Notice that who does the work is not the issue. Work period is the issue. The BASIS of grace is the issue here, and if the basis of grace is works it is no longer grace. If Christ had to keep the law for us to make grace possible, according to Paul [A], grace is no longer of grace. (Paul D in Charles Haddon Spurgeon: The Prince of Preachers?)
[Of course the idea of keeping the Law for grace makes no sense, especially considering we’re Gentiles who were never under the ceremonial law in ANY sense: we were never condemned by it, ever, and never in need of being redeemed from it, PERIOD. So the flawed explanation of Jesus becoming a curse to take the curse of the Law etc. in Galatians could not ever have been intended for us. Its an explanation aimed at Jews.]
There are a few questions that must be answered before we can even talk about this subject:
- What is grace?
- When is it needed?
Without defining these things, the word “grace” is as meaningless as “Evangelical.”
Augustine basically made grace out to be magic-enabling-power that must come at the beginning to enable you to believe. Then he also made it a continuing but exhaustible power source needed in the middle, but apparently not in the end. And then he made God out to be a stingy jerk who won’t give you the grace you need no matter how persistent you are in prayer.
To Pelagius grace wasn’t needed at the beginning, at least not grace as we normally define it. The only “grace” needed at the beginning was the preaching of the gospel, which Augustine complained about constantly saying “By grace Pelagius means nothing but law and teaching.”
See Pelagius thought we could respond to the gospel without Augustine’s magic enabling power. No Calvinist zapping from on high was needed to undo inherited disability, because there was no inherited disability!
Grace proper with Pelagius began once you became a Christian, at which point grace enabled you to resist sin “more easily” which implies you could resist sin before conversion too, just not as easily (which Augustine again complained about, because Augustine claimed it was impossible to resist sin at all without “grace”).
And Pelagius identified grace with the indwelling of the Spirit, received in baptism, of course. Not only that, but Pelagius a credobaptist which again Augustine wasn’t too happy about since his Rome-given job was to invented a theology to defend infant baptism (which is what “original sin” was created for).
But ultimately, isn’t grace God’s mercy? Isn’t it really what comes at the end?
We can delineate 3 graces:
(1) revelation (i.e. what Augustine complains Pelagius believed in, “law and teaching”) : the teaching ministry of Christ’s assembly.
(2) The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which enables the Christian to resist sin “more easily,” and is received in baptism (Acts 2:38 no matter what the Baptists say).
(3) God’s mercy on Judgement Day, as James says and Jesus as well in the sermon on the mount: he who shows mercy WILL receive mercy.
But what Augustine called “grace” and what both Catholicism and Protestantism teach about “grace” (Baptists too): its like energon in Tranformers; its a myth.
Now, is grace no longer grace if it requires any works?
(1) Well, Relevation is free, although people had to copy it by hand for centuries, and that was works. If nobody worked you wouldn’t have it.
(2) The indwelling of the Holy Spirit don’t just zap you. You have to repent and be baptized to receive it (Acts 2:38)
And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32)
Notice that verse contrary to the Baptist heresy: God don’t give the Holy Spirit to those who simply obey. Faith alone is Satan’s religion. God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey. Obey what? “Repent and be baptized each of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
(3) He who shows no mercy will receive none, James says.
So each of the 3 graces requires works or you don’t get it. Sorry, but Paul A was wrong, as usual. He’s the source of all Gnostic error and stupidity, as always. Or rather, the epistles forged in his name are, since Paul A in Acts ain’t half a bad as these “authentic epistles” of his.