Aug 2, 2010

Duties in order to be saved - Gery Schmidt

"Are grace and duty compatible in the matter of salvation? From what we have seen concerning both the signification and extent of grace, we must answer this question negatively. Indeed, the very existence of grace forever excludes duty from the matter of salvation. The following three points will establish the veracity of this. First, the Scriptures declare that salvation is of grace and not of works (Eph. 2:8,9). But does this fact entail that all works are excluded in the matter of salvation? From what we learned concerning the extent of grace, wherein we saw that every component of salvation from beginning to end is the result of unmerited divine favor, it is clear that any and every sort of work which might be contemplated can have absolutely no place in the scheme of salvation. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to argue that salvation is wholly of grace, only to insist in the same breath that sinners must perform certain duties in order to be saved.

For example, when professing Christians insist that things like repentance, faith, and prayer are duties the unregenerate ought to perform in order to be saved, such a view represents a denial that salvation is of grace. Repentance, faith, and prayer are in such a scheme removed from the process of salvation (and thus from the realm of grace), and are denuded of their status as gifts of grace. They are made into salvation meriting duties which the unregenerate can perform at any given time, should they desire to exercise their powerful free will. Such a view not only forms the very quintessence of Arminianism, but is even held by many who pretend to believe the doctrines of grace. But such a view ultimately represents nothing more than the dogma of salvation by works. The Scriptures evince that repentance, faith, and prayer are gifts of grace, and not the products of unregenerate effort. And thus the Scriptural truth that salvation is of grace and not of works condemns as absolutely heretical any attempt to manufacture a work or duty out of such things which God's word relegates solely to the realm of grace." -Gery Schmidt

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions