FAITH & WORKS – An inadequate understanding of these two seemingly simple terms is the number one cause for one’s lack of assurance of their SALVATION.
Faith and works are both divinely appointed, and are both found in every true believer, but each has its own place and use. The believer is saved by faith, and rewarded according to his works.
The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of more than 30 feet. Yet these amazing animals can be secured in any zoo by a just a mere 3-foot wall. These magnificent creatures simply will not jump if they cannot see where their feet wall fall.
Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.
The importance of faith
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Without faith we may be friendly, generous, and moral. We may even please men, but we cannot please God.
What is faith?
Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
Romans 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
Acts 27:21-25 But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.
You exercise faith everyday. Most of us will show up and work anywhere from two weeks or even a month before we ever receive any compensation or a paycheck. This labor is in faith that we will be paid for the work we put in.
Saving faith is believing the record God gave of His Son
I John 5:10-12 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
(Belief IN not just knowledge OF)
Ephesians 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
What faith does
Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
What works cannot do
Ephesians 2:8-9 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.
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law [WORKS], then Christ is dead in vain.
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
The right place for good works
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.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
The evidence of true faith
We don’t do good works to be saved or maintain salvation, we do them because we are saved. These works a just a reflection of heart. A true believer not only exercises faith in salvation , but also daily exercises faithfulness in obedience to our Lord and Savior and His Word.
James 2:17-24 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 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.
The profit of good works
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Matthew 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Believers are not saved by works, but wholly by faith. Yet, it is true that they are rewarded in heaven according to their works.