committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







Sola Gratia



"1.THEORY STATED. The theory of Calvinists as to election is that God (not man) of  his own purpose (in accordance with his will, and not from any obligation man, nor because of any will of man), has from eternity (the period of God's action, not in time in which man acts), determined to save (not has actually saved, but simply determined so to do, and to save, not merely to confer gospel or church privileges upon) a definite number of mankind (not the whole race, nor indefinitely merely some of them, nor indefinitely a certain proportionate part; but a definite number), as individuals (not the whole or part of the race, nor of a nation, nor of a church, nor of a class, as of believers or the pious; but individuals), not for or merit or work of theirs, nor of any value to him of them (not because of any for their good works, or their holiness, or excellence, or their faith, or their spiritual sanctification, although the choice is to a salvation attained through faith and sanctification; nor for their value to him, though their salvation tends greatly to the manifested glory of his grace); was but of his good pleasure (simply because he pleased so to choose)".

Founder and first president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville); president of the Southern Baptist Convention 1872-1879, 1888. Boyce is regarded as one of the outstanding Baptist theologians of the nineteenth century.

(Taken from ABSTRACT OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY by J. P. Boyce, now out of print.)

What is Sola Gratia?
by Sam Hughey

     The hallmark and glory of Protestant theology is its commitment to sola gratia,or the assertion that we are saved by grace alone.   This is not limited to those who are Reformed in their theology but also to those who are Arminian in their theology.  No true evangelical Christian will claim that their salvation did "not" come to them entirely by the grace of God alone.   However, many who support the Arminian position will also come dangerously close to the heresy taught by the Roman Catholic Church and others in that the grace of God "must" be coupled with something that "I" do in order for me to be saved.

     Prior to the Protestant Reformation, the Roman Catholic church emphasized grace, but not grace alone.  Roman Catholicism and other religious sects teach that grace requires human cooperation and effort if one is to be saved at all. The error taught among Arminians results from a confusion of Ephesians 2:8,9, et. al.  The false notion of "free will" also plays a large role in the development of grace alone (but adding "my decision").   There really is little, if any, difference between the Roman Catholic view and the Arminian view of salvation, so long as the grace of God must have a cooperation by man of any kind for any reason.

     As a former fundamental Baptist, I was constantly reminded that our salvation is most definitely by the grace of God but the faith of Eph. 2:8 was "mine".  Now, in order for the man of 1 Cor. 2:14 to be saved, God must first call; next, "I" must decide if "I" truly want to be saved (which contradicts 1 Cor. 2:14); and then "I" must invite (or allow) God to come into me and be my savior.  This has trampled upon the grace of God and has made human effort (cooperation) a necessary addition to grace in order to be saved. 

     Actually, holy scripture never teaches this.  If anything of human effort, whether it be physical, mental or otherwise, is added to the grace of God then our salvation is not by the grace of God "alone".  John 1:13 clearly states that our salvation does "not" come by our heritage, physical ability or mental agreement of any kind.  The grace of God is the glory of God.  Man must never share this wonderful and glorious gift that can only come from our Lord Himself.  This is what makes grace truly "amazing grace" for why would He save a sinner as I.

     When Paul asked our Lord to be relieved of his "thorn in the flesh", Jesus simply replied; "My grace is sufficient for you".  Oh, if we could only capture the mind of Paul when we attempt to capture the mind of God.  The grace of God is not only sufficient for our "thorns" but also for our very salvation.  In fact, without the grace of God, there would be no salvation from God.  Our so-called "free will", our vain attempts to obey rules and our man-made religious activity will leave us in the same place where it all begins, "spiritually dead" with no hope of salvation in spite of any and all our human activities.


Amazing Grace
lyrics by John Newton, 1779

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come.
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

And when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the vail
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun.

By Grace Alone
lyrics by Rev. Paul Treick

Thou art our God, and we Thy race
Elected by Thy Sovereign grace.
Not by the works which we have done
But by the cross the victory's won.
Oh keep this truth within our heart,
That from it we may ne'er depart.

By nature we depraved did dwell
Under Thy curse -- deserving hell
Sinful, corrupt in every part,
Not one pure motive in our heart.
Hadst Thou not looked on us in grace
We would remain a perished race.

In love eternal Thou didst choose
To save Thy sheep; their bonds to loose.
No good did we within us have
To claim Thy gracious plan to save.
Elected by Thy grace alone;
Holy to stand before Thy throne!

Incarnate did Thy Son appear--
A sacrifice -- a Lamb most pure;
To make atonement for His sheep
And perfectly Thy will to keep.
Now cleansed from sin and righteous, we
Are sons and heirs eternally!

The blood of Christ by grace supplied
Was by Thy Spirit's pow'r applied.
Thy Spirit we could not resist
Who breathed new life into our breast
Our souls alive, which once were dead,
Sing praise to Christ, the Lord, our Head!

With all Thy saints we are preserved
To enter heav'n -- a place reserved.
Secure we're kept within Thy care,
Lest we be lost to Satan's snare.
Oh Sovereign God, all praise to Thee
For our salvation, full and free!

This hymn of thanks, oh Lord, we bring;
For by Thy grace alone we sing.
Employ our lives in every sphere
Thy Law to keep; Thy name to fear.
"By grace alone" -- this doctrine pure --
Our "only comfort" doth secure.

'Tis Not That I Did Choose Thee
lyrics by Josiah Conder, 1836

'Tis not that I did choose thee,
For Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse thee,
Hadst thou not chosen me.
Thou from the sin that stained me
Hast cleansed and set me free;
Of old thou hast ordained me,
That I would live in thee.

'Twas sovreign mercy called me
And taught my op'ning mind;
The world had else entralled me,
To heav'nly glories blind.
My heart owns none before thee,
For thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, If I love thee,
Thou must have loved me first.


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