In today’s Christianity there are a lot of thoughts on works and faith. But the biggest error I see people come across is they think that there does not have to be any works in their life. It is only faith in Christ that matters. They end it there. They continue to live in sin and continue to live their lives for themselves.
One of the biggest explanations they have is that God will reveal truth to them and they do not have to listen to man’s opinion or interpretation of the bible. Yes I do agree that man’s opinion means nothing, and people argue on such topics as the coming of Jesus Christ and the book of Revelation, and other such topics.
What they do not realize is there needs no interpretation on how to live a Christian life. The bible is clear and simple. So let’s start at the beginning looking at simple scriptures.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. KJV
Here we see that we are saved by Grace. It is the grace of God that brings us to Christ. If we did not have God’s grace then we could not ever get saved. Grace opens up the path to salvation in Jesus Christ.
So the question is.. What is grace? I hear so many people thinking they can live their own lives the way they want to because they confessed Christ as their Saviour and god’s grace covers them. Again instead of getting man’s opinion on grace let’s see what the bible says about it. Again the bible is very clear on Christian living and salvation.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; KJV
So the scriptures are very clear here. The same grace that we are saved by in Eph 2:8 is the very same grace here in Titus. It brings us salvation, and it teaches us. It teaches us how to live holy before the Lord. Righteous. God could not make it any clearer. So in a natural conclusion, if you say you are saved by grace, and that grace does not teach you to deny sin, then you have a false grace and a false salvation. For true salvation is brought on by Grace that teaches us. That is why Paul teaches us to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. 2 Cor 13:5.
Now does that mean we are perfect. No it does not. But it means we will not stay where we are at we will always move closer to a holier life than before. Grace never leaves us in sin. If we make a mistake it picks us up and places us back on the path of righteousness when we confess our sins to the Father. This is why there is no condemnation because Jesus paid the price for the sin already.
Now going back to Eph 2:8-9 we found out it is grace that saves us and that grace teaches us to live holy. Now grace uses the means of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. Jesus took our punishment. We are the criminal and he was innocent but took the penalty for our crime. In doing this he set us free from the law. Once the law has been satisfied we became free. An example of this is if you had a speeding ticket for $10,000 ( yes it is excessive, but let’s just pretend )and you could not pay, the judge would throw you in jail. But someone comes in and tells the judge, I have the money here and gives it to the court you are free. The law can not hold you any more you are free. Now are you free to go break the law again. No you are free to live right before the law. Jesus has forever paid the price for all sin in our past, present, and future. It has nothing to do with how good we are. Our works can never pay for our way for salvation. In the above situation, you could not argue with the judge saying that for the last 1000 times you drove you never went over the speeding limit. The judge does not care. In the same way if you think you can please God in your so called goodness, unto salvation you are sorely wrong.
So where does works come in? If I am not saved by works then why do I have to have good works. Good question. Again James answers that clearly in the book that he wrote.
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.19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. KJV
This is the mistake so many modern day people make. They think they have faith but their life never changes. They are not free from sin but still live in it, and the justify it. James is saying basically that your faith you have in Christ will produce good works. If you do not have good works your faith is dead faith and you are not saved. Remember Paul saying to examine ourselves? Remember Grace that brings salvation through faith teaches us to live holy?
If we come to Christ and say we love him and yet we do not obey his word on how we are to live we are not saved. It is simple. It is a worldly sorrow that leads to death. They think they are saved. A godly sorrow leads to repentance. Repentance from what? From ungodliness and sin.
Apostle john wrote
1 John 2:3-4
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. KJV
Again this is clear and needs no so called interpretation. If we are not keeping his commandments and walk in a life style of sin like, fornication, adultery, sexual immorality, drunkenness ect. Then the bible calls us liars.
Again Christians do make mistakes and sometimes we sin but we do not live in a life style of sin. If we do then we are not free from it and we are liars, deceiving ourselves.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. KJV
So I am asking you. If you are living a sinful life and have been deceived. You are not a doer of the word, thegrace of God is not teaching you to live Holy, you do not have a love or desire to keep God’s commands but just make excuses, I beg of you to repent. Repent just mean change of mind. God is right and you are wrong. What god deems sin is sin indeed. Repent and trust in Jesus for what he did on the cross. Accept his sacrifice and allow the Holy Spirit to indwell you and change you from the inside out!
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: KJV
Written by Dale Turenne