Feb 17

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Just how many questions are more important than those that deal with salvation? You can count on one hand with four fingers missing and get the right answer! Keep in mind the thumb is not a finger. Many people fail to understand what they are really saying when they address the subject of salvation. In this life there is nothing more important than the subject of salvation. With this in mind; let us take look at the question: “How many ways can one be saved?
Some people speak of “grace only,” meaning that salvation is by “grace only.” First, if salvation is by “grace only,” then, would not all people be saved? Grace coming from God to mankind, then, all mankind would be saved. That is, unless one believes in Calvinism. As Calvinism teaches that God predetermined that some would be saved, and all others would be lost. Keep in mind that this would limit the number of people who would be saved to those chosen by God. However, Paul wrote: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). Here the “grace of God” teaches us certain things, as Paul continued: “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (verse 11). Just for learning sake, and we should all be eager to learn. The word “teaching” is the Greek “paideuo” and means “to train children” but there is more. This Greek word is also translated “to chastise” and “chasteneth” in Hebrews chapter twelve, verses five and six. Therefore, the phrase “grace of God” refers to “the teaching of Christ.” So, how does this relate to our subject? It means “the grace of God,” which is “the gospel of Christ,” had at that time “appeared to all men!” Now, what is the point in having “the grace of God” appearing to all men, all mankind, if those who are to be saved by “grace only” and the number had/has been determined already? It is a wasted effort and God does not waste anything!
But, there is another thought just here. If man is saved “by grace only,” and it had/has appeared to all mankind, then, would not all mankind be saved? Yes, indeed! This would also prove the doctrine of “Universal salvation!” However, those who believe in “grace only” do not believe in “universal salvation!” “Universal salvation” would remove the need of teaching/preaching the gospel of Christ to anyone!
It is not uncommon to hear those who believe that we are saved “by grace only” also believe man is saved “by faith only.” The word “only” does not allow for anything else! The word “only” is an adjective:
1) “lone(a), lonesome(a), only(a), sole(a), solitary(a).” “It means: being the only one; single and isolated from others.” Therefore, it is “lacking companions or companionship.” No room here for anything else.
2) “lone(a), lonely(a), solitary (adj) characterized by or preferring solitude,” as in “a lone wolf”; “a lonely existence”; “a man of a solitary disposition”; “a solitary walk.” No room for another!
3) “lone(a), lonesome(a), only(a), sole(a), solitary(a) (adj) being the only one; single and isolated from others, “the lone doctor in the entire county”; “a lonesome pine”; “an only child”; “the sole heir”; “the sole example”; “a solitary instance of cowardice”; “a solitary speck in the sky.” No room for anything else!

Therefore, if salvation is “by grace only,” then, there is no room for “by faith only!” And if salvation is “by faith only,” there is no room for “by grace only!” Therefore, if these things were true, they negate each other!
There remains just a few questions. First, why did Jesus command his apostles: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)? Second, why did the inspired Peter answer the question, by those who believed his preaching: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” in the manner he did: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:37-38)? Neither Jesus nor his inspired aposltes believe nor taught that salvation was “by grace only” nor “by faith only” as a means of being saved!

Frank R. Williams

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