Sep 03, 2010
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Saved by Grace

The Way of our So-great Salvation!

Acts 16:31  “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus; and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Exegesis: examining the original Greek

The New Testament was written in the Greek language, which was a very specific and descriptive language.  God used this language to give us great detail in His Word.

“Believe” = Pisteuson = Pisteuson =verb (2sing), imper/aor/act = from the verb Pisteuo which means to believe, have faith in, be convinced of, trust, rely on, have confidence in.   

The aorist tense speaks of making a one-time decision to believe.  The aorist tense is a unique verb tense to the Greek.  It speaks of an action performed at a moment of time.  It is not asking for repeated action, as the present tense would. 

This means that at the moment someone decides to believe in Christ, he is saved on the spot!  The grace of God, as we will see, is eagerly waiting to place the free gift of salvation in our hands, through simple faith in Christ as Lord. 

The active voiceindicates the person must make the action of the verb to believe.   

And the imperative mood states this is a command.   

So we might translate this verb “believe” or “you must believe”. 

“Lord” = Kurion = Kurion =noun, acc/sing/masc = from the noun “kurios” which means Supreme controller, owner, master, lord.  It can refer to one man’s position having authority over another man, but in this case it refers to God, in the divine sense.  It refers to Jesus Christ being THE LORD, controller, owner, master of everything in the universe. 

“Jesus” = Iesoun = Ihsoun = name, acc/masc. = Jesus.  The accusative case points to Jesus as the object of something, in this case the object of faith or belief. 

“you shall be saved” = sothese = verb (2sing), indic/fut/pass = from the verb “sozo” which means to save, keep safe, preserve, rescue, make well.   

In the New Testament it refers to salvation from physical and/or spiritual death, including deliverance from demon possession. 

To be saved from spiritual death would imply escape from judgment and its cause, sin.

The indicative mood refers to the fact that if you believe in the Lord Jesus, this will definitely happen. 

It means it is a dogmatic statement of fact; YOU WILL BE SAVED!

So the corrected translation might look like this:

“And they said, You must believe upon the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.”

*In the previous verse, the jailer asked Paul what he must DO to be saved.  Paul’s answer in vs. 31 let him know he must “believe” rather than “do” in order to be saved. 

When the people asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Jesus replied, “This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent.”   (John 6:28,29).   

The words “and your household” must be connected with believing.  Paul was not saying that because the jailer believed, his whole household would be saved.  But Paul was trying to let the jailer know that the offer of salvation by faith alone was not limited to him.   

Some cults, popular among the Romans, were composed of all males; some catered to certain classes.  But the salvation Christ brings is for all. 

If the rest of the jailer’s household would believe, they too would be saved.  Paul wanted to make it clear that they all had this opportunity and Paul wanted to see them all saved, not just one. (The Complete Biblical Library) 

Categorical Doctrine: comparing scripture with scripture.

Even while the Lord was in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit, He was said to be the One “who will save His people from their sins.” (MAT 1:21

We will see many verses that tell us that simply Belief or Faith will save us.  To show us how God esteemed faith alone, we see that faith is what also allowed Jesus to heal people.   

The Greek word “sozo” is not only used in reference to being saved eternally, but it is also the word used for getting well or being healed. 

In MAT 9:21-22, a woman suffering from 12 years of hemorrhage came up behind the Lord to touch his cloak, thinking that just touching the Lord would heal her; and this faith healed her

  “But Jesus turning and seeing her said, ‘Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.’  And at once the woman was made well (sozo).” 

It is interesting that God uses faith as the only criteria for being saved and/or being healed. 

In MAT 9:28-30, the blind men approached Jesus.  And even though we don’t see the word “sozo” used here for being made well, the Lord said to them:  

“Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  ‘They said to Him, “Yes. Lord.”  Then He touched their eyes, saying, “Be it done to you according to your faith.”  And their eyes were opened.’

We must also note that the Bible is clear about the reason for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.   

He came to SAVE the world and those in it, not to condemn it or us.

John 3:17 says “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”

In John 10:9-11  the Lord said “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

John 12:47  the Lord says; “And if anyone hears My saying, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”

We must also note the clarity of the Scriptures in regard to the Lord Jesus being the only name by which salvation can come.   

Once you study the doctrine of the Divine Inspiration of Scripture and you come to the realization that GOD wrote this book using man to pen it, then you must believe what the Bible says about being saved. 

(See our studies on Biblical Claims and Evidences, and Prophecies of the End Times so you can examine the proof God has provided.) 

Acts 16:31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household."

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

In Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” 

And this name is mentioned in verse 10, “by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead”

So how are we saved???

Through the grace of the Lord Jesus! 

Acts 15:11a  But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus.”

 Grace means an undeserved favor, something freely given to someone. 

Grace also means a free gift given with no strings attached. (God is perfect and gives gifts without conditions) 

REV 22:17 “Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”
NIV 

Just as the physical body needs water to live, the spiritual part in us, our soul, needs the water of eternal life to live.   

And as anyone can drink a glass of water, anyone can have faith in Jesus Christ and be saved. 

REV 22:17b And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”
NASB

 

GRACE IS WITHOUT COST TO THE RECIPIENT. 

ROM 6:23 the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

ROM 5:8-10 explains the finished work of the Lord.   

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” 

If you are willing to give me your car, much more you would be willing to give me your bicycle. 

If you are willing to cook for me a great and expensive meal, much more you would give me a piece of bread! 

And so, if the Lord died for us while we were sinners, unbelievers in His name, much more now that we believe we can be certain we will be saved by His life! 

Please concentrate on this next passage.  If you concentrate on this, you will understand how God was able to have His Son pay for the sins of the whole human race.   

Again, we know that when the Bible talks about the free gift, it is talking about our salvation. 

ROM 6:23 the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

ROM 5:15-17 “But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression (sin) of the one (Adam) the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

ROM 5:18 For if by the transgression (sin) of the one (Adam), death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”

If God made us all sinners because of our relationship to the first sinner, Adam, much more God is able to save us based on our relationship to the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

And God had to do it.  He had to come and save us because He allowed us to be born in sin. 

It was part of His Master Plan. 

His all-knowing Plan of Grace. 

We were born sinners, which was not our fault. 

So God could provide salvation for us, not to our credit.

EPH 2:4-6 is clear on God’s grace and love being His reason for saving us.  

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.” 

EPH 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”

Grace means an undeserved favor, something freely given to someone. 

And how do we receive this grace, or this favor or gift?  Through faith. 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith;

John 1:12 Butas many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

TIT 3:4-7 “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared(TLJC), He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the confidence of eternal life.”

And once we have been saved by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, we cannot lose this gift from God! 

 ROM 11:29  for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (unchangeable) 

ROM 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

There are many verses that teachEternal Security, such as 1Cor 3:15 which states that even if a man’s works get burned up, HE HIMSELF WILL STILL BE SAVED. 

Why?  Because his salvation is not based on works, but on the perfect foundation that only Jesus Christ could lay down for us. 

We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone. 

1 Cor 3:11-15 - 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

This person will suffer loss of rewards in heaven, his human good works will be tested by the fire and come out as ashes, but he will still be saved and will be in heaven because he has believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.  

As a believer who lives his life for Christ, your life is not in vain.   

You have a chance to be a witness for God in the heavenly courtroom trial of Satan, and to become a winner believer. 

And you will be graciously rewarded by the King. 

Any divine good works, done in the filling of the Spirit and motivated by Bible doctrine, will shine brighter after the test of fire, and will remain as rewards of gold, silver and precious stones.   These rewards will last forever and ever for the winner believer.

But our salvation itself is not based on our works,it is based on faith alone in Christ alone.

Works in this life is just our opportunity to glorify Him, and the credit goes to the Holy Spirit for teaching and guiding us, and giving us divine power to complete them.

Works are a result of our salvation, not the way to salvation. 

Works are a way to say thank you to the Lord for our salvation. 

EPH 2:9“not as a result of works, lest any man should boast”

John 5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”

However it is possible that people believe in vain as in 1CO 15:1-4:

1Cor 15:1-4“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

i.e.- did you believe in Christ alone?,… or did you add your own works or give yourself credit in reaching heaven? (ROM 11:6, Acts 8:20, ROM 6:23b; therefore rejecting the free gift of eternal life?)  If not you are not saved!

i.e.- did you believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, God in the flesh, the Son of the Living God?,… or did you believe in Jesus as just a nice man and a prophet?   If not you are not saved!

You have added to the work of Christ on the Cross.  You have not accepted His free gift of eternal life.  You have tried to pay for it yourself.

As Jesus asked Peter, Matt 16:15-16  "But who do you say that I am?"  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 

The Corinthians had trouble believing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  But this is part of the good news!  If Christ hasn’t been raised from the dead, then we are all still dead in our sins! 1Cor 15:17 

Even today they cannot find the remains of Jesus’ body in the tomb. 

Paul goes on to say that he did not believe in vain.  In fact, his faith through the grace of God was so strong that he labored (studied and taught Bible doctrine) more than all of the other apostles. 

Paul mentions that if Christ has not been raised from the dead that our preaching and our faith are in vain! (1Cor 15:14) 

Our faith would be useless if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead.

One other fact about salvation: GOD DESIRES ALL MEN TO BE SAVED!

This is seen in 1TI 2:3-6.  Paul begins the chapter saying we should pray for all men, especially those in authority.   

Then in vs. 3 he says through the Holy Spirit “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”   

Here is another verse showing us that Jesus Christ is God who came down to earth to be our Savior!   

There is only one Savior, God Himself, who entered flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, as the promised Messiah from the Old Testament. 

Then verses 4-6 goes on, referring to God our Savior… “who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.”

1TI 4:10  For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.”   

*Some churches actually teach that the Lord died only for the elect, only for the ones He chose.  The Lord died for the whole world.   

Only the “elect” will be saved because the “elect” are the ones God knew would have faith in His Son.

HEB 7:27b tells us the Lord Jesus Christ did not need to make sacrifices like the high priests did, first for their own sins and then the sins of the people, “because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

So we know that God desires for all men to accept His means of salvation, and that the Lord Jesus Christ paid for the sins of every member of the human race. 

And whoever believes or trusts in Him will never perish, but has eternal life. 

Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”