Grace, Faith, and Works

First thing I want to say is that I do not agree with faith-plus. That is a horrible heretical doctrine that takes salvation away from God and makes it something we can do. We cannot save ourselves, praise to the Lamb who has shed His blood for us!

Now, the first thing I’d like you to know is the importance of works and that there are two different kinds of works. Works are important in that they show where your heart is. They are evidence of your faith and they’re important for everything you can possibly do for Christ. Works also show who/what your master is. A man’s works can either be based on faith, or based on sin. Paul states this, “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23. Let’s look at the difference between the two.

Sin-based works are of course sin. They may be murders, thefts, and adulteries or they may be giving to the poor, going to church, reading the Bible, and praying. Understand that the works themselves may not be sins, but in God’s eyes they are. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6 Paul talks about this kind of works in nearly every letter. Take Romans 3 for example. He is explaining to Jewish Romans that you cannot be saved by obedience to the law or any other means. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Romans 3:28. In his letter to the Ephesians he says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” 2:8-10. This is another place where he says that you cannot get into heaven by works. He says, in short, we are saved by grace through faith, not by works, but for works.

Faith-based works are done by faith and are also essentially the very same as faith. In James 2:17, James says, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” He says just a few verses later, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only,” verse 24. If we look throughout Jesus’ teachings and Paul’s teachings, this same message is repeated over and over again. Romans 10:9-10, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13. Jesus talks about believing in Him as well as repenting, following and obeying Him. For instance, Matthew 4:17 says, “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He also said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” and “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life,” in John 3:3, 15. Throughout His ministry He told His disciples as well as others to follow Him. Here is one instance from Matthew 8:21-23, “And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.” He taught that in order for this to work it had to be mutual. It couldn’t just be the Father drawing us to Him, but we have to act on our free will. All of these, believe, obey, follow, repent, trust, are all considered faith.

Works are also evidence of faith, as stated above, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” These good works are evidence of our faith. Jesus says basically the same thing, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” John 15:16. James 2:18 says, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” “[We] are the salt of the earth,” and “[We] are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:13, 14. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.

Works are very important in our relationship with God, despite what men have taught you. First of all, the main purpose of saving us was reconciliation to Him. He can get everything we can do done without us. There are a lot of relations between Us. “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;” 1 Timothy 6:15 “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6 “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,” Hebrews 12:23 “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” John 15:14 In order to serve a king, lord, potentate, prince, we must obey. Jesus says that we are His friends if we obey Him. The point throughout the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments, is that we cannot walk hand-in-hand with both God and sin. It is impossible and God wants us to know this.

The last thing I want to point out is the relationship between grace, faith, and works. Each of these has an inseparable bond between them and is completely distinguishable from each other. Grace and faith are obvious as they are still around in the teachings today. Grace is an unmerited favor. It is getting what we don’t deserve. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. Works are something that is done. You cannot have faith without grace. “For by grace are ye saved through faith…” Ephesians 2:8. You cannot have works without faith. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6. You cannot have faith without works. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:17. Scripture says this about the three. Separate one from the other, or overemphasize one or another and you get a mess, for that you can look at the Church in America or the Roman Catholic Church.

Let’s consider this for a moment. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. Jesus is one with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. You cannot separate one from the other and each of them can be distinguished from the other. Jesus is the Way. That is, He is salvation. He is grace, faith, and works. There are many parallels between the Godhead and this. Please, take the time to think about this and study it for yourself.

In conclusion, we see a few things. First we see there are two different works, faith-based works and sin-based works. Next, we see that works are not only evidence of salvation, but is essentially the same as faith. Finally, we see that the relationship of grace, faith, and works is very similar to the Triune God, they are inseparable and completely necessary, but at the same time three completely different things.

**NOTE** For further study, do a topical study of the justification process, what we are and aren’t justified by, and the contexts, as well as the meaning behind each of them. Study the teachings of Jesus and how it pertains to salvation. Find patterns and parallels between the different passages.

Remember this, the salvation of Old Testament Saints, New Testament Saints, Tribulation Saints, Church Saints, Jews, Gentiles, Pagans, Saints, Apostles, Prophets, etc. is the same. Don’t let anyone tell you that there were different means or anything between any of them. The only difference between any of them, is the Holy Spirit did NOT indwell men until Jesus ascended to the Father.

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  1. JesusGuideTheWay says:

    Eph 1:13-14- 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the GUARANTEE of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

    Thank God that our salvation is sealed b/c if it weren’t, not one Christian would make it to heaven.

    • It’ sealed, but it’s gonna take more than just mouthing a simple prayer at the alter according to the traditions of men to get that.

      Wish I could talk more, but I’m getting ready or work now.

    • JesusGuideTheWay says:

      Your right its mouthing that simple prayer from the bottom of your heart & truely believing what you are saying. Salvation is not in our hands. If it were you and I would loose it for sure! Thats why me and you are covered by the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin. My friend, take peace in the fact that you will spend an eternity with the Almighty God. When God saves us He doesn’t do a partial save. Camment back if you have any further questions or concerns. God Bless you.

      • Correct. We must truly believe it AND mean it too. I can’t over emphasize, one HAS to mean business with God! God knows who is playing games and who is sincere. Half hearted prayers, parroted to please men, will leave one’s soul bound for hell.

        Those who play games with God reap what they sow.

        Those who call upon the Lord with SINCERITY (that’s the key!)find his salvation.

      • “When God saves us He doesn’t do a partial save”.

        Is deliverance from the power of sin part of salvation or not, according to you? And if it is not, how can you call it a full salvation? If it is, and it all depends on God, why do Christians still sin? Is it because God wants us to sin?

    • Eph 1:13-14- 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the GUARANTEE of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

      Thank God that our salvation is sealed b/c if it weren’t, not one Christian would make it to heaven.

      I totally disagree with this assertion, and here is why.

      Scripturally I believe it is unsound because:

      1) Paul raises the possibility of his own salvation being lost. 1 Cor. 9:27:“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” The word for castaway means “rejected, worthless”.

      We have to back up a moment from simply saying “but that is not what he meant!” and then arguing about it. If Paul were a man who believed in OSAS there is NO place for the thought of putting this phrase out there without explanation that “I do not say … , but rather ….” He would be sowing confusion on a foundational issue in the church without clarification. Paul was sharing an intimate concern he had and the result of that concern is that he is diligent to maintain spiritual discipline in his life.

      2) The writer of Hebrews says, in Heb 12:14-17:“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

      a) This letter is to the CHURCH in Jerusalem. It raises the issue to those who have the grace of God (can we have the grace of God and not be saved?) failing. Is it God’s grace that fails? No. It is we, if we do not walk diligently in His precepts who fail. How do you give the church a pep talk on being “diligent lest you fail”, if they cannot fail by their lack of diligence and sole reliance on an ‘accomplished’ work?

      The work accomplished by Christ is accomplished for us, once for all, but even Jesus admonishes on numerous occasions that his saints be alert and not fall into the cares of this world lest they not be ‘ready’ at his coming.

      b) Esau is used as an example (what a discussion is to be had in this example 😉 of having ‘it’ and losing ‘it’. He is used to make the point, “don’t let this be your story. be diligent, or you will be one who ‘has it’ and become one who ‘lost it’ without hope of recovery.”

      We are exhorted to not sell what we already have (salvation) for anything this world has to offer which is a mere bowl of soup in comparison. If we carelessly assume we are already saved, we are open to spiritual lethargy, which will open us up to carelessness to the ploys of the enemy who will find something to sell us. Not everyone who believes OSAS gives place to this deception, but many do.

      3) The writer of Hebrews earlier exhorts the CHURCH, in Heb 6:4-6 , For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance;

      OSAS says once we have received the spirit, we are “guaranteed salvation”. Is that not the point and proof text being taken from Ephesians? This verse,in Hebrews, clearly beyond shadow of doubt shows a people who have partaken of the Holy Spirit are able to ‘fall away’. Why would a hypothetical statement be raised to a saved people about falling away? The existence of that statement, if raised by one who believes in his core OSAS, is sheer confusion. That statement is made by one who feared what Jesus taught – that is to say, our Lord is away and is coming back, and we are to vigilant and alert, remaining on active duty lest we find ourselves on the outside looking in. Jesus’ warnings were given to his disciples.

      4) The Holy Spirit IS our guarantee. Now, if you were to buy a house and your parent’s gave you the guarantee money to inhabit it, that does not guarantee the house is yours. There is a closing that must take place. If you had say 5 years before you could use that money to buy a house, would you not be tempted to nickel and dime it away before the closing?

      If you bought a car, paid tuition thinking “I’ll re-fund the guarantee before closing” and yet the closing date comes and you are lacking, is your guarantee good enough to get you the house it was given for? No. Why not? Because you were carelessly assuming that just having it given to you was good enough to get the job done and in that carelessness you spent it elsewhere.

      This is why the numerous admonitions for diligence are given. Precisely to avoid the assumption of OSAS, because this assumption leads in many cases to ruin and lack of diligence, leading to a lack of our being about our Father’s business.

      The guarantee of the Holy Spirit is only worth something if we retain it until the last day. Scripture clearly warns that we can lose the guarantee and the reward it is given to guarantee us.

      And then, there is the last sentence, to generate a whole new discussion. If we are to be Biblically accurate, where does it say we will ‘make it to heaven?’

      Just some thoughts to consider in prayer.

      Blessings and Peace,
      Timothy

      • Excellent examples from real life! Thanks for posting!

        Remember, here is a scripture you forgot: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!”

        And read 2 Thes 1: 7-9!!

    • JesusGuideTheWay says:

      You are not understanding what the writer of Hebrews is tryig to say. I will explain Heb6:4 & Heb10:26-30 for you a little later 2night via Charles Stanleys’ book Eternal Security Can You be Sure?

      • I don’t trust Charles Stanley. It is better to fear God.

        2Pe 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
        2Pe 2:21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
        2Pe 2:22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A DOG RETURNS TO HIS OWN VOMIT,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

        There are people who KNOW the way of righteousness (Jesus), who have escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing Jesus, who still fall away.

        I question whether the preachers of “Once Saved Always Saved” have even escaped the pollutions of the world, or whether they actually KNOW Jesus – the one who gave us the Sermon on the Mount and told us that we had to do the will of God in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Is it Jesus who is telling them that the writer of the book of Hebrews was warning about something that never could happen, or that Peter was talking about people that never could exist?

    • The meaning of that word GUARANTEE is actually “deposit” or “down payment”. It means that God is giving the Holy Spirit as the first part of what He will eventually give to those who meet his conditions for salvation.

      And the condition is simply, that we REMAIN “in Him” and endure to the end, through faith and patience inheriting the promises. The promises of God are only to those who are “in Him”. Once you forsake Christ, you are no longer in Him.

      Do a Bible study on 1 John, the whole book, and not just some favorite verses, and tell me what the book of 1 John is saying about those who are truly “in Him”.

  2. jesseedavis says:

    I wanted to get people’s opinion on this article before I print it up and use it at the church for discipleship.

    I also plan to post it on my website when I get it ready to go. So the review of this forum is important. My dad and I have tested it against Scripture and nothing seems to pop out. Nothing in my spirit feels out of place.

    Please keep in mind, this is not Jesus-plus, or adding to the work of the cross. Jesus is our salvation and as He said, “It is finished!” There is nothing we can do, I hope this is clear throughout the article.

    • What you say is fine but you might use some of this.

      Faith- the text of Scripture describes faith very well but the unfortunate problem is the truth of Scripture is different to the text of Scripture hence all he strange debates we encounter.

      Why- because the text has to be converted to truth- and that only takes place if and only if, we possess right attitude, this is brought out in Romans 10:17 in the original Alexandrian texts (or the Majority Text) its put so:

      “Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God”- read the text carefully- it doesn’t say Faith comes from the Word of God, it says “Faith comes from hearing and hearing in turn comes from the Word of God. Quite different.

      Crucial to understanding this is to identify what “hearing” means ( we don’t need to refer to the Greek text).

      If we read on from Romans 10: 17 we note the receivers did in fact hear but it did not change their ways, finally it provides the reason that Judah / Israel were a disobedient and contrary people.
      ———————
      That explains the matter. Their faculty of Hearing was oky doky but their attitude colored their “hearing”. So “hearing” refers to a spiritual attitude, one of receptivity, submission, humility and fear of God!

      Now we are told in this passage that this spiritual attitude of “hearing” arises out of the Word of God. This completes the puzzle.

      We find that Faith is cultured, conceived in the Spirit through the Word of God in this way.

      The Word planted in the Spirit gestates “Hearing” the spiritual atmosphere or attitude while hearing in turn incubates Faith. Faith is something real, it is literally a spiritual substance. One could translate this as “certainty” or “assurance” as does Hebrews 11: 1.

      Such a certainty is compelling- hence it is not necessary to see, touch or feel the reality for the trumpet of faith proclaims it is real, it is real. We are utterly certain about it. This is quite different to a mental certainty. A mental certainty doesn’t cut! I am certain about the mathematics of gravity and effects- but it does not compel or drive me.

      All the examples of Faith listed in Hebrews 11 have but one thing in common- men and women were propelled by a deep compelling certainty (a force in fact) to do or say things (of God).

      ——————————
      Works- and Grace flow from this. Just as the Israelites were rescued (saved) from the hand of the Egyptians by God’s actions, so we are rescued from our fallen (separated) state by God’s actions alone- I say “Actions” not action!

      Why? because there are two actions- firstly the Sacrifice of Jesus which atones. Secondly, our being joined to the Cross (or united with Christ in his death)- this comes through “Faith” this is from hearing and hearing from the Word of God?

      So, the wonderful spiritual truth is rebirth is the result of God alone, his Word (producing hearing and then faith) and the Cross of Jesus, So, rebirth is no less than two gifts, the Son of God’s sacrifice and the Son of God’s Word!!!

      Where does Grace come in?

      We have one singular work to do- that being? To receive the gifts- hence grace! Not much of a work- in fact receiving is the antithesis of work.

      Works?

      Works are irrelevant to Rebirth but not to Salvation. There is a difference- irrelevant to rebirth for rebirth arises out of the (received) Word and Cross. So, if someone proclaims to me he is “saved” because he did X, Y, Z I would say- so what? Just as if a person said to me he held a Doctor in Theology and I asked “how so?” and he resmponded “because I can sand on my head.”

      ———————
      Works are relevant to Salvation if one understand what salvation means.

      When we walk directed and guided by the Spirit we are directed to works ordained for us by God. In short our Mission! Read Ephesians 2: 10.

      —————————————-
      All other discussion on works are irrelevant for they fill the believers mind with unnecessary and distracting detail.

      note that Ephesians 2: 10 we have a mission and this mission consists of works God has prepared in advance for us to do. And here is the crux of being so favored. How do we go about carrying out our mission?

      Now some strange people might still chirp up this is Salvation by Works! My response- yes, but it is not rebirth through works! This explains brother James wisdom on the matter and satisfies all New Testament scripture. What happens if we don’t do our mission? Well that depends on the nature of “our not doing”.

      keep what seems good to you and throw the balance out.

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