|Ephesians 2:8 |
8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not by yourselves. It [faith] is the gift of God.4 [Faith is not belief in Jesus based on the historical accuracy of the Bible; faith is hearing the word of God from within your heart, for faith is the gift of God and is authored by revelation from Jesus Christ.]
4 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not by yourselves. It is the gift of God. So if you think you have been saved by grace, then you also should have experienced to be in union and fellowship with Christ, raised with Christ, up to the heavens, to be sitting together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. But if you are not sitting together with Christ in the heavens, then you have not yet been saved by grace. Paul defines grace: Grace teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; that he might redeem us from all iniquity [lawless deeds, sin], and purify for himself a people who are his very own, zealous for good works. Tit 2:11-14. To be saved, is to be redeemed, purified, and delivered from sin; not just forgiven, but to be freed from sin. When you are delivered from your sins, that is salvation; and this deliverance from your sins is by his grace. Those who say that grace allows them the freedom to sin follow in the footsteps of those whom Jude described as men who have crept in unnoticed, whose condemnation was predicted long ago, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into a license for immorality. Jude 1:4. Paul makes it abundantly clear that sin disqualifies everyone from the kingdom of God or Christ:
So, based on reading the above scriptures, one of two things is in error, either: 1) the theory of the operation of grace, or 2) the Bible is totally unreliable. It is the theory of grace instantly granting you salvation and a free pass to continue in sin that is the error; the Bible is accurate and true. Grace is a teaching process that leads to freedom from all sin and purity. Tit 2:11-14.
Grace is not instant and is not salvation, as widely believed.
Regarding instant salvation by grace, from the Word of the Lord within:
"it is twisted, pernicious lies, a fatal flaw that turns aside the just."
Not only has salvation and grace been incorrectly defined by Christendom, but so has faith. Hearing about Jesus, him being crucified, him being resurrected, and believing those events to be true, is not faith and is not believing in Jesus; it is faith in the Bible or history. Jesus must author and perfect your faith by revelations. Faith is hearing the word of God, (and believing it to be the Son of God who is speaking); hearing the word of God that is in your heart, so that you may obey it,Rom 10:8,17, Deu 30:10-14. Faith is listening, hearing, and obeying. Faith comes when you are led by the Spirit of God. Until you are led by the Spirit of God, you are under the law, which is your schoolmaster; Paul says in Gal 5:18 : if (and when) you are led (prompted, ordered, commanded) by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Gal 3:24. When you hear the Word of God in your heart, and when you obey the Word of God in your heart, then you evidence your belief by walking in faith.
You are saved through faith, and by faith your hearts are purified; but obviously in the beginning of faith, you are not purified, neither are you saved. To be saved, is to be freed from sin. Before purification and salvation, your faith must be tested in several trials, in which you must grievously suffer in order to be purified of sin. You must contend for the faith, grow in the faith, build up your faith, increase in faith, perfect what is lacking in your faith, fight the good fight of faith, until victory when your faith is finished by the finisher; faith is a process and a journey, the end of which is to see Christ bring your salvation, to bring your eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in [depends on, trusts, obeys] him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16. This is the most popularly quoted verse in the Bible, BUT it is quoted out of context without the companion verses that qualify its meaning to be totally the opposite of how people interpret it, when looked at alone. Many call this verse "an entire Bible in itself." Unfortunately they are wrong.
James corrected this shortcut of believing in Jesus, being all that is necessary for salvation, writing to the Jewish Christians: You say you believe that there is one God; you do well. Even the demons believe, and tremble. James 1:1,2:19; realize, he was writing to Jewish believers of — Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one. Deu 6:4 So James is in effect saying, "you say you believe in Jesus, you do well, the demons do too, but they tremble at his name — do you?" From the Word of the Lord within: "Everybody who believes the son, shall be made perfect;" note the Lord did not say "believes in the son ;" he said "believes the son." There is a huge difference between believing in the facts of the Bible, Bible-faith, and believing what the son speaks to you from within you heart, which is the Biblical definition of faith. To hear him speak to you, you must walk in the steps of faith as Abraham did; you must wait on God, listen in silence, hear, believe him to be the Son speaking to you, believe what he tells you to be true, and then obey whatever he commands. Do this repetitively with persistent dedication, and he will eventually make you perfect, which is to be delivered from even the desire to sin, which is to receive salvation.
Faith is a journey. It has a beginning and a finish [or a perfection of your faith]. Faith is a series of revelations. Listening to, and obeying Jesus, is him being the author and finisher of your faith. One does not hear the Lord speak to you once to be justified. You must keep hearing and obeying until your sinful nature has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, to then receive faith at part of the fruit of the Spirit, which frees you from the law and justifies you. Faith must be authored by Jesus, and he authors faith by revelation, but not just by your belief that the Bible truly states Jesus to be the Son of God; that is Bible-faith. From the Word of the Lord within: "Until you can witness receiving faith from Christ, you are under the law. Until you witness the law fulfilled in you, you are under the law."
One does not hear the Spirit of Christ speak to you once to be saved or justified. You must keep hearing and obeying until your sinful nature has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, to then receive faith as part of the fruit of the Spirit, which frees you from the law and justifies you.
Jesus finishes [perfects] your faith when you see him bring your salvation:
he will appear the second time, not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation to those who are waiting for and expecting him. Heb 9:28
For the grace of God that brings salvation .. Tit 2:11
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring eternal life. Jude 1:21
Receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls. 1 Pet 1:9.
The end of grace is the revealing, the appearing in your heart, of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ: