“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Cor. 3:15)
A very difficult verse for many works-based religious organizations to explain in context. Another would be, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:20)
The best they would have to offer might be that one would need to adhere strictly to every tradition, every regulation and precept, that whatever ordinances that so-called church had set in place must be met perfectly, without hesitation or fault, and then only those who had done so would be saved. It would also need to be understood by those who sit in the pews that, that salvation could be lost if the supplicant deviated even slightly from the path required, but could be regained if penance is done, if those required preset ordinances are once again adhered to.
As you can tell from looking out on the world of man in his Spiritual life, works is the path that nearly all have decided upon in this regard, a personal deed or deeds accomplished thereby satisfying the requirements of God for entrance into His Kingdom. “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14) And “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Eph. 2:8)
These are not two verses heard in these places of assembly.
Grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ takes man completely out of the equation, save for one action, the believing in that grace offered. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
I ask you to contemplate something here, can you recall any event in the Scriptures where Jesus healed someone that did not ask to be healed? At the moment two verses come to mind, the woman who could find no relief from her issue of blood, and the man in the land of the Gadarenes, in the latter, complete and total grace, in the former, complete and total faith.
My friends, once again I can offer no greater answer to the doctrine of election, the woman had faith that she would be healed, and received grace, the man was shown grace, and received faith. The rich young man was shown the path to both, but refused it, the Pharisees saw, as much as the Lord allowed them to, the truth of both grace and faith, yet refused them. Such is the way of any religious cult that preaches any work of any form for salvation, and sadly still, even unto this very day, many people still fall for their deceptions.
I will not be tedious here and offer you the many verses, both from the Old and New Testament that prove the grace of God through faith for salvation, nor will I offer you those that, I will say in truth, many use, misinterpreting I might add, that they believe proclaim that we must perform some work, some deed, some action that is required by us to be accepted in the Beloved, before we can be hid in Christ.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
Consider this, if you are holding onto the idea that you must perform some work before the Lord Jesus Christ will accept you, where does that leave grace?