In the spiritual journey of a believer, understanding the foundation of our salvation is paramount. It’s encapsulated in the powerful statement from the Apostle Paul: “By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8). This simple truth is the heart of the gospel and the window through which regeneration unfolds before our eyes. The rest of our theological knowledge—however profound or extensive—is but a reflection of this fundamental grace, a grace that is whole and sufficient in itself. This instructional essay seeks to guide believers to the realization that true rest is not in the accumulation of knowledge but in the peace that knowledge represents—the rest we find in the grace of God.
The Initial Unveiling of Grace
Regeneration is an unveiling, a divine revelation where the simple truth of salvation by grace is first made clear. This grace is not just a part of the truth—it is the truth, complete and perfect in its delivery of salvation. As new believers, you must understand that all additional truths derived from Scripture, while beneficial, are secondary to this profound realization. Embracing grace means recognizing that it is not knowledge that saves, but the One whom that knowledge reveals.
Resting vs. Knowing
Knowledge in the life of a believer serves a vital role, but it is not the vessel of our rest. Rather, our rest is found in the confidence of what that knowledge points to—the finished work of Christ. The wise of this world may seek endlessly, amassing wisdom as a testament to their intellect. However, the child of God finds their soul’s settlement not in endless searching but in the assured promises of God’s Word. As believers, we are not called to an insatiable quest for more, especially not from the limited wisdom of mankind.
The Discipline of Restful Learning
Even as grace affords us this rest, it requires discipline to maintain unity in our faith. As we continue to learn and grow, it is crucial to ensure that our newfound knowledge does not eclipse the fundamental work of Christ. Knowledge should enrich our faith, not become the cornerstone of it. There is a delicate balance between learning and resting, one that allows us to appreciate the insights we gain without letting them disturb our rest in Christ’s redemptive work.
The Futility of Intellectual Assent for Salvation
There is a common misstep among believers to seek security before God through intellectual assent or personal sanctification. Such endeavors are reminiscent of the Pharisees, who valued the law over grace. This mindset is a subtle departure from the truth that neither our mind’s understanding nor our body’s actions are effective for salvation—only grace is. Those who insist on a certain level of understanding or personal holiness as prerequisites for salvation are overlooking the essence of grace, leading us back into a works-based mentality that grace fundamentally frees us from.
Guarding Against the Turmoil of Falsehood
In the life of faith, believers must remain vigilant against the chaos sown by false gospels and erroneous teachings about Christ and His work. Such distortions breed doubt, unsettle believers’ confidence in their standing with God, and incite havoc and discord within the community of faith. As humans, we have a propensity to weave elaborate narratives and ideologies that can veer from the truth. This inevitability of falsehood necessitates a firm adherence to Scripture as our compass and shield. The Bible not only anchors us in truth but also instructs us on how to confront and overcome these challenges. By resting in the grace so freely given, we are equipped to rise above the confusion and strife false teachings create. Love, rooted in the grace we have received, becomes our guiding principle, enabling us to foster unity and peace amidst a sea of discord. Remembering that “grace upon grace” has been bestowed upon us through Christ (John 1:16), we are empowered to navigate falsehood with wisdom, preserving the integrity of our faith and the harmony of our fellowship.
Conclusion: The Supremacy of Grace Over All
As you walk the path of faith, remember that salvation is a gift of grace, not a result of human effort or intellectual merit. No amount of personal sanctification, doctrinal knowledge, or moral rectitude can secure our salvation—only the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ can. We are called to rest in this grace, to trust in the work of the Spirit to maintain our faith, and to let all our learning and growth in holiness spring from the security of our rest in God’s unmerited favor. This is the simplicity and the fullness of the gospel: by grace you have been saved, and by grace, you are called to live.
Instructing one another with these truths, we build up the body of Christ, maintaining the unity of faith. We rest while we learn, and we learn to deepen our rest, ever mindful that the grace that saved us is the same grace that sustains us. Let this be the cornerstone of your faith, and may the peace of resting in God’s grace be with you always.