The Means of Grace

The means of Grace

Suppose a man who cannot swim falls overboard. Suppose someone in the boat throws him a lifeline and pulls him to safety.

Who or what saved the drowning man? His friend? The lifeline? The life preserver? The boat? Or did the man save himself? The answer, of course, is that his friend saved him, the lifeline, and the life preserver, and the boat saved him. And he also saved himself.

This simple parable helps us understand that it is foolish to say that are saved by grace alone, as it would be for the drowning man to claim that any one of the above means saved him without other intervention.

The bible certainly does teach that we are saved by grace. But it also teaches that God uses means. These means are called by theologians, the "means of grace".

This short study lists several of God's chosen "means of grace" and it is intended to be a quick reference and teaching tool. On these pages we have compiled pertinent portions of the pure Word of God to show how God saves us by His grace.

When the truth of salvation by grace is better understood, the doctrine of easy believism loses its siren appeal.

Simeon Young, Jr.

I N T R O D U C T I O N

The significance of Seven

The number of seven was sacred for the ancient Jews, and played a prominent role in their religious life. (Read Numbers 23:29, I Chronicles 15:26.)

The children of Israel obeyed God's command to march around the city of Jericho seven times (one time each for six days). At the sound of the trumpet, when they shouted a great shout, the city walls crumbled. (Joshua 6:4.)

Elisha sent his messenger/servant to Naaman the leper, captain of the Syrian army to tell him to wash seven times in the Jordan river and that he would be cleansed and healed of his leprosy. (II Kings 5:10.)

The Word of God declares, "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work" (Genesis 2:2-3).

The number seven indicates perfection and symbolizes completeness or wholeness. In this Bible study we have shown the necessity of the seven progressive steps of salvation. Without each of the seven steps, there is no salvation.

Simeon Young, Jr.

Step 1

Saved by Grace

Definintion of Grace: 1. The unmerited love and favor of God; 2. A state of reconciliation with God.

Someone said that "grace" stands for Great Redemption At Christ's Expense. (G.R.A.C.E.).

Romans 3:23,24 - "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

Titus 2:11 - "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared unto all me."

Ephesians 2:5 - "Even when we were dead in sins, hath [He] quickened us together with Christ; for by grace are ye saved."

We cannot be saved without the grace of God. The unmerited favor of God gives us the priveledge of being saved, but we are not saved by grace alone and apart from God's chosen means.

Ephesians 2:8 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."

Step 2

Saved by Faith

Definintion of Faith: 1. Confidence or trust; 2. Spiritual acceptance of truth; 3. Belief in God.

Defintion of Believe: 1. To be fully persuaded; 2. To put all confidence in.

Ephesians 2:8 - "For by grace are ye saved through faith."

I Peter 1:9 - "Receiving the outcome of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."

To be saved we must have faith in God.

Hebrews 11:6 - "But without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is: and that He is a rewarded of them that diligently seek Him."

Mark 16:16 - "He that believeth not shall be damned."

James 2:19-20 - "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wil thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

When someone says, "I believe," it doesn't necessarily mean that they are saved, because demons also believe. Demons are definitely not saved. There is more to salvation than saying, "I believe in God."

Romans 10:10 - "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth is confession is made unto salvation."

Step 3

Saved by Confession

Definition of Confession: 1. To disclose sins or faults to God; 2. To unburden the conscience; 3. To acknowledge guilt, wrong-doing or sinfulness; 4. To admit to unbecoming deeds.

Remember Romans 10:10 - "... with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Someone said that, "Confession is good for the soul."

Make a list of some things in your life that may displease God.

1. ____________________
2. ____________________
3. ____________________
4. ____________________

I John 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, adn to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

James 5:16 - "Confess your faults unto one another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed."

Confession involves becoming transparent and honest. Confession will lead us to the salvation of our souls.

We should not only confess our sins...

Proverbs 28:13 - "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."

Step 4

Saved by Repentence

Definition of Repentence: 1. To change one's mind; 2. To turn around; 3. The forsaking of sins; 4. To make an about face.

Remember Romans 28:13 - "...Whoso confesseth and forsaketh his sins shall have mercy."

It is not enough merely to confess our sins. We must turn from sin to be saved.

II Corinthians 7:10 - "Godly sorrow worketh repentence unto salvation."

Luke 13:3 - "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

II Peter 3:9 - "...the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentence."

Repentence is more than being sorry for one's sins. Repentence invloves a lifestyle-mindset-attitude adjustment.

It is more exciting to turn away from the old life of sin and condemnation!

We must not stop here.

Acts 2:38 - "Then Peter said unto them, repent and be baptized everyone of you..."

Step 5

Saved by Baptism

Definition of Baptism: 1. To dip, plunge, or submerge. 2. A religious ceremony signifying spiritual purification by immersion in water.

I Peter 3:21 - "Whereunto even baptism doth also now save us."

Mark 16:16 - "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."

What is the scriptural formula for water baptism?

Acts 8:16 - "...they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

Acts 10:48 - "Peter commanded that the Gentiles be baptized in the name of the Lord."

Acts 22:16 - "And now why terriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

Acts 10:43 - "Through His name we receive remissions of sins."

Luke 24:47 - "Remissions of sins should be preached in his name..."

Why is the name of Jesus so important in water baptism? (Read Acts 4:12 and Colosians 3:17.)

Acts 2:38 - "Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

Step 6

Saved by the Holy Ghost

John 3:3-5 - Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, "Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdomof God. Nicodemus saith unto Him, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, an d be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of the water and of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."

Without God's Holy Spirit, we cannot be saved (Read Romans 8:1-14.)

Notice verse 9 - "...Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His."

Notice verse 14 - "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

How do I know if I have received the Spirit of God? What is the initial physical evidence?

Read about the new birth experience on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-4.)

Acts 10:44,46 - "While yet Peter spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the Word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured ou t the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God..."

Read Acts 19:1-6

Step 7

Saved by Endurance

Definition of Endurance: 1. The act, quality, or power of withstanding hardship. 2. The state of fact of persevering. 3. Continuing existance; duration.

The writer of Hebrews referred to the Christian life as a race.

Hebrews 12:1 - "Let us run with patience the life that is set before us..."

To finish the Christian race we must keep running and enduring. It is not enough to begin this race by having faith, confessing sins, forgiving sins, being baptized in Jesus' name and receiving the Holy Spirit. We must continue on with the Lord.

Matthew 10:22 - "He that endureth to the end shall be saved."

Matthew 24:13 - "But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved."

II Timothy 2:3 - "Endure the hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

Hebrews 12:7 - "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons."

James 1:12 - "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him."

I want to endure and receive the crown of life.

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