GRACE vs. WORKS
And now if (it be) by grace (that is, election) then is it no more of works; otherwise grace (becomes) is no more grace. The general position laid down here is fundamental and of supreme importance. It may be thus expressed; there are but two possible offerings of salvation-men’s works and God’s grace. It should be noted that they (grace and works) are distinct and opposite thus salvation cannot possibly be of any combination or mixture of both. It must be wholly one or the other.
The essence of salvation is that one has been justified or declared to be legally righteous before God. So the basic question is, how is one able to stand and be declared legally just or righteous (sinless) before God? Romans 4:25, speaks of God’s only remedy as it reads (King James Version) “Who (Jesus) was delivered (sacrificed as an appeal) for (because) our offenses and was raised again (up) for (because of) our justification (being declared righteous)”. Here we note the Greek expression “os pahr eh·tho·thee·ah tah pah rahp·to·mah·tah ee·mon” rendered “who was delivered up because of our offenses (transmission, sin)”. Note it was “on account of our sin”, that is, it was in order to expiate (perform an act of penance) (an act of self-mortification or devotion performed voluntarily to contrition confession and expectance of punishment thus absolution that leads to reconciliation) (to amend to atone completely) by His blood. Notice the second Greek phrase of this verse “kehee·yehr·thee thee·ah theen theek·eh·o·seen ee·mon”, rendered “and was raised up because of our being declared righteous”. Note the Greek preposition “thee·ah”, as it is expressed in the accusative case; here it denotes a cause or is indicative of the reason, thus it is literally rendered ‘on account of” or “for the sake of”. Thus it was on account of or for the sake of our justification, that is in order to our being justified (“theek·eh·o·seen”) or declared legally righteous or perfectly acceptable to God.
The Greek word “theek·eho·seen” literally rendered “perfectly righteous”; strictly denotes an act of making right or just, hence justification, acquittal or absolute vindication. So justification is the righteous act that sets free and gives life (Romans 5:18). Now the basic question is; what is the righteous act or acts that set sinners free and give(s) life to those who are dead? Here we note the Greek verb “ee·yehr· thee”, is literally translated “to wake up” or “to awaking” or “to arouse”; but its meaning is to “get up” or to “bring back” from death; and such is, i.e. the resurrection of Jesus. Next, the question is who is able to carry through to completion the action of resurrection? Also, can any man qualify to the extent of defying the sting (“kehn· dron”) – (harmful force which is impelling) of death by fulfilling the obligations and requirements in answering to the curse and penalty of sin, which is death? Here the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ is more than the ample antidote to arrest the destructive effect of sin unto death or separation from God.
Accordingly the exclusive work or righteous act of justification is limited to the virtuous accomplishments of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary, as He died for or because of our sins (sin nature) and rose (resurrected) for or because of our justification (righteous acceptable to God). Now in light of the above, it should be evident that no man made remedy or solution or antidote is sufficient to accommodate that which is required to satisfy the justice or requisite demands of righteousness. No rite, no ritual, no ceremony, in fact no baptismal ceremony, no religious function(s), no do penance, nor repentance, no matter what it is; nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus is competent to deliver us faultless before the throne of God, free and cleared of all charges, adorned with the sufficiency that is acceptable to God.
Accordingly it is essential for all of God’s people to understand that righteousness before God is obtained only through imputation, i.e. the righteousness of God being transformed to mankind through the merit of Jesus Christ.