Before beginning this study, please take time to read Psalm 124 and especially rejoice in the first two verses!
David knew Jehovah’s gracious help had saved Israel, and he expected the church to give thanks for it.
If it had not been for outside help, you are hopelessly, miserably, eternally, and irreparably lost forever.
It is the LORD that is on our side – the LORD Jehovah. Mary, the pope, or Mohamed cannot help at all.
The LORD chooses sides, and He chose the side of His elect under both testaments. Hallelujah! Amen!
He chooses sides according to His own will, and He will not ever hear those on the wrong side (Ps 18:41).
Many Christians talk about grace, from Catholics to Charismatics to Campbellites to Christian Scientists.
They talk about grace because the word is in the Bible and deception must use good words (Ro 16:17-18).
They sing and talk about grace, but they work some aspect of man’s nature, choice, works into salvation.
There is true grace: the proper understanding and application of God’s grace (Colossians 1:6; I Pet 5:12).
There is false grace: a perverted, bewitched understanding or application of His grace (Gal 1:6-7; 5:1-4).
Religion, by the design of Satan and need for human works, is violently opposed to salvation by grace alone.
Let us declare one fact up front – there is no grace for the devil and his angels, only for the elect angels!
If salvation is by the free grace of God alone, then there is no basis to put men in bondage for salvation.
If salvation is by the free grace of God alone, then the glorious work of Jesus Christ is fully magnified.
If salvation is by the free grace of God alone, then there is no place for glory or role of man in salvation.
Grace is key in the Bible (Gen 6:5-8; Acts 15:11; II Thes 3:17-18; Col 3:16; Heb 13:9; I Pet 5:10; Rev 22:21).
You are part of a damned race living on a damned planet awaiting final damnation of all sinners. If this news or language shocks you, get over it (Matt 23:33; John 5:29; Rom 8:20-23; Heb 9:27; II Pet 2:3; Rev 22:3).
Do not be willingly ignorant of damning judgment God brought on others before you, like evil scoffers who will mock the coming day of judgment by intentionally rejecting facts of the Flood (II Peter 3:1-7).
Remember and muse that God burned up the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned Mrs. Lot into salt.
Remember that Egypt and Canaan were on the wrong side and were tormented and annihilated by God.
Remember that the enemies of Jesus Christ were ground to powder and had their city burned up in 70AD.
The angels that sinned are in chains for fiery torment by the Lord Jesus (Matt 8:29; 25:41; Rev 20:10).
Men without God’s grace and the gift by grace will be tormented with them there as well (Rev 20:11-15).
The inspired, preserved Bible must be our absolute criterion for identifying the truth about grace (Isaiah 8:20).
The gospel is the good news of His grace (Acts 20:24); the Bible is the word of His grace (Acts 20:32).
We do not use sound bites from 20 versions; we reconcile all verses dealing with grace in the KJ version.
We must not care how many or what kind of men preach a different gospel and get very large followings.
DEFINITION OF GRACE
Grace. Favour, favourable or benignant regard or its manifestation; favour or goodwill, in contradistinction to right or obligation, as the ground of a concession. [OED].
Near-synonyms in the Bible include favour, mercy, compassion, kindness, and goodness (I Co 2:13).
Notice the synonymous use of favour and grace in Abraham’s speech to God (Gen 18:3; 19:19).
God is gracious to whom He chooses to be gracious; compare the words (Ex 33:19; Ro 9:15-16).
Grace is more than mercy, if both are properly defined, because mercy only withholds judgment.
Grace not only withholds judgment but also bring honor and reward as additional positive gifts.
The Person of Jesus Christ was full of grace and truth, thus true grace is seen in Him (John 1:14-18).
Jesus was full of grace in His life, in His ministry, and as the substitutionary propitiation of God.
God’s grace in Jesus is only for the elect (Jn 6:37-39; 10:26-29; 17:2-3; Ro 8:28-33; II Tim 1:9).
When considering grace as favour, we must define it as merited, unmerited, or demerited favour.
Sin has put us way outside God’s favor and under His righteous and terrible wrath upon sinners.
Merited favour would be a reward for good works, so the Catholics and foolish conditionalists.
Unmerited favour would be a gift to a neutral party, so we see the preservation of elect angels.
Demerited favour would be a gift to those deserving judgment, so the blessed truth of the gospel.
True grace is demerited favour without obligation, worth, or conditions. Works are totally excluded.
By God’s definition, grace and works are mutually exclusive by their definition (Rom 11:5-6).
If a man works for righteousness before God, even by faith, it is debt and not grace (Rom 4:4-5).
Grace used as an acronym may properly define Biblical grace … God Rewards and Clears Enemies.
Grace = God does not judge and punish the elect as they do deserve, but He does honor and reward them with blessings they do not deserve. This enhanced definition is like we do with justification.
DOCTRINE OF GRACE
The state of man before God’s grace must be understood clearly (Rom 3:10-24; 5:6-11; 8:7-8; 9:21).
Proper understanding of God’s grace stands or falls with your understanding of total depravity.
Grace cannot be offered, assisted, or cooperated with, if man is a wild rebel enemy dead in sins.
Sinners will not accept, agree, believe, love, obey, repent, or submit to any spiritual truth at all.
All men by nature are dead in sins and willingly follow the devil and this world for God’s wrath.
We must never alter or falter from the Bible’s condemnation of men from Genesis 3 forward.
If man is willfully rebellious and refuses to obey God, grace must initiate and cause salvation.
If man is impaired and may obey God by effort or evangelistic means, man and grace are equal.
The sacrifice made by Jesus Christ must be understood (Rom 5:6-21; Phil 2:5-11; II Cor 5:21; 8:9).
The incredible doctrine of the Second Adam is pure grace with infallible results (Rom 5:12-19).
The planned substitution of Jesus in the place of God’s elect is totally infallible (Rom 8:28-39).
He is the perfect sacrifice to fully appease the Judge of all men and secure eternal life for some.
Grace is not offered, but rather given to some, who were given to Christ, and He given for them.
The obedience of Jesus Christ as our Representative is a gracious free gift (Romans 5:15-19).
Grace flows from God’s will. God is gracious to whom He will be gracious (Ex 33:19; Matt 11:25-26; John 1:13; Rom 8:29-31; Rom 9:15-18; Eph 1:3-12; II Tim 1:9; James 1:18).
Talk all you want about receiving a gift, but a pardon on death row does not need to be received.
Talk all you want about receiving a gift, but resurrection of a dead man has no active reception.
If we call it prevenient grace as some theologians do, then we understand it to be irresistible.
There is no risk of souls being lost to eternal life, and soul winning does not increase the saved.
Grace flows from God’s will. God is gracious to whom He will be gracious (Ex 33:19; Matt 11:25-26; John 1:13; Rom 8:29-31; Rom 9:15-18; Eph 1:3-12; II Tim 1:9; James 1:18).
God has grace only toward those He chooses without regard for their will (Ex 33:19; Rom 9:15-16).
God’s grace gets its greatest praise and glory by being according to His will (Ephesians 1:3-12).
God’s grace chose Jacob over Esau and babes over the wise (Romans 9:11-13; Matt 11:25-27).
God’s choice of Israel over and against all other nations was purely by His choice (Deuteronomy 7).
Where in the world did Rahab and Ruth come from and why? God’s grace discriminated for them.
Why was David great? Because God liked him; His gentleness made him great (I Ch 28:4; Ps 18:35).
On what basis did Paul become an apostle? God’s grace that picked him much earlier (Gal 1:15-16).
We may use the phrase sovereign grace, because it implies that God as sovereign bestows His grace.
The Bible plainly states God’s grace in eternal life is a free gift (Rom 6:23; John 10:28-29; 17:2-3).
Evangelist nuns can yap about offered gifts, but total depravity rules out any active receiving.
Romans has sweet texts that we were freely justified by God’s grace in Christ (Rom 3:24; 8:32).
You are as uninvolved in being made righteous as you were in being made a sinner (Rom 5:19).
For more help about the gift of eternal life … www.letgodbetrue.com/pdf/eternal-life-is-a-gift.pdf.
For more help about the representation in Adam … www.letgodbetrue.com/pdf/two-adams.pdf.
Though free to the elect, it cost God His only begotten Son (John 3:16; I John 4:9-10; I Peter 3:18).
The precious blood of Christ is the most valuable commodity anywhere (I Peter 1:19; Rev 5:6; 13:8).
GLORY OF GRACE
Grace saved an Areopagite named Dionysius from the foolish wisdom of the Greeks (Acts 17:34).
Grace saved Bathsheba and David from certain death and gave them Solomon (II Sam 12:13,24).
Grace saved Cornelius from Roman superstition and a wasted life with the Italian band (Acts 10).
Grace saved David from the errors and sins of his house to have the royal Seed (II Sam 23:1-5).
Grace saved Esther from an orphanage in a strange land to become the victorious Queen of Persia.
Grace saved the Family of the Philippian jailer in one great night of evangelism (Acts 16:25-34).
Grace saved the Gadarene from a Legion of devils that had tormented him terribly (Mark 5:1-20).
Grace saved Hezekiah from certain death to live another 15 years as king of Israel (Isaiah 38:1-22).
Grace saved Israel out of Egypt, Babylon, and countless other dangers they deserved (Ps 78:36-38).
Grace saved Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, to follow Jesus Christ (Luke 8:3; 24:10).
Grace saved Lydia in Philippi and opened her heart to attend to the preaching of Paul (Acts 16:14).
Grace saved Mary Magdalene from seven devils and caused Jesus to appear to her first (Mark 16:9).
Grace saved Nathaniel while under a fig tree and skeptical of a man from Nazareth (John 1:45-51).
Grace saved Noah and his family from the Flood that suffocated humanity with water (Gen 6:8).
Grace saved Peter from his great grief after denying his Lord three times in one night (Mark 16:7).
Grace saved Rahab the harlot and her house and gave her a place in Christ’s lineage (Matthew 1:5).
Grace saved Saul of Tarsus from his great zeal against Jesus to be the greatest apostle (Gal 1:15-16)
Grace saved a Thief that one hour was railing against Jesus to beg for His mercy (Luke 23:40-43).
Grace saved a Woman of Samaria, who had already had five men and was living with the sixth.
Grace saved Zacchaeus, after spotting him in a sycamore tree and changing his heart (Luke 19:1-10).
POWER OF GRACE
Grace saved us from Adam and the judgment of his rebellious folly in Eden (Rom 5:15,17,20-21).
Grace saved us to Believe the gospel, as many as were ordained to eternal life believed (Acts 13:48).
Grace saved us from Blindness by opening our eyes to see the precious things of Christ (Acts 26:18).
Grace saved us from Catholicism by choosing us to salvation from the beginning (II Thess 2:13).
Grace saved us from Death that we so perfectly deserve in Adam and in ourselves (II Tim 1:10).
Grace saved us from Flesh by giving us a new birth by the Spirit to be sons of God (John 1:13; 3:6).
Grace saved us to Heaven by appointing us a place where we will dwell with Christ (John 14:1-3).
Grace saved us from Hopelessness by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (I Cor 15:19).
Grace saved us from Justice by justifying us freely through Jesus Christ (Romans 3:24; Titus 3:7).
Grace saved us from Lake of Fire by writing our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Rev 20:11-15).
Grace saved us from Lies in our right hand, for we were as blind and pagan as any (Isaiah 44:20).
Grace saved us to Obey the will of God, for He worked to will and to do into us first (Phil 2:12-13).
Grace saved us from Satan and his kingdom power and reign over us (Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:9).
Grace saved us from Works by showing us clearly that salvation was without them at all (Eph 2:9).
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Repent to God for all your sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s only Son (Acts 20:21).
Cry out for God to be merciful to you a terrible sinner without any self-reservation (Luke 18:13-14).
Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to answer God for Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16; I Peter 3:21).
Lay hold on eternal life and make your election sure (I Tim 6:12,19; II Peter 1:5-11; I Thess 1:2-4).
God’s legal grace that saves His elect is never frustrated; it is the doctrine of grace that is frustrated.
Frustrated grace, as Paul called it in Galatians 2:21, is man’s perversion of grace by adding things a person must do in order to be saved (Gal 1:6-9; 3:1). Since Jesus Christ finished the work of redemption on the cross (John 19:30; Rom 5:12-19; Heb 10:10-14), adding anything to His work frustrates the truth about God’s grace. Any conditions added to Jesus Christ’s finished work makes His death worthless by itself and causes men to fall from the right knowledge of grace (Gal 5:2,4).
This error about grace is a humanistic view of grace that incorporates the will or activity of man.
It follows from misunderstanding the depravity of man so men think sinners will cooperate.
It includes man’s obsession that he must be involved in the decision-making for eternal life.
It underestimates the gulf to be crossed for peace and satisfaction with God, only done by Christ.
It overestimates the ability of man to perform some act sufficiently valuable to God for grace.
It began with Judaizing legalists from Jerusalem, who tried to add Moses’ law to grace (Acts 15:1).
It continued with the subversion of many saints and churches in the New Testament (Gal 1:6-9).
The Galatians were guilty of mixing circumcision and Moses’ law with grace (Galatians 5:1-4).
Paul called the Galatian perversion of adding law works a frustration of grace (Galatians 2:21).
It continued with sacramentalism stolen from Judaism and paganism by the RCC and her daughters.
Sacramentalism – an outward sign or ordinance conveying inward grace – is frustrated grace.
Roman Catholics have seven sacraments: baptism, confirmation, confession/penance, holy matrimony, holy orders, the Mass, and last rites, or extreme unction. Protestants have two!
Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, and Presbyterians are all sacramentalists.
They teach baptismal regeneration by assuming God’s grace can be given to children at birth; Presbyterians will often deny it, because most do not know their own Westminster Confession.
Protestants also teach varying degrees of Jesus and His grace in the bread at the Lord’s Supper.
Priests or pastors talk about the means of grace as if they were practicing witchcraft with a spell.
They carry God’s grace in a flask and a canteen anywhere in the world to apply the grace of God.
A new form of frustrated grace was created by gospel sacramentalism, or decisional regeneration.
This idea is that no one will be saved unless and until they make a decision for Jesus, so every art and device known to man is used to get decisions out of sinners; they excuse babies and children dying by inventing the age of accountability, and they excuse the heathen with free grace, or if they do not excuse the heathen with free grace, then they themselves are ministers of damnation.
Arminian soteriology has grace an offer, with the actual benefits depending on the human will.
The entirety of God’s grace from election to glorification is dependent on man’s own faith, which they call, respectively, conditional election and the necessary condition of justification.
Calvinism soteriology has means of grace, with the actual benefits depending on human faith.
They call it gospel means and the instrumental means of justification, sounding like Arminians.
In the final analysis of most soteriology, God saves no one, and those saved did it themselves.
These people have faith in their faith, for it is faith that saves them, not the Lord Jesus Christ.
These trust their faith for getting saved, and then tack on once saved, always saved permanence!
They will use any means possible to solicit or pressure a decision out of sinners for God’s grace.
This modern form of frustrated grace is basically human will worship as legalists did (Col 2:23).
Both Arminian and Calvinist missionaries carry God’s grace to the heathen to get them saved.
They are little different than the Jew or RCC missionaries carrying their means (Matt 23:15).
John Wesley and Arminians affirm prevenient grace is resistible by the sinner to condemnation.
For grace to be grace, it is unconditional favour without right, conditions, or means to create debt.
See the study, “The Seven Proofs of Unconditional Salvation,” to confirm this strong, Biblical assertion.
The relationship of faith to grace is simple: God saves by grace alone, from election in eternity past to glorification in eternity to come, which we believe by faith to identify ourselves as the elect of God, assure our hearts and lay hold of eternal life, and obtain the other practical benefits of the gospel (Rom 4:16; 5:19; 8:29-39; 9:14-24; 10:1-17; 11:1-6; II Tim 2:10; II Pet 1:5-11).
Faith is not the condition, instrument, means, or activator of grace; grace is the condition, instrument, means, and activator of faith. Faith does not lead to grace; grace leads to faith. Grace is before faith, not faith before grace. You must get the gospel horse (grace) before the cart (faith) to know grace in truth. God gives salvation by grace by His free will, and we respond in varying degrees of faith and obedience (Ex 33:19; John 5:24; 17:2-3; Acts 10:34-35; 16:14; 18:27; Rom 4:16; Gal 5:22-23; Eph 2:8-9; Phil 2:12-13; II Tim 2:24-26; I John 5:1; etc., etc.).
Faith and works, without which faith is worthless, are means of laying hold of salvation for our own assurance and proving our election (II Pet 1:5-11; I Tim 6:17-19; Jas 2:14-26; Matt 7:21).
By this means, the promise of eternal life for the elect is sure to all the seed, infant, heathen, strong believer, weak believer, well-taught believer, or poorly-taught believer.
Most every “Christian” denomination in the United States sings and speaks often of God’s grace, but hardly a church anywhere gives God’s grace the full credit for salvation and providence.
Lascivious grace, as Jude called it in Jude 1:4-5, is man’s perversion of grace by promising eternal life regardless of how men live. Once a person is saved, they do not require keeping God’s commandments or being overcomers. They promise sinners liberty, though they are in bondage to sin (II Pet 2:19). They combine decisional salvation with once saved, always saved to guarantee heaven no matter a person’s lifestyle. This encourages lascivious living by a presumption of grace.
Jude warned early saints that reprobates had already crept in with this error in his day (Jude 1:3-4).
See decisional salvation above, for that heresy of frustrated grace is what leads to lasciviousness.
These false teachers defined and emphasized grace in such a way as to lead to lascivious living.
Peter in a related prophecy described these false teachers as promising them liberty (II Pet 2:19).
For more about excessive liberty in the gospel … www.letgodbetrue.com/pdf/they-promise-them-liberty.pdf.
Paul warned Timothy about compromising Christians in love with pleasures more than God and holding only a form of godliness without any authority in it due to fables (II Tim 3:1-7; 4:3-4).
The Lordship controversy is a symptom of how wickedly Arminians abuse/pervert the grace of God.
This ridiculous folly is decisional salvation going to seed, going to seed, and going to seed again!
In their effort to make salvation easy enough for a parrot or monkey, there is no mention of Jesus as Lord, repentance from sin, reformation of lifestyle, changing conduct, good works, etc.
They wildly accuse anyone confessing Jesus as Lord of taking souls to hell by adding law works!
After rejecting God’s grace, they reduce eternal life to the most inane superficial words possible.
God forbid that we should ever take His wonderful grace and use it to excuse sin (Romans 6:1-15).
The basis of faith in Jesus Christ and water baptism assumes a new way of life (Romans 6:1-3).
The knowledge of grace removing the law’s claims does not encourage sin (Romans 6:14-15).
Of course, we would never say that grace allows sin … but does your lifestyle expose you to sin?
True grace results in godly lives and should declare that fact boldly (Titus 2:11-15; 3:8; Acts 11:23).
Vain grace, as Paul called it in II Corinthians 6:1, is man’s perversion of grace by not bearing fruit or working diligently for God’s glory. Paul also called it failing of the grace of God by not guarding against personal sin (Heb 12:15). He showed the proper use of God’s grace in his life by outworking the other apostles (I Cor 15:10). It is the duty of those God saves by His grace to work out that salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12-13). It is a shame to waste grace like Lot or Samson.
God’s grace will accomplish every aspect of every divine purpose, but there are practical aspects of grace that include active obedience by the child of God to fully exploit and leverage God’s grace.
The chain of grace found in Rom 8:28-39, indicative of four phases, is absolutely unconditional.
As in the parable of the talents or pounds, some are more faithful than others (Luke 19:11-27).
God has graciously worked in us, but we must work it out with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12-13).
This error is a slothful view of grace that diligent efforts for godliness are not important or required.
Paul warned God’s children to look diligently that they not fail of God’s grace (Hebrews 12:15).
Paul besought the Corinthians boldly not to receive God’s grace in vain (II Corinthians 6:1; 7:1).
Fatalists of different varieties think that they are conscious automatons under God’s grace, and thus they excuse themselves from any diligence or exertion in using the grace of God given them.
God’s grace was not bestowed in vain on brother Paul: he labored most diligently (I Cor 15:10).
They will read and explain this text fatalistically – Paul had little to no role in his diligent labor.
Preaching at Antioch, Paul persuaded the believers to continue in the grace of God (Acts 13:43).
True grace brings growth and will bear fruit in lives (II Peter 3:17-18; I Peter 2:1-3; Col 1:6).
True grace brings comfort and hope, but also good words and works (II Thessalonians 2:16-17).
Noah escaped the Flood by grace, not due to his works, but free favor by God’s choice (Gen 6:1-10).
Noah’s godliness, exemplary indeed, was not the cause of God’s grace, but a result and use of it.
If it were due to Noah’s works, grace would not be grace, and God’s choice would be defeated.
There were other sons of God in context that had God’s grace but did not use His grace to obey.
If God has been gracious to you by free salvation in Jesus Christ, do you know it and live like it?
If you understand God’s grace, you will give thanks (II Cor 4:15; II Thes 2:11-13; II Chr 33:11-16).
If you understand God’s grace, you should passionately adore Jesus Christ (Luke 7:36-50; I Jn 4:19).
If you understand God’s grace, you will sing with greater enthusiasm (Col 3:16; Ps 28:7; 30:11-12).
If you understand God’s grace, it should cause abundant, diligent labor (I Cor 15:10; II Cor 5:14-15).
Consider how highly Paul wrote about Timothy, contrastingly rebuking all others (Phil 4:19-22).
If we think a second about “to whom much is given,” we will outwork all others (Luke 12:48).
If you understand God’s grace, then you will show great graciousness to all others you encounter.
God forgave you by grace; you should forgive others (Matt 18:21-35; Eph 4:29-32; Col 3:12-13).
God forgave you as His enemy by grace; you should forgive your own enemies (Matt 5:43-48).
In dealing with others, remember that grace is demerited favour, of course they do not deserve it!
The discretion of a man to pass over a transgression is grace, and he is a glorious man (Pr 19:11).
What should you do? Repent of your sins and run to God in the name of Jesus Christ for gracious forgiveness.
Consider that God’s longsuffering leads to salvation, like it could have 120 yrs before the Flood (II Pet 3:15).
Take the grace of God bestowed on you and be the very best Christian because of it that has ever lived. Do it!