Saturday Quotable – why Grace Alone is Sufficient for Salvation

If anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7), and, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).

(Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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8 Responses to Saturday Quotable – why Grace Alone is Sufficient for Salvation

  1. Took me a minute to figure out what the Council of Orange was when you mentioned it the other day. Tim as I study, as I look at my own life, as I counsel, teach and mentor I become more aware all the time of my own deep need for the ugliness of the cross. As I understand more the ugliness of the cross I come to an understanding of my own deep reliance on me. I realize how hard I try to run from grace, to assert that there is indeed something in my life I am responsible for.

    In talking to a pastor friend of mine the other day and as the other two pastors of the ministry and I had an indepth discussion this past week on that famous passage of James 2 we discussed the effects of the new creature, the new facilities we have been given as Pink described it.

    My statement was that first we must never rely on change or lack of change as an assurance and that second having new faculties does not ensure the use of those new faculties. It only ensures the ability to use them, where none existed before. Much like buying a brand new bike, the bike may be sitting there all shiny, new, looking all pretty, ready to ride, it does not mean we are going to ride the bike just means we now have a bike to exercise. Without grace we did not even have the ability to exercise faith. The truth of the matter is some of us are better bike riders than others. If we don’t ride the bike does not mean we do not have it any longer just isn’t doing us much good.

    To say anything other than that shows not a conundrum with the Word of God but a conundrum with us. As we pick our pet scriptures and go you must do, you should be, you should live. For in effect we are saying, LIKE ME! Even Paul in the passages where he speaks of our ability to live to glorify God always speaks of choice being the indicative but never the imperative, for Paul himself failed miserably.

    Our need to speak in such a way that it becomes imperatives may just show that we have forgotten our own need for the ugliness of the cross.

    Thanks for a great quote and for pointing me to the Council of Orange.

    • Tim says:

      Great reflection, Pat. It’s too easy to fall into “I must do” and forget that Christ already has done everything that falls in to the “must” category. As I often say: Yay for grace!

  2. Jeannie says:

    This is great, Tim. I’ve heard some people say, “Well, really sincere, devout believers of other religions will be saved even if they don’t know Jesus.” But regardless of what God’s big plan is to save sheep that aren’t of His sheepfold, that statement just can’t be true, because then salvation depends on sincerity and devoutness for some people and on grace for others. I’m glad that’s not so.

  3. Aleah says:

    And yet there is still tension that grace does indeed serve as motivation for us toward good works. “Grace is opposed to earning, not effort.” –Dallas Willard

    • Tim says:

      I think that tension is what happens when the Holy Spirit in us and our own flesh (sarx as Paul used it in Romans) come into conflict. Our very desire to follow the Spirit and wrestle against the ways of the flesh is a desire given us by God’s grace. In other words, grace is what drives us to even want to make the effort, let alone give us the ability to then make the effort itself. It’s all grace, as I’m sure Willard would agree strongly.

  4. Pingback: What On Earth Is This Blog About! | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

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