Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
This is an important idea to keep our minds focused on. I felt compelled today to discuss the idea of grace verses works. Is works important? Yes, but not to provide us with salvation. There are many verses in scripture that speak of this truth. First, we see it in our focus verse. “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” Romans 11:6. Salvation is by grace, through the work of Christ, for we can do nothing, on our own, to address our sins. It is a gift from God to sinful man. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.
It is essential that we understand we cannot be justified by works. “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. The problem with relying on the keeping of the law for justification is that it requires absolute perfection. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” James 2:10.
So then, why should we be concerned about works? It is not for justification, but for proof of your commitment to Him. James puts it this way. “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” James 2:14-17. What he is essentially saying is this. If you claim faith in God and the work of Christ on the cross, yet your actions and works do not show evidence of it, then we must question our faith. Doing the work of God shows the proof of our faith. It should show a life that desires to please God in all ways.
Is works important? Absolutely. It shows the world the reality of our faith. This is vital in evangelism for if they see we live it out, they may be more willing to take a closer look rather than brush it off. Let us be His hands and feet here on the earth in spreading the truth to a lost world and living it as proof of its reality and our faith in Christ. Our works is not for our salvation, but to help others hear the truth and accept Christ.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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