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A Sufficient Savior

December 5, 2016

Saving faith shows itself by its works, but saving faith is not dependent on its works. “Faith without works is dead” but only faith that does not rely on works saves.

The difference between the discussions of faith and works in Galatians and James is the positioning of works in relation to justification. Good works are powerless to save and the saved the are ordained to good works. False gospels present obedience, good works, rituals, right living, or law keeping as necessary for salvation.

The most common gospel teaching in the world is that Jesus makes it possible for the person to earn his righteousness. Jesus does not make it possible for you to become righteous. Jesus makes you righteous! Jesus gives you His righteousness. Anything which suggests the person has to do his part in salvation denies grace, dishonors Jesus and blasphemes God.

The true gospel presents salvation as necessary for obedience, right living and good works. The gospel produces these things after salvation, but salvation is not at all dependent upon those things. Salvation is received by faith alone. Righteousness is only given to those who through faith receive the grace of God. Only through faith are the lost justified. The justified are entirely justified. Nothing is left for the believer to do to secure his salvation.

The faith of the justified will become evident. Good works are the evidence of saving faith. Evil works and the absence of good works contradict a profession of saving faith. The presence of good works does not necessarily mean faith is presnt. The absence of good works does not necessarily mean faith is absent. Works are not faith, nor is faith works. Good works are dependent on faith. Faith is not dependent on good works.

Many people profess to belief in salvation by Jesus through faith but deny righteounsess through faith alone. Many proclaim a gospel in which a person’s righteousness is dependent on the person. If someone says a person is not saved because he does not do some thing then that person is teaching a false gospel. If someone says salvation requires the Christian to continue to in a particular discipline then that person is teaching a false gospel. If someones says salvation requires the believer to live in a righteous way to be righteous then that person is preaching a false gospel. If faith is defined as active obedience to the law or observance of a ritual then that is a false gospel.

Salvation is either entirely accomplished by Jesus on the cross or it is accomplished by the deeds of the person. Anything that puts one iota of responsibility for salvation upon the person is a false gospel. Ultimatley, any effort to earn salvation is a rejection of the grace of God.

Jesus does not make it possible for the believer to become righteous. Jesus makes the believer righteous. He saves eternally. He forgives completely. He cleanses perfectly. He transforms totally. Jesus robes the believer in His righteousness. Either Jesus’ righteousness is enough to save or it is not. Either Jesus’ righteousness is perfect and complete or it is not. If the sinner must do any thing to save himself, then Jesus’ death on the cross was not enough. Jesus death was enough. The believers can rest confident in Him who is “the Author and Finisher of our faith.”


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