Although it’s been around for a while, there is a buzz word called “synergy”.


The definition of synergy is as follows “Synergy is the combined value and performance of two entities to produce an end result that couldn’t be achieved individually.”


In religious synergistic terms … there are three ways of putting this:


1.  “Do your best to serve God and Christ will make up for the deficiency … and by this you will be justified.”


2.  “The combined efforts of you and Christ will see you saved.”


3.  “My obedience to God’s laws are acceptable to God through the goodness of Christ.”


This is how many people think … that you can combine law and grace …. your obedience to God’s laws + God’s grace = salvation.


In his “Pilgrim’s Progress” John Bunyan had to meet this error of his day, and personified this type of legalism as the fellow called Ignorance:


Christian: “How doest thou believe?”


Ignorance: “I believe that Christ died for sinners, and that I shall be justified before God from the curse, through his gracious acceptance of my obedience to his Law. Or thus, Christ makes my Duties that are Religious acceptable to his Father by virtue of his Merits; and so shall I be justified.”


Ignorance’s formula for salvation can be expressed as follows:


My obedience + God’s grace by Christ’s merits = Salvation


In theology, this is called religious synergisma combined effort.


A story:

There was a man who was condemned to death for embezzlement of $4,000.

But there was pity in the heart of the Royal family.

The king gave $2,000 from the treasury as a contribution to the debt.

The queen gave $1,000.

The crown prince gave $980.

The people in the public gallery passed around the hat and gathered $19.90.

But it was of no avail, as the man owed $4,000 and had come up short 10 cents.

The judge said “It’s no use, the fellow must be executed!”

In desperation, the condemned man searched his pockets, and to the applause of the spectators, he produced the vital last ten cents from his own trouser pocket.

Now of course, it wasn’t a large amount, that ten cents, compared to the gifts of the Royal family, but it was the ten cents that secured his freedom.


The moral of the story:

Subconscious in our minds is that we have contributed to our own salvation … no matter how small … and inevitably, that “ten cents”, will seem more important and precious to us than the goodness and merits of Christ.


We have no goodness in ourselves … that is 0% … and Christ’s doing and dying are the 100% … necessary for our salvation.


Harley Hitchcock

This website’s front page is:

Answer: 100% short.

“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
(James 2:10)


Australian Bible Ministries, PO Box 5058 Mt. Gravatt East 4122 Qld, Australia