Christian churches pay lip service to the concept of “grace.” It seems to be popular among us. We fervently affirm “it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8). And we sing about this saving grace in our worship songs – most famously, Amazing Grace.
But we don’t actually affirm grace as much as we think. When it comes down to it, most of us deny “it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). We refuse the idea that salvation is a straightforward act of God. Rather, we insist on our own “free will.”
“Calvinism” has become a dirty word. Those who sound the Reformers’ cry of sola gratia (“grace alone”) are criticized and almost persecuted. In fact, a friend of mine was fired from a successful ministry for believing salvation is wholly an act of God’s grace!
Yet grace is the bedrock of our theology. If our view of grace is faulty, so is our entire view of salvation! As ironic as it sounds, we must come to grips with grace. We must rediscover the truth about salvation.
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