Recently Jordy posted about faith and it got me thinking about faith and works.
This can be a confusing subject when you begin talking about faith and works... but it's important to talk about.
First off, what is faith? Well, Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. "
Faith is believing in what you can't see.
What are works? Well, the ones that I'm talking about are basically good things that you do.
Now let's dive in.
Sometimes people get the idea that our good works can get us into heaven. Let me tell you straight out: Nothing you can do on your own can get you into heaven. Someone could go to church every Sunday, read their Bible everyday, have tons of scripture memorized, serve in the church in some way, and STILL die and go to hell if they don't trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Hell isn't something we like to talk about, but it is very real.
So, if we can't get to heaven by doing good works then how do we get to heaven? You can find the answer in Romans.
Romans 10:9-10, "If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation."
Later in verse 13 it says, "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
It's really simple actually. People often try to over complicate the Bible - and while parts are confusing then the overall message is simple.
God created the world and it was perfect. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered the world. That sin separated us from God. God sent His Son to die on a cross for our sins, taking our punishment onto Himself. He tore down that wall, that separation, between us and God. He raised from the dead, conquering death. Jesus is coming back again one day.
That's the gospel. The question is, do you believe it?
If you believe that Jesus died on a cross for your sins and that God raised Him from the dead, and if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved. Have you ever repented of your sin and confessed and believed that Jesus died on the cross for your sin?
In the Old Testament the Israelite's were under the law... they had to make sacrifices and obey all these laws. But when Jesus came He brought the New Covenant. Now we can have redemption through Jesus.
Galatians 2:16, "Know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ. And we have believed in Christ Jesus so that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no human being will be justified."
We can't be saved by anything we do on our own. We can't be saved by our works.
So where do works come together with faith into all of this? Well James talks quite a bit about this in James 2:14-26.
We are only saved by faith through grace.
Ephesians 2:8, "For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift."
We then desire to do good works because of our love for God. We desire to do things for Jesus. The things we do for Jesus shows the evidence of our faith. If you say you believe in Jesus and do things contrary to that - are you really a follower of Jesus? When you love someone you want to do things for them - it's the same way with Jesus. When you love Him you want to get to know Him through His Word and you want to serve Him and do things for Him.
Matthew 5:16, "In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
Our works put our faith into action. When you have really have faith in Jesus it's evident through your actions. Your actions and words reflect who or what your heart belongs to. So we do things that reflect Jesus - to bring honor and glory to His name.
Jesus didn't just come to earth and say He is the Son of God. He showed it through the things He did, the places He went, the words He said. (John 10:31-39)
Romans 11:6, "Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace."
You can only be saved by faith through grace. You cannot be saved by anything you do on your own - not by any amount of works you do. Only by faith in Jesus Christ.We do good works as evidence for our faith out of our love for Christ.