Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Grace vs Works

Over the years I have had many conversations with people about being saved by faith. The conversations have tended to end up at "Are we save by grace or by works?" I don't think it is an either/or situation.
One is saved by grace by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior. We accept that grace doing what he has asked us to do. If we don't keep His commandments, then we don't accept Him.
Some might say that men aren't perfect so we can't keep His commandments. One of the things he has asked us to do is repent. If we do that on a daily basis we can get better at keeping the commandments. He knows our hearts.
In the comments I will include scripture references that talk about grace and works.
People tend to make faith synonymous with grace. Doesn't faith indicate action? When the scriptures talk about faith are they talking about grace? There is one that often gets sited about being saved by grace through faith. It talks about not being saved by works because people boast about their works, but that does not mean that faith does not include continual action. We cannot earn our way into Eternal Life, but we must continually strive (do our best) to do what he has asked (keep his commandments). What ever we fall short on his grace makes up the rest, but only if we are striving to keep the commandments.


Brook said...

John 14
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
15 If ye love me, keep my ccommandments.
21 He that hath my commandments, and akeepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be bloved of my Father, and I will love him, and will cmanifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will alove him, and we will come unto him, and make our babode• with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Brook said...

I believe that the being dead and alone that the speak of in this chapter refers to the separation from God that happens when you are not "saved". You are spiritually dead.
James 2
10 For whosoever shall keep the awhole• law, and yet boffend• in one point, he is cguilty of all.

11 For he that said, Do not commit aadultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of aliberty.

13 For he shall have ajudgment• without bmercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

14 aWhat• doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath bfaith•, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or asister be naked, and destitute of daily bfood,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye agive• them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so afaith•, if it hath not bworks, is dead, being alone.

18 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 afaith by my bworks•.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the adevils• also bbelieve•, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that afaith without bworks• is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father ajustified• by works, when he had boffered• Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by aworks was faith made bperfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham abelieved• God, and it was imputed unto him for brighteousness: and he was called the cFriend• of God.

24 Ye see then how that by aworks• a man is bjustified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not aRahab• the harlot bjustified• by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the aspirit is bdead, so faith without cworks is dead also

Brook said...

Mark 16
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Brook said...

Eccl. 12: 14
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Brook said...

A couple of gentlemen from one of the local Baptist churches stopped by a few minutes ago. They seemed like really nice guys. They asked me if I was to die today did I think I would go. I am paraphrasing, since I can't remember their exact words. My answer to them was not well worded, much like my paraphrasing of their words. I answered that I had work to do. Unfortunately phrasing it that way makes it sound as if I think I would go to Hell if I died today. The concept of where a person goes when they die is not a two minute at the door answer.
God decides whether someone has truly accepted Christ. Their life is a witness to whether they have accepted Christ.
What about those that live a horrible life for many years and then repent and have several years of a Christ centered life? My opinion is that they would make it.
What about those that live horrible lives, catch a terminal illness and repent months, weeks, days, or hours before they die? God judges what is true repentance. I am skeptical at times of these sort of repentances, but it is not my call to determine if there repentance was sincere.
Now one question that I think hangs up “faith only” people when we one says that we must repent to be saved is “What about if you die with having something yet to repent of?” Again, that is up to God to judge where your heart is.
All of this does not say that we live in fear of not making it. It means, just like dad always told me, “Do your best.” God determines if I am doing my best and his Grace makes up the rest (which is a lot, no matter what type of life you are living). If we are truthful I think most of us know if we are doing our best or not.
We choose to receive or reject Christ by our deeds. If we have taken on the name of Christ it will be in our countenance. If have not truly accepted him we will not do what he has asked. The Bible says if we love him, keep his commandments. If we don't keep his commandments do we love him? If we don't love him have we accepted him?
People can go back and forth with Bible scriptures on this topic. In future posts I will comment on scriptures that people have given me to prove that you don't have to do any work to be saved.
Scripture can be interpreted through a filter of our own ideas. This was the purpose of Paul's letters. They were to set straight misinterpretations of the scriptures. Unfortunately people do the same thing with his words that they did with the scriptures of his day. Wouldn't it be nice to have apostles with us today to help us interpret these things?

Brook said...

Hebrews 9:27
This is a scripture given in a pamphlet. This particular reference seems to be promoting that the final judgement happens at death.
The verses on either side of this work talk of the second coming. The wording of the verse alone would sound like final judgement happens at death. If we read it that while while reading it in context it seems to be off topic. It reminds me a little of when he told Adam and Eve that they would die when they ate the forbidden fruit. They did die. Was it immediately? "...after this is judgment." Is that immediately after this (death) or just after?

Brook said...

1 Cor 13
These next two verses talk of faith being nothing without charity. If there is something greater than faith then faith is not all that is needed for salvation.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Brook said...

I found this web site dealing with being saved by faith alone.