Grace Life

Download PDF

GraceNotes

Grace Life Website

GraceNotes is a concise quarterly Bible study on the important issues related to salvation by grace and living by grace. They are designed for downloading (*pdf available) and copying so they can be used in ministry. No permission is required if they are distributed unedited at no charge. You can receive new GraceNotes by subscribing to our free quarterly GraceLife newsletter.

 

  • 87 – Arminians and the Gospel of Grace
    Arminian theology (not Armenian, which is someone from the country of Armenia) is named after its proponent, Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius (1560-1609), who objected to the strong determinism of John Calvin. Arminius died before he could formally present his arguments, but his followers formalized them into five articles in the Remonstrance of 1610.

 

  • 86 – Who Could Be Cut Off from Christ in Romans 11:22?
    This passage, especially verse 22, raises the questions, who is the apostle Paul addressing?, what does it mean to be “cut off”?, and what is the significance of the condition “if you continue in His goodness”? It could be misconstrued that Paul is talking to individual Christians who can be cut off from their salvation if they do not continue to live faithfully.

 

  • 85 – Grace Lessons from the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:11-32
    This familiar story depicts God’s love for sinners, and indeed that is the main point, but there is much to learn here about God’s magnificent grace. In the context, Jesus answers the Pharisees who criticize His love for sinners (Luke 15:2-3) with three stories. The story of the lost son especially illustrates God’s love for sinners as an overcoming, amazing, and misunderstood love.

 

  • 84 – The Christian and the Law
    Though law is used in various ways in the Bible, The New Testament often uses the term for the Law delivered through Moses. It is important to understand how Christians should relate to the demands of the Mosaic Law. We will look at the nature and purpose of that Law and how it affects Christians.

 

  • 83 – Is Repentance in John’s Gospel?
    Some who have trouble accepting that eternal salvation is by faith alone insist that repentance (as turning from sins) is also necessary. That is why they claim repentance is in John’s Gospel even though the word is not present in verb or noun form (metaneo, metanoia). They argue that the concept of repentance is present in various passages, but their definition and assumptions of repentance in John cannot be supported.

 

 

  • 81 – Jesus Does Not Trust Some Believers – John 2:23-25
    Most Bible commentators interpret this passage to say that these people at the Passover did not really believe in Jesus for salvation, therefore Jesus did not commit Himself to them because He knew the unbelieving condition of their hearts. Their faith was defective or insufficient for salvation because it was based only on the signs that Jesus performed and/or they believed only in His name, not His person.

 

  • 80 – What Is the Meaning of “Confess” in Romans 10:9-10?
    In chapters 3 and 4 of Romans, The apostle Paul established beyond dispute that one is eternally justified before God only on the basis of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Why, then, does he say in chapter 10 that one must “confess the Lord Jesus” for salvation?

 

  • 79 – Does John’s Gospel Demand Belief in Eternal Security for Salvation?
    There are some who claim the saving message of the gospel is ‘Believe in Jesus as the guarantor of eternal life, which can never be lost.’ In other words, a person must know, understand, and express agreement with the doctrine of eternal security … but does a person have to affirm this in order to be saved, or is this an unwarranted addition to salvation by faith alone in Christ alone?

 

  • 78 – Making Your Call and Election Sure – 2 Peter 1:10-11
    Does this passage exhort professing believers to prove that they are true believers, or does it exhort true believers to demonstrate the faith they have? At stake in the first instance is eternal salvation; at stake in the second are eternal rewards. Careful observations answer this question.

 

  • 77 – The Reformation and the Gospel of Grace
    On October 31, 1517, A Roman Catholic monk named Martin Luther publicly posted his objections to the doctrines of his church. Essentially, Luther had re-discovered the free grace of God obscured through the centuries by man’s natural aversion to grace. Now, 500 years later, how is the Protestant church treating the gospel of grace?

 

  • 76 – The Reality of Carnal Christians
    Is there such a thing as carnal Christians, believers who persist in disobedience to God? Some say no. While conceding that Christians can and do sin, they deny that true believers will persist in sin until the end of their physical lives.

 

  • 75 – How God Draws People to Salvation
    John 6:44 points to God’s sovereign work that brings people to Jesus Christ, and from the context of John 6, they evidently believe in Him for eternal salvation. Some think this verse teaches that God draws people in such a way that they cannot resist. But would God force His salvation on people against their will? Is God’s grace irresistible?

 

  • 74 – The Doctrine of Justification
    An incorrect understanding of justification can corrupt the gospel, undermine the foundation of the Christian life, and make assurance of salvation impossible.

 

  • 73 – Does Free Grace Theology Lead to False Assurance?
    Some people say the Free Grace view gives people false and damning assurance on the basis of their profession of faith. After all, they may not have believed with all their heart, turned from all their sins (in their of repentance), or done enough good works.

 

 

  • 71 – Israel and God’s Unrelenting Grace
    The biblical record of Israel presents God’s unrelenting grace that pursued the prodigal nation in the past and persists into the future.

 

 

 

  • 68 – Comparing the Two Coming Judgments
    Many Bible interpreters assume there is only one judgment at the end of the age, a judgment that separates believers from unbelievers. This causes major problems in harmonizing some Scriptures.

 

  • 67 – What is “Free Grace theology”?
    Theological labels are a convenient way to summarize belief systems. Many labels have become an established part of theological dialogue, like Arminianism, Calvinism, amillennialism, or premillennialism. Many who hear the label ‘Free Grace Theology’ wonder what it means. Here is a brief summation.

 

 

 

  • 64 – Regeneration and a Changed Life
    Some questions often posed about the new birth are: Does regeneration inevitably produce a changed life? Does a changed life therefore prove regeneration? Does a changed life give assurance of regeneration?

 

  • 63 – Were Jesus’ First Disciples Called to Salvation or Discipleship?
    Some readers assume that Jesus invites Andrew, Peter, James, and John to salvation. Their view requires that salvation is obtained by following Jesus, with the implication that every Christian must be a committed follower. In other words, there is no distinction between being a Christian and being a disciple. Is the call to follow a call to be saved?

 

  • 62 – You are Saved, if you Hold Fast – 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
    Some use this passage to say that believers can lose their salvation. Others say that it shows that some who are considered believers prove to be false believers because they did not stick with the gospel. Neither of these views satisfies the details of the passage in its context.

 

 

 

  • 59 – Real Christians Don’t Sin? – 1 John 3:6, 9
    If John establishes the fact that Christians sin in chapter 1, how can he say later that Christians do not sin? An incorrect interpretation of these verses has caused many Christians to doubt their salvation.

 

 

 

 

  • 55 – The Christian and Apostasy
    As used here, apostasy refers to a departure from or denial of the Christian faith by someone who once held to it. There are several views about what happens to someone who leaves the faith.

 

 

 

 

 

  • 50 – Sanctification: Whose Work Is It?
    We know that justification and glorification are by God’s grace through faith, not our effort or works. Can we say the same about our present experience of sanctification?

 

  • 49 – Perseverance Versus Preservation
    Preservation of believers, not perseverance of the saints, is the view taught by God’s Word and is consistent with the gospel of salvation by grace.

 

  • 48 – For Whom Did Christ Die?
    Can we truthfully say to anyone ‘Jesus Christ died for your sins’? While many Christians say we can, there are some who disagree.

 

 

 

 

  • 44 – Man’s Aversion to Grace
    To those who have been profoundly changed by a clear understanding of God’s grace it is often puzzling why more people, unsaved or saved, do not accept that message.

 

 

 

  • 41 – The Lordship of Jesus Christ
    Jesus is Lord. No one who believes the Bible denies that. But what does that mean and how does Christ’s lordship apply to our salvation and our Christian life?

 

 

 

  • 38 – Giving a Clear Gospel Invitation
    Because the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message that can save people, we want to be as clear as possible in explaining how someone can have eternal life.

 

  • 37 – Interpreting 1 John
    Interpreting 1 John is troublesome to some because of statements that appear to be tests or conditions. The prevailing view among commentators is that the purpose of these tests is to determine if someone is saved eternally or not.

 

  • 36 – Should Romans 6:23 Be Used in Evangelism?
    This well-known verse is often used when presenting the gospel to show that unsaved sinners will pay for their sin with eternal separation from God (death), and that they can escape that fate through the gift of eternal life that Jesus Christ provides. Is that how this verse should be interpreted and applied?

 

 

  • 34 – Hebrews on Fire
    What then do the three references to fire in the warning judgments (6:8; 10:27; 12:31) mean to believers?

 

  • 33 – The Extent of God’s Forgiveness
    This passage says that God has forgiven believers all their trespasses, or sins. Does all include every kind of sin no matter when it was committed?

 

  • 32 – Future Grace
    In the New Testament, grace is usually mentioned as something in the past for those who have been saved through faith, or something that can be appropriated in the present for Christian living.

 

 

  • 30 – How Much Faith Does It Take to Save?
    A person may wonder if he or she has believed enough to be saved. No wonder – there are those who claim that salvation is given only to those who have enough faith, a full faith, a special faith, etc., implying that one’s faith in God’s promise of salvation can be insufficient.

 

  • 29 – How Good Do You Have to Be to Get to Heaven?
    Many people have the idea that if they do enough good, or don’t do too much bad, then God will allow them to enter heaven. In other words, when it comes to obtaining eternal life, they think God grades on a curve.

 

  • 28 – Can Good Works Prove Salvation?
    There is every reason to think that those who have believed in Jesus Christ as Savior and are consequently born into God’s family will experience a changed life to some degree. Some would say that this changed life is evidenced by good works which proves they are saved.

 

  • 27 – Sharing Grace Graciously
    Like Jesus, we must share the truth of grace graciously so that this wonderful message will not be tarnished, undermined, and even contradicted by ungracious words and conduct. How can we be gracious as we seek to proclaim grace?

 

  • 26 – Suicide and Salvation
    A commonly asked question is whether a born-again believer who commits suicide will still go to heaven.

 

  • 25 – A Maze of Grace
    Universal affirmation does not necessarily mean universal agreement about how we are eternally saved. That depends on how one defines grace. When the meaning of grace is changed, the condition for salvation is also changed.

 

  • 24 – Eternally Secure
    Can a person once saved ever lose or forfeit that salvation?

 

  • 23 – Are Disciples Born or Made?
    Is a disciple merely another name for a Christian who is born into God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ, or is a disciple a Christian who meets specific conditions about following Jesus?

 

  • 22 – Repentance: What’s in a Word
    The meaning of repentance must be determined by usage and context, but any study of repentance must begin with a discussion of the word itself.

 

  • 21 – Peter as a Model Disciple
    God has given us Peter as a model of a typical disciple. Disciples today can learn and be encouraged from his example.

 

  • 20 – Grace Giving
    The major biblical teaching on grace-motivated giving is in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. Those chapters contain many principles about the motivations, amounts, effects, and rewards of grace giving.

 

 

  • 18 – Should You Cut Off Your Hand?
    Mark 9:43-50 is one of the most difficult passages in the New Testament. On the surface, it looks like Jesus is teaching that a believer should cut off his or her hand/foot/eye so that he or she will not sin. What is Jesus saying?

 

  • 17 – Traditions or Traditionalism?
    A church can live – or die – by tradition. Some church traditions are good and helpful: meeting at a certain time, familiar music, or holiday observances.

 

  • 16 – Is There a Sin God Does Not Forgive?
    Both believers and unbelievers sometimes express fear that they have committed a sin that is unforgivable. This steals the joy of their salvation.

 

 

 

  • 13 – Assurance and Hope in Colossians 1:21
    The misuse of this passage has too often undermined the believer’s assurance. Incorrect interpretations usually start with the assumption that the phrase ‘to present you holy, blameless, and irreproachable in His sight’ means entrance into heaven.

 

  • 12 – The Grace Life
    By God’s grace we are born into His family and by God’s grace we are free to grow as His children. Unfortunately, this life of liberty can be lost unless we stand firm in grace.

 

  • 11 – Some Questions for the Lordship Salvationist
    Followers of Lordship Salvation insist that a person is eternally saved not only by believing in Jesus Christ as Savior, but also by committing completely to Him as the Lord or Master of one’s life.

 

  • 10 – Word Pictures for Christian Workers
    If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a word picture also has great value for those who study the Bible. These word pictures, called metaphors, can give us great insight into God’s truth.

 

  • 9 – Why Teach About Rewards?
    The word reward (misthos) comes from the Greek word for pay or wages. While salvation is absolutely free, rewards are clearly earned.

 

 

  • 7 – Making Right Choices in Questionable Issues
    Sometimes Christians must choose whether or not to participate in certain ‘questionable’ practices. A questionable issue is a ‘gray area’ of activity or a choice not directly addressed by the Bible as right or wrong.

 

  • 6 – Questions of Assurance from Romans 8
    Spiritual maturity is impossible for believers who have come to doubt their eternal salvation. Yet the lack of assurance is a common problem among Christians and those who call themselves Christians.

 

 

  • 4 – Characteristics of a Grace-oriented Church
    Many Bible-believing churches talk about grace. But are they consistent in their practice? Here are some things that should characterize a church that follows the biblical principles of grace.

 

  • 3 – Motivations for Serving God
    Why do we as Christians serve God? Why should we serve God? Many have probably never paused to consider their motives.

 

 

 

 


*GraceNotes are designed for downloading and copying so they can be used in ministry. No permission is required if they are distributed unedited at no charge. If you do not have a pdf viewer you may click here to download a free version.

 GraceLife Articles

GraceLife articles are longer more in-depth studies on various topics. Written by Dr. Charlie Bing for various organizations and publications. They are designed for downloading (*pdf available) and copying so they can be used in ministry. No permission is required if they are distributed unedited at no charge.


    • How to Be Sure in Uncertain Times
      Gracelife, Dr. Charles C. bing, April 2020
      Arminian theology (not Armenian, which is someone from the country of Armenia) is named after its proponent, Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius (1560-1609), who objected to the strong determinism of John Calvin. Arminius died before he could formally present his arguments, but his followers formalized them into five articles in the Remonstrance of 1610.
    • A Review of Wayne Grudem’s “Free Grace” Theology: 5 Ways It Diminishes the Gospel
      GraceLife, Dr. Charles C. Bing, October 2016
      This passage, especially verse 22, raises the questions, who is the apostle Paul addressing?, what does it mean to be “cut off”?, and what is the significance of the condition “if you continue in His goodness”? It could be misconstrued that Paul is talking to individual Christians who can be cut off from their salvation if they do not continue to live faithfully.
    • The Free Grace Alliance Within the Free Grace Movement: It is What it is!
      GraceLife, May 2010
      This familiar story depicts God’s love for sinners, and indeed that is the main point, but there is much to learn here about God’s magnificent grace. In the context, Jesus answers the Pharisees who criticize His love for sinners (Luke 15:2-3) with three stories. The story of the lost son especially illustrates God’s love for sinners as an overcoming, amazing, and misunderstood love.
    • The Christian’s Motivation for Serving God
      GraceLife, May 2010
      Though law is used in various ways in the Bible, The New Testament often uses the term for the Law delivered through Moses. It is important to understand how Christians should relate to the demands of the Mosaic Law. We will look at the nature and purpose of that Law and how it affects Christians.
    • Is There Hellfire in Hebrews?
      GraceLife, 2010
      Some who have trouble accepting that eternal salvation is by faith alone insist that repentance (as turning from sins) is also necessary. That is why they claim repentance is in John’s Gospel even though the word is not present in verb or noun form (metaneo, metanoia). They argue that the concept of repentance is present in various passages, but their definition and assumptions of repentance in John cannot be supported.
    • Are Disciples Born or Made?
      GraceLife, November 2007
      A question often heard is “How were people eternally saved in Old Testament days?” For a more comprehensive perspective, it might be better to ask, “How were people eternally saved before the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?”
    • Are Disciples Born or Made?*
      Grace in Focus, May 2005
      Most Bible commentators interpret this passage to say that these people at the Passover did not really believe in Jesus for salvation, therefore Jesus did not commit Himself to them because He knew the unbelieving condition of their hearts. Their faith was defective or insufficient for salvation because it was based only on the signs that Jesus performed and/or they believed only in His name, not His person.
    • Interpreting Hebrews: Beginning with the Readers
      Grace in Focus, July 2002
      In chapters 3 and 4 of Romans, The apostle Paul established beyond dispute that one is eternally justified before God only on the basis of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Why, then, does he say in chapter 10 that one must “confess the Lord Jesus” for salvation?
    • Why Lordship Faith Misses The Mark For Salvation
      Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1999
      There are some who claim the saving message of the gospel is ‘Believe in Jesus as the guarantor of eternal life, which can never be lost.’ In other words, a person must know, understand, and express agreement with the doctrine of eternal security … but does a person have to affirm this in order to be saved, or is this an unwarranted addition to salvation by faith alone in Christ alone?
    • Why Lordship Faith Misses the Mark for Discipleship
      Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 1999
      Does this passage exhort professing believers to prove that they are true believers, or does it exhort true believers to demonstrate the faith they have? At stake in the first instance is eternal salvation; at stake in the second are eternal rewards. Careful observations answer this question.
    • Church Discipline: A Necessary Partner to the Grace Gospel
      Grace in Focus, Nov. 1998
      On October 31, 1517, A Roman Catholic monk named Martin Luther publicly posted his objections to the doctrines of his church. Essentially, Luther had re-discovered the free grace of God obscured through the centuries by man’s natural aversion to grace. Now, 500 years later, how is the Protestant church treating the gospel of grace?
    • The Condition for Salvation in John’s Gospel
      Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1996
      Is there such a thing as carnal Christians, believers who persist in disobedience to God? Some say no. While conceding that Christians can and do sin, they deny that true believers will persist in sin until the end of their physical lives.
    • What Must I Do to Be Saved?
      Grace in Focus, Mar. 1996
      John 6:44 points to God’s sovereign work that brings people to Jesus Christ, and from the context of John 6, they evidently believe in Him for eternal salvation. Some think this verse teaches that God draws people in such a way that they cannot resist. But would God force His salvation on people against their will? Is God’s grace irresistible?
    • Grace in the final Hour
      Grace in Focus, July 1996
      An incorrect understanding of justification can corrupt the gospel, undermine the foundation of the Christian life, and make assurance of salvation impossible.
    • Keep It Clear And Simple*
      Grace in Focus, Feb. 1995
      Some people say the Free Grace view gives people false and damning assurance on the basis of their profession of faith. After all, they may not have believed with all their heart, turned from all their sins (in their of repentance), or done enough good works.
    • How To Share the Gospel Clearly
      Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1994
      The doctrine of election always provokes a lively discussion among Christians who have a variety of ways to explain it.
    • The Cost of Discipleship
      Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1993
      The biblical record of Israel presents God’s unrelenting grace that pursued the prodigal nation in the past and persists into the future.
    • Coming to Terms With Discipleship
      Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1992
      Can an individual recently saved from an occultic background commit a serious sin? Or would that horrendous blunder prove he was never really saved?
    • Disciples Are Made Not Born!*
      Grace in Focus, May 1992
      If we read 2 Peter chapter 2, it is clear that the false prophets and teachers in view are doomed to eternal condemnation. But what about those deceived by them?
    • Lordship Salvation: A Horse With Wheels
      Grace in Focus, May 1992
      Many Bible interpreters assume there is only one judgment at the end of the age, a judgment that separates believers from unbelievers. This causes major problems in harmonizing some Scriptures.
    • The Making of a Disciple
      Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn 1992
      Theological labels are a convenient way to summarize belief systems. Many labels have become an established part of theological dialogue, like Arminianism, Calvinism, amillennialism, or premillennialism. Many who hear the label ‘Free Grace Theology’ wonder what it means. Here is a brief summation.
    • The Grace Awakening by Charles R. Swindoll – A Review
      Grace in Focus, Dec. 1990
      Some questions often posed about the new birth are: Does regeneration inevitably produce a changed life? Does a changed life therefore prove regeneration? Does a changed life give assurance of regeneration?
  • The Voice Still Lives
    Grace in Focus, Apr. 1989
    Some readers assume that Jesus invites Andrew, Peter, James, and John to salvation. Their view requires that salvation is obtained by following Jesus, with the implication that every Christian must be a committed follower. In other words, there is no distinction between being a Christian and being a disciple. Is the call to follow a call to be saved?
Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll Up
error

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)