Grace and Works
“For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”
Titus 2:11-14 NLT
The grace of God - what an astounding thing! John Newton, the author of the song "Amazing Grace" knew that God's grace was, indeed, AMAZING! John was a former slave runner that was a wicked a vile man until he came to know Jesus. His life radically changed. In fact, his life was so changed that he became a pastor and had influence in the life of William Wilberforce, a member the British parliament. Wilberforce was an adamant fighter for the freedom of slaves. Eventually, his efforts paid off and slavery was defeated in the United Kingdom. This was an amazing demonstration of how God's grace can change a man, and the world. You can watch the story unfold in the movie called "Amazing Grace".
The grace of God is beyond the human level. Grace is divine! Only when we understand how awful our sin is can we appreciate the value of God's grace. His grace has been extended, in invitation, to all! The sad thing is that not all receive it. I am so glad I have been called by God's Spirit into this marvelous and matchless grace!! How about you?
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
Now that we are accepted in Christ, by grace through faith, let us live a life indicative of His wonderful work in our lives. We must turn away from ungodliness of every kind and discipline ourselves to resist the sinful pleasures of this evil world. This world is a cesspool of evil allurement. We must submit our lives to the Lordship of Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to live through us. When we walk in the Spirit we will not yield ourselves to sin's fatal attractions.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”
Galatians 5:16 NLT
When we do this we are, then, empowered by God to live a life of holiness. God wants us to perform good works as a result of salvation.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Good works are not a prerequisite of salvation! Good works are a result of salvation!!
A redeemed, transformed life will evidence that fact. You will know a tree by its fruit.
Jesus said this about false prophets:
“You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.”
Matthew 7:16-18 NLT
We are called to holy living.
“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ —for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”
Philippians 1:11 NLT
Until Jesus returns, or we die before that event occurs, we must pursue godliness as we look to Him, and for Him!
“But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.”
1 Timothy 6:11 NLT
Jesus is coming back! We must live with this at the forefront of our hearts and minds. Until He returns we must be found doing God's work and will!
We must always be attentive to His ever watchful eye and His imminent return!
“You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns.”
Matthew 24:44-47 NLT
Are you looking for His return and are you faithfully fulfilling your duty?
Curtis R. Norris
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Rev. Curtis Norris