"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega,... 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, ... have right to the tree of life, and... enter ... the city."
|I am a retired
pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
Ephesians 2:5 – by grace ye are saved; 8 --by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Here we see grace, faith, and gift, play their part in us getting saved, but not our works. So, let us see one by one, what are they and how do they help us to get saved.
The First is: "Ephesians 2:5 – by grace ye are saved." It is grace that we are saved by. False preachers, or preachers who works for money and to please people, say that grace is an unmerited favor from God. But the Bible says that grace is a merited favor. How to merit for this grace? 1 Peter 5:5 says "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." James 4:6 says "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Here, we see how to merit grace. Submit to elders, stop being proud, subject to brethren, be humble before God, and resist the devil, then only we will get grace. Romans 1:5 says "By whom we have received grace ..., for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:" Here we see that grace is given for obedience, that is, God will give grace only to those who will obey him, but not to the disobedient. 1 Peter 1:2 says "… unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." Again we see that God will multiply grace unto obedience, that is, we will obey God if we have grace. So, grace is a merited favor. Grace will be given only to those who will qualify to receive grace. The assumption that every Christian has grace, is not true, but deception. If the grace we have, is not verifiable, we do not have grace.
Let us see, what will grace do to a person. Romans 6:1 says "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" So, grace is dead to sin, that is, if we have grace, we will have no sin. We will never hear this definition of grace from any church. So it will be very hard for us to to believe. So, let us continue to see scriptures. Romans 5:17 says, "they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." We see a few things in this verse. God gives grace and righteousness simultaneously as gifts to a person. So, as they are getting them more and more, as grace grow inside a person, righteousness will manifest outside the person. Righteousness is opposite to sin. As righteousness manifest, sin will vanish away. It also says that Jesus Christ will rule our life, (that is, Jesus Christ will control of our lives). So, as our Lord Jesus Christ rules our lives, we will live in righteousness, that is with NO SIN. Also, Romans 5:21 says, "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." It says, sin reign over people and will take them to eternal death (hell), and in the same way, Grace, by Jesus Christ, reign over people, with proof of manifesting righteousness (it is opposite to sin) in their lives, and gives them eternal life. So, a person have either grace or sin, but he cannot have both, according to the word of God. But preachers preach that grace will cover us while we commit sin and it guarantees us heaven. It is a blatant lie and tragically it deceives most Christians and takes them to burning hell. It is deception and it is from Satan. It may be by ignorance on purpose, in the part of Christians.
The next is: Ephesians 2:8 "--by grace are ye saved through faith;" This gives a condition that a person must have faith in order to be saved. James 2:17, 20&26 say, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." Here we see that works are the life of faith. If we do not have works then our faith is dead. So, we may even say that faith is works. But, Ephesians 2:9 says, that salvation is not of works. The Bible is the word of God and it does not contradict. We will study what are those works below as we study verse 9. Then it will be clear. "Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac:" Here we see that the faith of Abraham is perfect obedience to God when God told Abraham to sacrifice his son. So, our obedience to God is our faith. In short, if we do not obey God, we do not have godly faith. I have an article and a video with transcript on Faith. If you like to see them, click on these links. Article: "Faith". Video: "Faith". Please come back to this article to continue.
The next is: Ephesians 2:8&9 say, "that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." Most preachers say that since it is a gift from God, we do not have to do anything. Let us see it. Matthew 7:11 says "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Here, we see two conditions to receive a gift from God. 1) We have to be his children and 2) Children should ask God. Sinning is rebellion against God and those who are in sin are not children of God. Those who twist the word of God are children of the devil. "Acts 13:10 ... thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" The word of God spelled out how to differentiate the children of God from that of the devil. The children of the devil will pervert the holy ways of God. "1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God..." If we do not live righteously, then we are children of the devil. 2) We must keep asking for the gift until we receive it. So, we must live righteously and ask God to receive his gift. Then only we can receive the gift of God. Gifts of God are not thrown into the crowd of sinners, as the preachers preach.
"Acts 8:20 Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." Christians think that God gives them gifts because they give money to the churches or to their famous evangelists. But, it will bring curses than gifts from the righteous God. Acts 10:34,35&45 says, "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. Most preachers personalize your intimacy with God and say that you are special for no reason, or for being a Christian. But, God repeatedly says that he is not a respecter of persons and he will accept anybody, who works righteousness. So, in this case we must live righteously in order to receive the gift from God. Romans 5:17 says "... much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." Most famous prominent preachers confess that they sin like all others and proclaim that nobody can live without sin. But, grace and the gift will not be mailed to you as a ticket to heaven. But, Jesus Christ shall reign in our life, as we receive grace and the gift of righteousness, so that we will not sin. If we are still committing sin, it is proof that we do not have the grace or gift of faith or righteousness, or any other salvation gift from God. In that case, what we think that we have is not grace, and it is just fake grace.
The next is: Ephesians 2:9 says, "Not of works, lest any man should boast." As we see in verse 8, we found that faith without works is dead and we must do work of obedience to be saved. Verse 9 says that salvation is not of works that men may boast. In the context of verse 9, the works refers to circumcision, ceremonies & laws of Judaism, because it was the work which was being boasted by Israelis (Jews) in the Bible. Matthew 23:3&5 "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.... 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments," Jesus Christ says to obey the teaching of the scriptures, which is good works, but not to imitate the works of the religious people or their leaders. In verse 5, he gives a few works that are boasted by men and those works will not be considered for salvation. But, most preachers exploit this verse and preach openly not to obey God, saying it is works that will not be counted for salvation. It is very sad and tragic that a preacher says not to obey God for their own salvation, calling the obedience to God as works that God do not like. If it is not the deception of Satan himself, what else is it? Those who preach this perversion are of Satan. But the true grace has the faith and the works of righteousness in it.
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