By Grace Through Faith Alone
In every dispensation, salvation has always been by grace through faith.
“For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness’” (Rom. 4:3). Under the Old Covenant, people believed God accepted the blood of bulls and goats as a covering for their sins even though they knew such blood could never actually remove sins (Heb 10:4); in so believing, they were justified (declared righteous by God).
Today we believe Jesus is the propitiation for our sins: “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (Jn. 1:12–13).
To the apostle Paul it was given to “preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” (Eph. 3:8–10).
What follows salvation is the stewardship for living, unique to each dispensation, by which God’s children glorify Him before all “the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,” as well as before those who live on the earth. Salvation is never by works, but always “for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (2:10).