Grace or Works?

If we live by the Spirit,
 let us also walk by the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:25

There are several examples throughout Scripture that make it clear that we are in partnership with God.  Psalm 139:15 refers to God skillfully making a human being in the womb of a mother.  He chose to partner with mankind in procreation.  Man and woman would conceive, woman would carry the child in her womb, but God would be fashioning him/her

Another example of this partnership is found in Philippians 1:6 where it says that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  But in Philippians 2:12 it says, “ …work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  So which is it?  Does God work in us or are we to work?  Both!  It is that partnership that is seen in Ephesians 5:25.  We have been taught and it is true that God’s grace covers all our sins and that once we ask Him to save us we are His children forever.  But we are so turned off by the thought that we have to also work out our salvation in fear and trembling.  Isn’t that salvation by works?  Isn’t God’s grace enough?  My question to you is, “Does it have to be one or the other?”  I think that it is both.  We are saved by grace and held in God’s hands by grace, but we show by our actions that we are His.  He should be changing us through the transforming word and we should desire to do good works.  Thus it is a partnership. Thus in Matthew where the goats and the sheep are judged according to their works, it is not work-based salvation, but rather salvation that is revealed through the works of the saints.

Amazing that God would trust us enough to partner with Him!  What a mighty God we serve!

 

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