Last month, I examined the first of what is known in church history as the five “solas” — Scripture alone.

Any church not holding to the Holy Bible is not presenting a true truth about God. There are obviously other religions but if they are not holding to Scripture alone then they are not a biblical church. This is not hateful speech as some want to claim. It is an honest expression from an historical vantage point. There may be other religions, but there is only one church of the Holy Bible.

This month, let’s examine what the Bible says about salvation.

Salvation is by grace alone. This is another marker of the great reformation.

First we have to give meaning to what we mean when we say that “salvation is by grace alone.” It is useless to talk about salvation unless there is reason to be saved. There is no need to talk about salvation at all unless it is understood that mankind needs to be saved from the wrath of God. If we need to be saved from the wrath of God it is necessary to see that God alone is good and that there is no good in mankind.

We are taught in our culture that we can do anything. It is quite amazing the things humanity can do. But if man is to be saved from the wrath of God we must see that only a loving and just God can save man and that man needs God to do this on his behalf.

If man is basically good or can become good enough to be saved from the wrath of God we have no need for a savior and no need for a God. This is what other religions teach. But not what the bible teaches.

There is a need today for honesty among the various religions in the valley.

As for me, I have already stated my case for Scripture alone; by Scripture, I mean the 66 books of the Holy Bible.

Scripture is clear on the natural order of humanity since the fall of Adam and Eve. We are sinners. We are born this way (Job 14, Jeremiah 13, Psalm 51, 1 Kings 8). This is a clear teaching in Scripture. All men everywhere are sinners from conception. We are born enemies of God, sinners.

Because we are sinners, the Holy Bible teaches that we can do nothing to save ourselves or even to do anything to prepare ourselves to be saved. The bible says we must be “born again” (John 3).

Think about it with me. We had no say in our birth. We didn’t have a say in who our parents would be, we didn’t choose our skin tone, we didn’t choose our hair color, we didn’t determine our sex. All things were ordered by God. If we are to be born again as Jesus says then what do we have to do with our salvation? This is a work of God that He does and He does alone by grace. If there was something we could do to save ourselves we would boast about our own goodness, but we don’t have any goodness.

Either God saves sinners who are spiritually dead and incapable of saving themselves or sinners have something good within them to have influence upon their well being and thus have a say in their salvation. Salvation by any other means than grace is an inadequate salvation.

Salvation is by grace alone.

Any other salvation is not the salvation of the bible. Mormons and Muslims need to be publically honest in that their religions are religions that put man in charge of his own salvation. There’s no need for God to do anything to save humanity if man can contribute to his salvation. It would be a completely absurd act for God to send His only begotten Son to die for anyone if there is another means for men to be saved.

No, the Holy Bible is clear, the sinless Son of God died upon a Roman cross for the sins of men while we were dead in our trespasses. Salvation is by the means of God’s goodness, His grace.

Grace alone!

Paul Thompson is the pastor at Eastside Baptist Church in Twin Falls. You can reach him at paul@esbctwinfalls.com and www.PaulThompsonBlog.com.

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