Anyone and Everyone Can Be Saved by Grace: Grace-Enablements

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Because of man’s sin, man is separated from God and destined to eternal hell. Because God is love and loving (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8), He provides man with the real opportunity to return unto Him by faith. Although man has not lost all sensibilities of God (Genesis 3:8-13; Romans 8:18-23), subsequent to the fall he is incapable, from within himself, to rectify his sin problem by coming back to God.

God knew that man would misuse his freedom and sin. Because God is love and He is all knowing, His creation plan is better understood as a co-extensive creation/redemption plan. God’s plan of providing redemption was designed from all eternity in the mind and heart of God, and it was implemented immediately after the fall. This means that God has and is working to draw men and women unto salvation. The provision and grace of God is unconditional, but He has conditioned the reception of salvation upon grace-enabled faith. God works both in initiating and throughout the process of salvation. Man left the garden because he trusted something else more than God, and man returns to the garden when he, by grace, trusts God more than anything else.

The means of this grace-enablement include but are not limited to: Gods’ salvific love for all (John 3:16), Christ’s paying for all sins (John 1:29), conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11), working of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 6:1-6), enlightening of the Son (John 1:9) and the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16), without which no one can seek or come to God (Romans 3:11). Further, I believe that man, because of these gracious provisions and workings of God, can choose to seek God, such as the Bereans, where it says because they studied the Scripture, “therefore many of them believed” (Acts 17:12). Moreover, no one can come to God without God drawing (John 6:44), and that God is drawing all men (John 12:32). The same Greek word for draw, helkuō, is used in both verses. “About 115 passages condition salvation on believing alone, and about 35 simply on faith.”[1] Other grace-enablements may include providential workings in and through other people, situations, and timing or circumstances that are a part of grace to provide the optimal opportunity for an individual to choose to follow Christ.


 

[1] Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. VII, (Dallas Seminary Press, 1948), 273-274.