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SALVATION QUESTION 44
In Ephesians 2:8, it says, we are saved by grace through faith, but in Titus is says we are saved, according to His mercy. Which one is right?
They are both right. God has two attributes He exercises in man's salvation. His "MERCY" first. This means He withholds the judgment we rightly deserve. He has compassion and pity on us in our need. We must "repent" in order to get this. This is the first step in salvation. Acts 20:21 "Repentance toward God..." Mark 1: 15, "Repent and believe the gospel."
The other attribute is His "GRACE." While mercy is God withholding what we deserve, His grace is opposite. He gives us what we do not deserve eternal life. "The wages of sin is death, (this we deserve), but the gift of God is eternal life, (this we do not deserve) through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. Putting this all together we could say, "Repent, in order to get God's mercy and forgiveness. Believe to get God's grace and eternal life." They must be in this order. God cannot give anyone eternal life without having mercy on them first. This is what Paul is emphasizing in Titus 3:5. In Ephesians his emphasis is on the grace of God. Many want His grace and eternal without first repenting. This is impossible. The justice of God would not allow a sinner to come to Him without repenting of sins. Many professing Christians have tried this and it is not working for them. If you are one of them, go back to God in repentance, so you can really trust Christ and be saved. These are the two things a person needs to get to heaven.
Dear reader, Do you have them? Only if you have repented and believe in Christ. If not, why not today
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen