This Month's Article: May 2016
(This article will fit a 2 column, 6 inch newspaper advertisement.)
Faith and Works—Grace and Works
Religious people often discuss the subjects, Faith and Works and Grace and Works. It
is important to understand what God’s word says about these subjects. We need to note a number of
First, the Bible speaks of different kinds of works and different kinds of faith. Rom. 4:1-6 discusses
works that God excludes from His plan for our salvation. James 2:14-26 deals with works that God includes
in His plan. Paul, in Romans 4, speaks of seeking salvation through works of the Law of Moses and works
of human merit. James, on the other hand, discusses works that perfect faith. This faith,
so perfected, is a faith that is obedient to God’s commands (1 John 2:4; 2 Thess. 1:7-9). We cannot
devise the works that will save us. God has a plan of salvation; we all must be obedient (Rom. 6:16-19).
Second, the Bible teaches that salvation
is by the grace of God, but it does not teach that it is by grace alone (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 2:11-12). If
salvation is by grace alone, then God will save all, because Paul shows in Titus 2 that God’s grace has appeared to
all. The Bible teaches that we do not deserve salvation, that we cannot earn it, and that it comes only
from God when we do the works that he has prepared for us (Eph. 2:10; Rom. 6:23; James 1:17).
Third, the Bible teaches clearly that faith must be obedient and that God’s grace is conditional.
A faith that refuses to obey
God is a dead faith and cannot save us (John 12:42-43). Faith
that is acceptable to God must express itself in action (James 2:14-17). Unexpressed faith is dead faith
(James 2:24-26). Saving faith leads us to acts of obedience. We find examples of this
obedient faith in Heb. 11. One example is in Heb. 11:30: “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down,
after they had been compassed about for seven days.” Did the walls of Jericho fall down the moment
the Israelites believed? No, the walls fell down after they had obeyed God’s command to compass about the walls of the
city for seven days. When does faith save us? Faith saves us after it expresses itself
in obedience to God’s commands.
God extends His grace to us on the condition that we obey His word. God’s word teaches us
that God saves by grace all those who believe (Heb. 11:6), repent (Luke 13:3), confess (Rom. 10:9-10), and receive
baptism for the remission of sins (Acts2:38). God will meet and pardon sinners by grace through faith upon
“We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God afore prepared (Eph
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Faith and Works--Grace and Works PDF
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