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Saved by Grace through Faith

By Larry R. Lasiter

2003

 

Can a Person be Saved without Repenting of Sin?

Can a Person stay Saved while practicing Sin?

"For by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as result of WORKS, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS, which God PREPARED BEFOREHAND so that we would WALK IN THEM." (Ephesians 2:8-10)

The Bible makes it clear that you can only be saved by God's grace by putting your faith in the sacrifice of Jesus not in your own righteous deeds. The Scriptures assert that all have sinned and are guilty before God. No amount of Commandment keeping can save you because Commandment keeping cannot remove sin nor the penalty of committing sin. So it is clear that all people are in need of a Savior to save them for they cannot save themselves from the penalty and judgment of Hell. Without salvation a person is literally on death row awaiting execution.

For example, if a man committed murder, even if he had never broken the law before or after, he would still be guilty of that one crime and subject to its penalty. All the good that he had done before and after could not make that murder go away. He would need an undeserved pardon.

One does not have to commit murder to be subject to Hell, a simple lie or a lustful thought is enough. Some have committed more sins in their lives than others, but the fact remains that all have sinned and are guilty before God. This is where God's grace becomes important. "Grace" means "undeserved favor." Even though you deserve to pay your own penalty for sin which is death in the Lake of Fire, God offers to pay your penalty for you through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. And this is where faith comes in, you must believe that God will show mercy and pardon you. This is what it means to invite Jesus to be your "personal Savior."

Since we are saved by GRACE through FAITH -Does that mean that we are not obligated to obey God's Commandments?

If WORKS cannot save us, do they serve NO PART in our salvation?

The first word of Jesus' message was "REPENT!" To repent means to "change", to "turn around". Just what did Jesus want a person to turn from? Well, His common reply to those who received forgiveness from Him was -"Go and sin no more." Obviously, it was sin that He wanted people to turn from. The Bible defines sin as "The transgression of the Law." (1 John 3:4)

Now, a person could not receive forgiveness without being willing to repent of breaking God's Commandments. As Jesus told them, they must go and sin no more. This means that they were to stop practicing sin as a way of life. So the question -Can a person be saved without repenting of their sins, and can a person stay in God's Grace if they continue in sin?

Let's go back to the Scripture we began with and examine it closely - "For by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as result of WORKS, so that no one may boast." God is clearly telling us here that we cannot save ourselves and that no amount of works can save us."For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus -"In Christ Jesus" means we are alive in Christ, and are spiritual members of His Body now that we are saved and under God's grace. for GOOD WORKS, -Though we are not saved by our works, as Christians, we were created for the purpose of doing good works. which God PREPARED BEFOREHAND -The works we were created to do were prepared by God beforehand. What does it mean "prepared beforehand?" Before what? Surely these "good works" is God's standard for living which He prepared before Grace was realized through the sacrifice of Christ. so that we would WALK IN THEM." -God wants us to "walk in them." That is, to live according to a standard which was prepared even before Jesus brought us grace by giving His life. (Ephesians 2:8-10

What is God's Standard for living?

Once a young rich man came to Jesus and asked -"What must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus replied -"Keep the Commandments." The young man asked -"Which ones?" And Jesus began quoting some of the Ten Commandments which God wrote into tablets of stone with His own finger. (Matthew 19)

In Matthew 5 Jesus said, -"Never imagine that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill. And until Heaven and Earth pass away not one comma shall pass from the Law til it is full in force. Anyone who relaxes a single one of the least of these Commandments and teaches others to will be ranked least in the Kingdom. But whoever keeps them and teaches others to will be ranked great in the Kingdom."

In John 14, verse 21, Jesus said, -"He who has My Commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."

In 1 Corinthians 7:19, Paul said, -"Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the Commandments of God."

In Revelation 22:14, Jesus said, -"Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the City."

But Why did the Apostle Paul tell the Galatians that if they were circumcised and turned to the Whole Law that they would be cut-off from Christ?

Judaizing Christians were telling the Gentile converts that they must be circumcised and keep the "whole Law" of Moses, which is the 613 Commandments, Laws and Statutes in the Book of the Law were added to the Ten Commandments because of transgressions. (Galatians 3:19)

Christians are not obligated to keep the "Whole Law" given to Moses at Sinai, but as Paul wrote -"Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the Commandments of God."

These are the Commandments written by the Finger of God into tablets of stone, not the Laws and Statutes written by Moses onto animal skins.

Paul wrote in Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10 that if you come to the knowledge of the truth, receive the holy spirit and then continue or begin to practice sin as a way of life, you will perish. So, a person can lose their salvation if they refuse to repent when God leads them into truth.

Why the Ten Commandments?

Jesus said that all the Commandments are summed up in two great Commandments. Love God with all your heart, and love your fellow man as yourself. The Ten Commandments teach us to become like God. The first four direct us to love and obey God, the next six teach us to love our neighbor. Jesus magnified the Commandments by showing us that they mean much more than what is seen in the letter. He said, not only are we not to commit murder but it also means do not even hate your enemy. He said, not only are we not to commit adultery in the letter, but we are not to even look upon another person with lust in our heart.

By keeping the Ten Commandments, we learn to put away our selfishness. We learn to put the interests of God and our neighbor above our own interests. Paul told the Corinthians that true love does not seek its own interest. John said that the way we know that we love the brethren is by keeping God's Commandments. Notice John verse 6, -"And THIS IS LOVE, that we walk according to His Commandments. This is the Commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it."

These are the "GOOD WORKS" that we were "CREATED" to do; which "WERE PREPARED BEFOREHAND", that we should "WALK IN THEM."

Notice the Apostle Paul's answer to this question - "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in SIN so that GRACE may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" (Romans 6:1-2) Christians who are forgiven and under grace are not to continue to practice sin. Remember -"SIN IS the transgression of the Law." (1 John 3:4)

"Though you were slaves of SIN, you BECAME OBEDIENT from the heart to that FORM OF TEACHING to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." (Romans 6:17)

This "form of teaching" is the "works prepared beforehand" for us to "walk in." It is God's holy standard for Christian conduct. Remember Paul's teaching, -" What matters keeping the Commandments (1 Corinthians 7:19)

If we do not submit to God's STANDARD we will create our own. We will come to believe that we can please God and develop His Character through the precepts of mortal man. Jesus calls this "VAIN WORSHIP." (Matthew 15:9)

There are many churches and ministries who teach that Christians should obey the Ten Commandments but who themselves practice breaking the fourth Commandment. To keep the Sabbath (seventh day) holy is a Commandment of God. To observe Sunday (the first day) is a tradition of men.

Jesus said in Matthew 15 that if you forsake a Commandment of God for a Tradition of men, your worship can be in vain. This is why the Crusade Church of God obeys God by assembling for services on Saturdays. Join us, as we worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4)

 

 

 

Points of Truth Ministries