What do those people out at Grace Baptist Church believe? Essentially, our whole doctrinal belief may be summed up in five words, We believe, according to the Scriptures, that "SALVATION IS OF THE LORD!" (Jonah 2:9). I know that most every preacher and church says that, but we actually believe it and preach it. Salvation is not of man - It is of the Lord. Salvation is not of the church - It is of the Lord. Salvation is not a co-operative effort between God and man - Salvation is of the Lord. God does not do his part, and leave man to do his part Salvation is of the Lord. God does not take the first step, and leave the rest up to man - Salvation is of the Lord. The beginning and the end, the start and the finish, and everything in between is of the Lord. In its entirety, Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord IN ITS PLANNING. In eternity, before the world began, God determined who he would save, when he would save them, and how he would accomplish their salvation. In the everlasting covenant of grace God chose his people. In divine election he determined who he would save. Having loved his own with a special, discriminating love, before the world began, God determined to save and justify his people by the substitutionary sacrifice of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, at Calvary. He "hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (II Tim. 1:9).
Salvation is of the Lord IN ITS PURCHASE. By the substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary. Our salvation was purchased for us. By the price of his own precious blood the Lord Jesus Christ "obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb. 9:12). The price of our ransom from the offended justice of God was the life of the God-man; and he voluntarily gave it. "In due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom. 5:6).
Jesus paid it all,
Salvation is of the Lord IN ITS PERFORMANCE. At the appointed time, God the Holy Spirit came, bringing that purchased salvation to our hearts. We were not seeking the Lord; but he sought us. We did not love the Lord; but he loved us. By an almighty, irresistible effectual act of grace we were born again. He regenerated us, giving life to dead sinners. He drew us to Christ. He gave us faith. He made us new creatures in Christ. "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee" (Ps. 65:4).
Salvation is of the Lord IN ITS PRESERVATION. The Lord God saved us, and he keeps us saved. He said, "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:28). Our security and preservation is not in us holding on to Christ, but in Christ holding on to us. All who are chosen, redeemed, and regenerated by him are kept and preserved by him.
Salvation is of the Lord IN ITS PERFECTION. It is written, "He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). Yes, the Lord God will bring all his chosen, redeemed, regenerated ones into heaven in the perfection of eternal glorification. "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen" (Jude 24-25).
This is what we believe and preach at Grace Baptist Church. In its planning, in its purchase, in its performance, in its preservation, and in its perfection - "SALVATION IS OF THE LORD!"
Don Fortner, Pastor
Grace Baptist Church