Bible-believing Christians are confused everywhere about this topic of works. Some even think their bibles' don't discuss it, or at least, imply they have any bearing on salvation.
Several handouts in this series will settle this issue.
The first scripture many Christians are introduced to before 'they're saved' is Ephesians 2:8, which states that it is by Grace one is saved, and not one's works.
Believe that Jesus lives and you will be saved. Right? That should be the whole story, case closed. Right?
Perhaps so, but before we rule the rest of the bible incidental, let's start, first, with a short list of scriptures from the King James bible that deals with the other half of the subject: works.
Question: If you're saved by saying you believe in Jesus, what is the point of Judgment day?
And if at judgment day, God just asks, 'did you believe in me', why then does Revelation (KJ) say this:
Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Does the Bible say anything else about works? What is this 'work?'
Could it be the 'works' we've done? Seems logical, since criminals in our very own society are judged by no less. But does the bible teach that we'll be judged by our works?
Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Then, this must simply mean to be judged if we believed, right? Yes and no.
A better question is 'If you believed, then what did you DO in response?' For instance, we'll be judged by:
Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and [then] to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
1 Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
James 2:17-18 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
James 2:20-26 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 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.
Revelation 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
The King James Bible makes very clear that works are of eternal importance, since it is by them we are judged at the judgment day. Why then, do some scriptures say works are needed, and others say they are not? Reason: Some of the New Testament epistles were written to Jews who still thought it necessary to keep the works of the Mosaic Law, not realizing they were a tool to point them toward Christ. These works were not necessary after Jesus death. Conversely, the works (now) required are the works commanded by Jesus. These prove our repentance and faithfulness, without which Jesus shed blood becomes meaningless. These are the works which have eternal importance and are required and are by what we are judged. Works by themselves, without the atonement, could have never satisfied the requirement for sin's punishment, but the atonement without repentance becomes just as meaningless.
Evangelicals are incorrect to say that the atonement plus nothing equals salvation. The atonement is all that could have satisfied the demands for justice, but it is by our response to that atonement (i.e. a life of faithfulness and turning from sin) that judgment is offered. These are the works to which James and Paul and Jesus spoke of.
For those capable of repentance, these works are required for salvation.
Then to what do the following two scriptures refer?
Answer: The works of the Mosaic Law, NOT the works commanded by Jesus.
Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. ("Law" of works is the Law of Moses) Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (I.E. WORKS OF FAITH)
Galatians 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. (I.E. WORKS OF THE LAW OF MOSES)
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. (I.E. WORKS OF THE LAW OF MOSES)
2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Called to OVERCOME
Because we are commanded to follow the works of Jesus, this is why the promise is made to those who overcome, i.e. to endure in the faith through out their lives.
2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
1 John 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth [it].
Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.
Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Two types of works were discussed in the New Testament: Works commanded by the Mosaic Law and Works commanded by Jesus. The Mosaic Law works were fulfilled and no longer required; however, the works of Jesus Christ were commanded to be kept, for it is by them, the bible clearly says, that we will be judged.
Many Evangelical preachers teach that works have no bearing on salvation. The Bible clearly does not teach so. By starting with Ephesians 2:8, some build a false foundation by eschewing works, when perhaps Ephesians 2:8 is the 'end of the journey.' The radio preachers too often fail to discern the difference between scriptures dealing with the Mosaic law and scriptures dealing with Jesus commanded works.
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