#210, FAITH THE GIFT OF GOD
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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them, EPH 2:8-10.
It is necessary to understand saving faith, and understanding the verses of our text is very essential. "For by grace are ye saved through faith;" we are not saved by faith, but we are saved through faith. We are saved by grace. Faith is the conduit through which salvation is conveyed to us. It is not of yourself; it is not a matter of the will or the power of the mind. It is a gift from God.
Now, we want to see and understand how faith is obtained. It is obtained by grace as a gift of God. This saving faith, being delivered from the power of sin, is the work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit that gives us new desires, new affections, and a new heart. It is by grace that we receive saving faith and a desire to do what is pleasing unto God. We see that in Verses 9-10, "Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
It is the work of grace wrought in the heart by the work of the Holy Spirit that gives these new desires. We are created in Christ as a new creation; it is an act of the Word of God. In the original creation, it was by the Word that God created; "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night;...and it was so," GEN 1:14-15. It was the power of the Word of God that created the first creation, and it is the power of the Word by the unction of the Holy Spirit that re-creates a dead sinner. That new man is a new creation with new principles and desires and affections. These are created by the power of the Holy Spirit, by applying the Word to the heart. As we get into this we will see how faith comes by hearing. It is by the power of the Word that generates these new desires in the soul.
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them," Verse 10. What is salvation? Salvation which is obtained by the grace of God through the exercise of saving faith must be divided into three separate achievements.
First, salvation delivers us from sin, its power, and the effect of that is that it saves us from its consequences. ROM 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Secondly, salvation restores us into the favour, communion, and image of God. After we are saved from sin and its power, bringing us into Christ, we are restored into fellowship and communion with God.
Third, salvation preserves us from the power of temptation and sin and those dangers which we encounter in this life. As we go through life, and Satan comes with the power of temptation in our heart, but the Lord comes with His restraining grace to preserve us from the act of that sin. That is an element of salvation. That is being saved from sin.
To understand what it is to be saved by grace, we must realize that it is to be saved through the exercise of saving faith. When the Lord comes with His grace in our heart, He saves us through the exercise of saving faith. What is saving faith? Lets look at its opposite, unbelief. Unbelief is not having enough trust in Christ to obey Him. So saving faith is having enough confidence and trust in Christ to be able to obey Him. By grace we are given enough trust in Him for our salvation. Thereby we are saved from the acts of sin, the power of sin, and the consequences of sin. We now trust Christ enough that He will save us from sin. That is the exercise of saving faith.
Now we must look at the context of our text and see what our condition is by nature, and to know from what we must be saved. EPH 2:1 says, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." We are spiritually dead by nature. We have been quickened, by an act of grace, by the Holy Spirit applying the power of the Word. This is to be regenerated and made a new creature whereby those things we once loved, we now hate. We see the sinfulness of sin and want to be cleansed. Our affections turn to the Lord.
ROM 8:6 gives us a very clear picture of what this spiritual death is from which we need to be quickened. ROM 8:6 says, "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." What takes place in this quickening? The carnal mind which is the unregenerate mind is renewed The old man is put off and the new man is put on. To be spiritually dead means we are carnally minded; our heart is set on carnal things. It is to be of the flesh, worldly, or materialistic. We have no desire for spiritual things and are actually at enmity with God, having no love or desire for Him. Our heart and our soul and our mind are set on carnal things. That is to be spiritually dead.
The symptoms of spiritual death are revealed in EPH 4:18-19, "Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." One of the first symptoms is to be alienated from the Light of God because our understanding is darkened as a result of the fall. It was disobedience.
A result of this is seen in the next verse; they have no feelings. A dead body has no feeling or senses. The sense of taste, smell, and feeling are missing. There is no such thing as feeling sorry for your sins or feeling the wretchedness of ones condition. Even the stench of death has no effect on a dead person. They can wallow in the things of this world and the things of death, and they have no sense of it. Therefore, they can work all manner of obscene and vulgar deeds and thoughts. That is the evidence of spiritual death.
Lets see the continuity in ROM 6:21-23 with the previous verses we have used. "What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, [Do you see where salvation lays?] ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Notice the connecting word For in Verse 23. That verse is speaking of spiritual death rather than corporal death. In other words, when you walk in lasciviousness and all of the other things that are contrary to salvation, the end of those things is being past feeling with darkened understandings. Greed and uncleanness are your walk of life. Then we learn in that verse that "the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." That is teaching us that wages of all of these worldly acts and thoughts is being left over to spiritual death. As long as we are spiritually dead, we are carnal with absolutely no desire for anything else. We are walking in unbelief because we are spiritually dead. We must be quickened by the power of the Word whereby we are given new desires. It is a gift of God; it is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
There is a vacuum in the human heart that was created by losing of the image of God in the fall. The carnal mind tries to fill that empty place with things that please the flesh. Many have various form of religious rituals that they use in an attempt to fill that empty feeling. However, there is nothing but the love of God and the person of Christ that can satisfy that empty feeling.
As the result of Adams fall, this spiritual death has been passed upon all mankind. ROM 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." That is speaking of spiritual death and all of the evil in EPH 4:18-19.
This is the state of spiritual death which we see described in the context of our text in EPH 2:1-3. "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."
The Apostle Paul is talking about those who were dead in sin, spiritually dead. He says that in our past we all had our conversations in the things of this world. That is our condition by nature; we "were the children of wrath even as others."
A few verses later our text says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Not one human being on his own would have ever turned to the Lord. When we are talking about faith, we are not talking about the will of man or the power of the mind. It is not an exercise of our human will. It is the work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit for we are saved by grace through faith. It is the grace of God that works saving faith in the soul.
See EZE 16:6; "And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live." What does "when thou wast in thy blood" mean? Death is the penalty of sin; we will pay the price of our own blood. Our blood is upon our own head. He is saying, "Live," and we are now in the blood of Christ. Now the blood of Christ has taken away the penalty of that sin. How did that come to pass? Was it a mere act of the human will? Oh, No. "And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee..., Live;"
In other words, He put our sins on the head of another, and now we stand before the Father, cleansed in the blood of Jesus, who paid and removed penalty of our sin. The blood of Jesus also washes and cleanses us from the pollution of our sins. That is what we need for the exercise of saving faith. It is by faith in His blood and the power of the Word that the Holy Spirit works in us the new desire.
When God the Father saw His own people whom He loved from eternity polluted in their own blood, He was moved by love. He passed by and saw how polluted we were. It was His love that moved Him; it wasnt anything in or of us. We had done nothing to merit His love.
EPH 2:4-5 continues, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)." It is by Gods choice, from His motive of love, that He looked upon us in our own blood and had mercy. We were dead in our own trespasses and sin. When we begin to understand that saving faith is a gift of God, then we know it was by grace that He quickens us, cleanses us, justifies us, and sanctifies us and brings us into saving faith. That saving faith becomes the instrument through which He transfers salvation unto us. It is by the grace of God, and saving faith is a gift of God.
When God sees His people destroying themselves in their sins, He says unto His faithful servants, as He did to Ezekiel, "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" EZE 33:11. Faith comes by hearing. Therefore, God sends His Word and His faithful servants as His instruments to bring about the quickening by proclaiming redemption from all sin and iniquity through the cross of Christ. God uses the power of His Word to work salvation in the soul of sinners.
Our text says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith." So how is faith brought into exercise? How is it that our consciences are charged and brought to see the sinfulness of sin? ROM 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." That is how the Lord puts saving faith into exercise. Now you see why it is so important that a pastor is faithful in the pulpit. Faith comes by hearing, and if we are not hearing, if were being lied to or lulled to sleep, we are not hearing the Word of the Lord. If Gods message is not coming through clearly, then the exercise of saving faith is not the result. It is when the Word of God is being faithfully proclaimed that saving faith is put into exercise.
Hearing the Word of God comes by those whom the Lord has called by His Spirit to be His faithful ministers of the gospel. They are faithful to the flock. The gospel must be preached faithfully. ROM 10:13-15 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. [Dont stop there, continue.] How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
This Scripture means that preachers must be sent by the Lord; I do not believe it means that a group of men must be the ones to send a man from any certain organized church. There must be a Divine calling, and sending by the Lord to go out as a faithful minister of the gospel and expound His Word. Many people are sent out by these corporate bodies that have never been sent out by the Lord. The Lord has also sent out many who have never been a part of a corporate body. I do see the need of organized churches, ordaining and sending forth ministers, evangelists, and missionaries, but only if there is good evidence the Lord has called them unto the work. The meaning of this Scripture applies to being sent by the Lord, not man.
Those who have not been sent by the Lord do not preach the gospel of peace, they preach a false peace if they are not sent by the Lord. We see that in JER 6:14-16. "They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace."
They are preaching peace through the blood of the cross, but without repentance; they are preaching a legal religion where one can be saved by the blood without being saved from the power of sin. They want to bypass that first element of salvation. They do not preach being delivered from sin and its power; they preach being saved from the consequences of sin. To see that all we need is to read the very next verse. We see they were not ashamed of their sin; there was no repentance. They preached peace, but it was a false peace. There is no peace in the blood of the cross until we have been delivered from sin. It is absolutely contrary to Scripture to say otherwise.
Verse 15 continues, "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways [of salvation], and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein."
He is talking about repentance and turning from sin. He is talking salvation, and they are preaching peace where there is no peace. They do not want to repent, change their ways or attitudes. They will continue to walk in their abominations and preach peace. The Lord says there will be no peace outside of repentance.
Gods Word clearly tells us how to identify His ministers, and how to distinguish them from those who run without being sent. Those who preach salvation without repentance are not sent by the Lord. The problem is that they have never understood repentance and have never personally repented. Lets follow this through to prove that. It is very explicitly explained in the Word of God.
JER 23:21-22 says, "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
They should have preached repentance; they should have been the authors of turning them from their sins if they were standing in His counsel. The Lord never sent them; we know that because they never turned the people from their sins.
Our text says, that true saving faith is "...not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Satan wants to either sell a religion wherein works are meritorious, or one where there is peace through the blood of the cross without repentance, but our text says, "Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them," EPH 2:9- 10. Do you see that it is not by works? We merit nothing from our works, but faith is not without works. As we become created in Christ, as the new creation is taking place in the soul, it is unto good works. Those good works are not legalistic; they are not doing the letter of the law. They are from the spirit of the law. It is the spirit of the law, the new heart and desires created in Christ Jesus that prompts good works. God has foreordained that we should walk in good works. There is no salvation without works either.
This workmanship of God in saving a sinner from the power of sin all centers in the resurrection of Christ, thus exalting Him upon His throne of glory. The entire work of regeneration, being raised from the things of this world into a newness of life centers in Christs resurrection. EPH 1:19-20 says, "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places."
Lets look at an illustration. Gravity is a powerful force. The carnal mind gravitates unto the pleasures of the flesh and sin, which is spiritual death. Think of the power of this gravity to confine a spiritually dead person to the grave of sin and shame. What comes against the nature of such gravity more than bringing such a spiritually dead person back unto newness of life in the service of Christ?
This happened when Christ came out of the grave, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," 2CO 5:21. Therefore, nothing short of the exceeding greatness of Gods power could raise Christ from the dead, and that only after He had paid the price of our redemption in full. To re-create is much more difficult than to create; it is much more difficult to save one sinner than it was to create the world out of nothing. That took only the power of His Word to bring the entire universe into existence, but to re-create one sinner required the Son of God to come from His throne to go into Gethsemane and into death on the cross. From the cross He had to go into the grave before being raised again.
It was in the power of that resurrection that we are raised into a newness of life. The exceeding greatness of His power in raising us from the power of sin into a new resurrection and a new creation is to us who believe. That is what Paul meant by teaching that we fellowship in the power of His resurrection. That is the exceedingly great power that is needed. If you and I are going to accept Christ through the letter of the law and our own strength to change our own life, we are as dead as we have ever been. It takes the resurrection power of Christ to give us new desires in the spirit of the law. The true work of grace in the soul is a new man by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. That puts saving faith into exercise.
It was through this exceeding greatness of His power that Jesus Christ was brought out of the power of death and exalted upon His throne. It is through this exceeding power that God speaks the Word in our heart; it is the power of the Word after the resurrection of Christ that quickens our soul. EPH 1:21 says, "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." Jesus was so exalted above all power by the exceeding greatness of God when He raised Jesus from the dead. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," MAT 28:18-20.
So where is that throne upon which Christ has been so exalted? We find the answer in ISA 57:15, "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." The heart of the contrite and humble is the throne unto which Christ has been exalted. The greatness of His power in the humble and contrite soul has dethroned Satan, and Christ now sits upon that throne. All of Satans powers have been defeated; the head of the serpent has been crushed. Christs throne has been established in the heart of the one who has had the work of saving grace in their soul as a gift from God.
Being "created in Christ Jesus unto good works," requires the "exceeding greatness of His power" because it involves a new creation. Watch what happens in this new creation. See the exercise of saving faith as it set forth in EPH 4:23-24; "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."
I could walk up to a person and say, "Be renewed in the spirit of your mind." Who will or can obey? Only by the work of regeneration of the Holy Spirit is that possible. It is through saving faith that we become renewed in the spirit of our mind, but it is the gift of God. It is not of ourselves, lest we should boast.
When the Holy Spirit approaches the heart to perform this new creation He not only comes to a heart void of the love of God, but one that is filled with enmity against God. As a result of our spiritual death, we are not only void of love, we are in fact Gods enemies. See this in ROM 8:7, "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
"Peace, peace." How can we preach peace when there is no peace when we have not revealed the enmity of the carnal mind against God in the heart of the unregenerate? We cannot preach peace to a person filled with enmity, who does not understand this enmity of his own heart. When that is done they are given a delusion, believing they have peace with a holy and righteous God without ever going through the process of sanctification.
Those who begin their gospel by teaching that God loves you and has a great plan for your life do not reveal this enmity. We read in ROM 1:16-17, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth...For therein is the righteousness of God revealed..." The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel, not in the law.
If I am really going to preach peace, I must explain that it was sin that brought Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane to face the wrath of God upon the sin of His people. If I am to be saved I must understand it was my sin that nailed Him to the tree. It was not the sin of the Roman soldiers or the high priests or Pontius Pilate. If I understand the gospel and have salvation to deliver me from the power of sin, then I must admit it was my sin that brought Jesus into Gethsemane, and upon the cross. It was my sin that nailed Him to the tree; it was my sin that sent Him to the grave. Then I begin to see the exceeding sinful nature of sin, and the beauty of the resurrection of Christ because it was to also raise me up from spiritual death, and redeem me from the power of sin.
When the Lord Jesus Christ was laid in the grave, the ransom was paid. At that point the debt was fully paid. It was the coming out of the grave whereby we are justified. That is where we were delivered from the power of sin. While Jesus was still in the grave, Peter was still mourning his lack of deliverance. Those who had nailed Him to the cross had not yet been pricked in their heart. The resurrection brought a deliverance from the power of the grave.
The apostle said he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because that was the way He preached it. Jesus death and resurrection revealed the righteousness of God in His preaching of the gospel. That brings a light to show Gods wrath upon sin. Then we uncover the enmity that is in the heart against God; now we are touching on the spirit of the law and revealing the thoughts and intents of the heart. Those motives become a condemnation to us through the light of the gospel.
JOH 3:19-21 tells us, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
If a person is preaching faithfully, he will begin unveiling and uncovering our sins so the enmity in our heart against God is revealed. When a person preaches "Peace, peace," without unveiling the heart, he can make a lot of friends, but souls are being deceived.
In the gospel of Christ the righteousness of God is revealed, and as the kingdom of darkness is penetrated with the gospels light, true gospel repentance is the fruit. Mens love for darkness is revealed. It is painful to have evil deeds revealed, and by nature we shun such light. In the faithful preaching of the gospel, the enmity in the heart against the Lord is uncovered. Those who have the work of saving faith and regeneration and have been delivered from the power of sin have a desire to have the light shine in their heart to uncover any sin so they might be delivered from it. They have no desire to live in that sin; they come to the light seeking the truth that their deeds may be wrought in God. They are ignorant of sins, and they want faithful preaching that reveals those sins. If I have a sin in my heart which keeps me in a darkened understanding, walking in ignorance, it is my desire to have it uncovered so I might repent of it.
The work in which the true servants of God engage themselves is described by the Apostle Paul in 2CO 10:4-5; "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." The faithful preaching of Gods Word will pull down the strongholds of Satan in the heart. It reveals the sin and Satans strongholds in our heart that we have ignorantly served. Therefore, we do not view the light as a condemnation; it is the truth and it is accepted. The revealed sins bring us to repentance. It is so precious to understand how the true preaching of the gospel has no hiding places for sin. We are not men pleasers; we are coming to be faithful to your soul, bringing you to the light to discern the areas Satan has a stronghold so they can be cast out. The enmity that is in the heart by nature is revealed by the true preaching of the Word.
These mighty Spiritual weapons which we need to pull down the strongholds of the devil are listed in EPH 6:16-19; "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." Faith is a shield against the strongholds of Satan; the exercise of saving faith is a shield against the missiles of lust, desires, and temptations that would conquer our souls. Faith is our shield. Verse 17 continues, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel."
We take up the helmet of salvation to be saved from the destructive power of sin and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God to fight off the darts of Satan through the shield of saving faith. The Apostle Paul adds himself to the plea; dont forget that the man in the pulpit needs prayer, too. The Lord doesnt want a hireling in the pulpit or an unfaithful man there. He wants men that open their mouths boldly with the truth, identifying sin. If the pastor offends one person in congregation by identifying a sin, they have a problem, not the man in the pulpit. The problem is that found in JOH 3:19-21; "their deeds are evil and they love darkness rather than light."
We need prayer. Prayer is one of the strongholds, one of the tools, and one of the instruments used to tear down the strongholds and hiding places of Satan. Pray for the man in the pulpit to be faithful. The reigning power of sin is the devils stronghold in every human heart by nature. This is broken down only when the Holy Spirit comes into the heart with His convicting power, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God. How does one know and recognize sin if it isnt spoken from the pulpit or the Word read, and the Lord opens the eyes to see it? It is by the application of the Holy Spirit of the Word of God that we receive the knowledge of the spirit of the law.
JOH 16:8 says, "And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." It is when we learn to see Gods displeasure upon sin that we are convinced of judgment. He will "reprove us of judgment" means He will bring sin to our notice. He will convince us of having Satan on the throne of our heart. "Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged," JOH 16:11. When Satan is rightly judged he is dethroned. We cannot have him on the throne of our heart.
After that judgment has been passed upon the prince of the world, saving faith, i.e., the obedience of faith is put into exercise. After Christ has been enthroned on our heart, we will be serving Him. That is putting saving faith into exercise. JOH 16:13 says, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
The precious things of Christ and of the gospel wherein the righteousness of God is revealed are the things the Holy Spirit will show to us. Our text says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith," and "...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God," ROM 10:17. When the Holy Spirit "...guide[s] you into all truth," you begin to realize that by grace, through the exercise of saving faith, sanctification is worked in the soul.
We see this in TIT 2:11-15; "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
Do you see how beautifully the Scripture tells us what salvation is? In simple language we are told how to live in this world. Many people want to be redeemed from hell, but this Scripture tells us He gave Himself to redeem us from all iniquity. We see the work of sanctification in "and purify unto himself a peculiar people." There is sanctification and the work of saving faith. Then those people have a desire to do good works; they are zealous; their whole ambition is doing the will of God. All of "these things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
As we grow in grace, we learn to make the same confession the Apostle Paul made in TIT 3:3-8; "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 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; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."
Our text says, "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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them," EPH 2:8-10. That is salvation. Salvation is the new creation, it is in the death of self and the renewing and regeneration of the Holy Ghost, saved by grace through faith. Amen.
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