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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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15 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

  10. Bro. Nick says:

    Unfortunately pastor Thabiti Anyabwile has made no response to the Biblically sound – but very harsh comment made by ‘cephas’ more than a year and a half ago.

    While “the certainty of the words of truth” clearly state that Biblical Salvation is indeed ~ “THE GIFT OF GOD” ~ “THE FREE GIFT”
    – there is nowhere written in “the word of the Lord” that Biblical Salvation is ‘cheap’
    In the Holy Bible [AV] “the certainty of the words of truth” are clearly and plainly written:
    “For by grace are ye SAVED through faith;
    and that not of yourselves:
    it is “THE GIFT OF GOD”:
    Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
    (Ephesians 2:8-9 ~ AV)

    AND – While Biblical Salvation is indeed ‘simple’
    – there is nowhere written in “the word of the Lord” that Biblical Salvation is ‘easy':
    “But what saith it?
    The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:
    that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
    and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
    thou shalt be saved.
    For with the heart man BELIEVETH unto righteousness;
    and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    For the scripture saith,
    Whosoever BELIEVETH on him shall not be ashamed.
    (Romans 10:8-11 ~ AV)

    It is my Biblical understanding that the key word about whether a person is truly Biblically “SAVED” is the word “BELIEVETH” – which most ‘modern’ Bible versions change to ‘believes’.
    – “BELIEVETH” is an ongoing and lasting personal choice. That IS NOT the definition of ‘believes’ – AND ‘things that are different are not the same.’

    – “BELIEVETH” is written 45 times in the Holy Bible [AV]
    ~ OLD Testament [AV] = 4 times ~ Job 15:22, 39:24 | Proverbs 14:15 | Isaiah 28:16
    ~ NEW Testament [AV] = 41 times
    FIRST mention: Mark 9:23
    LAST mention: 1 John 5:10

    Why is the emphasis on the one word “BELIEVETH” so important for Biblical Salvation? Because it is written in the Holy Bible [AV] that:
    “Every word of God is pure:
    he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
    Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”
    (Proverbs 30:5-6 ~ AV)

    Please read – and study (2 Timothy 2:15 ~ AV) – ask in real and sincere PRAYER that “the only wise God” will give unto you His wisdom – and His discernment – and His guidance to understand the eternal importance of the word “BELIEVETH”
    – which is written FOUR times in the following EIGHT verses:
    [14] ¶ And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
    even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
    [15] That whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
    [16] ¶ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
    that whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish,
    but have everlasting life.
    [17] For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
    but that the world through him might be saved.
    [18] ¶ He that BELIEVETH on him is not condemned:
    but he that BELIEVETH not is condemned already,
    because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    [19] And this is the condemnation,
    that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
    [20] For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. [21] But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
    (John 3:14-21 ~ AV)

    PLEASE do not take my word for that which personally affects whether or not you are Biblically “SAVED”
    – be a Biblical ‘Berean’ about which it is written in the Holy Bible [AV]:
    “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica,
    in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
    Therefore many of them believed; . . . ”
    (Acts 17:11-12 ~ AV)

    – CAPITALization for emphasis of “the certainty of the words of truth” ~ as they are Divinely preserved in the Holy Bible [AV] are mine – Bro. Nick

  11. Pleased to realize how many there are who think like me.

    1. Bro. Nick says:

      Tarlochan Singh Khalssa – But – which way do you think?

  12. gary says:

    I believe that traditional Christianity can be proven false in less than five minutes, simply by knocking out the three pillars of the Christian Faith (belief system):
    1. The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus
    2. The Accuracy of Old Testament Prophecy
    3. The Witness of the Holy Spirit
    And here is the evidence that destroys these three superstition-based claims:
    1. Based on cumulative human experience, it is much more probable that the early Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus was due to one disciple’s bereavement hallucination (probably Simon Peter’s) than a once in history reanimation of a three-day-brain-dead corpse. Persons who experience hallucinations believe them to be real life experiences. If Paul was able to convince first century Jews in Asia Minor that he had seen a resurrected Jesus based on a “heavenly vision”, then Simon Peter was surely capable of convincing first century Jews (including the other disciples) in Palestine that he had seen the resurrected Jesus, even though his experience had really been an hallucination. The remainder of the “appearances” of Jesus listed in the Early Creed of First Corinthians 15 could simply have been static images (illusions) something we see today with alleged group sightings of the Virgin Mary. The Early Creed gives no details whatsoever of these appearances. The detailed appearances in the four Gospels may well be literary embellishments, very common in Greco-Roman biographies, the genre of literature in which most New Testament scholars, including many conservative Christian scholars, believe the authors of the Gospels were writing.
    2. The Book of Daniel is a blatant fraud. The book very accurately portrays the events in the Greek Empire down to abstract minutia but makes major errors regarding the Babylonian and Persian empires, the empires during which the book’s author infers the book was written. Jesus quotes from this fraudulent book. Jesus, who was not a scholar, was fooled by the author. Modern scholars are not fooled.
    3. The “witness of the Holy Spirit” is a joke. Christians can no more prove that the voice that allegedly speaks to them is their god than can the Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Jews, and others prove that the voice that speaks to them is their god. Watch this powerful video for proof:

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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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