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By Curtis Pugh

            Today's Americans do not use the word “monger” much. A person who deals in a specific commodity is a monger. Among religious people there are both works mongers and grace mongers: those who deal in the idea that good works are necessary to obtain the new birth and those who maintain that the new birth is all of grace.

            Every person claiming to be a Christian says that they believe in grace. However the parting of the ways comes when some say that the sinner must do something in order to obtain grace. Many say that grace - and with it the new birth - comes by baptism. Others say the new birth comes because a person prays or opens his heart's door or makes a decision for Christ, etc. In other words, God gives the new birth (eternal life) because of works on the part of the spiritually dead sinner. They claim that a spiritually dead sinner can do something physical and bring about spiritual life.

            Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,” (John 3:6). All that the flesh (natural man) can produce is something natural, but the Spirit produces spiritual life when He moves into the sinner. Proof: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” (Romans 8:9).  

            Then there are those who “deal” in pure grace. They say, “...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” (Romans 6:3). They often quote, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” (Ephesians 2:8-9). And often resort to Romans 4:4-5 which says: “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Think of that! Righteousness by God's gift of faith alone!

            Then there are those who think they can mix works and faith and thus qualify for the new birth. But Paul knocked that idea in the head when the wrote: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.  And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace,” (Romans 11:5-6).In other words, election and subsequent spiritual life is either by works or by grace. The two are opposites and cannot be mixed: like oil and water! When Newton wrote “'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved” he testified to the fact that all of salvation – beginning with the new birth – all is by grace! Are you a works monger or a grace monger?

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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