Faith = That which we believe
Works = That which we do
What is the correct relationship with what we believe and what we do. So many of us use the phrase gospel, and think we know clearly what it means.
1 Corinthians 15 – What the Gospel is
1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
3 Vital Facts: Christ died for our sins, He was Buried, and Raised again the 3rd day. Where these statements are not made, the gospel is not being preached. The 1st attesting authority is not the eyewitnesses, but the scriptures. Paul says according to the scriptures. That is the final authority.
Paul goes on to explain, that if we believe these facts, without works (what we do), righteousness will be imputed on us. We will be reckoned righteous. It’s not by what we do, but by what we believe.
Romans 4 ; (KJV) 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
(AMP) 4Now to a laborer, his wages are not counted as a favor or a gift, but as an obligation (something owed to him). 5But to one who, not working [by the Law], trusts (believes fully) in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness (the standing acceptable to God).
Favor cannot be earned. Grace cannot be earned. By definition, they cannot be earned. If you want to be reckoned righteous by God, stop trying.
Ephesians 2:8-10 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
We cant even boast about faith, because we didn’t produce it ourselves, God gave it to us!
Religion nurtures pride. A religion of works, fosters human pride – the great basic sin. The more difficult the religion the prouder they are. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Even Christians who are legalistic and insistent on rules are often not very loving. Legalism and love are more or less opposite. We must be on guard against anything that nurtures pride. There IS a place for work:
10For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
The nature of grace: Beauty that God imparts on us. He makes us beautiful with his grace. If by grace it is no longer of works. (you cannot earn grace) Christianity is not about a set of rules.
Romans 3:20 20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh (human) be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
The purpose of the Law is Gods diagnostic to expose your problem which is sin. The law can diagnose your problem but not solve it. Only grace can do that. You need the Law to get you to the point where you see grace.
Credit: Derek Prince Foundations