Grace and Works of Faith
We continue our study of the question: Must one do any works in order to be saved? The Bible mentions these kinds of works also:
1. Works of Moral Goodness. "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Matthew 19:16-21). Was Jesus teaching that one does not have to have works of moral goodness? NO! What was Jesus trying to say? Just being morally good is not all there is to being righteous before God. A child of God must have works of moral goodness, however, that alone will not save us.
2. Works of Human Righteousness. "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Romans 10:1-3). These folks were doing their own thing (establishing their own works) rather than the works of righteousness that God had commanded. So, we learn that when man tries to invent works of salvation, he fails. God certainly doesn't want us to perform these works.
3. Works of Faith. "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love" (I Thessalonians 1:3). "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6). For man to be saved by the grace of God he must have a working faith. James says it this way, "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?...Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone...But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?...Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only...For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:14, 17, 20, 24, 26). Paul says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).
Is salvation by the grace of God? YES! When? When man obeys the works of faith. The grace of God will save no man that refuses to obey God's holy and divine will.