Salvation by Grace before the World Began
God ordained Salvation by grace before the world began. He also ordained eternal life for man before the world began. (2 Timothy 1:9) Moreover, He ordained that man be holy and blameless before God before the world began. (Ephesians 1:4) God’s ways are holy, blameless, and right. (Psalm 77:13, Psalm 18:30, Hosea 14:9) In other words, before God created the world, He ordained eternal life for man, based on man walking in all His ways. (Deuteronomy 10:12, Hebrews 10:36, 1 John 2:17)
As long as man walked in all God’s ways, man would maintain eternal life. However, if man ever failed to walk in all God’s ways man would lose eternal life and surely die. Salvation by grace would begin at this point. If man ever faced certain death, God would have mercy on man. He would save man from certain death by granting grace to man. Grace would allow man to still attain eternal life by walking in all God’s ways. Therefore, everlasting life is always based on man walking in all God’s ways.
God’s Free Gift to Man
God’s gift to man of salvation by grace became a certainty when man failed to walk in all God’s ways. Since God’s ways are right, failing to walk in all God’s ways is sin. (Hosea 14:9, 1 John 5:16-17) Even before man sinned, he had to walk in all God’s ways in order to maintain eternal life. Once man committed sin unto death, he lost everlasting life.
After committing sin unto death, there was no way for man to earn eternal life. Only God could make it possible for man to regain everlasting life. After man, committed sin unto death there was nothing he could do to redeem himself. Only God could redeem man. After he committed sin unto death, there was nothing man could do to reconcile himself to God. Only God could reconcile man to God.
The gifts of God are irrevocable. (Romans 11:29) They cannot be lost because they are eternal. Therefore, God’s ways were in play even before the world began. In other words, before God even created the world, He ordained that man earn eternal life if man sinned.
Salvation by Grace through Reconciliation
We receive reconciliation to God through the death of His Son for sins previously committed. (Romans 3:25) Once reconciled, we are saved by His life. We also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. The gift of God is not like the sin. For if by the sin of one person many died, much more did the grace of the Lord and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to many. The gift came about from many sins resulting in justification. (Romans 5:10-16) Christ reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present us beyond reproach, blameless, and holy before God. (Colossians 1:20-22)
Salvation by Grace Received by Baptism
The gift of salvation by grace is through baptism. Baptism saves us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:21) Baptism washes away our past sins. (Acts 22:16) We are to repent and then be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins. (Acts 2:38) He who believes in Christ and is baptized shall be saved. (Mark 16:16) A good example of this is the story of Philip and the eunuch.
As they went along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” [And Philip told him, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And the eunuch said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] And the eunuch told the chariot to stop; and they went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. (Acts 8:36-38) By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether slaves or free, whether Jews or Greeks, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
Salvation by Grace Misrepresented
Many people imply that salvation by grace guarantees everlasting life after baptism. Such people just cannot seem to understand that because of man’s free will, God cannot guarantee eternal life. Just as God ordained before the world began, everlasting life can only be gained by doing the will of God by walking in all His ways. In other words, contrary to the popular teaching, as mentioned above, God has ordained that man earn eternal life after baptism. Here are just a few of the many scriptures that prove this is true.
He who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter it. (Matthew 7:21)The person that endures to the end will save his soul. (Matthew 10:22, Matthew 24:13, Mark 13:13)We will become partakers of Christ’s life if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. (Hebrews 3:14)Having been made perfect, Christ became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation. (Hebrews 5:9)
You need endurance; therefore when you have done the will of the Lord, you may receive the promise of eternal life. (Hebrews 10:36)Those who persevere under trial are blessed, for once they are approved, they shall receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love and obey Him. (James 1:12)The people who do the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:17)Be faithful until death, and Christ will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
Understanding the basic doctrine of any biblical doctrine enables a person to figure out scriptures that seem to contradict the basic doctrine. The basic doctrine of salvation by grace is that it does not guarantee everlasting life after baptism.