Good Works Verses Grace
By David J. Stewart
Salvation Cannot Be by Works and God's Grace
“NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). This Bible verse makes it plain and simple that good works will not save anyone. Listen to the message of Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” How many Scriptures does God need to put in front of our face before we get the idea—salvation is not by merit. “Knowing that a man is NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and NOT BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW: for BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED” (Galatians 2:16). The road to Hell is paved with good intentions!!!
The plain teaching of the Inspired Word of God is that salvation is NOT BY WORKS. You just read the Scriptures for yourself.
Salvation is of God, NOT Dependent Upon Man's Works
Over and over the Bible proclaims that good deeds CANNOT merit us salvation. Someone needs to tell this to the Pope! He preaches a message of kindness and love, but rarely mentions the name of Jesus Christ. You’ll never hear the Pope speak of the torments of Hell. I’ve never heard him speak of being born-again either. All the love and kindness in the world will NOT get you into Heaven. Catholicism teaches that a person must keep the “Seven Sacraments” to obtain Heaven. This of course is a lie of the Devil! You do NOT need to be baptized to go to Heaven! You do NOT need to confess your sins to a priest in order to be forgiven. No priest can forgive anyone’s sins!!! You do NOT need to go to confirmation to be saved, no sir! These are lies of the Devil.
I once witnessed to a Catholic man concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. He said that he believed in “faith AND works.” Though I believe he was sincere, he does NOT understand the Bible very well. Romans 11:6 clarifies this matter, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But IF IT BE OF WORKS, THEN IT IS NO MORE GRACE: otherwise work is no more work.” If salvation comes by works, then it is NOT by God’s grace anymore. The whole reason that Jesus died on the cross is because we cannot do enough good works to get saved. There is NO amount of good deeds that can reconcile us to God. Only through Jesus Christ can anyone be saved. If it is possible for us to get to Heaven by living a good and upright life, then Jesus died for nothing... “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, THEN CHRIST IS DEAD IN VAIN” (Galatians 2:21).
In John 6:29 Jesus tells us the only WORK which men must do to be saved... “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Amen!
Jesus Christ Paid a Sin Debt that We Could Not Pay
Jesus paid a debt He did not owe, because we owed a debt we could not pay. That's God's grace! Like it or not, you are just too sinful and wicked to save yourself—you CANNOT earn your way into Heaven. This is the very reason why God had to provide a way of escape for humanity. This way of escape has been provided through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. God did this because He loves us very much, more than we can possibly comprehend. Don’t make the mistake of creating God in your own image, you were created in God’s own image. You are the object of the Heavenly Father’s love—so much so that He created you in His very own likeness. Jesus paid for our sins because He loves us... “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1st John 3:16). What a precious Saviour!
Most Rich People Spit On God's Grace by Rejecting Christ
God wanted you to be like Him. Someday, if you’ll let Him, He wants to give you everything... “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also FREELY GIVE US ALL THINGS?” (Romans 8:32). If God was willing to sacrifice His only begotten Son for us, don’t you think He'll also give us all things? Yes, that is exactly true. God says... what’s mine is yours! Of course, this does not include sinful things because sin belongs to Satan and man—not God. Everything that is righteous and holy will be ours when we get to Heaven to be with Jesus.
Perhaps you ask, “then why doesn’t God make me rich now?” Because that would likely be the worst thing that ever happened to you my friend. Great and many are the sins of the rich and famous. You are abundantly rich if you have Christ in your heart. There are two ways to be rich: Have all you want OR want all you have! The greatest things in life are NOT things. Money CANNOT buy anyone into Heaven.
Ted Turner is filthy rich! He owns more land than anyone else in this nation, second to the US government. It was Mr. Turner who said that “Christians are losers.” I heard him say that he is “looking forward to going to hell.” As an unbeliever, he will get his wish soon enough. I can tell you my friend, Christians are anything but losers. Bill Gates is undecided whether or not there is a God. Warren Buffet doesn’t believe in God at all. These are some of the richest men in the world, yet they are poorer than poor without Jesus Christ as Savior. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes for all the money in the world. They give away billions of dollars to charity each year but that doesn’t merit them one iota with God. Their good deeds CANNOT save them.
The ONLY way to be saved is to crawl to the feet of Jesus Christ as a hell-deserving sinner. There aren’t many rich people who are willing to crawl on their spiritual knees to the mighty throne of God—it’s beyond their dignity to admit they deserve to burn in Hell. Let me tell you, whoever you may be, you are a hell-deserving sinner! Yes you are, and so am I. Your good works mean nothing to God concerning your salvation... “But we are all as an unclean thing, and ALL OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSES ARE AS FILTHY RAGS; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6). Your money, kindness, sincerity, generosity and commitment mean nothing to God if you are relying upon your own self-righteousness. If you are trusting in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (realizing that you have no righteousness of your own), then all the good things you do as a Child of God are well pleasing unto the Lord.
The Apostle Paul Relied Upon God's Grace, Nothing Else
“But by THE GRACE OF GOD I am what I am” (1st Corinthians 15:10). The Apostle Paul knew where his bread and butter came from. He knew Who had given him the wisdom and ability to write to the churches. Paul didn’t take anything for granted, but gave God the benefit of the doubt for everything good in his life. God’s grace is God's goodness, His doing for us what we certainly don’t deserve. We deserve to go straight to Hell, but God has given us the gift of eternal life. This is by God’s grace. God’s grace is everything that God has ever done, is doing, or ever will do for us. We deserve nothing! When someone arrogantly claims that they are trying to impress God with their good works, they are unknowingly admitting that they know nothing concerning the grace of God. Salvation cannot be of grace and works as we have already learned from Romans 11:6. The grace of God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, if we could save ourselves, then we wouldn’t need the grace of God or a Savior.
God's Throne of Grace
The grace of God is available to help each believer through every trial and problem in life because we can’t make it on our own. God wants to help us through the tough times. It is our privilege and God-given right to approach God's throne of grace in times of trouble, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find GRACE TO HELP in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). This is only made possible by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Amen!
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