation is all of God

The goal of this newsletter is show that those who teach that one can loose his salvation teach a works gospel; which is no gospel at all. It is increasingly difficult to find a Christian willing to admit that salvation is all of God and none of man. I personally am puzzled why so many desperately fight to claim a part of their salvation. For in doing so, they have gained something to boast about; but not before God!
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. [Rom 4:2]

And a promise of heaven is no longer certain. This is definitely not a teaching worth fighting for. But many do engage in this battle.

Engager #1 - "You must hold onto your faith"

The Conditional Security of the Believer - The Scriptures teach that God's grace and favor continue to be abundantly given to the believer who continues to keep faith and to keep doing God's will from the heart. The issue is "What will happen to the born again Christian who willingly turns his back on God and forsakes Him by turning to a life of neglect and sin?" Unconditional security suggests that he is still saved; conditional security says that he is lost. [Minister, Concord Road Church of Christ, Brentwood, TN]

Engager #2 - "The odds are in your favor"

Perseverance of the Saints - There are strong grounds to hope that the truly regenerate will persevere unto the end, and be saved, through the power of divine grace which is pledged for their support; but their future obedience and final salvation are neither determined nor certain, since through infirmity and manifold temptations they are in danger of falling; and they ought, therefore, to watch and pray lest they make shipwreck of their faith and be lost. [Chapter XIII, A Treatise of the Faith & Practices of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc.]

Works Salvation vs. Grace Salvation

Engager #1 and Engager #2 are teaching a works salvation, which is capable of saving no one. Simply stated, a works salvation is any teaching that requires human effort to satisfy God. Grace salvation teaches that man is in an utter state of ruin and is unable to save himself.

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. [Romans 3:11-12]

This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. [John 6:29]

And that only by God's grace is anybody saved.

And a certain woman named Lydia, .. whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. [Acts 16:14]

Even us continuing in faith is all of God and none of man.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling [Jude 1:24]

Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none. [John 18:9], also [John 6:39]

..and have no confidence in the flesh. [Phil 3:3]

Not a Minor Difference

Some would have us believe the security of the believer is a minor doctrinal difference, but I see the integrity of the gospel at stake. Let's look at an example from the Bible.

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: [Luke 18:13-14]

After the publican cried out to God for mercy, Jesus said he was justified (declared righteous, saved, etc.)! Jesus did not say the man will be justified if he holds on to his faith. I think this "conditional security" teaching is an attempt to tame the flesh. Whereas the Biblical approach is to exhort one to examine himself.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. [2 Cor 13:5]

give diligence to make your calling and election sure: [2 Pet 1:10]

It is Jesus alone that keeps us secure and not any works of the flesh!