by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God:" Ephesians 2:8.
saved by grace is a wonderful thing isn't it? It is a gift from God just
as Ephesians 2:8 says. If
we were to look up the word grace in the dictionary we would find many
definitions. One definition that I especially like is, "the freely
given, unmerited favor and love of God." There are others also that I
like, "mercy; clemency; pardon." So we can see that grace is
unmerited favor from God to man. We can not earn grace or mercy or pardon,
it is a free gift. Praise God for that! That is why it says in the very
next verse, that we would boast if we could work our way to heaven.
"Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:9.
- Now that we
have looked at grace, lets look into this word, works. What is works? Will
anyone ever be saved by works? Can we work our way to heaven by
works? I do not for one minute believe that we will be saved by our
works or can work our way to heaven. According to the Bible, we will be
judged by our works. Look at this verse:
saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were
opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the
dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books,
according to their works." Revelation 20:12.
So, we can
not work our way to heaven by our good works, but we should have good
works, shouldn't we?
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and
glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew
The point is,
we cannot work our way to heaven, but because we have been redeemed by the
blood of the Lamb, we will have good works - not to be
saved, but because we are saved. If Jesus Christ is living
and dwelling in our hearts, we cannot help but have good works in our
lives, doing good for others, helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
Letting our light shine before men, so they will glorify our Father which
is in heaven. That is true Christianity. If we are doing good for others
so that we will bring glory to ourselves, then we have the wrong motive.
forget that Jesus is going to reward us according to our works. This does
not do away with grace, we are still saved by grace.
behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man
according as his work shall be." Revelation
- You see,
works is very closely associated with faith. If we say we have faith and
do not have corresponding works, then do we really have faith?
doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not
works? can faith save him?" James 2:14.
faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say,
Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works,
and I will show thee my faith by my works." James 2:17,18.
without works is dead. If we have faith, we will have corresponding works.
But our works will not save us, because we are saved by grace. But our
works will be judged and rewarded. So, as you can see, works is not a
dirty word as some Christians would have you believe. But we have to look
at our motives and decide if we are doing things for the right reasons or
- Another word
that Christians sometimes confuse with works is obedience. If I am doing
what God has asked me to do by obeying Him, is that works? Look at this
most important verse;
"And being made perfect, he became the
author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;" Hebrews
So from the looks of this verse, we will only receive salvation, if
we obey God. On the other hand, if we do not obey God, we will not receive
salvation. If I can only make it to heaven by obeying God, why do
Christians sometimes become upset when it comes to obedience? That is a
mystery. The only thing they can say is, we are saved by grace, we cannot
earn our salvation. But is obeying God, trying to earn salvation? Look at
this most solemn verse:
you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on
them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the
presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;" 2
God is going
to take vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel, these people will
not be going to heaven... I believe we should
obey the gospel. We should do everything that God has asked us to do. One
way that we can show our obedience to God is by keeping His 10
Commandments. Jesus made this very clear from the following verses:
behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall
I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why
callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if
thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto
him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder,
Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear
Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
If thou will
enter into life, keep the 10 commandments, Was Jesus doing away with
grace and instituting works? Of course not. He was simply stating that in
order to enter heaven, you have to be a commandment keeper. And remember
we keep the commandments because we are saved, not to be
the following verses, you will see that by keeping God's commandments we
show our love to Him and if we say we know God and keep not His
commandments we are liars and the truth is not in us.
ye love me, keep my commandments." John
15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye
shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's
commandments, and abide in his love.
this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his
commandments are not grievous." 1 John 5:3.
hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a
liar, and the truth is not in him." 1 John 2:3,4.
he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in
him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which
he hath given us." 1 John 3:24.
is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation
- If we do His commandments, we will have
right to the tree of life. People can confuse Revelation 22:14 (see
below) with works, but it is pure and simple obedience. It doesn't take anything
away from being saved by grace. Obedience and faith and works are the
fruits of our conversion. It is an outward sign of our inward heart
condition. God will accept nothing less, if you believe He will, you are
only fooling yourself. Its really not that complicated, its only when we
try to get to heaven on our own terms and go contrary to the Bible that we
make it complicated.
We are saved
by grace, not by works of the law. "Therefore by the deeds of the law
there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the
knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20. The experience of salvation by grace,
however, results in obedience to God's law. Works of faith demonstrate
that Christ's grace is operating in the life to bring us into accord with
the righteous principles of His law. We are judged by the law, the great
standard of righteousness because Christ's grace has been made available
as the power to obey it. Our works are judged because grace makes possible
works that are acceptable to God.
a sign of our love for God and our willingness to render Him true worship.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." John
14:15. Obedience through the power of the Holy Spirit is not legalism.
"And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.
And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath
given us." 1 John 3:24.
are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of
life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation
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