As mentioned earlier this week, the topic of good works is vitally important. It’s also a controversial topic. We naturally think we must be good and do good to be saved. After all, there’s nothing free in the world. In addition, why would God save people who weren’t good?
This is what we inherently think. That, however, is not what Scripture says, as we have already seen. The Bible says that both salvation and eternal life are God’s gift to us. But this goes so much against what we naturally think. It’s difficult not to assume we must do something to be saved.
God knows how ingrained the thought is that we must be worthy for salvation and especially for eternal life. Therefore, he repeatedly emphasizes that we can contribute absolutely nothing to our salvation. He did this in the two passages we already looked at this week (Ephesians 2:8-10 and John 15:5) and he also does it in today’s passage, Romans 11:6:
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”Romans 11:6
Grace and works are like water and oil. They don’t mix.
Unlike water and oil, however, when somebody tries to add their works to God’s grace, it ruins grace. Salvation by God’s grace is like a beautiful art masterpiece he gives us. Imagine what you would do to such a masterpiece if you decided to add to it by painting a small flower in the corner. You would ruin it. So also, when we add any of our works to God’s perfect work of salvation. We ruin it.
All his life Jesus kept all the commandments perfectly for us. Then he paid for every last one of our sins with his death. By doing these two things, Jesus has already done absolutely everything needed for us to be saved. This is how God can now offer you salvation and eternal life as a most precious gift.
The best thing you can do is honor him by gratefully accepting it.
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Additional Questions You Might Have
Does James 2:24 teach that works are necessary for salvation?
James 2:24 seems to clearly state that works play a part in a person’s salvation. But context is critical.