The human soul is one of the most talked of themes in almost theologies globally. It is defined as the essence of being. Without the soul, man is a heap of bones incapable of will, thought, and action. The soul hence is what needs to be protected from worldly corruption. Even within Christianity, there are many different concepts about the soul’s existence and the corporeal frame it is in on earth.
The notion of the soul being judged in the Afterlife is found in all Abrahamic religions. Theology proposes that once the soul is judged as righteous or not, it will enter heaven or hell. In Christianity, however, Jesus’s sacrifice at the cross saved his believers from God’s wrath. And so, Christians will necessarily enter heaven.
The concept of religion is based on bilateral terms between man and God. As a result of man’s worship, sacrifices, and efforts for religion, he is offered an excellent gift. That gift is what is termed “salvation”.
In Christianity, you can attain salvation through grace and faith. Read below to learn what role grace and faith play in Christian salvation.
Salvation in Christianity
The Bible bears witness to the belief that when Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross, it became the ultimate sacrifice that excused humanity of all sin and negligence they had shown towards God. This is how humankind was saved or “salvaged” from sin and punishment.
The word “Salvage” is a Latin word that means “to save”. The idea was further elaborated by Saint Paul in his epistles. The concept of salvation through Christ’s sacrifice has become a part of several Christian theories elaborated by Early Christian fathers and the preachers of medieval churches. The several takes on salvation have resulted in a few visible rifts between different Christian denominations.
Salvation in the Bible
The concept of Christian Salvation has been broached several times in the Bible. Here are a few verses:
- “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 4:4–5)
- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” (Galatians 3:13–14)
Salvation Through Grace
Grace could be best explained as undeserved kindness. It’s an accepted truth that Jesus Christ gave his life for his people at the cross. These people were not apostles or men who just did good deeds. When Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross, he did the favor for the entire humanity and saved/salvaged them from the punishment of the sins of their lives.
Salvation by Grace through Faith
We’ve already mentioned that what Jesus did on the cross was beyond merciful. He did not show mercy towards sinners. He condoned them and forgave them for all their sins, leading to God also forgiving sinners for all their sins. This means that humanity was salvaged from their sin by God’s grace. The Bible has made a point about the role of grace in Christian salvation that salvation is only possible through grace.
The best way to juxtapose the role of faith in the equation could be through declaring that salvation in Christianity is only possible by grace through faith. That is to say, you should have faith in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for your salvation to attain God’s forgiveness. This makes a belief in Christianity a must for any person to be salvaged for their sins.
The Role of Grace and Faith in Christian Salvation
The saying of Paul in Ephesians 2:8 makes all of it quite clear. Paul mentions, “It’s by God’s grace that you’ve been saved through Faith.” The saying clarifies that God saved us from our punishment because we showed faith in Him. This also affirms our earliest proposition that most religions work on bilateral terms between man and God. Most often, man is directed to show a sense of belief in the many miracles to God to procure one for himself.
The role of grace and faith in Christianity is indispensable. The entire concept would fall flat if grace or faith were taken out of the equation. An understanding of Christian salvation gives rise to more questions of “If we’re already saved from punishment from Jesus’ sacrifice, does that mean our deeds don’t count?” or “Can we continue with being the way we are since only faith is needed at our end to attain salvation by grace?”
The potential question that comes here is what is the role of a man to attain salvation? What should he be doing to achieve God’s forgiveness?
You’ll notice the role of human deeds is treated differently in different Christian denominations. Many Catholic denominations believe that salvation is attained by grace through faith and good deeds. These deeds involve praying in the Church, attending communions, and confessing sins.
Other Christian denominations insist prayer is the only deed needed along with faith to attain salvation. In almost all Christian denominations, the highest faith can only be achieved when man tries to see himself in the image of God and thus abstain from all worldly sin and oppression.
Our Final Thoughts
To best find out what roles do grace and faith play in Christian salvation, you will have to understand these terms individually. Once you’ve understood the three concepts on their own, you’ll be able to understand them together just like a solved puzzle. The takeaway here is that salvation is not possible without grace and faith. You cannot separate the two, or focus on one at the expense of the other. You need both to attain God’s mercy. With faith, you should also practice good deeds and pray for God’s forgiveness.