Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
May 31, 1997
Last Updated :
February 7, 2013
Salvation Is The Free Gift Of God Through Faith In Christ, It Is Impossible To Be Saved By Our Works Of Righteousness, We Are Saved By Either God's Grace Or By Our Own Works But Not By Both, Working To Earn A Gift No Longer Makes It A Gift, God The Father Revealed His Love To The World Through The Divine Gift Of His Son, Jesus Paid Full Purchase Price And Ransom For Our Gift Of Salvation, Grace Signifies God's Unmerited Favor, Grace = Gift Received At Christ's Expense, We Were Held Hostage By The Devil Sin And Death, Jesus Now Holds The Keys Of Hell And Death, Keys Represent Authority And Opportunities In The Bible, Jesus Is Keeper Of The Keys, Nothing Can Separate Us From The Love Of God Through Christ, God Does Not Lie, Satan Is A Liar Deceiver And The Accuser, Jesus Is The Door To Salvation And Eternal Life Which No Man Can Shut, Jesus Unlocked Prison Door Of Hell And Death And Liberated Us, Freed From Physical Corruption Of The Grave, Through Christ We May Partake Freely Of The Water Of Life, Symbolism And Allegory In The Scriptures, Our Salvation Is Totally A Work Of God Through Jesus Christ, We Cannot Save Ourselves Or Keep Ourselves Saved Once We Have Been Saved, Temptation Of Wondering If We Have Done Enough, Our Enough Is Never Enough, Do You Worry About Your Salvation Or Have Peace Of Christ, That Ye May Know That Ye Have Eternal Life
Continuing our discussion from part one, it is really rather foolish for anyone to adopt a self-righteous attitude after coming to Christ. Why is this? As I explain in so many other articles, quite simply, it's because Salvation is a free Gift of God which we cannot possibly ever hope to earn by our own self-righteous, so-called good works, either before, or even after we have accepted Christ. In other words, we cannot win points with God by being "good", and then hope that we have accumulated enough points so that we merit Salvation. Consider the following verses. I have added some words in brackets for the sake of clarification:
"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, KJV
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Titus 3:5, KJV
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law [or by our own self-righteous works], but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified . . . I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law [or by our own self-righteous works] then Christ is dead in vain."
Galatians 2:16, 21, KJV
"But that no man is justified by the law [or by our own self-righteous works] in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith."
Galatians 3:11, KJV
"Therefore by the deeds of the law [or by our own self-righteous works] there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
Romans 3:20, KJV
"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
Romans 11:6, KJV
So as you can plainly see, it is either one or the other. It cannot be both. Either we are saved completely by the Grace of God through our faith in the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, or else we foolishly convince ourselves that we are saved by our own supposed "good works", and that we can somehow earn our way to Heaven. The idea of earning our way to Heaven totally contradicts what we are told in all of the previous verses. As the Apostle Paul so clearly informs us in his Epistle to the brethren at Ephesus, our Salvation "is the gift of God". In his Epistle to the Romans Paul states the very same thing with "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". Furthermore, Paul very plainly informs us that if righteousness come by the law -- or by our own self-righteous works -- then Christ is dead in vain. In other words, if we can save ourselves, then Jesus died for absolutely nothing.
Please think about this very carefully. If we have to work for a gift; if we have to do something in order to merit or earn it; then it is no longer truly a gift, is it? The fact of the matter is that the gift has already been paid for by somebody else. That person somehow worked for the money and purchased the gift, and then they freely gave the gift to us as a demonstration of their love and affection for us. In a way, they bestowed unmerited favor upon us because of their love for us, and because they wanted to make us happy. We did not have to do anything in order to earn the gift. They did it all. We were simply the recipient of their gift.
In similar fashion, this is exactly what our Heavenly Father did for us through the person of His own Son, Jesus Christ. As we all know from the widely-known verse John 3:16, God the Father gave His only-begotten Son to the world, and allowed Him to be crucified by the world, as payment for our sins, as we learned earlier in this series. Consider the verse in its entirety:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16, KJV
In effect, by spilling His own Blood, and by being crucified on a Roman Cross, Jesus Christ paid the full purchase price -- that is, the ransom price -- for our Salvation. He paid in full for the Gift which God the Father now freely bestows upon everyone who believes. That this is so is made evident by the following verses:
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28, KJV
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
Acts 20:28, KJV
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, KJV
"Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."
1 Corinthians 7:23, KJV
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
Ephesians 1:13-14, KJV
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."
1 Timothy 2:5-6, KJV
Can it be any more clear than that? We are bought, and our Salvation is purchased, by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid the full ransom price so that we can now receive God's free Gift. Because of Jesus' willingness to forfeit His own life for our sakes, God the Father now bestows upon us His unmerited favor; that is, His Grace. We are only saved by His Grace, through Christ. We only receive the free Gift, as a result of what Jesus did for us. Over forty years ago when I was still a young Christian man, I learned a cute acronym which helps us to remember exactly what Grace is. There are some modern perversions of this acronym, but the way that I learned it is in the following manner:
G. R. A. C. E.
Isn't that beautiful, and so easy to remember? God bestows His Grace -- or unmerited favor -- upon us, because Jesus was willing to pay the full price for the Gift of our Salvation with His own Blood. To reiterate, as Paul tells us in two of his Epistles, "it is the gift of God" and "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". Please do not ever forget that our Salvation is an undeserved and totally unmerited Gift from God. We cannot earn it in any way. Period.
Why was it even necessary to pay a ransom price for our Gift in the first place? Why is it referred to as a ransom in the Bible? Quite simply, because as we have already seen, at one time, we were all being held hostage by both sin and death; because as the Apostle Paul informs us, "the wages of sin is death". In fact, stated even more clearly, we were being held hostage by the Devil himself, because he had somehow gained the power over death. We were the prisoners of death and hell until Jesus Christ took back the keys, when He offered up His own life for the sins of the whole world. If you doubt that this is so, then consider the following revelatory verses:
"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Revelation 1:18, KJV
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;"
Hebrews 2:14, KJV
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years . . . And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
Revelation 20:6, 13-14, KJV
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave [hell], where is thy victory?"
1 Corinthians 15:55, KJV
In effect then, the Devil was holding all of us hostage in his prison of hell and death. We were his prisoners because of the penalty of sin. Furthermore, he was demanding that a ransom price be paid before we could be released from that dark prison of hell and death. When Jesus paid that ransom price, He received -- and perhaps even regained -- the keys of hell and of death, exactly as He tells us in the previous verse that is found in the Book of Revelation. Let us not forget that the Angelic Messenger is speaking on Jesus' own behalf.
As I explain in the series entitled "Lies and Deceptions of the Roman Catholic Church", we all know that keys are used to unlock something, such as a door or a chest. In the New Testament, keys are symbolically used to signify the opening or closing of doors of opportunity. Keys likewise represent possessing authority or having control over something. This is made evident by the following verses which are also found in the Book of Revelation:
"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name."
Revelation 3:7-8, KJV
As you can see, in addition to having the keys of hell and of death, we are also told that Jesus possesses the key of David, being as He is a descendant of David in the flesh, and thus the rightful heir to his throne as well. The most important keys are of course those which open the doors to Heaven and Hell, and thus to Eternal Life and Damnation. For the purposes of our discussion, the most important point to consider is that when the Lord opens the Door of Salvation for us, absolutely no one can shut it in our face, or cast us out. Jesus has absolute Control and Authority over this issue. Thus, as we saw earlier, Jesus stated the following in the Gospel of John:
"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, KJV
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, 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, KJV
Paul was equally convinced of this very same wonderful truth as well. In his Epistle to the Romans he reveals that he is fully persuaded that nothing, and nobody -- whether physical or spiritual -- can separate us from God the Father, once we come to Him through our faith in the Atoning Sacrifice of His own dear Son, Jesus Christ. Consider these inspiring verses:
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39, KJV
To reiterate, if we are predestinated and chosen by God to be heirs of Salvation, then absolutely no force in Heaven or Hell, or on the Earth, can separate us from the Love of God. Nobody. To believe otherwise is to indirectly accuse God of being weak and powerless. It is likewise to call Him a liar as well, which we obviously know is not true. Our Heavenly Father keeps His promises to His beloved children. Consider the following verses which verify this point:
"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV
"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
Romans 3:4, KJV
"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Titus 1:2, KJV
The Holy Scriptures plainly reveal to us that there is only one liar and deceiver, who is likewise the accuser of the Saints, and that is Satan himself. This is made evident by verses such as the following:
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 8:44, KJV
"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Genesis 3:1-5, KJV
"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ . . . And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
2 Corinthians 11:3, 14, KJV
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV
"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."
Revelation 12:10, KJV
Returning to our previous topic of discussion, in addition to being the official Keeper of the Keys in God's Kingdom, we likewise know that Jesus Christ is in fact the Door that actually leads us into God's Kingdom. He is the one and only Door to Salvation and Eternal Life. This becomes evident by the following verses which are found in John chapter ten:
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
John 10:1-9, KJV
Of course, before we can ever hope to walk through the Door of Salvation, and enter into Eternal Life and the Kingdom of God, we must first be liberated from the prison of death in which we have been bound by our sins. Thankfully, once the keys were in His possession, Jesus had the Authority and the Power to open the prison doors, and to free the prisoners, as had been prophesied of Him by Isaiah, and exactly as He even told His listeners in the Gospels of Luke and John, as we see by the following verses:
"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;"
Isaiah 61:1-2, KJV
"And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
Luke 4:17-19, KJV
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free . . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
John 8:31-32, 36, KJV
This freedom, this liberty from the bondage of death, hell and the physical corruption of our bodies in the grave is discussed in so many other places in the Scriptures as well. The Old Testament Patriarchs such as Job were aware of it, and the Apostle Paul certainly discussed it also, as we see by these sample verses:
"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me."
Job 19:25-27, KJV
"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
Romans 8:21, KJV
"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
2 Corinthians 3:17, KJV
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
1 Corinthians 15:51-52, KJV
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, KJV
Clearly then, upon receiving the keys of death and of hell, Jesus Christ became our get-out-of-jail-free card. Jesus in fact became our get-out-of-the-grave card. He freed us all from the prison in which Satan had us bound. He opened the prison door and set the captives free. It is as if the Lord has His foot in that prison door, so that the Devil can no longer shut it and keep us locked in. Furthermore, by way of His own loving Sacrifice on the Cross at Golgotha, Jesus became the Door into Heaven itself. He is the Door which no man can shut. Through Him, and Him alone, we receive the undeserved and unmerited Gift of Salvation, and thus may partake freely of the Water of Eternal Life, as we see by the following verses:
"Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
John 4:13-14, KJV
"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
Revelation 21:6, KJV
"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb . . . And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
Revelation 22:1, 17, KJV
Before continuing our discussion regarding God's wonderful Gift of Salvation, let me just mention here that everything that we discussed in the previous paragraphs is meant to be understood in a symbolic sense. As you may know, there are many passages in the Scriptures which are symbolic as well as allegorical in nature. They aren't meant to be understood in an actual physical sense. This applies to the Revelation that was given to John as well. Some chapters in the Book of Revelation contain symbolism and allegory. In other words, as far as I know, for example, Jesus does not really hold a set of physical keys in His hand. As we have seen, it simply means that He holds Authority over death and hell.
If there is one important point which I hope you understand from all of the previous paragraphs, it is that our Salvation is completely and totally a Work of God through Jesus Christ. We are saved by Grace -- that is, by God's unmerited favor -- and not by our own works. Our Salvation is not a work of the flesh, and it does not hinge on one single thing that we can possibly do in the flesh. We simply cannot save ourselves by our own merit or supposed goodness. It is very important that you fully understand and embrace this Bible-based doctrine before we continue.
The next important point that you need to understand is that being as we were not able to save ourselves to begin with, it makes perfect sense that neither can we do anything to keep ourselves saved either. To suggest otherwise is to once again attempt to turn our faith into a religion of self-righteous works. In other words, if we fall under the erroneous belief that we have to continue doing certain things to make sure that our Salvation is not lost, have we not in fact switched from a Grace-based belief system back to a purely works-based religion? Have we not adopted a mentality whereby we believe once again that we have to earn or merit Salvation and Eternal Life? Have we not switched from a Faith-based attitude which says "I know that I am saved by the Grace of God through my faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ" to a worrisome attitude which says "I hope that I am still saved. I hope that I have done enough so that God will let me in the door"?
Trust me; I know how subtle this temptation is to fall back into that erroneous attitude and frame of mind which causes us to wonder if we have done enough. I am not ashamed to say that I have caught myself doing it on a number of occasions as well. The fact of the matter is that our enough is never really going to be enough. That is exactly why we need Jesus; so why even entertain such a thought? In the Gospel of John, Jesus informs the Apostles that He has given to them -- and by extension to us as well -- His peace. The Prophet Isaiah likewise reminds us of the peace which we obtain through our trust in the Lord. Consider these verses:
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
John 14:27, KJV
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33, KJV
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Isaiah 26:3, KJV
How can we possibly even claim to have this peace if we are worrying all the time regarding whether or not we are still saved? It would frazzle the nerves and drive one absolutely crazy. If this is the situation in which you find yourself because you have fallen for the satanic deception, damnable heresy and misguided doctrine of devils which claims that you can lose your Salvation, it is now time for you to embrace the truth. In the words of the Apostle John, it is now time for you to know with an absolute certainty that if you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, then you do have Eternal Life. You may not be able to actually see it or sense it at this current time, because you are still in the flesh, but according to God's Word, you are in fact in possession of it. As John writes in his Epistle:
"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
1 John 5:12-13, KJV
Do you truly believe those verses in your heart? Then why do you doubt and worry? Why do you question your Salvation? Why do you fret that you may lose it from one day to the next? Do you truly trust in God's ability to save you, or don't you?
Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .