by James Merritt

Dr. James Merritt
Ephesians 2:8-10


1. If God had a website on salvation, and you were to pull up
that page to find what the God, who will decide who gets into
heaven and who does not, says about salvation, what do you
think you would find? (Incidentally, there is such a website,
because I found it in preparing this message--what they had on
several pages I believe God probably could condense down to
one paragraph, which is the text we are preaching from today.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of
your-selves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should
boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for
good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should
walk in them." (vv.8-10)

2. There are three words in my version (the New King James)
which, taken together, explain salvation completely and totally.
They are the words "by," "through," "for."

3. Those three simple prepositions will keep you straight on this
whole matter of exactly how a person is saved, and how a
person can go to heaven. There is a debate as old as the New
Testament as to whether salvation comes through faith alone, or
good works. Even today Americans are split on the idea.

4. Fifty-five percent of all Americans in a nationwide survey said,
that a good person can earn his way to heaven. But that's not
all. 58% of Episcopalians, 59% of Methodists, 76% of Mormons,
and 82% of Catholics agreed. Incidentally, 38% of Baptists also
said that a good person can earn his way to heaven.(1)

5. When I was pastoring my very first church, my Chairman of
Deacons, named Rolly Matthews, a godly old man, invited me to
come down one day to see him deliver a calf. I had never seen
that done before and it was a fascinating sight.

6. I am reminded of the story of the farmer who was helping one
of his cows give birth, and he had th ...

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