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Scripture Reading: John 6:26-29
Faith Without Works
1. The false doctrines of total depravity due to man’s sin in Eden coupled with a false definition of the gospel and man’s responsibility to it leads evangelicals into frequent denials of clear Bible passages about how to be saved from sins, Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:38; 1 Pet. 3:21.
2. Man can never earn his salvation because all have sinned, and sinners cannot saves themselves, Eph. 2:9; 2 Tim. 1:8-10; Tit. 3:5.
3. This truth does not diminish the conditional nature of grace: We are saved “by grace” “through faith”. Faith stands as the great means by which sinners obtain God’s saving grace.
4. Saving faith is obedient; without which one will not be saved, Heb. 5:8-9; Rom. 2:8; 6:16-18; Phil. 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:2.
5. Therefore, the nature of saving faith is at the heart of the gospel of Christ.
I. LORD, INCREASE OUR FAITH, Lk. 17:5-10.
A. Jesus’ Answer Focuses on the Individual’s Faith (“you”).
1. The Lord increases the individual's faith when he obeys the teachings of Christ.
2. If God miraculously infuses sinners with faith separate from the gospel and personal faith, then God becomes a respecter of persons – which He is not! 1 Tim. 2:3-4; Heb. 11:6 (Acts 10:34-35)
B. For the Lord to Increase Our Faith We Must:
1. Trust the power of faith, Lk. 17:6.
-Faith is at work when we obey the Lord (do what He wants of us) – the power of faith is present in us, Gal. 5:5-6.
2. Offer the service of faith, Lk. 17:7-8.
-Faith knows its place of service before the Master;
3. Obey the duty of faith, Lk. 17:9-10.
a. Faith does not demand or deserve reward based on doing its duty. Lk. 6:46
b. Faith is rewarded, not by any meritorious nature, but because of the grace of the Master, 2 Tim. 4:7-8.
C. Salvation is God’s Gift, Accepted through Faith, Eph. 2:8-9.
II. WORKS THAT CANNOT SAVE, Eph. 2:9.
A. Works of My Own Righteousness, Phil. 3:9; Tit. 3:5.
1. Works that are sinless and therefore justify on that basis, Rom. 4:1-4.
2. Works that earn or merit the reward because there has been no sin – one can boost in this (praise oneself, rejoice in oneself), Rom. 4:2; 3:27-28 (Eph. 2:9).
3. This is trusting in oneself that you are righteous, Lk. 18:9-14.
-Lk. 18:18-23: The rich young ruler kept God's commands but he also had sin – his covetous heart trusted in his riches more than in Christ.
III. WORKS THAT GOD REQUIRES OF US IN ORDER TO BE SAVED BY HIS GRACE, THROUGH FAITH. (cf. Psa. 24:3-6)
A. The Works of Righteousness that God Commands.
1. To be acceptable to God, Acts 10:34-35.
2. Scriptures give us instruction in righteousness, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
3. God’s word of grace commands righteous living, Titus 2:11-14.
B. The Works of Faith (Obedience), Gal. 5:6-7; Jas. 2:14-26.
-Faith without works (of faith, obedience):
1. Has “no profit” (2:14-16);
2. Is dead (2:17, 20, 26);
3. Cannot be seen or known (2:18);
4. Is like the demons (2:19);
5. Is incomplete (2:22);
6. Will not justify (2:21-25).
C. What is Good, Rom. 2:10; Eph. 2:10; Heb. 13:21; Rev. 14:13. "Good" works defined by God, not by man, and revealed in the Scriptures.
D. The Works of God, Jno. 6:26-29; 9:3-4; Phil. 2:12-13.
1. God’s word does not contradict.
2. Active, obedient faith is recognized and blessed by Christ.
3. Put your faith to work now and obey Christ – not to earn anything – but to receive salvation “by grace, through faith”. (cf. Psa. 24:5-6)
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: November 9, 2012