Pristine Grace

Christ's Message
by Jim Byrd
Christ's Message

Those who believe and proclaim the message of God’s free and sovereign grace are often accused of embracing a new and different message. Let me set the record straight: we believe and preach what the Savior declared during His earthly ministry.

  1. TOTAL DEPRAVITY. Christ set forth man’s unwillingness to be saved by grace alone and man’s inability to bring salvation to pass. “And ye will not come to me that ye might have life” (John 5:40). “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44).
  2. UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION. The Master often spoke of those the Father gave Him. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). “I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given me; for they are Thine” (John 17:9).
  3. LIMITED ATONEMENT. Nowhere did our Lord ever say that He came to make salvation a possibility for everyone or that His death was a sin-offering for all men. He declared the certainty of the redemption and salvation of those given to Him by the Father. The Savior stated expressly that His purpose for coming to the world was to “give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). “I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
  4. IRRESISTIBLE GRACE. The Prince of preachers proclaimed the necessity of the invincible power of the Spirit to make spiritually dead sinners alive toward God. To Nicodemus He said, “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7) and then declared the sovereignty of the Spirit’s work in the next verse. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” He told the unbe- lieving Jews who surrounded Him in Solomon’s porch that though they would not embrace Him in saving faith, others would, and then gave the reason why they refused to believe Him. “Ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:26-27).
  5. PRESERVATION OF THE SAINTS. The Lord Jesus said of His sheep, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Fa- ther which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). He declared of those given to Him in electing grace, “And this is the Fa- ther’s will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day” (John 6:39).