1 November 2018
Salvation and Works
Salvation is by grace through faith. No-one is saved by the merits of his deeds. Whoever attempts to merit salvation by his works cannot completely rely on Christ by faith. On the other hand, good works are the necessary accompaniment to genuine faith. Whoever claims to have faith but has no works is fooling himself.
So, we are not saved by our good works. We are saved by the work of Christ on the cross. Yet we are not saved without good works, for God's work of salvation in the believer includes the creation of a new heart that is obedient to his Lord, bearing much fruit to his glory.
Even the thief on the cross, in the brief time available, and with obvious limitations, revealed the saving grace of God in his heart by doing good deeds, both in rebuking the other thief for his folly, and by publicly identifying himself with the despised King of the Jews. Similarly, the jailer in Philippi was performing good works as soon as he believed in Christ for salvation; welcoming Paul and Silas in his house, washing their wounds, submitting to baptism, and giving them food.
Please read carefully what the Bible says on this matter:
"God will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honour and peace for everyone who does good" (Romans 2:6-10).
Who, according to the above passage, will be saved? And who will be damned?
Furthermore, please read the words of Jesus Himself:
"Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29).
Who, according to Jesus, will partake of the resurrection of life? Who will be condemned?
Those who claim to believe in Christ for salvation, but their life is devoid of love and holiness, and indeed is full of all sorts of evil and hypocrisy, are still lost in their sins. The Bible insists that “the grace of God” that brings salvation is the same grace that trains us "to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age" (Titus 2:11,12). If the life of the professed believer is not transformed, there is no saving grace at all.
The teaching of salvation without good works is a travesty of the Gospel that damns people to hell.
(Gospel e-Letter - November 2018)