Q. If we’re saved by grace alone, why do we need to believe in Christ? Doesn’t grace alone mean all people should be saved regardless of their response? Isn’t the act of believing a “work” in itself?
Also, why did Jesus leave earth after he was raised from the dead? I think if he had stayed it would have allowed more people to believe and be saved. It seems to me that the information about being saved is not clear enough for many people to understand. But perhaps that is the plan- to only save a small percentage?
A. It’s not grace alone that saves us, it’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation is a gift made possible by God’s grace. We receive it by having the faith to believe that Jesus paid for all of our sins on the cross. Our faith is the only thing we can contribute to the equation that isn’t counted as work (Romans 4:5).
How much more would you have Jesus do than give His life? Should He have gone on a 2000 year missionary trip teaching people to accept the gift He had purchased for them? He gave that job to the Church (Matt. 28:19-20) but even then He promised to be with us as we do it.
As for the clarity of the message, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” How much clearer can you get? God made it simple. If it has become confusing it’s because man has made it so.
Was His plan to save only a small percentage? God doesn’t want any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He did everything necessary to save us, requiring only that we believe He did it. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).
Then they asked Him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” He answered, “The work of God is this; to believe in the one He has sent” (John 6:28-29).