Pristine Grace

Three Essential Acts of Grace
by Jim Byrd
Three Essential Acts of Grace

      We hear much talk these days about the simple plan of salvation.  Preachers tell us that God has made salvation possible for everyone if we will receive what He offers.  “Make your decision for Jesus and get born again,” is what they say.  If you care for your immortal soul, you must lay aside all the rubbish of false religion and take heed to the Scriptures for God’s way of salvation.  Easy-believism, decisionism and free-willism are but tricks of Satan.  No one has ever been saved by any of his deceitful schemes, but multitudes have been condemned by them!  Salvation is not something you do for God or with God.  Salvation is the work of God which required three essential acts of grace.

  1. Sinners must have a complete REDEMPTION from the curse of God’s law.  Sins must be punished, and guilt must be removed.  The law and justice of God demand the everlasting death of the sinner.  Our only hope of salvation lies in the redemptive work of Christ.  The blood of the Savior, freely shed at Calvary must be the sinner’s only plea.  The gospel of God is the message of substitution and satisfaction.  Christ died in the stead of His guilty people, satisfying the requirements of the broken law.  Everyone in whose stead He died, were redeemed, justified and pardoned.  When the Holy Spirit sends the gospel to them, He opens the heart so that they believe on the Son who redeemed them to God by His blood.
     
  2. Sinners must have a perfect RIGHTEOUSNESS.  During the days of our Lord’s sojourn in this world, He told the people, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).  How then was righteousness brought in for unrighteous people?  The Savior’s obedience up to and including His death was the way by which He established righteousness for His people.  “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  His righteousness is of infinite merit to the Father and is our only confidence in the day of judgment.  

“When Christ shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!”

God declares all who believe Christ to be righteous in Him!  Let me put it this way:  either you are made the righteousness of God in Christ, or you are unrighteous in yourself.

  1. Sinners must be REGENERATED by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.  As redemption and the establishment of righteousness by Christ is of the Lord, it is equally true that none will ever enter into the kingdom of the Lord apart from being made alive by the Holy Spirit.  The new birth is not a work to which men make a contribution.  “Ye must be born again” is what the Master said to Nicodemus.  That which is necessary is for the Lord to do for us what He did for Lydia of old.  “Whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul” (Acts 16:14).  The giving of spiritual life to the sinner is evidenced by repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.