If it is, how can salvation be not of works when faith is required?
ESV - 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
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Works are required to "appease" a god. Faith is required to "please" God Faith and works are cause and effect for the child of God. Salvation through Christ--a transformation of the heart, is essential to know the difference. With this knowledge, we understand that our works are not purchasing us anything--they are proving our salvation to be real. The faith that God gives us to believe in him is the same faith he gives us to obey and serve him. "So work with fear and trembling to discover what it really means to be saved. God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him." (Philippians 2:12-13) Doing good works without the working of God in my life may make me religious and well thought of by some, but I assure you, I will have no interest in God getting the glory for such works. Human nature and pride beg us to upstage God, to show off our wares. But alas, we are wholly reliant upon the grace of God that saves and keeps us. This we can believe with assurance. FAITH is a prerequisite--not a work WORKS are symptoms--not a cause Now, let's get to work doing what he planned for his glory. --Let's stop comparing our good works with the good deeds of others. --May we not limit ourselves and God to only doing what is programmed for us at church or within our denomination. --Let's allow God surprise us! "God planned for us to do good things and to live as he had always wanted us to live. That's why he sent Christ to make us what we are." (Ephesians 2:10) Glenn W. Harrell
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. c.f. James 2:14-24
Let me share two experiences I had; I was driving down the road and then suddenly began to get the revelation of God and that I needed a savior. I was not listening to a christian radio station, I was not in church responding to an altar call. I was simply driving home from work and the blinders came off. The second experience was when I was talking to my boss at the time and had mentioned that I did not want to be one of the Christians that people look at and say "You're the reason I don't want to get saved" then as soon as I had said that, my boss began to respond and I had to stop him and tell him that God was talking to me right now and the Lord spoke to me almost audibly. "Do you think your witness is greater than that of My Holy Spirit"? Jump to recent years when I discovered grace. The definition of grace is; "A divine influence on the heart and its reflection to the life" well in thinking about this, that is exactly what happened to me when I gave my life to the Lord. I had a divine influence on my heart! So will these people in the Americas. Here is another help in this. Our works can't do anything to get us saved so God has set it up for us. Eph 2:8-9 says we are saved by grace through faith not of works; We can see here in the above verse it distinguishes between faith and works. Through faith is not a work like some may suggest, perhaps if it were then He would have stopped at faith, but He went one step further and indicated that faith was not works as we can see in the below verse. Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. KJV God not only provides the grace but He provides the faith for us to receive the grace to get saved. We cannot take credit for any of it and He has provided a way for all, we just have to receive. Be blessed more
Faith will be counted as work if one's faith solely depends on that someone. For example, when a beggar goes out to people for begging he is careful that his appearances and voices are as pitiable as possible, and thus he gets the desired alms. His getting alms is freely given by the giver, but the beggar has worked for it. The same way obeying God's commandments to achieve God's favor will be counted as work. And it is pity that many people still want to earn God's favor this way, while God's favor is gift of God. But Christian faith starts from God. In Phil. 2:12-13 "... work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.", it is God who puts willingness in us and it is God who works in us to let us do His will. The knowledge of knowing God and Jesus Christ cannot be produced by humans. It is the work of the Triune God (Mt. 16:16-17; Mt. 11:27; Jn. 16:13-14). So faith, will and doing, all comes from God. Therefore, any faith that which is considered as human work is useless before God. That faith will avail nothing. The moment someone gets credit for his faith, the same moment his faith is proven to be no faith.
Ephasians 2:8 is clear that we are not saved by good works, nor are we saved by Faith either. "For it is by Grace we are saved..." What is Grace? Its getting what we dont deserve Like Michaels cheque $1m it means to accept and receive the gift. What is Faith? To be convinced that Jesus is God incarnate in the body of a man, who died for Mercy (that we would not suffer what we deserve), setting us free to return to the Father and receive His overwhelming Love. Therefore, if we walk in the Light of the Love of God, we cannot help but do good things. We can do many good things "in the flesh". But there is one thing the flesh has no will nor ability to die to self so we are required to stop the flesh doing good, to die daily to self So that the presence and love of Gid that is now alive within us can shine forth, become evidence in good works and changed lives
The big question is; does Grace abound for sin to continue; or does Grace abound for Sin to cease? If salvation is by Faith without any works, why did Abraham expressed his Faith through believing God? He believed God, by offering Isaac. The bible says Grace abounds for sin in our life to cease. Romans 6:1-4 says What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that Grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer in sin? Verse 4, says Therefore we are buried with him by baptism in to dead: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life'. To work in newness of life is to work in righteousness. Grace has being made available to enable us overcome the fleshly desires through Faith in Christ. Your works is required to please God. For Faith without works is dead.
Even the faith that we have is given to us by God. If it were not given we wouldn't have faith. [2Pe 1:1 NIV] Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have RECEIVED a FAITH as precious as ours: [Rom 12:3 NIV] For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the FAITH God has DISTRIBUTED to each of you. Don't we believe that everything "good" comes from above? And having faith IS "good" isn't it? [Jas 1:17 NLT] Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. We are given the Holy Spirit, we are born-again (John 3:3-6), and once the blind fold is lifted (2 Cor 4:3-7) we then are able to understand (1 Cor 2:14-16) and at that point we'll have the faith to believe in Jesus! All Glory and Praise to God! :-)
Believing faith comes from God alone, but does that mean believing faith is imposed on individuals without their freedom to choose, absolutely not. Romans 10 reveals to us that faith for salvation can only be given by God. This salvation cannot be bought by deeds of righteousness and it’s attainment by Christ’s death burial and resurrection is all a work of God. However a good student of the Gospel would know that God invites everyone who hears the gospel to be a partaker. He does not impose this salvation on chosen individuals but the individuals on hearing are commanded to believe for salvation. The sovereign right of choice is where the hearer accepts or rejects this gift. This opportunity to be saved is what God proves to be His love for the world. The Parable of the invitation to King’s Son’s wedding feast [Luke 14:16-24] is very clear in that His call was an invitation that could be rejected or accepted. We know that the invited guests rejected the call and other’s accepted. This does not diminish the revelation that Salvation is a work of God.
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