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What Must We Do To Be Saved? Part 4 – What About Good Works?

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE most important question that anyone can ask is the question posed by the keeper of the prison in Acts 16:30… “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”.

The answer to this question is more valuable than gold, silver and all the wealth this world has to offer.  This answer will reveal to us the path that leads to the forgiveness of our sins, the receipt of the indwelling Holy Spirit, fellowship with the Only True and Living Creator, and eternity in paradise with God Himself.  Our very spiritual life and  eternal destiny rely upon finding the answer to this question.

This question is of such importance we will be taking several blog entries to carefully  answer this question…

Blog Entry #1 Salvation

Blog Entry #2 Repentance

Blog Entry #3 Faith / Belief

Blog Entry #4 What about good works?

Blog Entry #5 What about baptism?

Blog Entry #6 What about the Lord’s Supper?

Blog Entry #7 What about church membership?

We now begin our study with blog entry #4…. What about good works? ….

THE SCRIPTURES:

Rom 3:19-27 (KJV)

19) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

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.

21) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22) Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25) Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26) To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27) Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

28) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Titus 3:1-8 (KJV)

1) Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

2) To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

3) For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.

4) But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

5) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

7) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

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.

Titus 3:12-14 (KJV)

12) When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

13) Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.

14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Titus 2:11-14 (KJV)

11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Col 1:9-14 (KJV)

9) For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

10) That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14)            In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:

Jas 2:14-26 (KJV)

14) What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15) If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?

17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22) Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23) 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.

24) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25) Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way?

26) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Gal 5:19-26 (KJV)

19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Rom 5:17-6:11 (KJV)

17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

18) Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.

19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6

1) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2) God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

3)  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4) Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:

6) Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7) For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9) Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10) For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11) Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE STUDY:

Salvation cannot be merited through the keeping of God’s laws… the laws were given to show us our sinful condition.

Rom 3:19-27 (KJV) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 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.  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Salvation is based upon the work of Christ upon the cross… not our good works.  Notice in this text that Paul first acknowleges the universal sinfulness of mankind.  He then speaks of the work of Christ on behalf of His people, doing the work of salvation for them.  Paul then emphasizes that, because Christ has done all the work for our salvation, we cannot in any way boast or glory in it.  He them summarizes by teaching us, in no uncertain terms, that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

If man is either saved by his works, or keeps himself saved by his works, then there is room for he sinner to boast.  After all, not only did Christ do His work on the cross on the sinners behalf, but also the sinner, through his own labors either brought salvation to himself, or kept himself saved.  According to Paul, this cannot be.

A Christian’s good works are done to glorify and honor our Lord in the eyes of others…   

Titus 3:1-8 (KJV) Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.  For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another.  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  [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.

Titus 2:11-14 (KJV) – For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

If a Christian does not perform good works to gain or keep salvation, why should He strive to live a life pleasing to God?  In Titus 2:11-14, we are told that a Christian’s good works are motivated out of appreciation for what He has done for us.  He has given us the blessed hope of eternity with Him and He has redeemed us from our sin through His death on the cross.

We find another motive for living a Godly life in Titus 3:1-8, here Paul explains to us that the production of good works in the life of a Christian is “good and profitable unto men.”  Good works aid others, they show the wonderful change that takes place in the life of one who has trusted in Christ.  Also, living a godly life of good works reveals Christ to others.

By bearing spiritual fruit…

Titus 3:12-14 (KJV) – When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come

unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.  Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be wanting unto them.  And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Col 1:9-14 (KJV) – For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:

Gal 5:19-26 (KJV)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Bearing spiritual fruit is another way of describing good works in the life of a Christian.  Once again Paul  emphasizes the need for good works in the above verses by stating, “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful”; “ That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God”; and finally, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Why do these things? Well, in the above verses Paul tells us in Titus 3:12-14 because it is “necessary” in the proclaimation of the gospel. In Col 1:9-14, we are told to bear fruit out of a heart of appreciation considering all He has done for us.   In Gals 5:19-26, we are to bear fruit because it is proof of a genuine salvation experience/.  Paul also tells us in Gals 5: that the furit bearing that takes place in a Christian’s life is the result of the enabling and leadership of the indwelling Spirit of God.

And by visibly declaring our faith to others.

Jas 2:14-26 (KJV) – What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew 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.  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way?  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Here James helps us to understand the importance of good works in the life of a Christian.  James argument is this… It is an easy thing to say “I love Jesus”, “ I am a follower of Christ”… etc etc. Many who have never trusted in Christ can make these statements.  It is only when we see good works resulting from their conversion that we can begin to believe their confession of faith is sincere.

James makes these statements:

“And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

It is an issue of sincerity.  If someone wishes peace, warmth and being filled upon one who is in need, can he be sincere if he doesn’t do anything to help the needy individual?  Likewise, works shows to others we have experienced a sincere trusting in Christ as our Savior.

“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

Here, James points out that works are absolutely necessary to declare our faith to others.  Without good works, we can say we have trusted in Christ, but there is no proof in our life that we have experienced conversion.

James immediately follows these verses with a description of the type of belief that demons possess.  Here, he makes it plain that demons do have a sincere belief in God.  It is so sincere they actually tremble at the thought of God.  However, this is not the type of belief that brings salvation…. DEMONS ARE NOT SAVED!   How do we know this?  They lack the good works that prove their belief is a saving faith that produces change in the heart of the believer.

James follows this teaching using the lives of Abraham and Rahab.  In both cases, his teaching is that because their life had changed and they began performing good works, their faith is not in question.  They proved through their lives that their salvation was genuine.

Finally, James closes with “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”  Based upon the previous verses leading to this this statement it is plain to see what James meant.  He is saying that if any type of faith that does not cause a change of lifestyle is a dead faith (ie a faith that is of no benefit, it is only a hollow worthless profession)

What type of “change in lifestyle” does a genuine faith produce?  It is a lifestyle of good works, turning from past sins to a position of submission to the desires of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Although obtaining and keeping salvation is entirely of grace without good works, we can not use this teaching to justify living an ungodly life…

 Rom 5:17-6:11 (KJV)  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Paul answers a question that has been asked throughout the ages and continues to be asked even to this day… “If salvation is truly by grace, and if I cannot loose my salvation, doesn’t that give the Christian allowance to live a life of rampant sin?

Paul answer is plainly stated in the above passage… “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness] of [his] resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin”

In other words, Paul is saying, “How can I person who has trusted in Christ, and received a new life, continue to live in sin.  How can someone who has publicly declared his relationship to Christ via the ordinance of baptism, now choose to live a sinful life of dishonor to the very Lord who saved you?   A Christian needs to understand that it was our sins that sent Christ to the cross… if we believe that how could we blatantly commit sin and not be sorrowful and concerned about it’s presence in our life?”

Based upon our study today, the answer to our question, “If salvation is truly by grace, and if I cannot loose my salvation, doesn’t that give the Christian allowance to live a life of rampant sin?”

NO, the teaching of salvation by grace, apart from ANY works of man, does not justify living a sinful life after salvation… A)  A true salvation experience results in a changed life  B) Out of concern for the glory of Christ and the need of those who are lost around us, we are to live sinless lives.  C)  Lives of good works contradict the very salvation we claim to possess.  We say we are sorry for our sins, how can we live in them.  We say we believe that Christ died on the cross for our sins, how can we continue to commit them without concern or sorrow?

1Pet 1:13-16 (KJV)

13) Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

In this blog entry we have seen the clear Scriptural declaration that salvation is by God’s grace without the performance of good works to either obtain or keep our salvation…. In the following blog entries we will continue to study, in detail, the answer to the question “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

If you have any questions about your condition or the salvation that the Lord so graciously offers,  you can look to several sources for further information:  A local Bible-teaching church in your area, or you are welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com, or you can refer to my blog page entitled “How to have a relationship with God” for more teachings on the subject of salvation.

 May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 ————————————————————————

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If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”


9 Comments

  1. Patti (PJ) says:

    Hi Rob! Thank you for your comment. I guess I’m an “odd old bird”. I’m not really “scared” or in fear of what is going on. I know in my heart it is a “sign of the times”, and as I have said to God many times, I’m ready to go when He’s ready to take me. I don’t like what’s going on in the world now, and it would bother me one bit if He were to come today. My heart is in continual prayer that I will be ready for Him.
    As far as “good works saving us”, not alone. It only takes a few verses to understand that. Jesus said without faith we CANNOT please God. At the same token, Jesus made the comment to some people ( without looking it up, I can’t remember where it is), but He was saying how when we do for the LEAST of Them, we do it unto Him. The same place where He talks about visiting Him in the hospital, giving Him food when He was hungry and drink when He was thirsty. I sure you know it better than I. Anyway, those would be “good works”, but they must also be done with the right motives. Not to bring notoriety upon themselves. Just my thoughts.
    God Bless,
    PJ

    • Rob Barkman says:

      PJ,

      Thanks for your comment. I am sorry, but apparently I haven’t made myself clear in this blog entry…. I am a FIRM believer that a Christian is to maintain good works in their life for many reasons… to honor and glorify Christ, to be a living witness to others… etc etc. I agree with you on this. However, the point of my blog entry was that the Bible does not teach that we are to maintain good works in our life to gain our salvation nor to keep our salvation. Sorry if you misunderstood, I did not make myself clear.

      There is one thing you said that troubles me. You make the statement “As far as “good works saving us”, not alone. It only takes a few verses to understand that.” If I understand you correctly, you are saying that our good works, along with the work of Christ are necessary for our salvation. Like I said I may be misunderstanding you, if so just let me know… if not, I would really appreciate you letting me know what verses you have in mind.

      By the way, if I remember correctly, we had touched on this subject before and I am thinking we were on the same page. So again, I apologize if I misunderstood what you said, then or now.

      Yes, the verse you mention is found in Matthew 25. It is very similar to what James is talking about in his writings…. The good work of loving and caring for other believers, is proof that we have trusted in Christ with a genuine saving faith that is wrought in our heart by God. The Lord through His Word gives us example after example of love and concern for others being PROOF of a genuine salvation experience….

      1John 3:11-16 (KJV)
      11) For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
      12) Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
      13) Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
      14) We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.
      15) Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
      16) Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

      Note especially verse 14 – We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death.

      Here, the Lord makes it plain, it is not an issue of receiving salvation based on our love and care for the saints. It is an issue that we know our salvation is a genuine one, by seeing this type of love in our lives. This is the proof He provides at the final judgment. When He accepts the saved, it is because they have exercised a genuine faith in Him and that is proved by their act of love towards the brethren. Likewise, the proof that the false professors are truly lost is the fact that they do not have this type of love for the brethren.

      In the Matthew passage that you spoke of, the Lord is simply saying that the only way we can know we are saved is if we find ourselves willing to care and love the brethren. When we do this, we will be rewarded for this act of obedience…. Remember, the inheritance Christ has prepared for us goes far beyond simply entering eternity with Him… it involves the rewards He gives to us etc etc etc. Also, the word kingdom helps us understand this. Here, “kingdom” means the “authority to rule”. A part of the rewards He gives us the reward of ruling with Him in eternity. (Rev 20:4)

      May the Lord continue to bless you. Thanks again for your comments, it helps me to clarify what I’ve written and give a further explanation of what I am trying to say.

      Rob

  2. Paul says:

    Hello brother Rob:

    You know that I maintain a few blogs. I like to write stories/testimonies to share them with people.

    I noticed that when I share my blogs with non-Christians whom I have come to know, I noticed that they like to keep themselves away from me the next time they see me or that they would mention nothing about my blogs that I’ve emailed them. I was hoping that the stories might draw them into a conversation with me so that I can share Christ with them. Basically, I was loosing friends.

    As with Christian friends, they would say, “Why do you feel you have to do anything? There is nothing you have to do to be saved.” Another would say to me, “What are you doing? You’re not even a pastor.” Even some Christians would see me a little strange…maybe it is my stories.

    But anyway, this is basically what most Christian believe in: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. (Acts 16:30) That’s fine. There is nothing wrong with that. Here is another verse I hear often as well: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Eph 2:8-9). I asked a Christian friend about sharing his testimonies with others on a blog and he said no. Some Christians believe that blogging is a sin against God. Some feel that blogging draws attention to yourself and not Jesus. So I wonder that if the Apostle Paul had not written any letters as his form of testimonies and what had happened to him on his road to Damascus, how then would the world learn about the Christian faith? Would the apostle Paul be blogging if the technology was available to him in his time? Here is one bible verse that I don’t often hear:

    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:8-10)

    Noticed that after we become Christians, it is not the end by simply claiming that Jesus had done it all. It says we are “created FOR good works”. It is not saying that we are saved BY good work, but created FOR good works so that Christ will be glorified and to enrich God’s kingdom.

    Blessings,
    Paul

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Paul,

      I absolutely agree with you. We were saved to serve Him… that is one of the greatest reasons why the Lord choose to save us… that we might glorify and honor Him with our lives. I think one of the greatest ways to serve the Lord and be a witness for Him is to set a good example of submission to His will in everything we do… by doing this we are showing others Christ by our actions. After they have seen our changed lives and Christ in our life then we can attempt to talk to them about Christ and recount what He has done for us in our lives. The Apostle Paul did exactly that during his ministry. He would go and live among the people he spoke to, so that they would see his example and then be more apt to listen to his testimony after seeing Christ proclaimed in His life.

      There have been times, when lost men have been so attracted by the living testimony of Christ in the life of a Christian, that they have approached the Christian and ask why the Christian’s life was so different from theirs. Things like peace in the midst of trials and joy in the midst of troubling times really can affect those around us and open opportunities to speak to others about Christ. Without pressuring them or making them feel uncomfortable around us.

      I can see you are doing all of this… you are attempting to set the example with your life, while trying to reach out by sharing your testimony with them as well. Just keep in mind, not everyone Paul witnessed to accepted the truth. So too, it is with us today… not every one will accdept our testimony. It is a reminder of the sad state of mankind… we cannot accept the truth without our hearts being prepared by God. All Christians can do is witness for Christ, and then trust the Lord to intervene in their life and grant them an understanding of the truth. You, nor I, can save anyone… all we can do is faithfully live for HIm and then verbally share the truth with others… and then pray for them and trust the Lord to save them.

      About the blogging, as far as I am concerned blogging can be a great way to share His Word with others. We just have to be sure we are sharing His Word and not our thoughts and ideas. Also we should be sure our motives are right in our blogging. We need to be doing it for His glory and not ours.

      The argument that blogging brings praise to the writer so, therefore, do not blog just isn’t right. After all, I struggle every Sunday to preach the truth without glorifying myself. If I stood up, and preached to bring praise to myself, does that making preaching wrong? Of course not. I need to change my attitude and desires when I preach not just stop preaching because I am glorifying myself. The same with blogging. We need to be sure that the Lord is being honored and glorifed by proclaiming the truth while keeping our desire to be glorified and credited our of it.

      As far as my experience blogging, I have had a mixed reception as well… I have heard from people that it is a great blessing to them, others have rejected it out right. It is like any other time I have shared the Word with others, some accept it, others don’t accept it. From day one, I gave my blog to the Lord… I asked Him to only allow Him to be glorified and to keep out of it any of my feelings, thoughts, experiences or prejudices that opposed His Word. I know I’ve failed miserably at times, but I am trusting, in general, He has honored my desires.

      I realize with the blog comes a tremendous responsibility to present only His Word and to do it with the right motives. So to summarize, to me blogging is a great blessing and opportunity but also a tremendous responsibility. I must trust Him with each entry and try to make sure the world, and my flesh, stay out of my writtings so only His will leads me.

      I hope this helps a bit.
      I’ve really been praying for you consistantly… may He strengthen you and continue to encourage your heart, brother.

      Rob

  3. Hi Rob
    Great! A Scriptural support of the complete work of Christ in securing our salvation – with absolutely NO input from us. Even the faith to believe is a gift of God. I know I had absolutely NOTHING to do with my salvation. God was in control every step of the way.

    While good works had nothing to do with my salvation, the Lord made it clear that we are saved to serve and that “good works” are the natural outcome of our life in Christ. They do not “keep” us saved, but the privilege and responsibility of being co-workers together with God brings an abundance of blessings.

    What a Saviour!

    Angela

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Angela,

      I couldn’t agree with you more…. the more we understand HIs gracious workings in our lives at the point of salvation; the more we appreciate Him; the deeper our love grows for Him; and the greater our service to Him. What a wonderful Lord we serve! Thank you for your comments, Rob

  4. Patti (PJ) says:

    Hey Rob! Isn’t it wonderful that we can agree to disagree on certain doctrinal points of view, yet gain something whether it’s encouragement, or being reminded of something, or even knowledge for me. LOL, from each others posts? I enjoy each and every post that you do. I am so thankful to have you as a “friend” .

    God bless,
    PJ

    • Rob Barkman says:

      PJ

      We can absolutely remain friends, no doubt about that.

      When it comes to doctrinal differences, in my way of thinking, the doctrines involving our salvation, and the way to that salvation, are extremely important. That’s why I’m taking so much time in the blog to dwell on the subject. I’m not trying to stir up differences with others or overemphasizing that which is not important.

      What we believe about salvation and the way of salvation will effect our eternal destiny. So I feel as if it is of extreme importance for me to present the Biblical teachings about salvation in the clearest, most complete way I can.

      May the Lord continue to bless you, PJ

      Rob

  5. […] the Flame1SDBC Podcast » Blog Archive » What is Church?: Titus 3:12-14 – Conclusion1What Must We Do To Be Saved? Part 4 – What About Good Works? | SettledInHeaven.org […]

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