It seems that’s how we preachers and Christians often think, talk, and feel about God’s grace in salvation.

We sometimes seem to be saying to sinners, “You see, God has made it easy for you. Just believe.”

Or, “It’s not what you do. Christ has done it for you. Just repent and accept Christ.”

Fair enough.  True enough.  But that’s not all.  And when that sentiment sounds easy to us, we’re left befuddled and bedraggled by the many hard places and thorny challenges of following Jesus.  When it gets hard, we ask, “What’s happening?”  And what we’re really saying is “I thought grace made this Christian thing easy.”

We can intimate that salvation through Christ is easy. But it’s not. It was neither easily purchased for us, nor is it easily obtained, nor is it easily kept.

The Purchase.  Christ purchased our salvation with His own blood. The agony of Gethsemane was eclipsed by great groanings of Golgotha. The pleadings in the garden gave way to the great cries of the cross. Our salvation comes at infinite cost to the Son of God.  He suffered holy wrath against the sins of the entire world.  It was not easily purchased.

Obtaining.  Nor is it easily obtained. Does not the Lord himself say straight and narrow is the way and there are few who find it?  Camels go through the eye of a needle more easily than rich men enter the kingdom of God. There is taking up the cross and dying with Christ. All this happens by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but it is not easily obtained. It is costly to follow Jesus.

Maintaining.  Nor is it easily maintained. All those who would live godly lives shall suffer persecution. They hated Jesus and they hate those who follow. People will think they’ve done a good thing when they have slain the Lord’s servants. The flesh will war against the Spirit. Sin will deceive and tempt. The enemy sets snares. The world sings its siren song.  Many will not love the truth and will turn back.

Only those who overcome, who persevere in faith until the end, will receive the Reward. We are kept by God’s power through faith. Our inheritance is preserved for us in heaven. But, forgive me, this is not easy. This is not achieved while rolling over again and again on our beds, while drinking in the poisons of sinful entertainments, or giving ourselves to unrighteousness. The one we serve is our master–whether mammon, sin, or Christ. We serve Christ by His grace through faith and in the power of His indwelling Spirit. He is our holiness with which we will see God. But persevering until the end is not easy.

We were never told it would be easy. Much to the contrary. We take the kingdom by force. We wage war in the power of Christ. We put to death the misdeeds of the flesh. We gouge out and cut off. We deny ourselves and pick up our cross and follow daily. We do not shrink back from death and persecution and starvation and the enemy’s assaults. We stand. And doing all, we stand.

And as we do, in Christ, we are more than conquerors.  For He is our Captain, a Shield, our Defender, our Advocate, and our Victory. We are assured of all that God promises us in Christ. It is by grace alone through faith alone in the finished work of Christ alone. But it is not easy.  Press on toward the high calling; discipline your body; persevere until the end; run to win the crown.  You won’t lose in Christ, even if it’s not easy.

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11 thoughts on “God Does Not Justify Sinners by Grace Alone Through Faith Alone in Christ Alone to Make Salvation Easy for Us”

  1. Andy says:

    Having read a post @ between the times this morning where an underling attempted to correct his professor and was mortified in the process… I proceed with caution..

    Shouldn’t “straight and narrow” be “strait and narrow”? There’s a huge difference.

    Although several modern version have completely dumped the “strait”.


    1. Thabiti says:

      Here at PureChurch, I’M the underling! :-) I welcome any and all corrections and rebuttals :-)

  2. John says:

    Isn’t strait and narrow redundant? Anyway, this was a great word. Reminds me of Bonhoeffer – Grace is the solution, not the algorithm.

  3. Victoria says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been musing about the Gospel and how many Christians today just have it wrong and present it wrong to the unsaved. In preparing to write something for the ladies in my church about what the Gospel is I found a link to your post. It has helped me think more clearly and therefore I can write more clearly.
    Thank you for your faithfulness to Christ and his Gospel and his people. We are blessed.

  4. Randy Klynsma says:

    Hey there Pastor Thabiti…. Great post this morning. I’ve thought and been preaching these same truths…but have not worded it so clearly or convincingly.

    I remember reading a Wesley (not sure which one) sermon that someone posted a long time trying to counter my teaching about God’s Sovereignty which asked why “reformed” preachers don’t preach on “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.”

    The Bible is clear… man is responsible and God is Sovereign….I think we could even say 100% in each case.

    Anyway…. thanks for sharing your heart.


  5. Michael says:

    Hi there,

    I agree with you that it is not easy to be a Christian, it is getting harder and harder by the day because the world is getting darker everyday. And reading this I wasn’t sure for a second.. but I assume you are thinking the same as I:

    God has not made it easy for us in the sense we will never face any trials or have troubles as followers of Christ, but God did make salvation SIMPLE and availabe to all men. There are two steps involved as Paul teaches us: Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart the God raised Him from the dead. “Getting saved” is simple but the life after we are saved is not easy, but very hard indeed!

    Great message!!


  6. Amy says:

    Beautiful statement. I found this through Tom Goodman, and I’m so glad I did. It was wonderful to read.

    John: After reading Andy’s statement, I looked up “strait” on It can mean narrow or confined, but it also means strict, as in terms of requirements or principles. I’m assuming that’s the definition intended in that verse.

    Thanks for the words today. It’s a good thing to meditate on. :)

  7. Eric says:

    There seems to be no doubt that those whom Jesus saved when he walked the earth were saved without a New Testament, specifically without the epistles of Paul. Yes, they had the words of Jesus, but they did not have the Gospel writings.
    Like Abraham, justification comes through faith. Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. He offered his son up on the alter of sacrafice, but the angel stopped him.

    God asks us today to believe in Jesus Christ The Son of God, and to be Baptized.

    Believe with the heart, confess with the mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Salvation is simple. Except it.

    Remember the parable that the Lord Jesus told about the man who owed a great debt to his master, and was going to be forgiven by his debtor, the master, but the man could not accept this forgiveness of the debt. He felt he needed to repay it like many of us do today by doing good deeds or attempting to live a sinless or near sinless life to obtain salvation.
    Then this man who owed the debt went about trying to collect the money owed him by others, and he was very unforgiving of those who owed him money.
    Then ehe master who had initially forgiven this man his debt became angry and decided to throw the man into prison until the debt was paid in full.

    Don’t pay a dime for salvation. Accept it free of charge.

  8. Bob says:

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
    So, this is just another lie in the Bible then……………..

  9. cephas says:

    Complete garbage. Whoever wrote this is a hell bound false prophet who is going to split hell wide open and wail and scream forever in the torments of hellfire. Jesus said he thay believeth on me HATH EVERLASTING LIFE. Jesus paid it all. You don’t maintain eternal life, if God takes it away then it wasn’t eternal life. Jesus said I give unto them ETERNAL LIFE and they shall NEVER PERISH, NEITHER shall any man pluck them out of my hand. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. You’re trusting in your filthy rags and own righteousness and reject Christ and will burn in hell for it. Whosoever BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH but have everlasting life. By the works of the law shall NO flesh be justified. Following Jesus and discipleship is not salvation. You’re a heretic and will burn in hell and you’re taking unstable souls with you. You preach another gospel, let you be accursed. What part of “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” don’t you get? Stop adding to the gospel and making God a liar. Jesus only had twelve disciples. Thousands believed on him and got saved. Jesus said thy FAITH has saved thee. He that BELIEVETH ON THE SON HATH EVERLASTING LIFE. you wicked devil

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Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is a pastor for Anacostia River Church in southeast Washington, DC and a council member of The Gospel Coalition.

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