Salvation is the greatest gift given to mankind and it only is found through Jesus Christ. It is a very simple gift that was bought with a great price. The world sometimes can not accept the simplicity of the free gift and will try to add requirements to it or go to the other extreme and cheapen it. Let God be true and every man a liar:
“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Salvation is not of works, meaning salvation is not something that we can perform a certain requirement and earn. Jesus earned this gift by dying on the cross and rising from the dead. Many different religions that claim to be Christian but are not will say that you need to perform certain sacraments or rituals to be saved, rituals that are the doctrines, traditions and creations of men.
“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Mark 7:7
Unfortunately many do trust in religious traditions to be saved and believe it is through these vain ceremonial activities that salvation is attained. This can not be true because if it was it would make God’s Grace controllable by man through incantations and formulas, similar to witchcraft. Salvation would then not be a gift it would be a payment to the person who performed the ritual, the Bible explains this clearly:
“4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Romans 4:4-5
If we had to rely on these ceremonies and rituals to be performed to be saved that would mean that we are dependent on the person performing the rituals for us, like an ordained minister or priest (which in some religions are required to perform or orchestrate a “sacrament”) and that would mean salvation could be denied to us by them as well which is 100% contrary to the message of Jesus who saves us by grace through faith in Him.
“1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
Does being under grace mean that we can stay involved with sin and be saved while being a worker of iniquity? Not at all. This is the other extreme where false churches are teaching that you can be saved and live like a devil. Obedience to God is not a work. It is not a ritual, a sacrifice or an incantation to become a new creature in Jesus, hate sin and live a life obedient to Jesus:
“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22
Without controversy it is the Grace of God that saves us, we are saved by His Grace and nothing else. The lukewarm church loves to misinterpret grace as a license to remain in sin when the Bible teaches that the Grace that brings salvation is what teaches us to live holy lives once we are born again.
“11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:11-13
God’s Grace changes hearts. A person that claims to be saved by grace but is in the bar every weekend getting drunk has not experienced God’s true grace according to the scriptures because they have not learned to live soberly. God’s grace which brings salvation will always change us, teach us and guide us.