Salvation Is Neither Deserved or Earned

by Doy Moyer

Salvation cannot be earned for the simple reasons that:

  1. If deserved, it isn’t salvation. We deserve what we are saved from, not what we are saved to.
  2. If deserved, it isn’t grace. Grace grants something good that we don’t deserve.
  3. Sin makes it impossible to earn or deserve salvation (Romans 3:23; 6:23), but is what makes the need for salvation so vital.

None of this nullifies the need to respond and obey, for obedience does not put us in the position of earning or deserving anything (Luke 17:10). Rather, obedience is itself based on God’s grace.

  1. The Gospel is called the “Gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
  2. The Gospel must be obeyed, for those who do not “obey the Gospel” will be lost (II Thessalonians 1:8).
  3. Grace teaches us “to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14).
  4. Therefore, grace and obedience are necessary counterparts of the same Gospel. The Gospel is more than facts to be believed; it is to be obeyed, and thus contains commands to follow. These commands are given by the grace of God.

To deny grace is to deny the Gospel.
To deny the need for obedience is to deny the Gospel.
To deny the Gospel is to be lost.