14:6 note e
Keeping the grace pipeline open
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." (Rev. 14:6)
Grace through our Lord Jesus
is at the heart of this everlasting gospel. To hear the angel's message,
we need to understand it clearly. Since we are saved by grace through the
medium of faith, seeing how the channel could get clogged is important.
We realize that grace is not license to disobey but strength to obey as
well as forgiveness when we ask in a spirit of repentance. It is a gift
offered to everyone although not all receive it. How do we receive it?
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it
shall be opened unto you" (Matt. 7:7). But even some who ask and think
they have grace do not, in fact, have its saving power.
And how do we ask? In faith (James 1:6). Faith means trust in God. Here is the process expressed by the text in Ephesians:
GRACE (a gift) through FAITH (reaching out to God in trust, Heb. 11:6) brings SALVATION.
The grace connection
| For by grace
are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:it is the gift of
God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:8-10)
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:18-20)
grace _______--- >______ salvation
Faith is the chanel of salvation. Works reveal its validity.
Faith is the pipeline.
If it is not sincere, the channel is blocked. In effect, we have refused
the grace and hence salvation. When our heart does not really want a home
in the sinless atmosphere of heaven that our mouth asks for, God honors
our heart commitment to the iniquity we love. And how do we know whether
our faith is sincere? By how we behave — by our works of obedience. ja0218ff.
The faith element is also seen in Hebrews 4 he0404.
We can't use the crown if it stays in the box
If we are judged
by our works 2212,
are we saved by grace?
For clarification, what we call "righteousness by works" is not obedience, but trusting in obedience to secure our salvation. If we could find salvation by good behavior, we would not need a Saviour! So why the law? It is like a mirror we look into and see the spots that need removing ja0123ff. It reveals the faulty areas in our relationship of faith. So then does our faith save us? Not really. We are not saved by our faith relationship either (clean face). The mirror is like the schoolmaster Paul wrote of ga0324. It sends us running to Christ, sorry for getting dirty and claiming power to stay clean 1jo0109. The forgiveness and the cleansing are both gifts. Although in us, they are both Christ's righteousness. Even the faith is a gift to be exercised in Christ Rom. 12:3. To Him is all the glory. By our firm resolve, we apply the gifts. Then standing clean in Christ, our names are retained in the book of life (Rev. 3:5).
| Ephesians 2:8 reads: "For
by grace are ye saved through faith. . . ." The Greek literally says, ".
. . are ye being saved. . . ." We may mean this when we say, "are saved"
in English, but we miss the fact that the verse refers to a continuing
action, not a completed action in the past. Although we may have assurance
of salvation, we are also free to break our covenant with God (Rev.
After coming to Christ in our new-birth covenant, we may seek Him every morning and to affirm our commitment and, through the day, claim His power for victory. Still, moment by moment He is saving us by the grace of Christ. As we get to know the character of Christ, growing in grace, our own weakness is more evident to us (2 Peter 3:18). As we find new faults, we claim divine power over them (2 Peter 1:4). We walk closer and closer by His side in a continually-growing experience, "being saved by grace," constantly ready to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:16). Marvelous Saviour!
Jesus explains the gospel
The good news of receiving
salvation is the "everlasting gospel." We often get the idea that people
of the Old Testament were saved by obedience to the law while, since then,
people have been saved by grace. However, the standard of righteousness
(law) has not changed and neither has the means of salvation (grace).
We can see this in looking at the context of Jesus' statement about the gospel in Matt. 24 and by comparing passages about Abraham and Jacob. Since we have dealt with the topic at some length, I have prepared a link to a few brief remarks as optional study.