“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:8-10).
Whenever we start talking about the need to obey, people start wondering whether we’re exchanging grace for works. God forbid! We are saved by grace, and no one will be able to boast that they did anything to merit salvation. But we were saved for good works. We were called to a godly life.
Some people don’t let that concern them. That should concern them. Faith that saves produces good works. The apostles took this quite seriously.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:14-17).
“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” (1John 2:3-6).
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:12-13).
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. ... So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do...” (Eph 4:1, 17).
Faith produces works. Grace transforms. A life given to Jesus is a life lived like Jesus for Jesus. We do it not to earn God’s favor but to show our gratitude for God’s grace. And we do it because the Jesus who died for us expects us to live for him.
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Part of Christianity 102