Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; (9) Not of works that no one should boast.
Once a preacher came to me who did not believe that once a person is saved, he is forever saved. I asked him why he thought so. He said that he believed that man is saved by grace, but if man does not behave properly after salvation, he will perish. "Is this then grace?" I asked. For man to be saved through good works is like a cash transaction. If you have done good works, you can go to God and He will say, "Fine, you can be saved." If a man is saved this way, his salvation is not through grace. Thank the Lord that no one is saved this way. How about my case of postponing the payment? This is like God advancing salvation to man. If man would not do good after salvation, his salvation will be claimed back from him. One would have to do good in order to keep his salvation. But this is not grace either. Grace is not a cash transaction nor is it like a postponed payment. In a cash transaction one pays now; with a postponed payment one pays later. But both have to pay. We do not purchase our salvation on credit. I told the preacher that if salvation is of grace, there is no need for good works. Then he asked, "Does this mean that we do not need good works anymore?" I said, "No. Christians need to do good works. But the good works that I am talking about have nothing to do with salvation. The good works that I am talking about have to do with the kingdom, with the reward and the crown. Salvation is not bought, nor is it purchased on credit. Salvation is given freely."
Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Watchman Nee, The Gospel of God, 1993, pp. 52-53. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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