Seven Proofs of Unconditional Salvation
There are only two ways of eternal life – God’s way or Satan’s counterfeit. Either God gives eternal life as a free and unconditional gift, or man must perform conditions of faith or works to obtain it. If man must do anything, then God’s grace is ruined, man becomes his own saviour, religious financing determines eternal destiny, and Satan has robbed Jesus Christ of His glory!
How are you saved? Did God save you by free grace? Or did you save yourself by some act? Or did you do something to cooperate with God and make Jesus Christ’s work effective for you?
There are only two ways a sinner can be saved. Either God saves him unconditionally as a free gift of His grace, or he must do something in order to obtain it for himself.
There is no other choice. All religions and doctrines are either unconditional or conditional. Either man does nothing for his salvation, or he must do something.
If you were to send $100 to the most effective missionary or soul winner you know, could you possibly get another name in the book of life? Or is that work done only by God in Jesus Christ?
Some require baptism; others require church membership; some require sacraments; and others require parts of Moses’ law. While another party requires only faith and a decision.
Yet all five of these popular ideas are the same. They all require sinful man to do something to save himself, even if it is only requiring him to believe and confess some salvation formula.
In all five cases, the determining factor for heaven or hell is what each man does. If that is the case, then man is his own saviour; and his eternal destiny is based on his choice and action.
God’s gift of salvation is entirely different. He gives it out of His free and sovereign grace, and He will receive all the glory for it.
If we require conditions for salvation, then we make God a debtor; and He is not in debt to man!
Eternal life is unconditional, for God gave it as a free gift to His elect, whom He chose for salvation before the world began. It originated in the mind and purpose of God, and He performs all the operations of grace to accomplish it. Man is entirely passive in the gift of eternal life.
Faith and obedience are the results of this gracious salvation, not conditions for it in any way whatsoever. They are the evidence of eternal life, not the means or instrument to obtain it.
This study will look at seven proofs establishing this fact beyond any doubt. All plans of salvation requiring some action from the sinner are horribly wrong, for eternal life is a free gift of God’s grace through Jesus Christ without any conditions of any kind.
Enjoy this study, and may Jesus Christ receive all the honor, glory, and praise.
Man has no natural desire or ability to obey or please God for salvation.
Every person is conceived with a nature at war against God and the things of God. Human affections and desires are so ruined by Adam’s sin that men hate God and rebel against His commandments. Though man has not lost his faculties of reasoning, his ability to perceive and appreciate the things of God is so corrupted by sin that he resents and despises them. He has no affection or fear of God and is directed entirely by selfish ambitions toward sin. He will not and cannot humble himself and seek God, for his nature is totally corrupt and at war against Him. It is impossible for him to obey or please God for eternal life, for he is dead and would never do it.
God told Adam he would die, if he ate the fruit (Gen 2:17). He ate it anyway, and he died that day. Though he lived physically for 930 years (Gen 5:5), his soul died in affection toward God, just as he had been warned. After sinning, he hid from God and blamed Eve for his sin, rather than repent and beg for mercy (Gen 3:8, 3:12). He was dead toward God and righteousness.
Teaching that man can choose to believe or obey God is the same lie Satan told Eve. Though God promised death for eating the fruit, Satan told Eve she would not die (Gen 3:4). But they both died that day, and men are still spiritually dead today. It is a satanic lie that man is alive and able to choose God by his free will. He is spiritually dead toward God.
Adam generated children like himself – spiritually dead (Gen 5:3). And so we are all spiritually dead by natural conception (Eph 2:1; Col 2:13). We may be alive physically, but our souls are dead toward God and instinctively seek sin and obey Satan (Eph 2:2-3; Tit 3:3).
We are enmity against God; we will not seek God; we do not fear God (Rom 8:7; 3:11, 3:18). We will not and cannot please God (Rom 8:7-8). We cannot see His kingdom or hear His words (John 3:3; 8:43, 8:47). The things of God, even presented by the Holy Spirit, are foolish to our depraved minds; we cannot discern or know them; and we will not receive them (I Cor 2:14).
Man naturally hates God and fights against His Spirit (Gal 5:17). Void of faith toward God (Ps 10:4; II Thess 3:2; II Cor 4:3-4), he will not and cannot please Him (Heb 11:6; Rom 14:23).
Rehabilitation will not improve man’s desire or ability (Is 26:10; Luke 16:31), for he is dead. Rehab only works for the living, and man is dead: he doesn’t need therapy, he needs life. He doesn’t need medication; he needs resurrection. He doesn’t need a doctor; he needs a Creator.
When planning salvation, God saw man’s lack of desire and ability. He looked down from heaven to see if any understood and desired Him, but He found none (Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Rom 3:9-18). So He designed salvation without conditions, for no man could perform any.
God expressly denies man’s will or works in obtaining salvation.
The Bible clearly rejects man’s decisions or actions in obtaining eternal life. God gives salvation as a free gift without any conditions or qualifications, and it is His will that determines eternal life, not the will of the sinner. His eternal counsel and choice is the basis for eternal life. And in order for salvation to be by grace, man cannot have any role in it; or grace would no longer be grace, and man would put God in a position of debt. Man’s will and efforts are totally excluded.
God plainly denies man’s will or efforts in salvation (John 1:13; Rom 9:16). These two texts are enough for those who tremble at God’s word. They are plain, powerful, and conclusive. Yet the first is generally ignored when using John 1:12, and the second is quite unknown to most men.
God also clearly denies man’s works in his own salvation (Rom 4:6; 9:11; Eph 2:9; II Tim 1:9; Tit 3:5). If man’s works were included, God would be in debt to man; and He is not (Rom 4:4). If they were included, man would have reason to boast; but God does not allow it (Eph 2:9). If they were included, grace would no longer mean grace, for grace excludes works (Rom 11:6).
God saves men while they are dead in sins, not while they are willing or working (Rom 5:6-10; Eph 2:1- 5). He saves them while they are enemies, not while they are friends seeking Him. Salvation is a free gift, so God is never repaying man (Rom 5:18; 6:23; 4:4; 11:35).
Only God’s will is active in the giving of eternal life (John 3:8; 5:21; Eph 1:5; Rom 9:15; James 1:18; Heb 10:9-10). God’s glorious will is altogether sovereign, and man can no more direct it than he can direct the wind. To steal this prerogative from God and give it to man is blasphemy. God’s mercy and predestinating purpose are based in His Own will, not in the will of man. His will and choice and decision are the basis for salvation, not that of dead rebel sinners.
Even faith is considered a work, part of the law, and a commandment (John 6:28-29; Matt 23:23; I John 3:23). And eternal life is not by works, the law, or commandments (Tit 3:5; Gal 2:21; 5:4; Rom 3:19). The only faith Scripture allows is faith trusting the God Who justifies the ungodly, which is very different from believing God justifies the faithful (Rom 4:5). Faith is only an evidence of eternal life, not a condition or means for it.
For those who believe eternal life is conditioned upon man’s faith, they must answer whether this faith is with or without works. Without works, it is no more than a devil’s faith and worth nothing (James 2:19); with works, it contradicts all the verses rejecting works (Tit 3:5). They must also explain how man obtains faith, since before regeneration he has none (Ps 10:4).
Faith and works are results of salvation, not conditions or means for it.
Spiritual desire, ability, and action toward God are results of eternal life, not conditions for it. Eternal life includes the ability to know and please God, and this order is not to be reversed. Without God’s saving intervention, men would continue on in their natural condition – enemies of God and servants of sin. Faith and works are compatible and necessary, not to the obtaining of eternal life, but rather to the evidence of it. Faith and works prove God has already saved us.
Since man is spiritually dead and depraved by nature, it is only by God’s glorious power we are brought to desire and obey Him (Ps 110:3; Phil 2:13). The desire to love and fear God results from this saving change worked in us by His might (Ps 65:4; Rom 8:15; Jer 32:39-40).
Until a man is born again, he cannot even see the kingdom of God (John 3:3); therefore any sight or desire of the kingdom of God is an evidence of regeneration, not a condition for it. Salvation brings with it a hearing ear and the ability and desire to know Him (Pr 20:12; John 8:47; 17:2-3).
Salvation prepares us for good works; it is not because of good works (Eph 2:10; 4:24; Tit 2:14).
Faith itself is the gift of God in salvation; for without His gracious giving of faith, we would never have it (Gal 5:22; I Cor 12:3; Rom 8:14; 12:3; Acts 18:27; II Pet 1:1). It is the fruit and evidence of His Spirit in our lives, without which we would never have it or sustain it.
It took the same power that resurrected Jesus from the grave to give us faith and cause us to believe (Eph 1:19), for by nature we are God-haters and truth-rejecters, as we have shown.
Faith and works are the evidence of salvation, therefore they cannot be conditions, means, or instruments of salvation (Acts 10:34-35; I John 2:29; 3:7, 3:14; 4:7; 5:1, 5:4).
Jesus Christ saves sinners by Himself without any human cooperation.
There is only one Saviour – Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and He does not share His glory. He came into this world to save sinners, and He did so by His substitutionary obedience and death for His people. No one else could or would assist Him. He is the Second Adam and legal representative of the elect. He fulfilled the righteousness of God perfectly, and He bore the wrath of God completely for them. He justified, reconciled, and sanctified them to God, without the help of any man. His one offering perfected them forever, and He ever lives to intercede for them.
Adam was the federal head and covenant representative of all men in Eden. His sin condemned them as sinners and brought death and eternal judgment upon them all (Rom 5:12-14). Our own sins are only secondary and result from his sin, for God had chosen him as our legal representative – and he failed miserably and condemned us all to death and judgment.
If a person never hears and/or rejects the Bible history of Adam, it does not matter – he is still guilty for Adam’s sin and condemned to death and eternal judgment. If a person were not to sin himself, it does not matter – he is still guilty for Adam’s sin and stands condemned before God.
Jesus Christ is the Second Adam. He was the federal head and covenant representative for His people – God’s elect. His perfect obedience and sacrificial death were applied to their accounts, and thus He saved them by Himself. His singular obedience made the elect righteous, just as Adam’s singular disobedience made them sinners (Rom 5:15-19). All in Adam – by natural conception – die; and all that are in Christ – by election – shall live (I Cor 15:22; I Pet 1:2).
We cannot add to this legal transaction – Jesus saved us by Himself. Hallelujah! All the singing in heaven will be to the glory of the Lamb, for no other man had any part in redeeming our souls (Rev 5:1- 14). There is only one soul winner in heaven – Jesus the Saviour. Men here may deceive themselves and others as soul winners, but Jesus obtained eternal life for us by Himself.
The new and everlasting covenant, with all its spiritual blessings and benefits, is in force by means of the Testator’s death (Heb 9:11-17). We cannot and do not put it in force ourselves, for we were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life as beneficiaries before the world began (Rev 17:8).
Jesus Christ purged sins away by Himself in one solitary act of obedience (Heb 1:3; 10:9-14). No wonder He cried on the cross of Calvary, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). And to add anything to His finished work is to destroy the whole message of the gospel (Gal 2:21; 5:4; I Cor 1:30-31).
As surely as Mary had a son named Jesus, He saved His people from their sins (Matt 1:21); and there is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:12). He is the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
The gospel and its ordinances were never intended to give eternal life.
Man is spiritually dead and hates God, so He must powerfully intervene to save him. The gospel is merely good news and cannot do this, for man finds it foolish and despises it, and the Bible rejects his will and works in salvation. The gospel and ordinances educate and comfort the elect – who were saved fully and infallibly by Jesus alone. The gospel no more helps dead sinners than news of the cure for cancer helps in a cemetery. It reveals and displays God’s wisdom and power in salvation, but preaching this news to dead sinners cannot regenerate or justify them. Only the elect ever appreciate it, and then only for knowledge and comfort. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are figurative ordinances to symbolize salvation obtained by Jesus Christ alone.
Men have long tried to make ceremonial religion their saviour, rather than humble themselves before a holy and sovereign God. Adam and Eve tried fig leaves to cover their guilt and shame; Israel hauled the Ark of the Covenant into battle; they worshipped the brass serpent of Moses; and they trusted foolishly in their temple (Gen 3:7; I Sam 4:3; II Kgs 18:4; Jer 7:4).
Rome and her Protestant daughters have taken this vanity to new depths with their sacramental religion. All seven sacraments of Rome and the two sacraments of Protestants are contrary to the Bible, for there was never saving efficacy or sanctifying power in New Testament ordinances.
The ordinances were delivered to churches of saints, not to the unsaved (I Cor 11:1-2). Baptism is a figure and likeness of salvation by Christ’s death and resurrection, not the means of salvation (I Pet 3:21; Rom 6:5). The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ’s death, not the application of it (I Cor 11:26). Both of them simply witness Jesus Christ and salvation by Him (I John 5:6-8).
The gospel is not the means of salvation, but the good news of it to those already saved (I Cor 1:18, 22- 24). It cannot help the lost, for it is foolishness to them (II Cor 4:3-4; I Cor 2:14; Luke 16:31; John 8:43, 8:47). Preaching the gospel to them proves their condemnation (II Cor 2:15-16).
Salvation takes God’s creative power to overcome the depraved and spiritually dead nature of sinful man and give him a new heart (Eph 1:19-20; 2:5-7, 2:10; James 1:18). The gospel cannot do this, for it is only news of God’s great salvation in Jesus Christ.
The gospel brings eternal life to light, but it does not bring life (II Tim 1:10). Believing the gospel is the result of salvation, not the means or condition of it (Acts 13:48; I John 4:15; 5:1).
Paul preached in synagogues, where men already feared God and trusted the Scriptures (Acts 17:2). He prayed for deliverance from men who were not already saved (II Thess 3:1-2). And this is why he wanted to preach the gospel to the faithful saints at Rome (Rom 1:8-15).
The Bible gives examples of sinners saved without any conditions.
Since God saves sinners unconditionally by His own sovereign wisdom and power in Jesus Christ, and the gospel and its ordinances are only for the education and comfort of the elect, then there should be examples of such cases in the Bible. And there are many. The previous proofs and the following examples solve the perpetual questions men have had about infants, idiots, and the heathen. Salvation is by God’s grace alone, and it can easily reach every class of man in every situation. The examples to follow cover every man and thus are comforts for our souls.
We have already shown in the previous five proofs that God’s elect are saved fully and infallibly without conditions. But let us add to these proofs with specific examples of such from the Bible.
What about John the Baptist? He leaped for joy in his mother’s womb at the presence of Jesus, and he did so by the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:15, 44). Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and an evidence of eternal life, so we know John was saved before he was born (Gal 5:22; Rom 8:14-15; I Pet 1:8).
What about Cornelius? He feared God, which no unsaved man does (Rom 3:18); and he gave alms and prayed acceptably to God (Acts 10:1-4). And this was true before hearing the gospel or being baptized. Peter revealed by the Spirit he was already accepted with God (Acts 10:34-35).
What about Lot? He loved Sodom more than righteousness, and he ended up incestuously with his daughters in a cave (Gen 13:12; Gen 19:14, 16, 20, 36). Yet we are taught by the Spirit Lot was a just and righteous man, saved by the glorious grace of God by Christ’s obedience (II Pet 2:7-9).
What about the rich young ruler? Though he chose his riches over Christ, Jesus loved him; and he went away sorrowful – two marks of a man with eternal life (Mark 10:17-27). Jesus hates the wicked (Ps 5:5; Matt 7:23); and only spiritual men desire to follow Christ. Riches are a strong obstacle to obedience; but salvation by an omnipotent God is easy even in such cases.
What about Israel in the wilderness? They ate and drank spiritually of Jesus Christ, which is to have eternal life (I Cor 10:1-4); but they were disobedient and rebellious (I Cor 10:5). Yet God chose them, chastened them, called them children, and loved them (Deu 7:6-8; 8:5; 14:1; 33:1-3).
What about blinded Israel? Paul declares that a portion of elect Israel was blinded to the gospel, so that though they were enemies of the gospel, they were beloved in election (Rom 11:25-32).
What about infants? There is no doctrine of salvation on earth that consistently and Scripturally provides for infants, except the truth of unconditional salvation. Since eternal life is entirely by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, dying elect infants are saved the same way as all other sinners.
Unconditional salvation is the only doctrine giving God all the glory.
Eternal life entirely by grace without human conditions gives God an infinite and undivided measure of glory. Any conditional system of salvation, even those requiring only faith, make man the determiner of his own destiny – and thus his own savior. But there will be no sharing of glory in heaven, for Jesus Christ will receive it all. The wicked are not in hell, because they failed to do what the righteous did, but rather because Jesus Christ did not do for them what He did for the righteous. Salvation is of the Lord, and this fact cannot be modified or compromised.
If a mere offer requires conditions, then it is a reward and not a free gift; then the Giver is in debt to the one meeting the conditions (Rom 4:4); then it is of works rather than grace (Rom 11:6); then the Giver is robbed of glory by the one performing (I Cor 1:26-31). Only by eliminating all conditions does God get all the glory (Eph 2:9; Rom 11:33-36; I Cor 4:7; Titus 3:4-7).
The true God is Jealous, and He will not share His glory (Ex 34:14; Is 42:8). He has so designed salvation to give Himself all the glory (I Cor 1:26-31; Rom 2:29; 9:23; Eph 2:7).
God created all things – even the wicked for the day of evil – for Himself and His own pleasure (Prov 16:4; Rev 4:11). He did not create us for our pleasure, and then helped us out of our sins. He was not surprised by sin in Eden at all, for it was all part of His purpose to glorify Himself.
Salvation is not remedial to deliver damned sinners God pitied, but rather revelatory of His glorious nature by the judgment of the wicked and the deliverance of the elect (Rom 9:14-24). He chose to display His wrath and power in the one category and His glorious riches in the other.
Many talk and sing about salvation by grace, but only unconditional eternal life is truly gracious; for if we add conditions to His grace, then sinners choose their own salvation. The difference between heaven and hell is not man’s choice at all, but God’s (I Thess 1:2-4; II Thess 2:13).
God based salvation on His own will in predestination for His own glory (Eph 1:5-6, 11-12). He has mercy on whom He chooses, without regard for man’s will or efforts (Rom 9:15-16).
If God wanted all men saved and sent Jesus to die for them, based on their compliance, then two things are true – He is the most frustrated Being and His work effectively accomplished nothing.
Jesus victoriously saved His people from their sins without losing one (Matt 1:21; John 6:39), and the elect know He saved them exclusively by Himself (Rev 5:1-14; Heb 2:13; Rev 6:10).
There is only one soul winner in heaven – Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Praise ye the Lord.
How are we saved? By the grace of God through Jesus Christ – no ifs, ands, or buts! By Himself He saved His elect from the eternal judgment they deserve and for His own glory and praise! Not a single one will be lost! His purposes will be fully accomplished! Sinners do not add to His finished work nor activate its blessings! He is more than worthy of your best esteem!
Gospel preaching brings the good news of this gracious salvation. It cannot make elect out of reprobates, sheep out of goats, or spiritual men out of natural men; but it can teach, comfort, exhort, and warn the elect to live godly lives in this world, while we wait for Jesus from heaven.
We believe the gospel for the knowledge and comfort of eternal life it gives us (Acts 13:48; II Tim 1:10; I John 5:13). It describes God’s wisdom and power in saving us by Jesus Christ (I Cor 1:18, 22-24), and it tells us what to do to please Him while living here (I Thess 4:1). The Bible was written to saints, and preaching should be done to them also (Acts 13:26; II Thess 3:1-2).
Believing the gospel is only an evidence of eternal life, not a condition for it. Verses speaking of faith in Christ are evidentiary facts, not impossible conditions required of dead sinners to save themselves. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are simply emblems to remind us of Jesus Christ.
There is a salvation in the gospel – but it is only a salvation to truth and comfort in this life – it is not a condition, prerequisite, or instrument for obtaining eternal life. We realize a salvation of comfort and hope by remembering the resurrection (I Cor 15:2, 19); ministers obtain salvation in godliness and truth by taking heed to themselves and the doctrine (I Tim 4:16); and we can all save each other from ungodly living by converting one another back to the truth (Jas 5:19-20).
The whole religious world stands against the truth of unconditional eternal life, for Satan has his Jesus preached by his gospel through his spirit everywhere (II Cor 11:3-4). Where do you stand?
The Jesus of God – Jehovah in the flesh – has by Himself fully saved His elect without the loss of one, and without conditions or requirements of any kind or description. Do you love Him?
Does unconditional eternal life create any motive for holy living? It creates the most! For only constant holy living proves you are God’s elect. Rome’s sacramentalism and “faith only” allow any lifestyle, as long as you were sprinkled or made a one-time, emotional decision for Jesus.
If you saw in this study God’s wisdom and power in saving us by Jesus Christ, then you are saved and in possession of eternal life (I Cor 1:24; John 3:3; 17:2-3; I John 5:20).
If you wish to make your calling and election to eternal life sure, then there are things you should bear in your life as the evidence (II Peter 1:5-10; I Tim 6:17-19; Matt 7:21).
If you are thankful for God’s gracious salvation, then you should answer Him with your good conscience in water baptism (I Peter 3:21; Acts 2:37-38; 8:35-39).
If you are already baptized, you need to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24; Gal 1:8-9).
Let us humble ourselves before the living God, beg for His mercy, put our trust only in the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life, obey the gospel fully until He returns, and praise His glorious name!
When were you saved? How were you saved? God saves His elect in five distinct phases or stages. Without these five aspects of salvation, you cannot rightly divide scripture on the most important Bible doctrine (II Tim 2:15). This sermon will teach you more about how to read and understand the Bible about salvation than any other. When would Paul say he was saved?