Free Grace 18

Nothing in man doth precede or prevent the grace of God. The light and beams of grace do dispel the clouds of our sins. Not for our sakes, but for his Name’s sake he covereth our sins. It is God’s prerogative to free us from sin by grace, and to remove them far from us. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” {Ps.103:12} He only can remove sin against whom it is committed. He only can cast sin into the depths of the sea, who hath an ocean of grace in himself, in which he swalloweth them up. John Simpson {Perfection of Justification, 1648} Obtained from Supralapsarian.com

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

With the recognition that this may be repetitive, the issue of turning faith into a work is so widespread and deceptive and turns the Gospel of free-grace alone into a gospel of works that the risk must be taken. It is not wrong to be repetitive on vital issues. While the first sentence from the above quote is not a direct quote from the Bible, it is a statement that gets at a vital biblical issue and is why we must never back down from declaring that faith is not a work and cannot be thought of as a work. If faith is allowed to be a work regardless of what it is called, then the Gospel of grace alone has been overthrown.

The issue of a work of faith (work up faith) in order to obtain grace is rampant among the teachings for unbelievers as well as believers. God never gives grace because we come up with faith as an act of the will or any other work we can do. Grace always comes to a person because of who God is and there is nothing we can do to precede grace. It is true that a soul that has true faith is a soul that will receive grace, but the vital point is that true faith comes by grace and it is given to sinners so that they may receive more grace. It is true that God gives grace to the humble, but humility is an act of grace as well. We cannot work up humility in our own strength and by our own wills, but instead humility comes to us by Christ and all we receive from Him is by grace.

It is vital to the Gospel of grace alone to fight all attempts to bring a work into the Gospel even when it is termed “faith.” The whole concept of faith is that it too is a gift of God and that we are to seek faith from God as well rather than work it up in our own power. Even when those who are Reformed in name try to teach people that they must believe, there is really nothing that they are teaching them that is different from Arminianism. Just as we are to look to God for all blessings to come to us in Christ and by grace, so we must teach people to look to God for faith. If we don’t, then we have twisted faith into a work that people can come up with and we have God responding to men because they came up with faith. At that point the Gospel is no longer about grace alone.

But again, when ministers are urging people to have faith in order to do good works, where does that faith come from? Are they urging people to work up this faith in their own power or are they urging people to seek faith from the hand of God who gives faith itself based on grace as well? As long as we are not making it clear to people that their sanctification is by grace and that their growing faith must come by grace too, then what we are teaching people is a system that is based on works. Oh, says the other side, we must always balance God’s act with our responsibility. Okay, but we must never try to balance the grace of God with our works. It is our obligation to see God for the grace and strength to give us the ability to respond to our obligations. It seems as if the word “responsibility” is being used as an excuse for bringing works into the Gospel.

Let the ministers of the nations repent of their vile wickedness in preaching a Gospel of works under the guise of using biblical language of grace alone. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in man that can precede the grace of God. This is to say with Romans 11:6 that for us to bring one work into grace is to make grace no longer grace. For a man to bring one work into the Gospel of grace alone means that it is no longer the Gospel of grace alone. One work destroys the whole. When anyone teaches faith as a work, whether they intend to or not, whether they are Arminian or “Reformed” in name, that person makes grace no longer to be grace. In line with Romans 4, men must stop working in order to look to Christ alone. It is not that they must almost stop working or stop all working except for working up faith, but they must cease all works in order to look to grace alone. This is utterly vital!!!

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