First and foremost we are saved through what Christ has done on the cross. Paul speaks about walking in the spirit and not in the flesh. Many people convey the implication is regarding behavior modification; when in fact that is what he is explaining, the difference between trusting God through grace versus having faith in the flesh or works.
All of my life I went to a works based Church, but through careful study it's clear that grace is through God, and not through the works of the flesh. The spirit produced "good works" through faith in Christ. Loving Christ comes naturally in the life of the true believer's life.
The foundation to our Christian life is Christ. Everything else comes after that through the holy spirit, and repentance of sin. We are to be reminded that the Apostle Paul plainly explain that for the born again believer God isn't counting sin against us. Because Christ paid the price of sin for the believer. (1 Corn 15 Chapter).
Does this mean we should sin? Does this mean we have a free pass? God forbid. (Rom 6:1).
Through Christ we are holy (.
2 Corinthians 7:1).
Faith Alone in Christ Alone.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
It is not by keeping the law that makes us right with God. Being obedient to what Jesus commands of us is a result of genuine faith. If we believe Him, and love Him, then we will naturally begin to do what He asks of us:
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1 John 5:2
Keeping His commandments comes as a result of our genuine faith in Christ. Now this is where it all ties together - when we are told how genuine faith has works that naturally follow.
Many people misinterpret, "faith without works is dead." In the context of the Biblical passage it's within regards to the Church, to those already saved, not to be saved.
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? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 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.
We are saved by grace, freely without the deeds of the law. Sin, behavior modification, holiness are important and are produced by the work of the holy spirit in a believer's life.
Phil. 3:9, "and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power.(1 Corinthians 2:5)
(Next Blog. My Biblibal analysis of Holiness Vs. Grace).
Evergreen Christian University
Evergreen Christian University