By T.R. O’Daniel
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).” It is only by the grace of God that anyone can be saved. There is no action which can be performed to merit salvation. It is a free gift from God, given to all who use the instrument of faith to appropriate it to themselves. Mankind, in a state of complete depravity due to sin, was entirely dependent upon God to provide salvation. Because of His love for man, God graciously robed Himself in flesh and died on the Cross of Calvary to make our salvation possible.
This sacrificial offering of Jesus Christ was an undeserved act of mercy by God; it was not a response to any meritorious action of mankind. Jesus’ substitutionary death provided salvation for all who appropriate the grace of God to their lives. God’s act of grace was not a decision to remove sin from all humanity, but rather to offer the choice of justification to man.
Consequently, each person has the choice of whether to accept God’s offer of salvation. Salvation is appropriated by placing our faith in Jesus Christ and having our sins remitted through obedience to the Gospel. The means of appropriation includes: dying to sin by repenting, having our sins washed away by being baptized in Jesus’ name, and arising to newness of life by being filled with the Holy Ghost, evidenced by speaking in other tongues. These acts of obedience are not works that earn us salvation. They are only the means whereby we take advantage of the grace of God. In conclusion, we are saved by grace that is appropriated to us through the obedience of faith (Romans 16:25-26).