Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

If Works Could Save

I am thankful to God that salvation is accomplished through the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am thankful that I do not “help” God though my efforts to be saved.  It is the Lord Jesus and Him alone who receives the glory for my salvation.  He purchased me.  He died for me.  He shed His blood for my forgiveness.  My peace with God comes through His work alone and not my works.  This is the biblical way of salvation: that salvation is through faith in the Lord Jesus and not my own works or my own righteousness (John 1:29; 5:24; 6:29; 15:1-11; Acts 13:38-39; Romans 3:22-27; 4:5; 5:1-11; 11:5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; 15:1-3; Galatians 3:1-5; 5:1-4; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-9; Philippians 1:6; 2:12-16; Colossians 1:10-14; 2:12-13; etc).

Yet what if works could decide salvation?  What if works were the way that God saved sinners?  The problem would be two-fold.  First, who decides what good works save?  Does Bible study save?  Does prayer save?  Does being sinless save?  Does evangelism save?  Does going to church save?  Does taking the Lord’s supper save?  And how often must I do these good works?  Do I do them each day?  Does God expect me to do them only once a week or once a month?  And which one is the most important of the good works?  Does prayer take a priority over say Bible study or evangelism?  And what if I enjoy evangelism more than giving money to the poor?  What if I enjoy praying more than Bible study?  Is that sinful?

The second problem is human pride.  Can you imagine the boating we would do if we prayed more than this man or that woman?  Can you imagine the pride from those who evangelize more than others? Can you imagine the pride from those who are able to attend every church meeting (which I am not able to a lot)?  There would be so much pride from our flesh for what we are doing to save ourselves from God’s holy wrath.

This is why I am so thankful that Jesus did the work.  When He uttered those words, “It is finished” (John 19:30), what was finished?  The saving work of God.  God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  Salvation must be appropriated but is done.  The work for us is to believe the gospel (John 6:29).  Salvation by faith takes away our pride and destroys our confidence in our own good works to save us.  We must cast ourselves upon the Lord Jesus alone to save us (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).  We cannot save ourselves by our flesh but in Jesus alone.  This goes against our pride and our self-righteousness but it is the only way of God (Matthew 7:13-14, 21-27).  Our faith is credited to Him as righteousness (Romans 4:3).  This makes us mad but it is God’s only way of salvation.

Let us then keep our eyes on Jesus for He alone saves us by His grace (Hebrews 12:1-2).  May He be the one that we praise and rejoice in for He alone saved us by His grace (Revelation 5:12).

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

05/28/2014 at 5:59 PM

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