And the Bible Says....
Faith and Works.
Last time, we mentioned Ephesians 2:8-10, that we are "saved by grace through faith", and mentioned "not by works" devised by men who could then boast. But there are works God expects us to do, vs. 10, that He ordained that man do.
So many religious institutions around our country teach that "man does nothing to earn/gain salvation, but simply must believe that Christ is the Son of God." "He has done it all for us." But these same people will yearly come up with various works, or sacrifices, that they are willing to do during the days of "LENT". That is an interesting concept since there is no scripture of it in the Bible. There is no reference to it at all! Thus, this concept has to be the product of men's devise. Which apostle spoke of "Lent"? Men do boast of the efforts during this time, concocted by men. Their sacrifice and work is typically something not mentioned in God's work as a work God wants us to do. Some religious institutions teach works according to tradition long time approved, but by who? Men or God? Vs, 10 is speaking in reference to works that God gave us to do. As a man, I have various works that I'm to do. I have God's works, then my wife's honey dos, then my job has work for me to do, etc. Each expects me to do those to the best of my ability. And, they will say something about it IF it isn't done right.We hope the boss won't fire us. Don't forget the work I want to do for myself. So there are works we do for men, and those works God expects us to do for Him.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 said that we were to "Fear God, and keep His commandments, for that is the whole duty of man". But one might ask what commandments? That's where faith comes in. Romans 4:1-22 talks about Abraham being saved by faith, and that works "his design" was not the cause of salvation. Vs. 21, says that he had to perform, meaning work, to please God, and he obeyed God by fulfilling God's will. That was work, but not of his own will, but God's. His actions actually showed the proof of his faith in God and His Word. At the same time, James refers to Abraham in chapter 2: 14-26, and the passage teaches that to have faith by itself, is of no value. But to apply the faith by action avails much. "Faith without works is dead being alone." Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice to God, and did so by faith, because he believed God But he demonstrated that faith by his preparations for doing just what God asked, sacrifice your son. He is spoken of actually sacrificing his son, though God stopped him from doing so, and supplanted another subject for that offering. That lamb was sacrificed in Isaac's place. And in the same sense, Christ was sacrificed for me, in my place. I was worthy of death being in sin. God sacrificed His Son, in my place, to enable me to be forgiven. In baptism, Romans 6, my faith prompts me to apply His Son's blood as the sacrifice more my sinful life, to remove my sin, and through faith, I am recreated. I begin my life with God once again, doing what He made or expected me to do/be from the beginning. Hebrews 5:8-9 states that Christ by His perfect keeping of the law, enabled Him to be the author of our salvation. And does so for all that obey Him. These are works of faith verses the works of men. Earlier in the chapter, it says that He came to do His (the Father's) Will as written in the book. Christ's faith and love for His Father, was the reason He obeyed and was made perfect.
So friend, God has things He expects us to do for Him. He expects compliance to His Word. We need to keep that in mind every day of our life.
In the last article, I mentioned I would post an article on our website: www.histruth.net , relating to the Supreme Court's ruling for same-sex marriages. It is there waiting for you in the "articles" section of the site.
If you on't have internet as an option, you can write for a copy: Steven Saunders, 4677 Hwy. 151, Clarence Mo. 63437.