For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Jesus was once asked about doing the works of God. He answered their question about works, and the work He talked about was that we believe in the Son of God, Whom God sent (John 6:29). That’s it! God will not accept our works. Jesus did all the work for us. He lived a sinless life and kept the Law that none of us could possibly keep. He lived a life of perfection. He finished His work on the cross (John 19:30), but the nature of human beings is to feel like we have to do works. If we try to add one work to our salvation, then it’s not a gift anymore because grace is a gift. And if we try to add works to it, it’s not grace anymore. Paul tells us that if it is by grace–and it is–it’s not about works anymore; otherwise, we couldn’t call it grace (Rom. 11:6). This keeps any of us from boasting about what we did to be saved (Eph. 2:9).
Saved for Works
We are not saved by works, but a person who is saved will produce good works as a result of their salvation. In other words, we’re not saved by works; we’re saved for works. God had appointed us for works long ago that we should walk in them or do them (Eph. 2:10). Jesus says that we can’t even produce any godly fruits apart from abiding in Him. In fact, we can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5), but if we are abiding in Him and in His Word (the Bible), then we will produce many good works (John 15:6). James wrote that if we say we have faith but have no works, then that kind of faith is not real–it is dead and will not save us (James 2:14).
From Whom Is Salvation?
If salvation depended upon what I did, then I’d be plenty worried. I wouldn’t even be able to sleep at night, thinking, “Did I do enough to be saved? How much is enough?” Every other religion teaches that you must do this or do that, but in Christ it’s what He’s already done. Salvation is fully a work of God. All we need to do is repent of our sins and place our trust in Christ. Nobody can even come to Christ unless the Father draws them (John 6:44). Jesus reminded the disciples that He chose them; they did not choose Him (John 15:16). Jesus knows exactly whom He chooses (John 13:18), and He plainly tells them “I chose you” (John 6:70) and not “you chose me.” Even with ancient Israel, God is the One Who did the choosing (Deut. 7:7). Besides, none really seek after God, and every one of us has turned to our own ways (Rom. 3:10-12). God adds to the church those who will be saved (Acts 2:47), showing that salvation is fully from God. In this way, He receives all the glory.
A Closing Prayer
Oh benevolent God, why You chose me I can never understand, but I am glad you did because I could never do enough good works to save myself. Thank You for Jesus’ perfect life and His giving His life for me, who didn’t deserve it, and in the precious name of Jesus I pray.
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