Coming to Grips with the Grace of God

By Mike Stallard

“Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.” In the light of current attacks on the Biblical teachings that were revived during the Reformation, these words need to be reinforced in the ministry of Bible-believing local churches today. (I have in mind primarily the New Perspective on Paul; however, distortion of the gospel of grace comes from many directions.)

The statement contains three of the five solas that reentered Christian dialogue in a major way in the early 16th century: sola gratia, sola fide, and solus Christus. The genuine Biblical faith stands upon certain unique doctrines such as these. One of the most distinctive teachings of that faith, separating it from all other belief systems, is the resounding truth of grace (sola gratia). Salvation comes from God reaching down to man, not man reaching up to God through self-effort. As Lewis Sperry Chafer affirmed in words still true at the present hour, “Through false emphasis by many religious leaders, Christianity has become in the estimation of a large part of the public no more than an ethical system. The revealed fact, however, is that the supreme feature of the Christian faith is that supernatural, saving, transforming work of God, which is made possible through the infinite sacrifice of Christ and which, in sovereign grace, is freely bestowed on all who believe.”