Grace Plus Work?

Q. Our pastor often preaches that salvation is through acceptance of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and nothing else. Therefore, Full Gospel churches and others who preach salvation plus something else are wrong. Are Christians who follow salvation plus whatever really saved?

A. Taken to its ultimate conclusion the “salvation plus something” doctrine contains two essential ingredients, one constant and one variable. The Lord’s death is the constant and our behavior is the variable. If the constant factor (the Lord’s death) is not sufficient in and of itself, the variable factor (our behavior) will always determine the outcome. Therefore people who believe Jesus didn’t do the whole job of saving them are really saying they’re saving themselves by their own efforts. They’re not saved by grace through faith, but by their own works.

In Ephesians 2:8-9 Paul said the Lord will not credit any work of ours toward our salvation because He doesn’t want us to be able to boast that we saved our selves. I agree with your pastor. People who believe they have to contribute to the salvation process are not trusting in the Lord’s completed work on the cross. Their salvation is at least in jeopardy and sadly they can never know if they’ve qualified until it’s too late to do anything about it.

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