Gospel of God, The (2 volume set), by Watchman Nee

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We have previously mentioned what grace is. All of the readers of the New Testament know that we are saved by grace. No one would be so incorrect as to say that salvation is by the law and not by grace. If a man says that a person is saved by the law and not by grace, he has never read the New Testament. This light is too great in the New Testament. Some things we can let go of easily. But we cannot let this matter go by in a light way. If salvation is by grace, then we can never be a debtor before God. If I show grace to others, I cannot expect any repayment. If I had any thought of repayment, and if I had any hope of being repaid, this would be a loan and not grace. If I give something to you with the hope that one day you will return it, this is not grace. If God gives us grace today with the hope that we will render good works to Him later, it is not grace either. There is absolutely no return regarding grace.

What does the Bible say about the way to receive eternal life? The gift of God is eternal life in Christ (Rom. 6:23). Therefore, the eternal life that we have received cannot be lost. What is a gift? A gift is a present from God. It is something that God gives to us. If others give something to us, can they ask for it back? We are not kindergarten children, giving others some candy one day and asking for it in return the next day. A gift is something given freely. If our salvation could be lost, Romans 6:23 would have to say, "The loan of God is eternal life in Christ." A loan can be reclaimed, but something that is given cannot be reclaimed. Once it is given, it is given forever. If eternal life is given to us in Christ, then it can never be reclaimed. The word gift in the original language clearly indicates that it is something given freely; it cannot be reclaimed. If it cannot be reclaimed, then there is no possibility of us losing the gift.

The Bible shows us clearly that God’s gift is without repentance. Eternal life is an important item of God’s gift. Salvation is also an important item of God’s gift. There are many other items besides these. God’s gift is given without repentance. If there is no repentance, how can God reclaim it? In order to reclaim it, there must first be regret. Without any regret, there can never be any reclaiming. At the same time, if there is any reclaiming, it is no longer a gift. With giving, there is no such thing as reclaiming. Can I say that I am giving something and then claim it back again tomorrow? I cannot do that. If it is given, it cannot be reclaimed.

God is not like us, wavering and changing frequently. He is not one way today and another way the next. Once God has given us something, He will never claim it back. As far as God’s character is concerned, salvation is given to us as a gift rather than as a loan. Hence, we have to admit that it is eternal. Thank and praise the Lord that God never borrows and never lends. He never expects repayment; He only gives. God is too great. Not only does He never borrow or lend, He never sells either. God saves us by grace. God is so great that He cannot sell, borrow, or lend anything. He is so great that He can only give away. Hence, we see that the gift of God is eternal life.

(Gospel of God, The (2 volume set), Chapter 15, by Watchman Nee)