Salvation is of God through Jesus Christ
Because of man's inborn sinful nature causing him to depend upon himself, he insists upon contributing something to his own salvation. It is the hardest thing to for man to learn that he cannot do so. That is undoubtedly why the Bible at every point reiterates the fact that, that which is done in salvation is of God- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It therefore seems needful to look still further at God's own emphasis upon the fact that salvation is of Him and Him alone.
To think that man can be brought back into fellowship with God and into union with Him by anything that man can do or that man can contribute is to fail; to realize the awful gulf of the separation between man and God that was caused by sin. Nothing less than God's work can span that chasm.
To hold that man can contribute anything toward being saved is to fail to understand that the finite cannot contribute to the infinite; it is to fail to realize the utter helpless and sinful condition of fallen man. It is therefore necessary for all to realize with David, the Psalmist, that "Salvation belongeth unto the Lord" (Psalm 3:8), that "The Lord is ... my salvation" (Psalm 27:1), and that, "He only is ... my salvation" (Psalm 62:2).
Salvation Has its Source in the Love of God. God does not only love man, He is love (1 John 4:8). It is by such as He that salvation is wrought. That salvation is the expression of God's love is repeated over and aver again in the Bible.
"For God so loved the World (i.e. mankind), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). As the measure of God's love is here said to be His Son, and He is infinite, so God's love for mankind is infinite and cannot be limited by man's sin. "But where sin abounded, grace (God's love in action) did much more abound." (Romans 5:20)
My dearly beloved, salvation is because of God's love. We hear the writer say: "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His Son (the only begotten Son) into the world, that we might live through Him.
Herein is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:9, 10) "But God who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,...has quickened us (made alive) together with Christ" (Ephesians 2:4, 5)
It is an expression of God's love that those who are saved are called the children of God (1 John 3:1), and His correction or chastening of his children, as was seen in chapter 12, is also because of His love for them (Hebrews 12:6). It is God's purpose that they shall through out eternity be before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4). And Paul declares in the most emphatic terms that nothing can separate those who have been justified, from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.
Salvation, then, is a work of God for fallen man and is prompted by His infinite love It is not an insult then to God's love to hold that man must or even can do something, however little, to contribute to it's perfection? That salvation is of God alone apart from my contribution any man is evident from the source and the execution of God's plan of salvation.
Salvation was planned and purposed before the earth was created and that was long before God brought man into being. Believers were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 1:4). Eternal life was "promised before the world begun" (Titus 1:2) The death of Christ on the Cross as "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) was "foreordained before the foundation of the world" (1 Peter 1:20)
Salvation was decided upon in the councils of God long before man came into existence. Surely man had nothing to do with those plans. Regeneration, or being born again, by which man receives eternal life and enters the kingdom of God. (John 3:3, 5) It is expressly said to be "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man" (John 1:13).
As no man ever contributed to his physical birth, so can no man contribute to his spiritual birth? When he is born he is saved for all eternity because he has eternal life. The Holy Spirit reproves the unsaved world of sin (John 16:8,9). Christ has redeemed by His own blood unto God (Revelation 5:9). "God was in Christ (on the cross), reconciling the world unto Himself" (11 Corinthians 5:19).
"It is God that justifieth" (Romans 8:33). The Bible tells us that the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17), but Jesus is the author and finisher of that faith (Hebrews 12:2) and it is God who works in believers "both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Phil. 2:13)
Truly my dear friends, believers are kept safe by the power of God and that through His own name (1 Peter 1:5 and John 17:11). Finally, the Lord Jesus Christ shall change the bodies of all believers so that they may be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Philippians 3:21). Now, where in all this is there room for man to contribute anything? By the very nature of the things that are done that is impossible. "The Lord is ... my salvation." "He only is ... my salvation."
Jesus keeps and He saves. These are days of apostasy when the doctrine of the Trinity is widely rejected and the Unitarian idea, which denies the deity of Jesus Christ and teaches that salvation is by character, is being taught. It is therefore highly important to notice what the Bible teaches as to the place of Jesus Christ in salvation. It is possible to consider God's salvation as offered in His Word without realizing that Jesus Christ is the Savior and that salvation is through Him. But because of the denial of Christ's work in salvation it is needful to point out that apart from Him there can be no salvation for man. To reject that teaching is to reject the very central message of the Bible.
Jesus said to his disciples, "ye believe in God, believe also in me" (John 14:1). It is not enough to believe in God - to acknowledge that there is a God who created and provides for man. To reject that teaching is to reject the very eternal God who sent His Son to die for the sins of the world. It is equally necessary to believe in His Son Jesus Christ.
This is so because no one can come to the Father except by Him. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). He is the way; that is, the way to God. No man can find God apart from Jesus Christ. No man has seen God but the Son of God.
When He lived on earth as a man among men He declared God to man. He is the truth and He is the life. To reject Him is to reject both truth and life and the only way to God. The Bible said, "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12) It is very simple but direct. Without Christ in your life you are eternally lost.
How terrible it is to hear one day from God depart from me into everlasting damnation. Man hates God, hates his fellow men, and because of his rejection, He has been separated from God and to be truthful, he is shut out from God. He can only come to God by Jesus Christ the Lamb that was slain.
Oh dear sinner, the Bible tells us "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world" (1 John 4:14). As many as received Him, (the Son) to them gave he (God) the power to become the sons of God" (John 1:12) "He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
There is a very important question that comes to every person. It is this: how it is possible for any individual to inter into all of the things that are included in salvation? What must be done, if anything, to be saved? The Bible when properly interpreted gives a simple and definite answer.
Salvation is by grace on the part of God and received through faith on the part of man. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
So, if salvation is by God's grace, which is a free gift, then my question to you is this: Do you know where will you spend eternity? It can be only one of the following: Heaven or Hell, it is as simple as that. Have you yet decided where? I would advice you, time is running out. God's clock is ticking away! It might appear to you that it is ticking slowly but let me remind you, Jesus is at the door. Do it now before it is too late. Father, take this message today and bring lost men, women, boys and girls to you in Jesus name. Amen!