By Faith :: By Grant Phillips

The Bible makes it very clear we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, and there is no other way to be saved (John 14:6).

What does “to be saved” mean? It means to be born again (John 3:3).

What does “to be born again” mean? It means to be born spiritually into the family of God (John 3:5-8).

How is one saved? He/she is saved by God’s grace of accepting our faith in His Son Jesus Christ to redeem us from sin (Ephesians 2:8-9). When we are lost, we are locked in Satan’s slave market of sin, but by putting our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Jesus buys us from that slave market, frees us, and adopts us as His own. In effect, we trust Him to save us, and He does, becoming our Savior and Lord.

As our Savior, we worship Him because He saved us by His own shed blood that paid all our sin debt. He bought us, in other words.

As our Lord, we serve Him out of gratitude and love.

If He saved us by faith, it is reasonable to assume we live for Him each day the same way … by faith. Actually, it’s more than an assumption; it is true.

Most people believe we must do something to be saved. We must add something to faith, but that is not what God says.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Another problem arises, and that is, so many people who are actually saved think they must do something to keep being saved. The Bible teaches just the opposite, though. Why would any rational person think that God uses our faith to save us by His grace, and then decides to keep a tab of our works to determine if we remain saved?

Martin Luther wrestled with Romans 1:17 for years. Due to his Catholic indoctrination, he just could not separate faith and works, until one day it finally hit him. It wasn’t HIS righteousness that saves; it was JESUS’ righteousness. (Nothing has changed.) Then on October 31, 1517, he posted his 95 thesis on the church door of Wittenberg, Germany. From that point on, his life of misery became a life of inner peace.

At this point, I am going to provide a list of Scriptures just showing those that have the phrase “by faith” and what “by faith” is referring to in each Scripture.

  • Acts 15:9 purifying their hearts by faith
  • Act 26:18 sanctified by faith
  • Romans 1:17 faith to faith; live by faith
  • Romans 3:22 righteousness of God by faith
  • Romans 3:28 justified by faith
  • Romans 3:30 justify circumcision by faith and uncircumcision by faith
  • Romans 5:1 justified by faith
  • Romans 5:2 access by faith
  • Romans 9:32 (Israel) sought it (law of righteousness) not by faith
  • Romans 11:20 stand by faith
  • 2 Corinthians 1:24 stand by faith
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 walk by faith
  • Galatians 3:11 live by faith
  • Galatians 3:22 promise by faith
  • Galatians 3:24 justified by faith
  • Galatians 3:26 children of God by faith
  • Galatians 5:5 hope of righteousness by faith
  • Ephesians 3:17 Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith
  • Philippians 3:9 righteousness by faith
  • Hebrews 10:38 live by faith

And then in the following passages, the writer of Hebrews mentions a few who lived by faith:

  • Hebrews 11:4 Abel
  • Hebrews 11:5 Enoch
  • Hebrews 11:7 Noah
  • Hebrews 11:8 Abraham and Sarah
  • Hebrews 11:20 Isaac
  • Hebrews 11:21 Jacob
  • Hebrews 11:22 Joseph
  • Hebrews 11:23 Moses’ parents
  • Hebrews 11:24 Moses
  • Hebrews 11:31 Rahab
  • Hebrews 11:32 Others

None of these people were without sin. Not one of them is perfect, but they are God’s people. How is that? Could it be that their lives were in God’s hands, and it was up to God to guarantee they remain there?

My point is we are saved by faith, and as Christians, we live each day by faith. That does not mean that if our faith is weak one day, we are in trouble of losing it all. We can no more be unborn spiritually than we can be unborn physically. Once we are saved, we are always saved, held in God’s strong grasp.

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:28-30).

Once saved, we are sealed by God with His own Spirit to keep us, teach us and guide us.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

“But what about James 2:24,” someone says? Now, if I could ask a question, “Did you read it all or just that one verse?”

The Bible was not written with man’s interruption. It was written by the Holy Spirit using different men over a long period of time to write the words of God.

“For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

“He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.

“We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things.

“For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:16-21).

With that in mind, GOD NEVER CONTRADICTS HIMSELF. Everything God wrote for us through Moses will agree with everything He wrote for us through the apostle John. Everything Jesus said in the Gospels agrees perfectly with the rest of His word.

Therefore, there is no disagreement between James 2:24 and Galatians 2:16 (for example). The problem is with our interruptions. God speaks plainly and clearly, but we can’t read one little verse and take it out of context. We must read it all. If we can’t understand something in the Bible, we need to keep studying it and ask for His guidance.

We are spiritually born by faith in Jesus Christ … plus NOTHING. We live each day the same way. God does the saving and keeping. Our part is, “just trust Him.”

Do works ever count in our life as something God acknowledges? They most certainly do, but only after we’re saved. Please remember this: When we are saved, we then have a relationship with God. He becomes our Father, our Savior and bridegroom, and the Deposit guaranteeing that relationship never changes. Also, because of that relationship, we can now fellowship with Him. So now, as a new Christian, two things exist between us and God; (1) relationship and (2) fellowship. We are now in the family of God (relationship), and we can interact (fellowship) within the family of God.

Let me give an example.

When you were born, you automatically had relatives, those you are related to, such as your parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. That is a relationship.

Now that you are in that family, you have interactions between you and your family members throughout your life. That is fellowship.

You may be a rapscallion, but you will always have that relationship. Your fellowship may suffer, but you cannot change the relationship.

What do parents expect of their children? They expect the children to trust them and follow their leadership. Do they always do that? No, but they are still their children.

If we are in God’s family, the relationship will never be broken, but He expects us, as His children, to trust Him and follow His leadership. Do we always do that? No, but we are still in the family, even though we hurt our fellowship with Him. This is exactly why the Lord had the apostle John write these words:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

He wants us to live by faith just as we trusted Him to save and keep us. When we fall, come to Him, admit it, ask forgiveness to restore the fellowship, and then continue living by faith.

Grant Phillips


Pre-Rapture Commentary:

Rapture Ready:

Troubling Times :: By Grant Phillips

“The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, ‘When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.’ Jesus then left them and went away” (Matthew 6:1-4).

At this point of our Lord’s ministry on earth, He was fed-up with the constant badgering of the unbelieving Jewish leaders continually asking for a sign to prove His words. The signs were all around them, but they were too blind to see. Of all the prophecies relating to Jesus’ first coming, He fulfilled them all, but the blind were leading the blind, and therefore few truly believed.

The Jewish people of that day were much unlike most in the Church today. They knew the Scriptures. Most in the Church today do not. They, on the other hand, were trained in the Scriptures from their youth, so they were very familiar with them. God in the flesh stood in their presence, and they as a whole rejected Him, even though all the signs were right in their face.

The signs of Jesus’ second coming are all around us today. They are so plentiful they are like a balloon filled with air that is about to burst. Unfortunately, many today, in the Church, are blind. If we are part of the true Church, we are saved, but many in the Church are totally unaware of what is ahead.

Jesus is coming soon. I don’t know when. No one does, but we are definitely in the season of His return. First will be the Rapture of the Church (the bride), then the seven years of Tribulation, then Christ’s second coming, then the Millennium (1,000-year reign), and then eternity.

I wonder if the Lord Jesus is maybe just a little perturbed with those of us who are asleep.

“… With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:8-10).

Jesus wants His people to know the season of His return. Think about it. There are more prophecies of Jesus’ second coming than the first. He wants us … today … to know that time is running out and we need to be telling others this very thing.

We need to keep something else in mind, and that is it would be better to be busy serving and living for Him when He snatches us away (Rapture) than to be embarrassed of our actions at that time. We live in a world with many more temptations than any other generation. Our world is corrupt, and it is getting more rotten each day.

Let us consider a few passages from Isaiah, understanding that they are specifically for Israel, but also understanding that God didn’t put them in the Bible for us to ignore. Therefore, the message is also for us to heed.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and have given us over to our sins. Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:6-8).

God is the Father of all in this respect; He is the Creator of us all. From a personal standpoint, He is the Father only of those who have put their trust in Jesus His Son, but from a collective viewpoint, He is the Father of all, but only as our Creator.

More than once, Isaiah stated that we are unclean and our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Please notice they had the same problem then that we have today, “No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you.” Then also notice that God hid His face from them and gave them over to their sins. This is exactly what the apostle Paul is talking about in Romans 1:18-32. Three times Paul states that “God gave them over” (Romans 1:24, 26 and 28).

I am of the opinion that God has done exactly that with us today, i.e., He has given us over to our sins and turned His face from us as a nation. The end may be closer than we think.

Are we not, as a nation, just like those in Noah’s day? Theirs was a very evil generation, and the people went about their lives without a care in the world of coming judgment, but judgment came in the form of a worldwide flood. Only those who trusted God were saved.

Just prior to the flood, a man named Enoch was removed from this earth by God and taken to Heaven. “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Genesis 5:24). He is a picture of the Church today. The Church will be removed just prior to the judgment (Tribulation) to come upon this earth.

Noah, with his family, is a picture of those who will be saved during the time of the Tribulation.

The many that perished in the flood are a picture of those who are lost and will perish in the Tribulation.

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—” (Isaiah 65:1-2).

For 120 years, Noah preached to the masses in an attempt to convince them that a great flood was coming. God warned the people of that day of His coming judgment, but there were no converts except Noah and his family.

God is calling out today to all who will listen that judgment is coming, but again, few are listening. Instead, we relish our sinful ways and pile sin upon sin. We are so infatuated with our sinful ways that we have moved God out of the way lest He interferes. Having removed God from our society, we educate our children to follow our footsteps, and they have become even greater blasphemers of God and His righteousness than the previous generation. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are” (Matthew 23:15).

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. ‘These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word'” (Isaiah 66:1-2).

Our great God is looking for those who “are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble” at His word. “Contrite,” by the way, means sorry, remorseful, repentant, regretful, apologetic, penitent and ashamed. Does any of this passage describe us as a nation today? I think you know the answer to that. There are many in our nation who are humble and contrite before God and who tremble at His word, but as a whole, as a nation, we curse His holy name. We have audaciously picked a fight with God, and we … will … lose. The humble before Him will receive His loving favor. The arrogant and proud will receive His judgment.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Every word in God’s holy book, the Bible, is true, factual and will happen exactly as God has said. It really doesn’t matter if one does not believe God’s word. That doesn’t change a thing. It has always been true. It is true, and will always be true.

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'” (John 14:6).

Going back to Isaiah 65, the Lord made clear to Israel that they sought Him superficially, so He turned to the Gentiles to make them jealous, but still they were stubborn against Him. (See Romans 10:20-21 and Isaiah 65:1-3a below.) We as a nation are behaving exactly as they did then. Read carefully what God says in this passage.

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—a people who continually provoke me to my very face …” (Isaiah 65:1-3a).

The holy righteous God of Heaven does not want any to perish. He longs that we believe in His Son and follow Him.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

The world is on the threshold of the return of Jesus Christ, but this time He will not come as a baby in a manger. He will come in all His glory to judge and rule this world. Put your faith in Him today and be saved from the wrath to come.

Grant Phillips


Pre-Rapture Commentary:

Rapture Ready: