Romans 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
We often think of God in terms of what church we attend or what it is we do for Him. I heard a great definition that religion is man’s way of reaching out to God, but the Bible; the Word of God is His way of reaching out to man. In the same manner, there are those who believe it is what you DO that gets you to Heaven and the bible says it is what has been DONE.
As I read this today, I thought of the raging debate among religions of the requirements for entrance into Heaven. ‘DO or DONE.’ What you do, or what has been done for you. The bible has plenty to say about the works that we do:
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Isaiah 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.”
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
We have examples of those whose life far exceeds our own with regards to works. Mother Teresa of Calcutta devoted her life to helping those less fortunate find food, clothing and shelter – yet all that she did would be in vain if she did not personally trust the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior to be born again. Those martyred for their faith – without Bible salvation in Jesus Christ, they will not enter into Heaven.
Christ Himself drew the line:
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
All those who trust their good works for salvation will hear “I never knew you” and those good works God calls ‘working iniquity’? Knowing about God is not enough – knowing God and being known of Him is a must.
I must constantly remind myself not to get caught up in working FOR God but WITH Him – for His glory and not my own. I must check my pride at the door and be a humble servant to do what He asks. I cannot do things for God to be accepted of Him – I am already accepted because once saved, I am His child. I need not do things for God to be loved or more loved because I am loved unconditionally as His child – devoid of any work I do.
I DO with God because I love Him. But when led and guided by the Holy Spirit, I do those things that will bring about the most fruit, the most glory for Him and eternal riches in Heaven that I will be able to lay before His throne in thanksgiving for a debt I could not pay. The constraining love I feel for my God has its best outlet in serving Him, being led by Him and obediently following Him throughout my life.
The devil deceives the lost with the tug our flesh desires to have a part in saving ourselves. Faith is the trust in what truly has been done – it takes no faith whatsoever to do. Those steps of faith are typically marked by surrender and a fruit that can only be explained with, “Look what God did!”
Take some time today to actively choose steps of faith over routine ‘doing’ for God.