Theology of Grace - Works

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Works

And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

Psalm 143:2

A major problem for Grace Theology in teaching two gospels of salvation, one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles, is establishing what is the difference between them? There is only one name under heaven given whereby men must be saved. He gave himself once for all, not willing that any should perish, there is but one Holy Spirit which all receive. These are all particulars of Paul’s gospel. In order to make two different gospels something has to be added or taken away from this.

What do they have that they can take away from Paul’s gospel, the Lord, the Holy Spirit, the one sacrifice? There is nothing that can be removed. This leaves adding something to Paul’s gospel. What do they have they can add to make them different?

The only thing that can be changed is a different condition on which to receive salvation. The condition to receive the grace of God in Paul’s gospel is believing, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It can be seen in the above verse that faith is contrasted against works. Works were briefly mentioned in the previous chapter. Here we will go into more depth.

Is it possible that Grace Theology is relying on the common misconception of the book of James and believe that:

for by grace are ye save through faith and works; it is partly of yourselves and partly the gift of God.

It matters not that some teaching Grace Theology do not admit to teaching works as necessary for the Jews, work is all they have to add to make the gospels different. Having spoken to many individuals advocating this teaching all ardently confessed before the atonement salvation was by works as well as it will be in the Tribulation. Whether aided by the misreading of James or not works is what they add to the gospel to make it different than Paul’s holding to the concept that God’s grace was only in one dispensation given to Paul.

Is it possible to be saved by grace and works? Is it possible to be saved by works alone? Is it possible to be saved by faith and works? These are the question that must be answered.

Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;...

Regardless of what period of time you are speaking of the above two verse and the precept they contain will apply, if by works it is not of grace or faith. Therefore, we must remove grace and faith for Grace Theologies gospel to the Jews.

for ye Jews are saved through works; it is of yourselves: not the gift of God, not by grace.

Would that statement fit anywhere within the Scriptures?

Keep this thought in mind when trying to interpret Galatians 2:7-9, is the gospel of the circumcision one of works and the gospel of the uncircumcision one of grace?

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

The gospel is “saved by grace through faith” at all times, to all peoples. The Lord, Peter, James, John, Matthew, Luke, et al., preached the same gospel as Paul, Barnabas, Mark, Silas, etc. This is affirmed in Acts 15 at the great apostolic council where Peter, John, James, Paul, and many others, concluded that keeping the law was not necessary for Jew or Gentile to be saved.

Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

We, the Jews; Peter, James, John, Paul, et al., believed that they were saved the same way as the Gentiles?through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Salvation at any time, pre-crucifixion, post-crucifixion, tribulation, is by grace through faith, not of works. Noah and Abraham being examples show it is a universal precept of God’s word and not a Pauline mystery.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Exodus 33:17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;…

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works:…

This is not difficult to explain. If salvation was by works anyone obtaining it would be glorifying himself, not God.

Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

We are here to glorify God, not boast ourselves.

Grace Theology will go so far as to teach that Paul was the first person saved by grace through faith without works and the first to be in Christ, in the body. However, Paul preached the same faith he once destroyed and states that others were in Christ before him.

Galatians 1:23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed.

Romans 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

It was the same faith, same gospel, that Paul preached that he once persecuted. This shows that the gospel Paul preached was being preached before he was converted. Paul’s gospel was not new, not a mystery hidden until revealed to him but the same faith, same gospel, he had been persecuting.

In Galatians chapter two Paul is speaking to both Jew and Gentile, especially to Peter, when he confirms there is but one gospel and it is not one of works.

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Paul was speaking for all Jewish believers, even those in Christ before him, and he was certainly speaking to Peter when he said, “even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified

At this point ask yourself, are the gospels of the circumcision and uncircumcision two different gospels, one by God’s grace through our faith and one by our works, or are they two different ministries?

Not of works” is a universal biblical precept, not just a church age, dispensational, or Pauline, teaching. Eternal salvation is never by works, alone or in concert with grace. Any teaching to the contrary is not biblical, not Christian doctrine. Unless this precept is accepted you will error in the formation of doctrine and teachings as Grace Theology has.

(See the studies, “Methodology of Salvation,” and “Dispensational Salvation for further information.)

Romans 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

A major stumbling block to their thinking is understanding biblical works. The Bible defines works as the keeping of God’s law to establish your own self-righteousness. Whether you are observing the given written statutes or verbal statutes of God. Remember, keeping the law of God is fulfilled in one commandment, “love thy neighbour as thyself.” Violating the law is doing something to someone you would not want to be done to you.

Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Noah building the Ark was not a work of obeying the law, it was an act of faith, “it is of faith, that it might be by grace.” Abraham sacrificing his son was not a work of obeying the law. It was a trial of his faith.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:…

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,…

Being told to do something by God is not the same as doing the works of the law given by God. Being baptized for the remission of sins is not a work of the law, not a work period. It was a witness of the faith put in God’s word that was being preached. It was also God’s judgment and a snare on those that would not put their faith in his word.

Mark 11:30-32 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me. 31And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? 32But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

Baptism is not a work. If someone had just followed the group and had been baptized by John, would they have received remission of sins?No. John’s baptism was not only not a work it was not salvation.

Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Even keeping the whole law of God without the right attitude and understanding, by faith, profited and obtained you nothing.

Romans 9:31-32 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

“If by grace, then is it no more of works,” "it is of faith, that it might be by grace,” if it is by grace there is no element of works. It is either works or grace and God will not accept any man’s works. He will accept the faith if that is what provoked and caused the works.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him:…

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;…

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works:.. if it be of works, then is it no more grace:…

Hebrews chapter eleven is filled with the examples of Old Testament saints and their faith toward God, “it is of faith, that it might be by grace:” It is their faith that found them grace in God’s eyes, not their works. It was their faith that caused them to do the works, the works that proved they had faith.