WHETHER HE LOOKS backward or forward, God’s child can rejoice. Viewing the past he sees God’s grace, by which he was saved (Ephesians 2:8,9). Facing the future he sees a salvation reserved for him in heaven (I Peter 1:4). In either case the salvation came by God’s grace. And in both cases that grace depended on man’s faith.

God’s grace saved every saved man. But apart from Christ and the cross, grace would have accomplished nothing. It had to act. Men receive that grace by faith (Romans 5:2.) But without action faith is also dead (James 2:20). The New Testament teaches that man responds to God’s grace when his faith leads him to be baptized into Christ (Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:26,27). “In Christ” God gives him every spiritual blessing that exists (Ephesians 1:3).

If God loved man when in rebellion, it is clear that He will love him as His child (Romans 5:8,9). And God,

by His own power, will keep His children until the last day. This blessing, too, is enjoyed by faith (I Peter 1:5). If a child of God loses his faith he will lose his salvation. That point is not made as clear today as it was in New Testament times. Scripture warns, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12). John writes to those who already believe, telling them that they have eternal life. He urges them to keep on believing, lest they lose it (I John 5:11-13).

Have you responded to God’s grace by being buried with Christ in baptism, then raised with Him — through faith in God’s working (Colossians 2:12)? Are you still walking by faith?