Three Tests of Truth
Michael L. Montgomery
people probably agree that salvation is by grace, but there
seems to be quite a bit of variation as to what “salvation
by grace” truly means. The Apostle Paul, in Romans 3:27-31,
gave us three ways to test our view on salvation so that we
may know if it is right. Verses 27-28 contain the first
test. Verses 29-30 contain the second. Verse 31 contains the
third. The proper view of salvation by grace…
1. Gives no room for boasting.
2. Requires no exceptions to save anyone.
3. Establishes the true purpose of the Law.
Let us look at each of these in a bit more detail. First, in
verse 27, Paul asked, “Where is boasting?” He was asking if
it was right for the saved person to take credit for their
salvation. Paul emphatically answered that salvation by
grace excluded any boasting. If “the law of works” saves us,
we would have reason to boast because our salvation would be
partly or totally based on something we did. If God owed us
salvation, we could boast about it, but Paul made it clear
in such verses as Ephesians 2:9 and Romans 4:2 that
salvation is not of our works “lest any man should boast.”
Nothing we do -- even believing the gospel -- obligates God
to save us. Rather, by believing the gospel, God blesses us
to see that God saved us solely for Christ’s sake.
Second, some make an exception for the salvation of those
who never had the chance to hear the gospel. In Romans
3:29-30, we learn that God is one; that He is God of all;
and that He shall justify the Gentile the same way as the
Jew. God’s way of saving requires no exceptions, regardless
of anyone’s circumstances.
Third, Paul said in Romans 10:4 that Jesus Christ was “the
end of the law for righteousness.” By this, he meant that
Christ not only fulfilled the law but that the law pointed
to Him as its fulfillment. In Romans 3:21, Paul said that
the righteousness of God without the law has been fully
manifested once and for all by the atoning sacrifice of
Jesus Christ. The law and the prophets bore witness to His
person and work. The gospel of salvation by grace declares
not that God arrived at a better way to save people than the
Mosaic Law. Rather, it declares that God saved His people
through the death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and
that the Law and the prophets attested to this all along.
To summarize, if your belief about salvation fails any one
or more of these three tests, then it cannot be right. If,
however, it eliminates any chance for boasting on your part,
requires no exceptions for how God saves certain segments of
mankind, and fully supports and finds full support in the
oracular writings of the Law and the prophets, then it
passes all three tests of scripture.