Let me start this discussion by making a statement that may startle some, “we didn’t get saved by what Christ did alone.”
We actually got saved by responding to what Christ alone did. The point here is this, what Christ did, He did for all, every single human being on the earth. However, the only ones that have been, are, or will be saved, are those who respond correctly to His work.
Now we were able to respond correctly to the work of Christ because of these two things.
- First, the intercession of saints which went on in the background for us.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (KJV) “I exhort, therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
- Secondly, someone preached the gospel to us i.e gave us the knowledge of the provision of Christ for our salvation.
Romans 10:14 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Luke 10:2 “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”
It is based on prayer which precedes the sending forth by God which leads to the salvation of souls by the preaching of the word. Nothing passive here.
To make it sound like it’s Christ work by itself alone that saves without also emphasizing man’s role in that salvation plan, is to preach an extreme message that is “kindred in spirit” to the doctrine of Universalism. What do I mean by the doctrine of Universalism?
The doctrine of Universalism says since He died as the propitiation (substitute) for not just our sins but for the sins of the whole world, then the whole world whether they know it or not are forgiven and saved. That even though they lived on the earth without this knowledge, when they die they will realize in heaven, “the finished work of Christ” which was complete and so no one goes to hell again. What they say is that all sins, past, present and future are forgiven for everyone only that some don’t know. They say everyone has been saved using this Scripture.
1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
They also quote this scripture and say the finished work is complete, as all men died in Adam so shall all be made alive in Christ. That it is all.
1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
This is what we are warning the “extreme grace” preachers about. The next bus stop is universalism. When you de-emphasize man’s role in God’s plan you are opening a door.
To preach to a person that by his actions and good works gets saved is to preach legalism. To even create that impression by your message, is not the gospel of Christ. The message is that Christ has come, He died on the Cross for us and He is now risen from the dead reconciling us back unto God.
The message is, therefore, be ye reconciled because God has already reconciled us to Himself. You have your part in all this.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 (KJV) “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
The HolySpirit has been sent to inform humanity about all the details of this salvation so that men come to know about Christ’s work and then respond in faith. When they do this, the same Spirit produces the effect of the message in them, regenerating them.
They now continue in that faith following the same principle(faith) they used to receive Him. Now they must walk in Him, demonstrating things. Through knowledge that comes as a result of effectual praying they walk in the new life. That walk is in manifesting good works.
Ephesians 2:10 (KJV) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
The same way he got born-again, he received information from the Spirit that led to a confession, now he receives information the same way but this is no longer to receive Christ (that has already been done) but it now induces him to behave and to do certain things in a certain way and that causes the benefits of his salvation to be manifest to all.
So when he prays, worships, stops his car to help someone, shows some kind gesture to another, gives to the work of the ministry, gives to the poor, it’s not because he is trying to receive Christ again, he is now demonstrating the knowledge he has by reason of his relationship with Christ, the Logos of God. The summation of God’s thoughts, the creator of the material world we live in. The Genius behind everything. Obviously rubbing minds with the Logos will lead to spectacular things that will draw the attention of those in darkness to him and by that he points them to Jesus.
The light shineth in darkness and darkness comprehended it not. I once asked a woman several years ago how she was doing massive things in the midst of a supposed slump on the outside, she smiled and replied: “I am friends with those who know the secrets of God.”
As Nicodemus called Jesus Rabbi by reason of what he was seeing and not just hearing so will men come to you to find the source of the massive things going on in your life.
John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.