Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sola Gratia

Of all of the Solas of the Reformation this one is assuredly the most offensive to the pride of man. The sovereignty of God is, and has been under attack, for as long as man has been sinful. The pride of man wants and feels need to say that he is in control over Creation. God has shown us by his Word that he is the ruler over all Creation and he saves his children by grace alone.
Ephesians 2:1-8

1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-
3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved-
6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

We are saved by the grace of God alone... this is not of ourselves, but is due merely to the unmerited favor of the Lord. His grace makes us into a new creation capable of giving glory to the Lord. This is completely the work of the Holy Spirit changing our hearts. As demonstrated time and time again throughout Scripture, man when left unto himself never chooses God. One of my favorite arguments against Grace Alone is that anyone who saw the miracles performed in the Bible today would then believe. This could not be more false. Think of the Isrealites in the desert standing before the Red Sea. Think of all the miracles that they had seen performed on their behalf to free them from the Egyptians. What is their reaction? Disbelief and hatred toward God and Moses. So, was God waiting for the sinful "love" of his people to be genuine so that he could save them? May it never be! God tells the Israelites to stand still and see salvation the Lord will perform for them. How were they saved? By the unmerited favor of the Lord. Next, someone may say that wasnt the same type of salvation as the salvation talked about in the NT. Oh, but the book of Exodus is exactly that... a road map of how God by himself and for his glory saves his people from bondage. We continually see the grace of God alone is what saves through his covenants. God is the God of the covenant in that this is how he has chosen to reveal himself to his people. With Abraham, Noah, and David, they are required to do nothing for God to fulfill his promises to them. What about the covenant of the Law? Notice two things. One God saves his people from bondage (sin i.e. Egypt) before he requires their obedience. Secondly, the purpose of the Law as told to us by Paul was never meant to be salvific, but knowing we would fail God's standard he sent Christ in our stead to fulfill the Law for us. So, in all covenants God is the holder and sustainer of our lives, by Himself.
Romans 3 tells us the destestable state of mankind before we are saved. Paul goes on in Romans as his argument builds to chapter 9 to tell us that God choses based upon his will, not upon any forseen merit in us. For if there were any forseen merit in us then it would be deserved, and would no longer be grace, but he in fact chooses us when we there is no reason in us... thus grace... thus Romans 5:8.
The Amazing in Amazing Grace is that we cannot figure out why in the world a Holy God would ever take unto himself... through pain and death, a people who not only are wicked, evil, and hateful... but actively work against him.
Romans 11
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?"
35 "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?"
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

I realize I did not cover everything in Sola Gratia... this is a blog not a book. Secondly, I would ask that responses to this refer to Sola Gratia and not Sola Fide which will be dealt with, Lord willing, next week. Finally, I trust those things I left out will be fleshed out through discussion in the coming days.

Soli Deo Gloria!


At 7:23 PM, Blogger Doug Poindexter said...

Amen, this is exactly what the Catholic Church teaches! Good post.

At 12:39 AM, Blogger justin said...

i am sensing some ECT here adam you better pull back...;)

At 6:04 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Where is Refmergant?

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