For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8–9, NIV 1984).
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3–4, NIV 1984).
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:13–15, NIV 1984).
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10, NIV 1984).
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27–29, NIV 1984).
My Musings – The so-called five solas. Sola gratia, solo Christo, sola fide, soli Deo gloria, sola Scriptura. By grace alone, on the basis of Christ alone, through the means of faith alone, to the ultimate glory of God alone, as taught with the final and decisive authority of Scripture alone.
The world believes that this paints too narrow of a view of seeking God, that there are many paths. They are partly right. There are indeed many paths, but only one that leads to God. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13–14, NIV 1984).
There are also some who believe that by grace alone means you can leave works alone. While it is true that works do not result “in” salvation, they are a result “of” salvation. Evidence, if you will, that redemption has truly taken place. “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14, 17, NIV 1984). Dead (second death) because it was never alive (born again) to begin with. Not faith and works, but works from faith.
Finally, we are no more able to “maintain” our state of grace by works than we are able to “obtain” the state of grace by works or “prevent” a fall from grace by works. Works does not result in salvation it is a result of salvation. Works does not maintain salvation it evidences salvation. Works does not prevent loss of salvation because we are God’s workmanship, not our workmanship.
We believe in salvation by grace [sola gratia] through faith [sola fide] in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone [sola Christo], according to the authority of the Word of God alone [sola Scriptura], and to the glory of God alone [soli Deo gloria]. We further believe that this salvation is based upon the sovereign grace of God, was purchased by Jesus Christ on the cross, is eternally secured by the Holy Spirit, and is received by faith, apart from any human merit, works, or ritual. We further believe salvation results in ever-growing love for God, righteous living, good works, and proper social concern. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. (Articles of Faith, First Baptist Church of Sycamore, Church Constitution & Bylaws).
My Advice – Take the narrow path. It may be narrow, but it will take you to the right place. “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37–40, NIV 1984).