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Dub McClish

The Writings Of Dub McClish
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Which Was It, Grace Or Faith?

Jerry C. Brewer

I recently read a denominational missive in which the writer said, “We are saved by grace only through faith only.” It’s doubtful that one who butchers the word of God like that could see the inanity of his statement. If one is “saved by grace only,” then faith is excluded. If one is “saved by faith only,” that excludes grace.” Do you see the problem there? Additionally, “salvation by faith” excludes all obedience on man’s part according to the denominational world. But in the New Testament—yea, throughout the entire Bible—faith includes obedience.

James notes that faith alone—without works—is a dead faith. “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man may say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him” (Jas. 2:14). He further expands on the Biblical theme of faith coupled with works, saying, “Even so, faith, if it hath not works is dead, being alone” (Jas. 2:17), and caps his argument in James 2:24: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” That pretty well blows the denominational contention of salvation “by faith only” out of the water.

Nor is one “saved by grace only. Salvation is a matter of grace on God’s part and an obedient faith on man’s part. That was Paul’s meaning when he wrote, “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” (Eph. 2:8). The grace of God reaches down to man and man, in obedient faith reaches up to God to appropriate the blessings of His grace. Man’s salvation results from a combination of God’s grace and man’s faith. That has always been the case in every dispensation of the world. Here are three examples of that principle found in the Bible:

Israel At Jericho

God told Joshua, “See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor” (Josh. 6:2). That was God’s grace, and God used the past tense, saying, “I have given.” Those words were spoken long before the walls of Jericho fell. God provided the victory, but Israel had to act in faith—believe and obey God. They were instructed to compass the city’s walls once a day for six days with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. Then, on the 7th day, they were to circle the city seven times, the priests were to blow the horns, and the people were to shout and the walls would “fall down flat” (Josh. 6:3-5).

They did as God commanded and Jericho fell. Now, which was it, God’s grace, or their faith that brought down the walls? It was both in combination. God’s grace gave them the city and their obedient faith in His word had the result God said it would (Josh. 6:12-21).

Noah’s Salvation In The Ark

God told Noah that, “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood…” (Gen 6:13-14a). He then gave Noah specifications on the ark’s construction and the things he was to include with him in the ark (Gen. 14b-21). That was God’s grace extended to Noah. Was Noah saved by “grace only?” Not according to Hebrews 11:7: “By faith, Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…”

God’s grace revealed to Noah that all flesh would be destroyed and that he should build the ark. Noah’s faith moved him to build the ark. Was Noah saved by “faith only?” Not according to Genesis 6:22: “Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded him, so did he.” Noah’s salvation was by grace through faith when his faith moved him to obedience. No one is saved by “grace only” or “faith only” or “obedience only.” Salvation is brought about when man responds to God’s grace in obedient faith.

The Healing Of The Man Born Blind

Jesus healed a man who was born blind, as John records in chapter nine. “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made a clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing” (John 9:5-7).

Which was it, “grace only” or “faith only” which healed the blind man? It was neither “only.” It was God’s grace, coupled with the blind man’s faith. The grace of God reached out to the blind man, made a clay of spittle, then instructed him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The blind man’s faith moved him to obey that instruction and, as a result of that combination, his sight was restored.

In every case of God’s dealing with man, in every dispensation of the world, man’s welfare has always come about when he has responded in obedient faith to the grace which God extended him. Salvation by “grace only” and/or “faith only” is the devil’s lie, perpetuated by denominational industrialists. 

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