- Written by Jonathan Perz
Salvation, whether considered in the immediate sense of forgiveness of a sin (cf. Acts 8:20-24, et al) or in the larger sense of eternal life as a result of the forgiveness of all of our sins (cf. Heb. 5:9; 9:28, et al), is never a balancing act. Neither is it a juggling act. It requires all three elements—grace, faith and works—in absolute and complete values. Consider the following three passages (a small sampling among many that could have been chosen to make this point)…
“…even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:5-10)
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” (Heb. 11:6-7)
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” (Jas. 2:14).
It is when we try to emphasize one element over the other(s) that problems arise, both in our lives and in our doctrine.