Our Hermeneutic Principle

Jonah 2:9

Every saved sinner has learned by the effectual teaching of God the Holy Spirit what Jonah learned in the whale’s belly. Every sinner who has experienced God’s omnipotent, saving operations of grace gladly confesses with Jonah, “Salvation is of the LORD!” For believing men and women, that blessed fact of grace, that universal declaration of Holy Scripture cannot be stated too fully, too frequently, or too emphatically.

Salvation is, in its’ entirety, the work of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. That is the foundation upon which we build all our doctrine. That is the hermeneutic principle upon which we interpret Scripture, because it is the hermeneutic principle laid down in Scripture.

Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. No part of salvation can be, in any measure, attributed to the will, worth, or works of man. The language of Inspiration could not be more emphatically clear in this regard (2 Tim. 1:9-10; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 11:6).

Be sure you understand this - Salvation involves all that is required to bring a sinner from the ruins of the fall into the glory of heaven. There is no aspect of salvation, no part of the package, neither on this side of eternity nor on the other, which depends upon or is in any way, or to any degree, determined by man.

God’s election of some to salvation is the election of grace. Divine predestination is “to the praise of the glory of his grace.” Our redemption by the precious blood of Christ, that redemption which purchased and secured for us the forgiveness of all sin forever, was effectually accomplished for us “according to the riches of his grace.” We are “justified freely by his grace.” We were born again by the power of God’s grace. Our faith in Christ is the gift and operation of the grace of God. We are sanctified by that same free grace. If we persevere unto the end, it will be by that grace of God which keeps us in grace and faith, being sealed by his Holy Spirit, “unto the redemption of the purchased possession,” - that is to say , until the day of our resurrection. When, at last, we stand before our God and Savior in heaven, we shall possess all the glory of our heavenly inheritance forever, as “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ,” by free grace alone.

            When our great God and Savior says, “Time shall be no more,” when he makes all things new, when he presents us before the presence of the glory of God, holy, unblamable, and unreprovable, without any trace of sin upon us, when he who made all things for himself brings forth the Headstone and puts it in the place of everlasting pre-eminence and glory before heaven, earth and hell, we will shout with Zerubbabel, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts…crying, Grace, grace unto it!”

Don Fortner