December 26, 2015

Faith, Grace, & Blood

While reading Romans chapter 5 I was intrigued by the following verses:

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 5:2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Let's Define Justified.
As found on dictionary .com

to show (an act, claim, statement, etc.) to be just or right:
The end does not always justify the means.
to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded:
Don't try to justify his rudeness.
Theology. to declare innocent or guiltless;absolve; acquit.

Let's look at the phrase " Justified by Faith."
According to Romans 5:1 we are acquitted, or declared righteous, by faith.
According to Romans 5:9 however we are "justified [acquitted or made righteous] by his blood."

Is the bible contradicting itself?!

The key to this equation is in Verse 2.
"...we have access by faith"...
We are justified by faith because faith gives us access to God's grace, which is available to all humanity. Grace then ushers us to the blood which truly justifies us.

So when we read the verse that reads: 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"(Ephesians 2:8-9) , we can have a clearer understanding.

Look closely. What is the gift of God?
 Salvation through faith?

 Romans 5:15,17
 15...For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

So what can we understand from this verse? 
The phrase in verse 15 which reads,  " the gift BY the grace..." makes it clear that Grace is not the gift. Again in verse 17 grace is clearly separate from the gift as seen in the phrase, "abundance of grace and of the gift..."
So the gift is by way of grace.
What is the gift?
The gift is salvation.  Ephesians 2:8 says you have been saved by GRACE. It is the gift of God. What is the gift of God? Salvation through faith.

Grace is simply the access to the justifying blood of Christ (Romans 5:9)  through faith. We do not have to work for justification, nor pay with our own blood.

Though not salvation itself, Grace brings us salvation.

"11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, (Titus 2:11-12).

Does GRACE save us?
Yes, because it is the very concept that allows us to be saved through the simple act of faith, rather than a near impossible adherence to the hundreds of  rules written in the law.

Does Faith save us?
Yes, because it gives us access to the blood of Christ which justifies [acquits ,declares righteous].

Why Blood?
Let's look at the Word.

Hebrews 9:22
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

 Here it is again.
Acts 10:43
To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

Luke 24:47
and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

So let's put it all together: Faith is our positive response to the gospel, which activates the available grace of God. Romans 5:2.  Grace brings us  salvation. Titus 2:11-12. Grace teaches, repentance  (denying ungodliness) confirming Mark 1:4; and Grace teaches us to be born again  (live soberly, righteously and godly in this present age) confirming John 3:3. And this all in the name Jesus.

The entire 2 paragraphs above are summarized in this one verse: Acts 2:38.

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Remission of sins through blood according to Hebrews 9:22 and remission of sins  by believing on Him through His name in Acts 10:43 is condensed in the verse above- Acts 2:38. It confirms, rather then contradicts the verse below:

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"(Ephesians 2:8-9)

Works do not save.

Faith alone does not save.

James 2:17, 22, 26
17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Faith compels us to action that manifests inner belief. In salvation, Faith compels us to obey the Gospel, and even further, the Word of God.

Romans 10:16
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”

Romans 6:17
But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.

In conclusion:
Grace is the concept granting us access to Christ's blood for remission of sins which is in Jesus name, through baptism, of water and Spirit, which saves us. Have you been saved by grace through faith? Do you believe this report? Will you obey the gospel? Click Here for The Bible Way to Salvation.

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