Is this dangerous to say? By grace alone

This is the type of hard but beautiful truth you find in By Grace Alone:

Sadly, thinking that I deserve heaven is a sure sign I have no understanding of the gospel.
– Sinclair B. Ferguson

Read more quotes below to see why this is one of my favorite books on grace. My book review is here.

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Excerpt from By Grace Alone

Your salvation rests not on what you have done but on what Christ has done.

You, therefore, can be sure of it, no matter how weak the faith by which you hold on to Christ, no matter how strong the attacks and accusations of Satan may be.

Remember that you are not saved by increased levels of holiness, however desirable it is that you should reach them.

Indeed, while we often say that we are “saved by faith” or by “faith in Christ,” as Benjamin B. Warfield shrewdly comments, it is not even faith in Christ that saves us.

It is Christ who saves us—through faith. Your faith is a poor and crumbling thing, as is your spiritual service. Jesus Christ alone is qualified and able to save you because of what He has done.

. . . You are not pushed back on your own resources or spiritual qualities. You are able to rest exclusively on what Jesus Christ has done for you. For what He has done for you is absolutely perfect. What Christ is doing in you is still incomplete. But in what Jesus Christ has done for you there is not a single tiny crack that the satanic arrows can penetrate. Jesus Christ is your shield.

. . . [For] the only righteousness we have before God is Jesus Christ’s righteousness, to which we contribute nothing.

Faith contributes nothing to that righteousness. The years we may have lived the Christian life contribute nothing to that righteousness.

Conversely, our sins cannot diminish that righteousness.

Is that not a dangerous thing to say? It would be if it were distorted. But the truth is that no other kind of righteousness can justify us.

– Sinclair B. Ferguson

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10 thoughts on “Is this dangerous to say? By grace alone

  1. Dianna

    Now this is a book that will definitely be purchased at the end of the month! No hard decision there! I especially like “it is not even faith in Christ that saves us” because I was taught in my young days of being a Christian that it was my faith in Him that brought about my salvation. Then about 18 years ago I began pleading with God as I read my Bible to show me TRUTH! He moved in mighty ways after that…He moved us right out of that church and out of the area entirely and planted us smack dab in the middle of a church that preached the TRUTH! Thanks so much, Lisa, for sharing this book review!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I appreciate you sharing your past experience, Dianna. For many years I had a faulty view of what saved too. Once I started hearing about grace in my 20s, it changed everything. And each decade has brought an even more amazing understanding of it. I absolutely love being part of a church now that understands it’s nothing of our own doing that saves us–no amount of rule-keeping or good works or Bible knowledge–it’s all Christ or nothing. Yes, truth! It does set us free.

      I read several books on grace last year, but this one is my favorite. Just reading the highlights again this week made me happy. 🙂

  2. Lynn Severance

    Lisa, I really appreciate the messages in your posting today – the gift of grace as it needs to rise up above the spiritual warfare that can taunt. I also returned to your original review of Ferguson’s book What gems of reminders. They helped me go deeper right now. It has been such a challenging season. I love God’s timing in bring to us what we need – often through the work of others who have found more of His nuggets to share. Thank you! Lynn

    1. Lisa notes...

      I’m glad this was able to remind you today of his gifts of grace. I know you’ve been aware of them for a very long time but new seasons do bring needs for new grace. The emotional and physical challenges of the past few months with your brother must be very hard indeed. But you continue to show grace and God’s glory through them all. My prayers continue to be with you, David, and all your family for his continued recovery. So thankful he’s on that road now!

  3. Dave Arnold

    Hi Lisa! I recently discovered your blog through Caleb Suko’s site. Really enjoyed this post. I might have to check out Sinclair’s book. I’ve heard a lot about him. I also noticed you mentioned The Practice of Presence of God as a “you might like”. That is in my top 10 most influential, life-changing books. Anyway, enjoyed your thoughts on this post. God bless.

    1. Lisa notes...

      Sinclair’s book is one of the best books on grace that I’ve read so I heartily recommend it.

      “The Practice of the Presence of God” is on my top 10 life-changing books too. Pretty high honor to make it on both of our top 10. 🙂

  4. Mia

    Dear Lisa
    This is the long and the short of just about salvation; our Lord Jesus! Even when we cannot believe, He is the one to whom we look for the gift of faith. I believe, please help my unbelief!
    Blessings XX
    Mia

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