FREE GRACE OR FREE WILL
by Craig Celso
Copyright © 2002 Rosomonotov Publishing
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8.There are two basic gospels being preached in our day. One is the gospel of free will. This gospel says that God loves everyone and wants everyone to be saved, but that God has given to every man a free will. It goes on to say that God will never violate a man's free will and so God cannot save those who will not let Him do so. Man's will decides who will be saved. This is a false gospel and heresy.
The other gospel is the gospel of free grace. This gospel says that God gave to man a free will at his original creation, but that man lost his free will in the fall of Adam by sin. Every man now enters the world in a totally depraved state and so is the willing slave of sin and the helpless captive of Satan. As a result a man in his natural state can neither desire, will, nor do that which is good toward God. God thus saves men by His free and sovereign grace. This is the true Biblical gospel.The true gospel is the gospel of the grace or the free, undeserved favor of God. Acts 20:24.
We are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Who died for us and rose again. Rom.3:24;4:25. A man can only be saved by receiving Jesus Christ by faith. But for any man to be able to do this God must first give him a new heart, changing and freeing and turning his will and giving him faith to believe. This is a sovereign act of God's almighty power called regeneration which precedes and produces faith. God's people will only be willing in the day of His power. Ps.110:3. Jesus said that no man can come to Him unless the Father draw (drag by force) him. John 6:44.
Those who believe on Christ unto salvation were first born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12,13. Of His own will begat He us, not of our own will. James 1:18. And God only regenerates those whom He first chose for salvation in eternity past, or His elect ones. God loved Jacob and hated Esau before the children were born, or had chosen or done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth. Rom.9:10-13. If we know and love God it is because He first loved us and chose us and called us according to His own purpose. I John 4:19; Rom.8:28.
When it pleases God He calls us by His grace and reveals His son in us in effectual calling so that we do come to Christ. Gal.1:15,16. Even so today there is a saved remnant according to the election of grace. And if it is of grace it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace. If God were to save us because we believe by the power of our own free will then salvation would be of works. Rom.11:5-7. But Jesus said, "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." John 15:16. God chose us before we even existed because of ourselves we never would have or could have chosen Him. Eph.1:3-5. And then God works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. Phil.2:13.
It is only as many as were ordained by God to eternal life will believe on Christ, and they can only believe through grace. Acts 13:48;18:27.Salvation is all of grace. The apostle Paul marvelled at those who were so soon removed from the grace of Christ to another gospel of the free will and works of man. Then he said, "If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." This curse rests upon all those who preach the false gospel of free will. Gal.1:6-9.So then it (salvation) is not of him that willeth (the free will of man), nor of him that runneth (the religion and good works of man), but of God that showeth mercy (sovereign mercy through Christ). Romans 9:16 To the Praise of the Glory of His Grace! Ephesians 1:6.