Cause and Conduit

Kade Rystalmane

Well-known member
So many, many people are confused about the relationship between God's grace and human faith and works. There is a vast number of those who claim to be Christians who teach such nonsense as: we are saved by faith alone by Christ alone through grace alone. In so doing they demonstrate a lack of understanding of all three...not to mention what the word "alone" means. I've already addressed the identity of grace, God's unmerited favor, but right now I want to address the relationship between Grace and obedient works of faith as taught in scripture.

First of all, no one denies that Grace is not only necessary for salvation; it is the root cause of it. Without Grace, the rest is moot and not worth even bringing up. Most people can't properly identify Grace, but again, that's for another lesson. However, one thing that must be made clear, Grace is not salvation. Grace causes salvation. Salvation is therefore the effect. Stating that Grace is salvation is to say that the cause is the effect, which is illogical.

On to my analogy. If we think of the metaphor of a lamp, we would say that the power cord makes my lamp function and without it, the lamp would not function. Yet we know that it is actually the electricity that powers the lamp. Without electricity, the cord is useless and the lamp does not function.

The cord is like obedient faith. Electricity is like Grace. Electricity is available but the lamp has to be plugged in for the electricity to power it. In that same way, God has provided Grace. He didn't have to. We didn't deserve it. He gave us that gift because He loved us even while man was still lost in sin (Rom. 5:8). That Grace is available to all men (Titus 2:11). But we have to "plug into" that Grace. God says we must have faith (Eph. 2:8) and describes that faith throughout scripture as obedient faith (Romans 4; Heb. 11; James 2). In Matthew 7:16-27 Jesus taught the following:

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

A person is judged by their fruits, their works. Jesus herein explicitly states that only those that do God's will, that is, they act on that faith in accordance with God's faith system, will enter into the kingdom/church which is the body of the saved.

So the proper understanding of obedient faith is as a conduit through which Grace flows to cause salvation. Together, God's Grace and our obedient faith are the cause and conduit that affects salvation without either, salvation doesn't happen.

There is nothing about earning salvation by trying to work off a debt. This is what Paul addressed in his letters, especially to the Romans. The Old Law could not actually save. One either kept it entirely or was condemned under it. The works according to that law were empty, useless with regard to salvation. At best, they could only point forward to Christ. The works of self-righteousness, of the Mosaical Law, and certainly of evil are all incapable of saving.

Works of obedience, however, are not only capable of saving, they are absolutely necessary, not as a causal force, but as the means by which God has chosen to channel His Grace to us. We in the church must not be afraid to believe this, to state this clearly and without fear of those who believe otherwise. Works save. James was very clear about that. We just have to understand what kind of works and how they save. In Hebrews 5:9 it reads that Jesus "...became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"

Finally, for those who hold to eternal security, the once saved always saved doctrine, what happens if you unplug the lamp? Will it work any more? What happens if you unplug yourself from Grace by refusing to continue in obedient faith? John wrote: "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1John 1:6-7)

In Truth and Love
 

Saxon

Active member
Salvation by grace is a gift and you cannot benefit or use the gift until you have received the gift. (salvation) As many as received Jesus were given the power (authority) to become the sons of God. You have to receive the gift first, then you have the authority to partake or use it as it is intended. You become God's workmanship in Christ to do the good works that he has ordained that you should do. Salvation comes first then the good works that God has ordained, which baptism is one. You can't use the gift until you have received it or you are putting the horse before the cart.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
 

Kade Rystalmane

Well-known member
Salvation by grace is a gift and you cannot benefit or use the gift until you have received the gift. (salvation) As many as received Jesus were given the power (authority) to become the sons of God. You have to receive the gift first, then you have the authority to partake or use it as it is intended. You become God's workmanship in Christ to do the good works that he has ordained that you should do. Salvation comes first then the good works that God has ordained, which baptism is one. You can't use the gift until you have received it or you are putting the horse before the cart.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
If you say so.
 

Neo

Member
Salvation by grace is a gift and you cannot benefit or use the gift until you have received the gift. (salvation) As many as received Jesus were given the power (authority) to become the sons of God. You have to receive the gift first, then you have the authority to partake or use it as it is intended. You become God's workmanship in Christ to do the good works that he has ordained that you should do. Salvation comes first then the good works that God has ordained, which baptism is one. You can't use the gift until you have received it or you are putting the horse before the cart.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
That's interesting you said, "you are putting the horse before the cart."

While reading through the thread this was the exact same thought I had. Interesting. It's not what we do that determines who we are. It's who we are that determines what we do.

It's because we are in Christ that we can do faithful works and actions. It's not that we do faithful works and actions in order to be in Christ.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

We can't perform the righteousness God expects when we are not attached to the vine. We can only perform righteousness when we already are attached to the vine (Jesus the Christ).

Those in the Church of Christ try to perform righteousness apart from Christ. Why?
 

Saxon

Active member
Those in the Church of Christ try to perform righteousness apart from Christ. Why?
I cannot speak for the Church of Christ as to why they in particular try to perform righteousness apart from Christ, but I can express my opinion as to why many professing Christians are caught up in this sport of Satan. (A professing Christian is anyone that is a Christian all the way to those that are not, but believe that they are.)

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 not of works, lest any man should boast.

Theses two verses tell the reader what saves us and what does not save us. We must understand what GRACE, FAITH, GIFT and WORK is.

The following definitions are from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. For the sake of space, I have only the definitions that fit the context of the topic.

What is grace?
Definition of grace (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
1a: unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification
b: a virtue coming from God
c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance
2a: approval, favor
b archaic : mercy, pardon
c: a special favor : privilege

What does “unmerited” mean?
Definition of unmerited (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
not adequately earned or deserved: not merited

What does faith mean? (This is not to detract from Hebrews 11:1) (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Definition of faith
2a(1): belief and trust in and loyalty to God

archaic
: BELIEVE, TRUST

What does gift mean? (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
2: something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation

What does work mean? (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
11 works plural: performance of moral or religious acts (salvation by works)

The performance of grace is carried out by the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father sent the Son to seek and to save those that are lost. The Holy Spirit is sent by the Son to lead us into all truth. All the actions of grace, meant for our salvation, are achieved by God alone.

For by a virtue coming from God, the unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification are you saved, through belief and trust in and loyalty to God and that not of anything that yourselves can accomplish, it is voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation not of performance of moral or religious acts lest any man should boast.

All that is said, to inform the recipients of salvation, that we had nothing to do that merited getting saved.

The Church of Christ and many other Christian denominations have come to the false conclusion that one needs to be baptised in water in order to be saved. Where this doctrine has come from is not from the Bible. For some reason the believers in baptismal regeneration do not understand the terms grace, faith, gift and works. They may also be just ignoring what it means in order to push their false teaching through. Baptism always comes after salvation.

In North America, we take baptism for granted. It has become a source of religious celebration. But in the Christian faith it is more than that. When one is in some middle east countries, being baptised is not an occasion for parting and merry making, it is a turning point in the person’s life. Are you going to survive the rest of the day, and if you do, what about the next day? Every morning that you wake up you are faced with a decision; am I going to keep this Christian faith, is it worth the effort to stay alive? Some very real concerns that a lot of our Christian brothers and sisters actually have to face every day. If these people were not believers before they were baptised, why would they get baptised?

In reality being a Christian is a matter of life or death, in this life and the life to come.
 
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Neo

Member
Thank you for your reply. What you have said makes a lot of sense. It seems that those in the Church of Christ don't have a faith that can save them because they have faith in what they do, rather than faith in what Jesus the Christ did.

For, a saving faith is one that trusts completely in Jesus the Christ to justify us. It is Jesus' work on and before the cross that is transferred upon us when we trust/have faith in Him to save us.

We are not justified by our faithful works/actions. We are justified by faith in Jesus the Christ's faithful works/actions.

This doesn't mean that those who trust in Christ won't perform faithful works. Of course they will. For, after they receive the Spirit by faith, then they have the power and ability to perform faithful works. These faithful actions don't save a person, but are evidence that a person already is saved.
 

Rook

New Member
The Grace that actually saves abides in Christ, and is a spiritual gift. (Romans 5:2) (2 Tim 2:1)
Spiritual gifts are accessed by sinners in baptism after they open their heart to abide by the voice of God, believing in him.
However after that, the terms is that we continue to have access as we continue to abide by His commands. That is one of the central theme discussed in the entire book of Ephesians.

I don’t see where the disagreement is.
 

Saxon

Active member
The Grace that actually saves abides in Christ, and is a spiritual gift. (Romans 5:2) (2 Tim 2:1)
Spiritual gifts are accessed by sinners in baptism after they open their heart to abide by the voice of God, believing in him.
However after that, the terms is that we continue to have access as we continue to abide by His commands. That is one of the central theme discussed in the entire book of Ephesians.

I don’t see where the disagreement is.
What post are you commenting on?
 

Rook

New Member
What post are you commenting on?
I guess the posts that seem to say we don’t have to do works. James literally says “justified by works.” But since he’s talking about works of God, then this does not disagree with the concept of “saved by faith” as faith and abiding go hand in hand and is a work given to us to do.
 
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Saxon

Active member
I guess the posts that seem to say we don’t have to do works. James literally says “justified by works.”
The Bible says that we are justified by works because of faith. Abraham believed God. He was justified by works when he obeyed God and was going to sacrifice Isaac. Faith came into play before he was justified . Faith requires a resulting work, faith without works is dead.

It was not the act that he was about to do, the sacrifice of Isaac, but believing God, that led him to the place of sacrifice. The actual works do not justify us, but rather the faith in God.

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
 

Neo

Member
The Grace that actually saves abides in Christ, and is a spiritual gift. (Romans 5:2) (2 Tim 2:1)
Spiritual gifts are accessed by sinners in baptism after they open their heart to abide by the voice of God, believing in him.
However after that, the terms is that we continue to have access as we continue to abide by His commands. That is one of the central theme discussed in the entire book of Ephesians.

I don’t see where the disagreement is.
I can help us discover where the disagreement(s) are occurring. I first need to ask you a few questions to see what your level of understanding concerning salvation.

When one is justified by faith, can one lose one's justification?

If so, how and why would one lose one's justification?

If one is forgiven of one's sins, does God continue to charge one's account with sin, or does God no longer charge sin to one's account?

If one is declared righteous by God, does this person lose this declaration of righteousness?

If so, then how and why?

These questions will suffice for now. More questions will arise, but this will give us a good foundation to begin our discussion on where the disagreements lie.
 
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