The second most important tenet of the Christian faith is exactly how we receive this free gift of eternal salvation from Jesus. And once again, the Bible is very clear on this issue. The Bible tells us that the gift of eternal salvation with God the Father can only be received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by any type of works that we could do, no matter how holy and how pure those works may appear to be.
The Bible tells us that every single one of us has sinned and has fallen short of the glory of God and that there is no one who is now truly righteous before God the Father. As a result, no one can earn their way into heaven, no matter how many good works they may try and do for the Lord, and no matter how holy and pleasing they may try to make themselves in His sight.
The gift of eternal salvation is a direct free gift being given to all of us by the Lord and it is simply received by grace through our personal faith in Jesus. Here are 18 very powerful verses perfectly spelling all of this out for us:
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8)
- “… knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ … for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)
- “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:20,23)
- “… who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” (2 Timothy 1:9)
- “And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.” (Romans 11:6)
- “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
- “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men …” (Titus 2:11)
- “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” (Acts 15:11)
- “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)
- “… that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:7)
- “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus …” (Romans 3:23-24)
- “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17)
- “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace …” (2 Thessalonians 2:16)
- “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence …” (Ephesians 1:7-8)
- “For if by the one man’s offense, many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.” (Romans 5:15)
- “… having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)
- “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20)
- “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)
This basic major tenet has to always be kept front and center in our walks with the Lord, as many Christians like to slip into a works mode with Him, thinking they have to try and earn their way into heaven by trying to do as many good works for Him as they possibly can before they die and cross over.
Granted, the Bible tells us that our faith without any types of works for the Lord will be dead. But again, we are not saved by any of these good works. They will not get us into heaven. God will want us to come and work for Him once we have become saved and born again through His Son’s shed blood, but these good works will have no bearing on our eternal salvation with Him.
God the Father has really made it as easy as He possibly could for all of us to be able to receive eternal salvation with Him. We are simply saved by His grace, and the definition of the word “grace” in this context is God’s unmerited favor, love and mercy toward all of us.
This is the beauty and simplicity of the Gospel, that God loved us so much, that He was willing to send down and sacrifice His one and only Son on a cross so His death on that cross could then pay the full penalty for all of our sins. Jesus has already done all of the work for us. That is why Jesus said it was finished right before He died on the cross for all of us. That is why the Bible tells us that we have already been crucified with Christ, as Jesus has already took our place on that cross and died for all of our sins against His Father.
As such, God’s gift of eternal salvation has to be accepted as a free gift and this is simply done by believing on Jesus and what His death on the cross really means for all of us. Here is the major key verse from the Bible spelling all of this out for us:
“… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” (Romans 10:9)
This is why the Bible says that we are simply saved by grace through our personal faith in Jesus. Again, God the Father could not make things any more simple and any more easy with the way that He has all of the big picture set up. Thus, every single church and denomination should make sure that they never, ever get away from this basic fundamental tenet.
Bottom line – ritualism, legalism, and works are out the door when it comes to being able to receive our eternal salvation through Jesus. If any church, pastor, or denomination ever starts to change their stance on this basic, fundamental tenet, they will then have a very hard time in being able to lead any of the lost to a true salvation experience with the Lord. And from there, they could end up losing any good anointing they may have had on their church, as this kind of bondage and legalism will quench the Holy Spirit, and from there, many of their people could end up getting bound up and beaten up.
We have seen first hand what this type of legalistic church can do to many believers across the world. We have received quite a few emails from people who were horribly bound up and beaten up over the years and who were in a lot of mental torment and misery in their walks with the Lord. And this was all as a direct result of the works message their pastors kept beating them up with.
Again, this is why all of these basic, fundamental tenets have always got to be kept front and center in our teachings to the flock, so pastors and churches do not start to stray from them and get too far over into legalism and ritualism, which will do nothing but bind all of their people up and make their walks with the Lord totally miserable and unproductive.
This is part 3 of our 13 part series on the Basic Tenants of our Christian Faith.
1. An Introduction to the “Basic Tenets of Christian Faith”
2. Jesus Christ is the Only Way To Eternal Salvation With God the Father
3. We Are Saved by Grace Through Faith – Not by Works
4. Jesus Christ is the Son of God
5. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ
6. Resurrection of Jesus Christ
7. The Ascension of Jesus Christ
8. The Doctrine of the Trinity
9. The Holy Bible is the Inspired and Infallible Word of God
10. Baptized With the Holy Spirit at Salvation
11. Renewed – Regenerated By Holy Spirit
12. The Doctrine of Hell
13. The Return of Jesus