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Saved by Grace?

Are you saved by Grace?   Are you saved by faith, does baptism save you, or maybe just believing saves you.   In the divided world of Christianity, you can find all of these taught at different churches.   There are lots of flavors of Christianity floating around.   Just a imagine a kid in an ice cream store looking at all the different flavors and colors of ice cream, trying to make up their mind.   Which one will he or she choose?   A person who is trying to figure out this Christianity stuff may view all of this in much the same way.   Which church do I go too?   Does it really make any difference, aren’t all the churches the same anyway.  Maybe I don’t need to go to church; I am a good moral person, so I should be able to go to heaven, right!  So how do you tell?   The answer is simple, go to the one who wrote the Bible, God himself.  

The Biblical answer to all the above is that each one is part of being saved.   You are saved by God’s Grace, you have to have faith, you have to believe, and you have to be baptized.  You need to be a good moral person, particularly after becoming a Christian, but to believe that alone will get you to Heaven is salvation based on your own works or efforts which leaves God out of the picture.   Many believe that and in Bible studies I have done with individuals, I have been told this many times.   Let’s see what the Bible says about all of this.

Ephesians 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

2 Timothy 1:9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

These two passages, both written by God through the Apostle Paul say the same thing.   Grace simply means an undeserved favor, in other words, we did nothing to deserve or merit this favor; God simply desires to give us this gift.   The verses also say “not of you own doing” and “not because or our works but because of his own purpose”.   This clears up the mistaken idea that we can work our own way to heaven without God, we cannot.  We simply cannot be good enough on our own.  Notice Ephesians 2:8 also says “through faith”.   Whose faith?   Well that is your own faith.  Faith simply means belief and trust.  This means we accept the gift of God’s Grace by our own faith, our belief and our trust that what God is telling us is 100% correct, because it is.   If you have faith, that is, you believe and trust what God is telling you, then you will follow what He teaches.

Galatians 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.  27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Again, God speaking through the Apostle Paul says in verse 26 that our faith makes us sons of God, so that is all we need, right?   I would agree with that until I get to the very next verse, and it says for those who “were baptized into Christ have put on Christ”.   Notice it says you “were baptized into” Christ.   These are major words ignored by many.   When are you in Christ?   Before or after baptism?   Silly question now, huh.  Let us look at one last passage where God speaks through the Apostle Peter.

1 Peter 3:21  Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

God teaches it is all of them put together that saves you.  God’s Grace, your belief and faith, and baptism.  Directly from God’s own word to you.   This is what the Bible teaches.

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