Nowhere in the bible does God’s grace mean unmerited favour, except in Paul’s flawed epistles.
The centrepiece of Paul’s doctrine of salvation is what he refers to as “the election of grace” (Romans 11:5). This maintains salvation is not contingent upon our works, but is “by grace through faith” in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). Paul insists: “If by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace” (Romans 11:6).
As usual, Paul soon contradicts himself. He says to the Galatians: “You who attempt to be justified by law have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). But if grace is unmerited, then we cannot fall from it. If the favour is unmerited, it cannot be lost by demerits.
A deceitful doctrine
Paul says God is gracious to sinners: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8. But we were not even alive when Christ died. Furthermore, he says God justifies the ungodly: “To him who does not work but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5).
This gives the ungodly a license to sin. If good works do not promote salvation, then bad works cannot promote condemnation. But Jesus says different: “Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:29).
Jesus never even mentions the word “grace” throughout his ministry. But Paul does ninety-one times. I believed Paul until I discovered to my astonishment that the salvation Jesus preaches is by works and not by unmerited grace (Matthew 21:28-31; Mt 5:20).
God does not justify sinners
Contrary to Paul’s position, God will never justify the ungodly. He says so to Moses categorically: “I will not justify the wicked” (Exodus 23:7). Solomon also observes that he who justifies the wicked is an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 17:15). God is not gracious to the wicked; he is only gracious to the righteous. Nowhere in the bible does God’s grace mean unmerited favour, except in Paul’s flawed epistles. If God’s grace were unmerited, many would be saved instead of only a few (Luke 13:23-24).
Isaiah says: “Let grace be shown to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness” (Isa 26:10). Is it any wonder then that, thanks to Paul, many Christians remain comfortably sinful? God’s love is not unconditional. He says: “I love those who love me” (Proverbs 8:17). Those who love the Lord hate evil (Psalm 97:10).
God does not shower his grace on sinners as Paul claims. God hates sinners. Moses says: “All who behave unrighteously are an abomination to the LORD” (Deuteronomy 25:16). The psalmist agrees: “The wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates” (Psalm 11:5). Therefore, Paul misleads Christians by saying Jesus saves sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus only calls sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13). Sinners who don’t repent are not saved by unmerited grace.
God’s grace is merited
God is gracious to the humble but never to the proud: “Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34). That means God’s grace is merited. Again, the psalmist concurs: “The Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). In effect, the Lord is gracious to those who walk uprightly precisely because they are upright.
Moses writes: “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord… Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations” (Genesis 6:8-9). Noah would not have found grace if he had not been just and perfect. In short, Noah found grace because of his works.
The works of Abraham
The same applies to Abraham, contrary to Paul’s lies (Romans 4:1-4). God confirmed the promise of blessings he made to Abraham because of his works. He said to Isaac, Abraham’s son: “I will give to your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves: BECAUSE Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” (Genesis 26:4-5).
Jesus, always our final authority in all things, confirms that Abraham was exemplary because of his works. He says: “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39). Thereby, he called Jews to Abraham’s works, and not to unmerited grace.
Jesus’ gospel is not Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Jesus’ gospel is the “gospel of the kingdom of God” (Mark 1:14). Jesus warns Paulinists who “do not work but believe,” that: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
O foolish Paul, don’t you know that faith without works is dead? (James 2:20).