~Jonah 2:9b … Salvation is of the LORD.

Although many religions teach that one must do good deeds in order to be saved, salvation is given by God, not achieved by anything we can do for ourselves. IF we could do anything to gain entrance to Heaven, then we take away from Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.

What more can the devil do than to take away from Christ’s death, burial and resurrection? The devil can sidetrack man and distract him from the truth which God’s Word teaches.

The Bible says that IF Abraham were justified by his works, the works would bring only Abraham glory before mankind, but not before God.

~Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

But it was Abraham’s faith that counted him righteous! He believed that God would do what He said He would do and Abraham rested on this faith.

~Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Quickly, Paul made sure to mention that the Scriptures were clear and the Scriptures are an excellent teacher.

Paul also made certain to point out that salvation is A GIFT from God given to us because of His endless grace and love for mankind. Again, that word faith is mentioned – just as Abraham’s faith counted as righteousness, so does faith in Christ, the Father’s gift to us, count as our righteousness.

~Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Our own works cannot buy righteousness. Anyone who has given a large sum of money to the church can attest to this. You feel “good” for that moment but you’re right back to your sinful ways soon thereafter. None of our actions can earn us entrance into Heaven because then we could boast of our actions! How many “good” people have been in the limelight yet not one of their actions can pave the way to Heaven? If this were possible, then Paul would not have said that Abraham’s works were not justified before God. If anyone should have had his works justified, it would be Abraham – but God does not see it that way.

~Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we receive at the moment of salvation. It is HIS His shed blood, and ONLY His shed blood, that paid for sin’s debt. NOTHING else can pay for sin’s debt. N-O-T-H-I-N-G! That is the only righteousness that will gain us entrance into Heaven. It is Jesus’ blood that covers our sin and, therefore, we are no longer have that burden. It has all been placed on Jesus!

~Romans 4:6-8 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Our sins are forgiven and covered because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness. Our perfect sacrifice happened 2000 years ago and Christ’s death, burial and resurrection are the only works we can count as righteous before a Holy God.

“If your faith is not fixed in Jesus, your best works will be but splendid sins. All the performance of duties will not affect your salvation.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

~Jonah 2:9b … Salvation is of the LORD.

Salvation is not something you earn from doing good works. Salvation is brought by God, not by us. IF we could do anything to gain entrance to Heaven, then we take away from the work on the cross. What more can the devil do than to take away from Christ’s death, burial and resurrection? The devil can sidetrack man and distract him from the truth which God’s Word teaches.

The Bible says that IF Abraham were justified by his works, the works would bring only Abraham glory before mankind, but not before God.

~Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

But it was Abraham’s faith that counted him righteous! He believed that God would do what He said He would do and Abraham rested on this faith.

~Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Quickly, Paul made sure to mention that the Scriptures were clear and were a good Teacher.

Paul also was clear to point out that salvation is a gift from God given to us because of His endless grace for mankind. Again, that word faith is mentioned – just as Abraham’s faith counted as righteousness, so does faith in Christ, the Father’s gift to us, count as our righteousness.

~Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Our own works cannot buy righteousness. Anyone who has given a large sum of money to the church can attest to this. You feel “good” for that moment but you’re right back to your sinful ways soon thereafter. None of our actions can earn us entrance into Heaven because then we could boast of our actions! How many “good” people have been in the limelight yet not one of their actions can pave the way to Heaven? If this were possible, then Paul would not have said that Abraham’s works were not justified before God. If anyone should have had his works justified, it would be Abraham – but God does not see it that way.

~Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we receive at the moment of salvation. That is the only righteousness that will gain us entrance into Heaven.

~Romans 4:6-8 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Our sins are forgiven and covered because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Abraham’s faith in the coming Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus Christ was counted to him as righteousness. Our Sacrifice happened 2000 years ago and Christ’s death, burial and resurrection are the only works we can count as righteous before a Holy God.

“If your faith is not fixed in Jesus, your best works will be but splendid sins. All the performance of duties will not affect your salvation.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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Catholics truly wrestle with these two verses. When I have asked catholic readers what they think of the following verses, I have received some interesting feedback.

~Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (8 ) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (9)

The feedback has come in different forms. Most have been catholic doctrine entrenched in mystery. The responses have been so complicated, they are difficult to understand. Furthermore, the catholic relies on history that is only provided through the catholic church. He dares not go outside of his comfort zone to question whether these things be so as we are commanded to do in Acts 17:11

~Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Other types of feedback have been responses which have skirted the issue. Instead, the response was an attack back on another topic altogether. Can one catholic respond to the question at hand without diverting to theological comments by their own “church fathers”?

Can one catholic respond to the question at hand without resorting to catholic doctrine? I have yet to see a catholic open his Bible along with me and discuss Bible verses without anyone else’s thoughts but their own. Instead, they would rather use the words of their teachers. Jim Jones’ group did the same thing and they all died, by the way. God gave us a brain to use so that we could discern sheep in wolves clothing. How can a catholic discern this if he does not study for himself?

Just what is grace, according to Ephesians 2:8? Noah Webster defines grace as:

The free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him.

Taking this definition and incorporating it into the verse, we find that Ephesians 2:8 says for by the free unmerited love and favor of God are we saved THROUGH faith.

What is faith? Noah defines faith as:

The assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers, is called historical or speculative faith;

Taking this definition and incorporating it into the verse, we find that Ephesians 2:8 says that by the free unmerited love and favor of God are we saved through the simple belief of the Scriptures. Paul goes on to say in verse 8 that it is the gift of God. There is nothing one must do to earn a gift. One does not have to do anything to receive a “just because” gift. All we do is take that gift into our possession. The gift is freely given and we do not.

Furthermore, Paul expounds on the gift in verse 9 by saying that this gift cannot be purchased by our works, otherwise we could boast about it. When you work hard at your job and put in a lot of overtime hours, you can truly state that you have earned your wages that week. You can boast about all those hours you put in to get the job done. However, this is not the case in verse 9 of Ephesians. Paul states that this gift cannot be worked for and to top it off, one cannot boast of achieving this gift.

So let’s look at the two verses in light of these definitions:

For by the free unmerited love and favor God are we saved through the simple belief of the scriptures. This is the gift freely given to us by God and there is nothing that we can do to earn it otherwise we could boast about our own abilities.

So, dear catholic, your magisterium, sacred tradition and church fathers have misled you. They wrestle with these verses and conveniently state that papal infallibility allows the catholic church to revise the Scriptures to accommodate their beliefs.You cannot have it both ways.  You cannot say that keeping the sacraments will provide an on-going process of salvation.  IF this were true, Christ’s shed blood and work on the cross was not enough.  You are saying that it was not sufficient to forgive sins!  This directly contradicts Ephesians 2:8-9 and, therefore, you DO wrestle with these verses.  You wrestle with them because you rely on your church teachers to define these verses in light of hundreds of years of tradition.  God’s Word does not lie – God promises that the Holy Spirit will teach you what the Word says – but you will not open your Bible and make sure that what you are taught as a catholic is in line with God’s Word!  Shame on you!

Woe to the catholic who will not study for himself to learn what God has said. God would be cruel to leave letters to His children which could only be interpreted by a few. That is preferential treatment and God is not that way.  Salvation is for all His children so why would He limit it to only a few who can interpret the Scriptures? Use that brain that God has given you and search the Scriptures out for yourself!

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