Sovereign, Free, Unconditional Grace   

Ephesians 2:8-9


     Salvation is the free gift of God. It is the work of the triune God alone. In the beginning, in the process and in the end, salvation is by grace alone, and that grace comes to sinners only through Christ, the one and only mediator between God and men. Our works have absolutely nothing to do with the accomplishment, preservation, or consummation of our salvation in Christ. "Salvation is of the LORD!"

     Election, God's eternal choice of some to salvation was free and unconditional (Eph. 1:3-4; II Thess. 2:13). God did not chose his people because of anything good he foresaw in them, or anything good he foreknew they would do.His choice of his elect was determined by nothing but his own sovereign love and good pleasure.

     Redemption, the ransom of God's elect from the curse of the law was accomplished by Christ alone (Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12). Christ did not put us into a redeemable state, or make it possible for us to be redeemed, leaving some aspect of the work to our faith. He redeemed us! Our faith is not the cause of redemption in any way. It is the fruit of redemption.

     Regeneration, the spiritual resurrection of dead sinners from death to life in Christ,is the work of God the Holy Spirit (Eph.2:1-4;John 6:63). Faith in Christ does not cause us to live. Faith is the fruit of regeneration.We believe because we have been called. The new birth is not accomplished by the will of the sinner, but by the will of God, the Savior (John 1:12-13).

     Preservation, the security of the believer's life in Christ, is the work of God's free grace alone (Jer. 32:38-40; Eccles. 3:14). It is written, "They shall never perish!" If God chose us, redeemed us and called us, knowing that there was nothing good in us, but only sin, knowing that we could never produce anything but sin, it is ludicrous to imagine that he will cast us off because of any evil he finds in us! "The gifts and callings of God are without repentance."

     Glorification, the everlasting perfection and bliss of God's saints in heaven, is the gift and work of grace alone, purposed, purchased and prepared for God's elect (Eph. 1:11). Nothing in heaven shall be the reward of our works. All the glory of that blessed, eternal state, shared equally and fully by all God's saints, is the gift of his sovereign grace in Christ.



Don Fortner