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  • Writer's pictureSteve McAtee

Two Ways of Obtaining Salvation

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Day 14 of the 22 Day Salvation Study

Notes compiled by Steve McAtee and Marty Zide

There are only two ways of trying to obtain salvation. Either you work for it by yourself (by being the best person you can be), or you believe in what the Messiah Jesus did on your behalf. There are no other options. We will compare the two possibilities and see what God’s Word says on the subject.

I’m going to tell you upfront that only one of the two possibilities works. Also, you will easily be able to see which one the Bible teaches.


Eph. 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

Rom. 3:24 - being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Messiah Jesus;

Rom. 11:6 - But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

Eph. 1:7 - In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,


Rom. 3:28 - For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Rom. 4:4 - Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due.

Gal. 2:16 - nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Messiah Jesus, even we have believed in Messiah Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in

Messiah, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.

Gal. 2:21 - I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Messiah died needlessly.

Titus 3:5 - He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy...


1. God deals favorably with people in a way they do not deserve.

2. This is the only way sinners can be saved from sin.

3. This does not recognize human merit or works as causing or contributing to salvation.

4. The human response of faith allows God to work graciously, as He promises.

5. Salvation is wholly of God’s work; He receives all the credit and praise.

6. Being solely God’s work, salvation by this method cannot fail.

7. This is the only principle which is effective in saving sinners


1. God deals with people in a way they do deserve.

2. This prohibits sinners from experiencing salvation.

3. This recognizes human merit or works as causing or contributing to salvation.

4. The human response of works compels God to fulfill his obligation.

5. Salvation is a cooperative effort of God and man, thus both receive praise.

6. Relying on man doing his part, salvation would never be certain.

7. This principle can never save sinners.

What’s the final end of those who seek salvation by works or by keeping the Law?

Rev. 20:11-15 - And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. And death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Are we saying that there is no place for good works at all in the life of a true believer? No, goods works should be present in the life of all those who are saved.


Titus 3:8 - This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.

Titus 3:14 - And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, that they may not be unfruitful.

Titus 2:14 - who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Titus 1:16 - They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed.

We have established that salvation is not obtainable by good works, neither is it obtainable by keeping the Law of Moses.

Coming Next - The Purpose Of The Mosaic Law

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