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Regarding the doctrine of salvation through Grace (and not works), it appears as though Paul and James had some differences in terms of how they saw it. Put those two people aside for a moment... what does Jesus say? John was the closest disciple to Jesus. He understood Him better than all the others. Over and over again we're told that those who believe on Jesus will be saved. However, that's not the end of the matter. Jesus says that those who obey him are those who love him. So clearly the demonstration of one's actions show whether they love Jesus and the Father. It's not us who chooses Jesus, but He chose us before the creation of the world. Therefore we cannot even take credit for being 'good'. It's God's goodness and Grace that causes a deep need in us to please Him in every way possible. I think this is where God wants us: in a place where He can work on us directly. Where His law (of love) is written on our hearts. Where we obey out of a desire to please Him, rather than out of observance of over-burdensome rules.
Eph 2:8-10; we are being saved by grace through faith...and created in Christ Jesus to do "good works" which He has prepared in advance for us to do. it means salvation qualifies our work to be good, anybody who does work that looks good and is not saved then his work is not qualified as being "good works". you may be giving alms to the poor, feeding those hungry, providing shelter for the helpless but if you don't have Christ then your work is not a good work. I can refer that as ordinary work which anyone can just do. for the will of the Father is that you may do "good works", can u know the Will of the Father if you don't have Jesus, NO, then you can't do anything for Him to call good works. is there any difference between those in Matt 7:22-23 and the unbelievers who can also heal the sick and raise the dead. No. for no unbelievers work can be regarded as good works because they do not have Jesus. John 1:4, Matt 5:16, we become light because of Jesus in us. For this our work was made good Tit 2:14, He gave himself for us and purify us and make us ready for good works. This butresses the fact that it is a neccessity to have Jesus since our work was made good due to salvation.
No scripture was given? Because I do not think this is anywhere in the Bible. However, the Bible does teach we are saved by good works of faith being justified by our works (James 2:1-3:18) as fruit of righteous (James 3:18). Works of grace through faith is what makes us "worthy of the calling and fulfilling (Father's) good pleasure" (II Thes 1:11-12) and by working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:1-13, 17, 3:L10). This is what Christ meant when He said you must give up your life to follow Him and thus save your life (Luke 9:23-24) to accomplish Father's good pleasure (works) for your life that he predestined (Eph 2:8-10). Every believer should ask themselves this question posed by James 2:14. Conclusion: Can grace alone save me? - No. Can faith alone save me? - No. Can grace and faith working together producing works of the spirit save me? - Yes. Brother, good works are our evidence of salvation by grace through faith (Hebrews 1:1, 6, 8-10, 13-16) to everyone who believes (OT and NT).
After we are saved we still do no good works in the flesh. All of the good works that we do are what Christ is doing though us and in us. We cannot boast in our selves because it is His work in us and though us. We can only boast in the cross. I have nothing to claim. Many times we will do good works and will not even notice what we have done because it is His work and not ours. At the same time, we do unto others as we would have them do to us based on what Jesus has already done for us. We love others because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. We love God for sending His son to set us free from the old law of sin and death. Our relationship to God is by faith and Love. When we were saved we were crucified with Christ and we are dead and Christ has made us alive again. Our only hope of salvation is His spirit in us that we recieved the day we first believed. If we do anything good we give Him all the glory and not anything to ourselves. Putting our faith and trust in the Lord is what pleases Him the most. Thanking God everyday that I have His righteousness that He gave me the first day I put my trust in Him to save me. I have no righteousness in my self.
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