GRACE vs. WORKS

Thanks to all of you who have contributed to our exciting discussion on easy believism in my previous post. This post will expound upon it.

Obviously, the very essence of the Gospel is Salvation in Jesus Christ. This so great Salvation is the context of these two posts.

As Phil says speaking of Jesus Christ, “He paid it all. He offers freely.” Absolutely true and consequently those who know not Christ have the personal responsibility of making a decision to put their faith in Christ. Otherwise that salvation is never appropriated. Until such a time, a person is lost without Christ.

Some folks to whom I witness “believe” that Jesus died for them but, sorta like a security blanket, they still feel they must do good works for God in order to be sure of Heaven. Not true, faith in Christ alone is all sufficient! They are simply not trusting Christ to be the Savior He is.

Therefore when witnessing to folks, in order to avoid giving a false impression and avoid presenting a false gospel, I make sure that they understand that God’s Gift of Salvation is wholly based on their personal decision to trust in Christ as Savior, nothing more and nothing less. They need to know that in order to secure Salvation in Christ there is NO component of good works.

That’s easy.. Just truly trust in Jesus to be your Savior and you have eternal life, Heaven eternally — nothing to stop it — He promises, He guarantees. But from early childhood, we are all taught the false message that “Nothing is free.” Not true.. God’s very gift of Salvation IS free, no charge, no strings, no works on our part.

So often, the big hurdle is making sure the unbeliever understands that, for Salvation, God’s Grace and our works (or service) are two entirely different things and can not be commingled. We must carefully explain such separation between Grace and works. Then the meaning of Grace must be completely understood by the one to whom we speak.

Salvation is what Christ does for us by His Grace and our decision (faith).

Service or work is what we do for the Lord, powered by His grace, after we have believed (simply our obedience to Him). We can never do any works to either gain or reinforce our salvation in Christ, therefore, when I share Christ, I always try to be sure it is clearly understood — Salvation and service are two entirely separate things. Salvation by Grace is free, what God does, His Gift. And to the contrary, service or work is what we should do for our Savior after we believe.

Romans 11:6 is a verse which speaks about the basic principle of Grace, clearly defining the distinction between Grace and works in salvation

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace otherwise work is no more work.”

That is the essence of a clear Gospel message. For salvation, Grace and works cannot be mixed. They are totally incompatible.

That is God’s easily believable message of Salvation… by His Grace (freely) through our faith — without our works.

There is no hard part in Salvation. Just believe in Christ to be your Savior. He took your place in death for your sins, was buried and rose again. He is alive today.

Then, after we have believed in Christ, He teaches and disciples (disciplines) us so we will see and experience the wonders of serving Him. That discipline or testing can seem hard at times, but He gives us a way of escape that we may be able to bear it. [See 1 Corinthians 1013] We as believers have been created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works. [Ephesians 210]

What a wonderful Savior! What a privilege to serve Him Who first loved us.

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57 responses to “GRACE vs. WORKS

  1. Relindis, welcome and thanks for your question.

    1 Corinthians 15 is a passionate defense of Christ’s resurrection. In verse 10, Paul is telling his readers that he did not believe in vain, because he knows that Christ rose from the dead.

    There is a longer discussion of this passage, including verse 10, set forth below:

    https://expreacherman.com/2014/06/01/some-lordship-salvationists-pet-passages-explained/#_edn20

    “Grace” refers to the unmerited favor of God, both in terms of His provision for our eternal life (in its first usage) and His provision for our Christian growth (in its second usage).

    The word “labored” in verse 10 has to do with Paul’s apostleship, which was abundant (productive in growing and edifying the church), also due to the grace of God.

    Had Christ not risen, our belief would be in vain, as well as our labor on His behalf.

    This passage does not teach that works are automatic in the life of a believer, nor that someone who fails to produce good works has believed in vain.

  2. Relindis Manyi

    What is the different between Grace and works as written in 1cor15:10

  3. Thank you Califgracer for your comment, for you put it quite right that our salvation in Christ is only through faith in what Christ did for us on the cross and not by our works. that much is clear for it is impossible to go to heaven on account of our works but only through the grace of God. that is what sets as apart from other religions like islam which preach goodworks as a way of gaining a ticket of going to heaven, in CHRISTIANITY our ticket has already been paid for by the Lord and because of what He did for us on the cross we should all strive to have a relationship with Him so as to live for Him and overcome the world through His Spirit. that,s what i had meant earlier in my first comment and there is no way i believe that my salvation must be accompanied by goodworks to earn everlasting life for i simply cannot earn my way to heaven.

  4. Hi Derrick, thanks for your comments.

    You are right to say that salvation is only by the grace of God, never by works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

    Regarding your statement:

    “HOWEVER WHEN ONE READS 1 CORINTHIANS 3:15, YOU REALIZE THAT SALVATION WITHOUT GROWING IN GRACE IS NOT ENOUGH SINCE GOD IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SPIRITUAL INFANCY, HE WANTS US TO GROW IN HIS GRACE SO THAT HE CAN REWARD US WITH THE CROWN OF ETERNAL LIFE AND BE CO HEIRS WITH CHRIST IN HIS ONE THOUSAND MILLENIAL KINGDOM ON EARTH.”

    Derrick, you really must explain what you mean by, “not enough.”

    If you mean by making that qualifying statement that Christ’s gift of salvation through his shed blood on the cross is in any way deficient to save us IF not followed by an array of good works, then that would be a FALSE assumption!

    However, if you simply mean that, as true believers in Christ, we OUGHT TO DO or SHOULD DO good works and mature in our faith, walking faithfully with Christ because this is pleasing to God (Ephesians 2:10), NOT BECAUSE these things save us, prove that we are saved, or guarantee our salvation, then your statement would be fine.

  5. SALVATION IS ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD NEVER BY WORKS. I UNDERSTAND SALVATION AS SOME KIND OF INSURANCE POLICY THAT GOD GIVES TO ANY WILLING PERSON WITHOUT CHARGE, THIS INSURANCE POLICY TELLS ME THAT MY LIFE IS INSURED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST WHO PAID FOR MY SINS ON THE CROSS SO THAT I WOULDN,T HAVE TO PERISH IN MY SINS BUT GET THE FREE GIFT OF EVERLASTING LIFE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS. HOWEVER WHEN ONE READS 1 CORINTHIANS 3:15, YOU REALIZE THAT SALVATION WITHOUT GROWING IN GRACE IS NOT ENOUGH SINCE GOD IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SPIRITUAL INFANCY, HE WANTS US TO GROW IN HIS GRACE SO THAT HE CAN REWARD US WITH THE CROWN OF ETERNAL LIFE AND BE CO HEIRS WITH CHRIST IN HIS ONE THOUSAND MILLENIAL KINGDOM ON EARTH. SO LET US ALL WHO CONFESS FAITH IN CHRIST RUN THE GOOD RACE AND GROW IN THE GRACE OF GOD BY ABSTAINING FROM WORLDLY LUSTS AND LIVING ACCORDING TO THE DICTATES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. GOD BLESS.

  6. Deb,

    John, Abe and Jim F have wonderful advice for you from God’s Word.

    Please heed their advice and let us know your progress into the wonderful Grace and Peace of Jesus Christ.

    John 8:36
    “If the Son (Jesus( therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  7. Deb,

    Here is my advice in a few areas.

    I know that the Apostolic Church has different branches or groups and that not all of them teach the same thing. However, after just a quick search I have found plenty to be alarmed by.

    “I have to admit I am trying to clear my mind because I have once again been exposed to teaching that calls people to a life of separation and ‘holiness’ which includes women not wearing pants (Deut 22:5 ) or cutting their hair (I Cor 11) or jewelry or makeup because we would then be affiliating ourselves with ‘the world’. I have struggled with these ‘holiness standards’ throughout both of our stints there, but my husband views them differently as he was raised in a similar church with similar standards.”

    John is right regarding staying “clean.” We must note that there is a big difference in how one even views staying clean based on how they see salvation. If we view salvation as something that we can earn or lose then our “staying clean” just amounts to dead works and legalism.

    “We have both gone back and forth with drinking and partying while we were out of this church so he concludes that we ‘need’ this type of high level committment in order to stay clean.”

    What is really needed for all people is to come to faith in Christ alone for salvation. Once this happens they have the Holy Spirit to gouide them into all truth and to life in obedience to the Word with the new nature. The Holy Spirit is our helper to overcome temptations and the old nature that stays with us.

    “I, however, believe it interferes with my entire core belief system and when I’ve been in for so long, I begin to adopt a very judgmental attitude toward others who profess Christ but do not believe in the Apostolic way.”

    It is true that this lead to judgmental thoughts and attitudes.

    “Oh, by the way, they also teach that you are not saved until you are baptized and it must be done in the Name of Jesus, (not the titles) and then you must recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost with evidence in speaking in tongues. These components comprose the salvation experience according to this church.”

    First, we are saved the moment we believe on Christ alone for salvation. Second, baptism is a step of obedience after conversion that is a picture and testimony of our salvation. It has no saving power itself and does not negate ones salvation if it is not performed. Third, receiving the Holy Ghost is not done as an act of prayer or commitment but rather He indwells us the moment we believe. Fourth, speaking in tongues is not an evidence of anything spiritual. Sign gifts like speaking in tongues were meant for specific use in the establishment of the early church and have ceased as they are not needed today. We should also remember that now we have the completed word of God.

    “I am seriously a bit messed up and not sure what to believe. There is bible to back up alot of this doctrine so it makes it difficult to refute, but when I read in Gal and Col about going away from grace and thinking our works of the law are of any consequence to our salvation that it is making a mockery of what Christ did on the cross, this is what I am clinging to right now. Any advice?”

    Yes you are correct on this. Galatians is an excellent book to read regarding the difference between grace and the works of the law. Don’t worry. The Bible in fact does not support works salvation in any way regardless of how some people try to make it sound. Only those who twist portions of scripture can arrive at a works salvation.

    I found this example at one Apostolic church website.

    “19. Although the gift of eternal life is a present possession of every true believer, it is possible for a believer of his own free will to forsake his faith, return to sin, and consequently forfeit eternal life with Christ.”

    If one posses eternal life then it is just that… Eternal. It is gross error to say that it
    Can be forfeited and does indeed make a mockery of the cross of Christ.

    Here is a key passage in Galatians that illustrates exactly some of what I am saying.

    Gal 2:16 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.
    Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
    Gal 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
    Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
    Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
    Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

    It is important for you to find a church that teaches the truth as revealed in God’s Word. Also take a look and this site’s statement of faith and the page on Eternal life.

  8. Deb, I agree with Abe. If this church believes in baptismal regeneration and the subsequent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, they are not teaching the Gospel. They are teaching a gospel of works that cannot save.

    You and your husband do not need this “church” to keep you clean. There are lots of false religions that teach clean living. But, like the church you have described, they are misleading people to their possible eternal destruction.

    There is no reason to be confused. The Bible teaches clearly that Grace and works do not mix for salvation.

  9. Deb,

    This is just my statement, and I do not represent the owners of this website, so they will speak well for themselves (they always say right and great things!). But my statement is this: You need to get away from the apostolic group immediately and never go back. Never go back, not even tomorrow, never again. They teach works (water baptism) for salvation, but we know from Scripture that water baptism is not part of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:17), therefore water baptism is not required to be saved (John 6:47). So the message the apostolic group is preaching, is not the Gospel and therefore cannot get you into heaven.

    Furthermore, they deny the Trinity, but the Trinity is true (1 John 5:7). And they require people speak in tongues to be saved, so that is another attack they make against the true Gospel. Works are never to be part of salvation (Romans 4:5).

    Please understand these things, and never go back there.

  10. I have recently been reinvolved with an Apostolic church (I say re involved because we were in that church for about 7 years and then left for about 10 years and went back about 3 years ago) and I have to admit I am trying to clear my mind because I have once again been exposed to teaching that calls people to a life of separation and ‘holiness’ which includes women not wearing pants (Deut 22:5 ) or cutting their hair (I Cor 11) or jewelry or makeup because we would then be affiliating ourselves with ‘the world’. I have struggled with these ‘holiness standards’ throughout both of our stints there, but my husband views them differently as he was raised in a similar church with similar standards. We have both gone back and forth with drinking and partying while we were out of this church so he concludes that we ‘need’ this type of high level committment in order to stay clean. I, however, believe it interferes with my entire core belief system and when I’ve been in for so long, I begin to adopt a very judgmental attitude toward others who profess Christ but do not believe in the Apostolic way. Oh, by the way, they also teach that you are not saved until you are baptized and it must be done in the Name of Jesus, (not the titles) and then you must recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost with evidence in speaking in tongues. These components comprose the salvation experience according to this church. I am seriously a bit messed up and not sure what to believe. There is bible to back up alot of this doctrine so it makes it difficult to refute, but when I read in Gal and Col about going away from grace and thinking our works of the law are of any consequence to our salvation that it is making a mockery of what Christ did on the cross, this is what I am clinging to right now. Any advice?

  11. Well,Thanks.May His Love be your Love

  12. Hello again Brother George:

    This is a bit of a jumble, but I will try to sort through your questions and statements the best I am able.

    I’ll start with your first reference, Matthew 7:26-27: “And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Again, always look at your context. As I detailed in my last post, this entire section is a warning against false prophets and a contrasting of the false teachers with the true believers who have put their trust in Christ Jesus by faith alone for salvation (not by works, lest any man should boast—Ephesians 2:8-9). In the story of the wise and foolish builders, Jesus is utilizing a figure of speech known as “simile” to drive the points of the entire passage home to his listeners.

    Regarding your questions/points two and three (they are basically the same issue) about Matthew 7:22, you inquire, “why would somebody cast out demons and heal in the lords [Lord’s] name without believing in JESUS[]CHRIST?” Again, look at the setting that I showed to you in the first post. Many WILL say (future tense) “Lord, Lord” in THAT day (the final day of judgment for unbelievers). In the final day of judgment for all false prophets and all other unbelievers, many of them will cry out to the Lord making all sorts of claims about the supposed “good works” that they had accomplished for God in their lifetimes. Some will even have the audacity to claim that they performed miracles in the name of the Lord. And don’t forget that Satan is a great and powerful deceiver and immitator. His followers may have even achieved some convincing feats. But it’s all for naught; God will know their true hearts. He will know that in reality they have rejected the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-8); God will know unequivocally that they have rejected his gracious offer of salvation: they refused to receive God’s precious magnanimous GIFT of salvation through believing in his Son Christ Jesus. Their fate will be sealed.

  13. bro george

    and in mathew7:21-23 says but only the one who does the will of my father who is in Heaven. and GODS will being believe in the lord JESUS CHRIST How can these or why would people be casting and healing prophesing in JESUS CHRIST without first beleiving in HIM thus doing his will. please help me thankyou again by the way im part of no denomination i study on my own yes HOLY SPIRIT and often times me carnal mind too. unfortuantly thanks again I thank the LORD for people like you taking the time .

  14. bro george

    oh excuse me but in regards to my first question and your last response to it. im thinking why would somebody cast out demons and heal in the lords name without believing in JESUSCHRIST kinda confusing for me

  15. bro george

    could you please explain mathew7:26-27 in regard to salvation without works im having a hard time with this utterly or its implication? thanks

  16. bro george

    well thank you, for such a fast response to my question. again thank you.My final comment from your comment is…..HALLUIA THANKYOU JESUS THANKYOU JESUS THANKYOU JESUS AMEN !.and thank you

  17. Hello Brother George:

    I assume that you are referring to Matthew 7:21-23: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    This is a favorite text of Lordship Faith advocates, but they characteristically take the passage out of its proper context. As one of my Bible professors was fond of saying, “A text without a context is just a pretext.”

    Look at verses 15-16a: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them [recognize them] by their fruits.” The context is clearly a warning to watch out for false prophets [we certainly have a lot of those around in our present day]. It is not, as so many LS teachers declare, a warning to churchgoers to make sure that they are doing good works and thus are evidencing that they are really part of the body of Christ (with LS teaching a person never has any genuine assurance of salvation).

    “That day” (Matthew 7:22) undoubtedly refers to the final judgment day, the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20. Please note, no Christian will be at that judgment. It is a judgment limited to unbelievers for final punishment (the lake of fire). Believers will face the Bema (judgment seat of Christ) of 2 Corinthians 5:10. There will be NO loss of salvation for true believers. Theirs is a judgment for determination of rewards in eternity. See also, for example, 1 Corinthians 3:9-15.

    Another important verse in the text that you cite is Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
    The pertinent question, then, is, “What is the will of the Father?” For the answer to that question we turn to John 6:28-29 and 40:
    “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that YE BELIEVE on him whom he hath sent.” 40: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
    Combine these texts with Acts 16:30-31, John 3:16-18 and Romans 4:5 the message is crystal clear, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”.

  18. bro george

    I would sincerely like to understand what is meant by the bible passage referring to Lord Lord didnt I cast out demons in your name. Lord says I dont know you. It seems to me that these people must of had some faith in JESUS. so if we are forgiven and a gift from GOD how can this be? THANKYOUahead.

  19. Bro. David,

    Thanks — Seymour is a great source for accurate doctrine on Grave vs Works — glad it is available..

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    Jack

  20. Amen! Just a shameless plug bro. Jack! We have Dr. Richard Seymour’s course on “Repentance” in our free online Bible Institute at http://www.bbnbi.org! God Bless!

  21. Janis,

    Thanks fir stopping in, You will find some great posts and comments here.

    Try this one on :What is Hope.” at:
    https://expreacherman.wordpress.com/2006/11/20/what-is-hope/

    Glad you understand “repent” because so many folks do not. In some churches it is like a rope tying their people into submission.

    Thanks for your encouraging note.

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  22. Janis Nihart

    I can’t tell you how many YEARS of confusion and sleepless nights I struggled with the word “repent”. God finally showed me the truth and then sent many people I don’t even know through the internet(GraceLife) and publications like the Sword of the Lord to help me.

  23. Weezer,

    Glad you stopped by. Come back and browse.

    And glad you “came from” a church that tried to make Grace a product of works.

    You are right — one cannot mix Grace and works.. they are mutually exclusive and contradictory.

    Salvation by is only by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ without any works — then we serve our Savior by working for and with Him voluntarily, by His Grace,

    The Truth shall set you free,

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  24. Investigating today with a little free time here. I recently came from a church where Grace and salvation come only after all that you can do….as in works. good works and tons of them. It always puzzled me on how we can actually measure what is sufficient in works…?? Without ceasing…they say. This Grace …given freely …yes, simply put….its free. Take it, embrace it, and then give all you can….freely…to all. See, works both ways…cuz you want to. Not becuz you have to.

  25. So glad to hear you are well! Even so, Come Lord Jesus!

    Please do print those notes!

  26. Thanks Bro. David,

    We are well… Looking for the Lord to come soon.

    Was looking over some of my old sermon notes today from1976 on “Discernment.”

    If I can ever translate and consolidate them I might post the excerpts from that message. Still as relevant today as it was 23 years ago. Maybe more so.,..,

    Thanks for your encouragement.

    Secure in Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  27. Oh bro. Jack I am so thankful that my Savior has given me eternal life upon trusting in Him! With Him in my life, if I’ll just depend on Him, He can give me the strength to live for Him even in times like these! God Bless you my brother for your encouragement. I trust you & your Mrs. are well. God Bless.

  28. Bro. David,

    Great points and well said..

    “James is an exposition of Eph.2:10, but of course, vv.8-9 come before v.10 just as eternal salvation from hell comes BEFORE living for Christ in the here & now.”

    Very clear.. faith first — and then we SHOULD do good works…

    In Jesus Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  29. Travis,

    The Bible does not contradict itself. We must understand what each text is saying, as we understand who is being spoken to & the author’s intent. James repeatedly addresses his readers as “brethren” or “beloved brethren.” Therefore he is speaking to people who are already saved, as in 1:18 when he speaks of how we have been “brought forth” or “birthed” by the Word of Truth. Faith without works is dead in the sense that James is speaking of, that it is useless in the here & now to justify our faith before men. God alone sees the heart & knows that we are saved by trust in the blood of Christ alone, but men must see our works to verify that. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. See also Rom.4:1-6 & 11:6 in this regard. I would never want to face the absolutely holy God after “doing the best I can do” when it is only filthy rags in His sight (Is.64:6). We do not want to blaspheme or belittle the blood of Christ by saying that it is not able to save us! In short, James is an exposition of Eph.2:10, but of course, vv.8-9 come before v.10 just as eternal salvation from hell comes BEFORE living for Christ in the here & now.

  30. What of the scripture that says “Faith without works is dead being along”? I am sorry but why does the bible always contradict itself. If makes more sense that by grace we are saved after all we can do.

  31. Thanks David for your valid statement.

    “Works ” is defined in Romans 11:6

    What God does is Grace — unmerited favor.

    What we do by our effort is works.. of no value in salvation but wonderful after salvation. (Ephesians 2:10)

    The two cannot be mixed for salvation because they are totally opposite each other.

    ExP(Jack)

  32. I think that the biggest problem is the definition of “works”. What does that mean. I believe that if we could define works then the problem would be solved instantly.

  33. God Bless you Judy! The Word is clear, yet we must endeavor to understand it, since there is different aspects to the truth. All glory to God to allow us to dig in His treasurehouse of Scripture! It certainly is wonderful that He puts the truths of salvation on the surface where even little ones can get it in verses such as John 3:16!
    Please pray for bro. Jack since he is in the hospital.

  34. Thank you! What you said was clear and very beautiful and I will definately look up those scriptures. Your words have spoken a peace over my spirit! God bless you.

  35. Judy,

    May I say that I can understand your plight. I have been there myself. Let me say that since this is bro. Jack’s blog, he can answer you much better than I, but with his forbearance, I will say a few words. 1st, remember that Biblical salvation IS a free gift, one that is eternal & irrevocable! Remember this simple truth when studying the NBible: it never contradicts itself. If we read 2 or more passages that SEEM to contradict, it is certain that we are interpreting one of them wrongly. So, when you see clear verses such as John 3:16 or John 6:47 that teach salvation is faith alone in Christ alone & is eternal, that is the truth. But when we see Scriptures such as Colossians 1:23 & others that seem to teach that we must persevere to the end to have salvation, this is speaking of something other than eternal salvation from hell. Salvation from hell is through the worl of Christ alone, we could never accomplish it, so we cannot lose it. What we CAN lose is rewards that we may have had if we had only remained true to Christ in every area of life. So, when you trust Christ as your Savior, you can be sure that He will never leave you & that you are bound for Heaven. Yet, we still sin as believers because we still have our flesh. So, when you sin, be sure to confess it to God right then & ask for His help in overcoming it. Also remember that your position in Christ is one of absolute perfection, even though our experience may be quite different. As we focus oon our position in Christ, we are then more able to allow the indwelling Spirit of God ini us to help us to make His truth real in our everyday experience so that we can choose to follow Him over our own sinful desires. This takes a lifetime to learn, but the Lord never leaves us along the way! I trust that this is not overwhelming but helpful. I know bro. Jack could have siad it simpler & better, but maybe this is a start. Check out Romans chapters 6-8 when you have time. May the Lord bless you!

  36. I have been attending church for almost 2 years. As you were saying the gospel message needs to be simple and direct so that people understand. That is exactly what I want to do UNDERSTAND but have been completely unable to. I am very much a black and white person….meaning I have trouble understanding grey areas. Just as I start to get that salvation is a GIFT and my understanding of a gift is FREE, then a message about WORKS or SIN comes into the picture and I get confused all over again. I am very frustrated! For example….I understand that I cannot be perfect, and that means I will on occassion (even trying my hardest) that I will probably committ some kind of sin….and I have heard that Jesus doesn’t rate sin like we do…so what if Jesus comes back right in the middle of my sin? What if I was good for like 10 years straight and then poof Sin and Jesus comes back with no time for repentance? I am having a very hard time getting excited about salvation when it seems so uncertain. How can I get exicted over something I may or may not have and how can I pass this GIFT on to someone else IF I don’t have it myself. I am desperate to understand!

  37. Denise,

    Thanks for your long note and comments.

    Please be assured, I am not “tearing down someone” (Carolyn) but simply begging for a clear simple message of salvation in Jesus Christ alone.

    I stand on the verse: 2 Cor. 11:3
    “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ.”

    We should all strive to make simplicity the way in which we present God’s message of salvation in Jesus — because people are lost without Christ. Let us all make His Gospel so simple and clear that if a person does not trust Christ — it is because he chose to do so — in spite of our clear message..

    It takes very little effort to make Christ’s message clear — and that is the goal of this Blog.

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  38. Dear Expreacherman,

    I do believe we need to trust Jesus and no good works can get us to heaven. Yet, we must humble ourselves, confess we are sinners, and ask forgiveness/repent/turn from our sins to God. God’s grace and our faith/trust in God is not a license to keep sinning and do whatever we want due to we have trust in it. People trust recreational drugs to make them feel better for a time despite they are illegal and damage our Body that Jesus created for us.

    When it comes to works and faith, God is speaking to the church when it comes to wheat/tares, and sheep/goats. It is something to think about the the sheep and goats are doing the same things in the name of Jesus. Yet, the goats are missing the love and hearing the voice of God. Many like to put God in a box to better understand him better. Goats at times in churches can be quiet jealous of the sheep as they try to tear them down in church bickering and condeming others. In Mark 7 the first part of the chapter the pharisees and scribes where complaining about Jesus disciples as they were eating with unclean hands and breaking the commandments the church of the day the was established by God through Abraham. These disicples were out healing the sick and preaching like Jesus but these religous leaders wanted to tear these men down yet Jesus defended his disciples to these established religous leaders that knowledge a lot of knowldege about God did not know him in thier hearts. These men trusted God but was there an active relationship with Jesus in thier lives? These religous leaders were not able to lay on hands and heal people like these disciples and I’m sure there was quite a bit of jealousy.

    Yet, Jesus it there for those who seek him. I grew up consevative and told certain things are different now from what happened in the Bible. It took two mission trips out of the country for me to see that the what happened in the New Testament is alive today in our time. At times, there are parts of the church in America that resemble what goes on in the time Jesus.

    Carolyn, is a lady who has encouraged me this last year at a distance that helped me when attacked self seeking individuals in a church of my past. I will admit I was wondering things due to my past as as I prayed as I was encouraged by her. She loves people as God’s love is very much alive in her. Some “christians” may be jealous of how God works in her life. When you hurt and condemn a child of God be careful. God does protect his own. Growing up faithful in church I have heard of Pastors who preach for many many years finally realizing themselves that they somehow missed Jesus in all that time themselves despite preaching about him most of their lives.

    I’m not trying to say this about you due to I don’t know you. I have no desire to promote my blog on this site so I only left my email address for you. Yet, I will check back on this site. I have seen churches hurt people repeatedly in ways. Some are upset by how a person without much money can show up to church due to not dressed like them. I have seen those sincere in faith attacked by those with the right words but not loving actions to others.

    If I don’t say something then I can sin too but not sharing and encouraging another. I’m not some person in church leadership but one who loves Jesus since she was 7 years old when I repented and trust Jesus with my life. I just work as a Paramedic on the streets of a city at night for the last 13 years hearing the cries of hurting people that can tell me things what has happened to them through churches and how they view God since. I have picked people up with all kinds of church stuff on the tables and walls but when it comes time of distress not one word or prayer to God due to as they are spending thier time cursing and in ways that makes you wonder about all the now church “junk” all over the place. One was even a Pastor that I picked up and knew which I could not tell my partner due to I had been witnessing to him. I didn’t want to discourage my partner.

    Please be careful who you tear down some one. If Jesus would have visited your church as you Pastored, would Jesus have felt welcomed and recognized it has his Father’s house? I grew up under men such as you but when I out in other countries where faith is all people have instead of material possessions it is amazing how God still works.

    Unable to be quiet about this,
    denise

  39. Carolyn,

    Thanks for writing… but you should understand that your Blog belongs to you and mine to me. I am responsible for the links on my Blog as you are for yours. Therefore I chose to remove the link to yours.

    You also went completely off the topic of “Grace vs Works” to promote your blog.

    Likewise I chose to correspond with you through my blog rather that open up the topic to your friends on yours.

    1) First, we are not charismatic and do not allow links which promote such teaching. In my opinion, your testimony tends to lean in that direction.

    2) We do not promote the unscriptural position of women pastors. (you mentioned “Rev. Gladys Johnson”).

    3) We believe that in the proper dispensational teaching of God’s Word there is no “generational curse.” Every person is free to believe in Christ or reject Him regardless of the sins of their parents.

    4) God’s salvation message is NOT “accepting Jesus into my life” but simply trusting that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, past, present and future. He was buried and rose from the grave for you. Salvation IS trusting that Christ did that for you and believing Jesus alone to be your SAVIOR. Nothing more and nothing less. Period.

    5) Salvation is NOT, as you say, ” accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life.” Nowhere does the Bible ask an unbeliever to accept Jesus as the Lord of their life to be saved. That phrase tends to add works to your salvation message.. Unscriptural.

    6) A salvation invitation is NOT, as you say speaking of Christ, “He is standing at the door of your heart, waiting for an invitation from you to come in.” This is a misinterpretation of and the improper use of the verse Revelation 3:20. That verse is Christ speaking to the Seven Churches in the book of Revelation about His desiring fellowship with them. The “door of your heart” is not even implied! This is confusing God’s simple salvation message.

    Carolyn, I pray you have indeed trusted Christ alone to be your Savior as you implied in your testimony..

    Incidentally, we have ALL of God’s Word in the Bible, no further “word” is needed outside of God’s Word. We have no “prophets” today bringing new revelations from God. His Word is complete.

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  40. 2 Corinthians 13:1 — This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established

  41. THAT IS SO SAD — WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, IS UNSCRIPTURAL?
    Deuteronomy 19:15 — One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Romans 9:1– I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

  42. Would like to share my testimony with you:

    [+++++++++++++++++++]
    OUR GOD REIGNS!

    [Because of some unscriptural doctrine in Carolyn’s testimony I have taken the liberty of removing the link to her blog.]

    ExP(Jack)

  43. Right Tom,

    Only one requirement for Heaven—

    Trust Jesus as your Savior..

    The works we should do — but because we are already saved.. not to be saved.

    ExP(Jack)

  44. Hi Preacherman

    My understanding is that works are not required for salvation, but rather they are evidence of faith.

    It goes back to that old semi-joke “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”

    In other words, what evidence in your daily life is there that you are a Christian? You say you’re a believer? Prove it.

    Now, I’m not trying to reduce Christianity to a series of legalisms, or hoops through which you must jump. There is no requirement that you be babtised to get into heaven. I don’t think there is even a direct requirement that you go to church. But both of these, as withg works, are evidence that you are a Christian.

    Am I on the right track here or no?

    Thanks in advance,
    Tom

  45. You know bro. Jack, the older I get, the more I see my sinfulness & at the same time, the more I appreciate & actually cling to God’s wondrous grace! I love what good ol’ Robert Murray McCheyne once said regarding a concerned soul seeking salvation. He pointed this person to Ezekiel 36:25-26, & especially v.31 saying that if we were to fear that we were not concerned enough about our sin to be saved, we should remember that only AFTER salvation when the Spirit of God is in our hearts, can we actually begin to see the awfulness of our sin, but by then we can simply bask in His grace! The last part I just added myself! God Bless y’all!

  46. Thanks Maria,

    That is a new phrase to me, “muscular faith.” Would that be the same as “strong?”

    How about salvation by God’s Grace and work for Christ’s sake… for the sake of the lost?

    The Lord says in Ephesians 2:10 that believers in Christ are created in Christ Jesus for the purpose of good works.. not a laissez faire Christian lifestyle.

    But, even if we choose that lifestyle, by God’s Grace we never lose His gift of eternal life.

    Now, THAT is God’s Amazing Grace!!

    In Christ eternally,

    ExP(Jack)

  47. Thank you.. it can be easy to start off with grace and turn into muscular faith and putting in effort with works for works sake
    Every blessing
    Maria in the UK
    http://www.inhishands.co.uk

  48. Thanks, Donna,

    I appreciate your visit whether you comment or not.

    This comment from you is very valuable as it illustrates that, as any blog record shows, there are many more “lurkers” than there are those who comment.

    You are valued as a reader, “lurker,” or one who comments.

    Neither the Lord nor I discriminate.

    ExP(Jack)

  49. Is it ok if I just come here and read your blog and don’t offer any comments? Some bloggers get upset if people visit and don’t comment; I think they call it lurking. There is much I can learn from you and the others that are responding, if I just be silent and let God work through all of you.
    Thank you.

  50. Yes Lynda,

    Great comment!

    Our faith without our works is “dead” or useless to the world, or what people see — However and for all eternity effective for our eternal life in Christ. That is God’s GRACE.

    What would Jesus do? I think more often of what Jesus has done.. He redeemed us by His shed blood on Calvary. And then think of what we SHOULD do, be obedient to His word and share His salvation with the lost world, powered by His Grace.

    Thanks for the excellent thoughts.

    ExP(Jack)

  51. That’s what James was talking about when he told us that faith without works is dead… our faith SHOULD cause us to act, to change, to reach out, to grow, to become more and more daily a reflection of Him Who loves us. What would Jesus do? That’s what we SHOULD do, simply out of love and gratitude, moving in the grace He has poured out for us and on us and in us. His grace is sufficient! Glory to His Name!

  52. TMW,

    You said:
    “….but just “be” in HIM.”

    Yes, that is the peace that passes all understanding.

    Absolutely no work for our salvation — but we believers SHOULD be about our Father’s business. doing good works “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.

    God’s Grace says we believers SHOULD walk in good works… Thankfully, we are not under the burden of “MUST.” Because He first loved us.

    There is a lost world out there — so let us urgently “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2

    Romans 1:16
    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [Gentile].”

    ExP(Jack)

  53. the merry widow

    Prayers are gratefully and joyfully accepted!
    ExP-You know that sound doctrine works! False falls apart when the rubber hits the road!
    It is a wonderful thing to not have to work, but just “be” in HIM! What a relief!
    Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

    tmw

  54. TMW, Alex and David,

    Thanks for the wonderfully incisive remarks!

    TMW, praying for your faith move.

    Alex, you are right — no “hidden fee” in God’s Grace.

    David, what a beautiful example of the difference between works and God’s Grace.

    Works = DO
    Grace = DONE!

    Some great thoughts and sound doctrine from all of you!

    Amen — I’m praying for all of you,

    Exp(Jack)

  55. How true, Bro. Jack, TMW & bro. Alex! I like what TMW said about “telling a widow to pack up her household, sell her house and move to another state. It is as nothing compared to what the Beloved has done!” The key words are the last 2!! “HAS DONE”! We hear it a lot, but it seems to just bounce off our skulls rather than sink down into our hearts. The main difference between Biblical faith & plain old man-made religion is the difference between DO & DONE!!! Because He HAS DONE it, I don’t have to, because I CAN’T! Amen & God Bless.

  56. Very nicely put. One thing you wrote struck me as interesting. You said we are taught from early childhood “nothing is free”. That’s so true, and I’ve never thought about from that perspective. Most of us are programmed to expect a “hidden fee,” because nothing is free right? But God’s gift of salvation is free and open to anyone who will receive it.

    Great post.

  57. the merry widow

    And then the “works” are no longer work! They are acts of love and gratitude. What is too hard for love? What is too much for love? When is it enough for love’s sake?
    You throw yourself away for the Beloved! “You” is in the way for the Beloved! When it is for love, nothing is too much to do! Even telling a widow to pack up her household, sell her house and move to another state. It is as nothing compared to what the Beloved has done!
    Good morning, *D bless and Maranatha!

    tmw

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