the very beginning of time, after God had created the physical
universe and all other types of life here upon earth, on the
sixth day, God created man in His own image (Gen. 1:26-27).
That is, man was created as a free moral being with the
ability to comprehend right from wrong; good and evil, with the
power of choice to choose to pursue the one or the other.
Of course, Jehovah God being the perfect upright Holy
Supreme Being that He is, cannot lookup on sin or be tempted by
it (James 1:13). He
would therefore, not tolerate man sinning and still remain in
fellowship with Him.
created Adam, God planted a garden eastward in Eden and placed
this first man in the garden to take care of it.
the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden
thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt
not eat of it: for
in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely dieĒ (Gen.
2:16-17). God also
saw that it was not good for man to be alone and so He
miraculously made woman from one of Adamís ribs.
In the Garden of
Eden, Adam and Eve had the ideal paradise.
They had fellowship with God and had that which was
essential for their physical well-being. God loved the man and woman in which He had created.
It was His will that they would honor Him by obeying His
commandments to tend the garden and to not partake of the fruit
of the tree in the midst of the Garden which possessed the
knowledge of good and evil.
God wanted man to love Him, yet for it to be genuine love
it was necessary that mankind have the power of choice to love
and honor God, or to hate and dishonor Him.
enticed Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit, she succumbed to the
temptation and also gave unto her husband and He did eat.
And because of their disobedience, God drove them from
the paradise that they had enjoyed while being in fellowship
God had known
before hand, even before the creation, that when He created man,
this man would choose to disobey Him. Therefore, God
foreordained that Christ would shed His blood as a lamb for the
sins of humanity (1 Pet. 1:18-20).
This was the grace
of God made available unto mankind through the death of Jesus
the Christ. At Hebrews 2:9, the scripture states, ďBut we see Jesus, who was made
a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should
taste death for every man.Ē
BUT, WHAT IS GRACE?
Grace is defined as unmerited, unearned, and undeserved
No man has a right to salvation as a result of his own
righteousness, or meritorious works.
is none righteous, no not oneĒ (Rom. 3:10).
Truly, Godís offer of salvation to man is positively a
matter of grace. The
offer of redemption is extended to everyone.
the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all
Another definition that someone has given to grace is ďgetting
what we need instead of what we deserve.Ē
GOD HAD WARNED ADAM IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN THAT THE DAY IN
WHICH HE ATE OF THE TREE WHICH POSSESSED THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD
AND EVIL THAT HE WOULD DIE.
Now we know that Adam did not die physically on that day,
so God was not referring to physical death.
Else where in the scriptures we learn that when a person
disobeys God he or she dies spiritually.
At Eph. 2:1, the Apostle Paul said, ďAnd
you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.Ē
Notice, that those who made up the church at Ephesus,
prior to their obedience, were dead in trespasses and sins.
But they had been quickened.
And what does it mean to be quickened?
It means to be made alive.
The basic definition of the word death
is separation. When
a person reaches the age of accountability and sins, he becomes
separated from covenant relationship with God.
the Lordís hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither
his ear heavy, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have separated between you and your
God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not
The Apostle Paul expresses the sentiment of mankind
in a seemingly hopeless state, as follows: ďO wretched man that
I am! Who shall
deliver me from the body of this death?Ē
He then answers his own question:
thank God through Jesus Christ our LordĒ (Rom.
With these words the Apostle Paul was emphasizing that
once a person sins, he or she cannot depend upon their own
righteousness to be delivered from the consequences of their
He clarifies this further at Ephesians 2:8-9, ďFor
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.Ē
Again, at Rom. 3:27, ďWhere is boasting then? It
is excluded. By
what law? Of works?
Nay: but by
the law of faith.Ē
MEN CANNOT BE SAVED BY CHARACTER, MORALITY,
PHILANTHROPHY RITUAL, ANIMAL SACRIFICE, ECCLESIASTICISM,
LEGISLATION, PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY, IDEOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY, OR
SIMPLY CANNOT DO ENOUGH GOOD TO PUT GOD IN OUR DEBT.
If we helped all the needy and baptized all of the lost,
we would not earn redemption.
When we have done everything commanded of God, we are
still unprofitable servants (Luke 17:10).
As sinners we were helpless and hopeless before our
our own meritorious works, none could be saved.
Once man sinned it was impossible for him to save
It was necessary as an act of grace for God to
provide the means for manís salvation.
God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.Ē
CHRIST DIED FOR ALL MEN (HEB. 2:9), BUT NOT ALL MEN WILL
BE SAVED (MATT. 7:13-14).
we must do something to receive the benefits of the Lordís
death. Salvation is
a gift, but it is not an unconditional gift!
In order to show the principle that certain
conditions must be met before the blessings of God are received,
can be readily seen by examples from the Old Testament.
Even though we are not living under the Old Testament (it
has been nailed to the cross, Col. 2:14; it was taken out of the
way in order that the Second Covenant could be established, Heb.
10:9; nevertheless, we can learn important truths from what is
whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our
learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures
might have hope.Ē
Cor. 10:11, ďNow
all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends
of the world are come.Ē
The reception by the Israelites of the healing from the
serpent (Num. 21:4-9).
It is certainly seen from this example that man does not
receive the blessing offered by God until he has obeyed all of
the commands given by the Lord in His Word relative to the
gaining of a particular blessing.
Here then, is the plain order:
(1) Godís blessing offered (vs. 8); (2) Godís word is
given; (3) manís faith; (4) manís obedience to all
of the commands in Godís word relative to the gaining of a
particular blessing; (5) manís reception of Godís blessing.
The reception by the Israelites of the city of Jericho
God told Israel: (1)
to have all the men of war compass the city; (2) these men
should march about the city once each day for six days; (3)
seven priests to bear seven trumpets before the ark; (4) on the
seventh day they were to compass the city seven times; (5) the
priests were then to blow the trumpets; (6) then all the people
were to shout. But
Israel did not receive the blessing immediately, it was only
after they had obeyed all of Godís commands that the walls of the city fell down.
Again, it is seen that the order is:
(1) Godís blessing is offered; (2) Godís word
(instructions) given; (3) manís faith; (4) manís obedience
to the commands given in Godís word relative to the receiving
of this particular blessing; (5) manís reception of Godís
faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed
about seven days.Ē
The receiving by Naaman of the cleansing of his leprosy
(2 Kings 5:1-15).
Godís blessing offered (through Elisha):
thou shalt be cleanĒ (2 Kings 5:10).
This was Godís grace (favor); Naaman was, in no sense,
to earn this blessing. Naaman
did not receive the blessing at this point.
Godís instructions unto Naaman were:
(1) go; (2) wash in Jordan; (3) seven times (vs. 10).
Naaman did not receive cleansing until he obeyed
completely the commands.
Again it will be seen that this order was followed (1)
Godís blessing offered; (2) Godís instructions given as to
what man must do to receive the blessing; (3) manís faith; (4)
manís obedience to the instructions given in Godís word; (5)
manís reception of Godís blessing.
5:8-9; 2 Thes. 1:7-9; John 14:6; Eph. 2:8-9; James 2:24; Acts
10:34-35; Rom. 5:8; Titus 2:11-14).
Baptism is not a work of manís righteousness.
No one can be Biblically baptized with the view of
earning his or her salvation.
Baptism is an essential part of manís faith response to
the grace of God.