Why is it difficult for many to believe what Jesus promises and simply believe that when we believe in Him we receive everlasting life? Why do many want to add to the simple message of believe and be saved? I believe Bob Wilkin answers this well.
“Based on John 5:39-40, it is hard to believe what Jesus promises because the traditions of men are contrary to His teachings. That was true of the Judaism of Jesus’ day. And it is true of the Christianity of our day. People tend to understand the Scripture in light of the way their tradition understands it. Since most traditions today believe in works salvation, they reject the faith-alone message. Others believe in Lordship Salvation, which is really a modified form of works salvation. They too reject the faith-alone message” (Bob Wilkin Is It Hard to Believe That Jesus Gives Everlasting Life to the Believer? – GES Blog 6/18/2021).
I agree wholeheartedly with Wilkin on this. Too many people lean into tradition and man-created doctrines for what it means to believe. It is sad because there are many many people deceived into believing a man-created doctrine rather than Jesus. It is because of that why I am so adamant about Free Grace. I firmly believe it is the true teaching of Scripture. It is not man-created or man-centered like all the works based, works kept, or works necessary to prove salvation doctrine out there.
Abraham is a fine example of one who gives Free Grace. Let us look at him. In Romans 4:2–4, we see “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.”
Abraham believed and it was accounted to him for righteousness. This is very clear. He believed and was righteous. He did not take up a cross. He did not surrender to the lordship of God. He believed.
If he had done any of the above-mentioned actions then his salvation would have been of himself. That is works salvation. That salvation is not salvation but works. If that was what Abraham did then his righteousness would have been of his doing. It would have been his payment for the work he did. It would been his to boast of.
Salvation is by belief plus nothing. We believe and we are saved. We believe and receive everlasting life. Whoever believes has everlasting life. Whoever believes will not enter into judgment because they have passed from death to life (c.f. John 1-21). It is Jesus who saves not us. If we place discipleship with salvation then our salvation becomes our own.
If our works keep, prove, or if they are required for us to be saved, we are our own saviors. It is that simple. That’s not what Scripture teaches. Scripture teaches we are saved when we believe. We are saved by grace through faith and not works (Eph. 2:8-8). Jesus did all the work, we just believe in Him, the Son of God the Messiah, who was crucified, buried, and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins, for everlasting life and we are saved (e.g., John 3:16; 5:24; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). We believe just as Abraham did and that is accounted to us as righteousness.
That is why I firmly believe that Free Grace Theology is correct and biblical. I believe that it gives all the glory to God because we are completely relying on Him for our salvation. We rely on nothing we do because nothing we do can do anything for us in getting or keeping our everlasting life. Yes, we do good works and glorify God through them and will receive rewards for doing so, but this is not to keep salvation. No, it is to receive rewards and standing in eternity.
So, to those who are struggling with accepting Free Grace, please remove your theological lenses and look at what Scripture says, and not what your theological framework tells you. I promise the freedom of Free Grace is worth every bit of it. This freedom gives us the joy to serve. We serve and work for God not out of fear of if we don’t we lose our salvation or we’re never saved. No, we do it because we are free to do so and because we love Him dearly because He has saved us, is saving us, and will save us. All honor and glory are to the Lord in Free Grace. No other theology does this even though they say they do.