KCU/03/3-1

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Topic 13: Saved by grace, faith, or works?

Question: Based on what you know from the Bible & other sources (including the Theology Matters reading), what roles do you think grace, faith, & works play respectively in Christian salvation? (Be sure to do more research into the issue. If the group cannot come to a consensus, feel free to have different group members each express their own opinions.)

Our country’s religion is made up of many denominations. Variations of interpretations of Bible passages are some of the main reasons for divisions in churches today. One of the big issues being discussed in churches is how we are saved. Here are some of the ways the different denominations believe we are saved. Some of the most popular names on this issue are… The battle is, “Are we saved by grace, faith, or works?” We will cover what reasons people use to support their view for each way of thinking. They may not all be right, but there are people out there who believe each one with all their heart.

The Mormons believe that our works saves us. They believe that the most important thing for us is our jobs. They keep their people busy all the time with their secular jobs and also jobs within the church. Moving up in position and receiving more opportunities to do works, increases your position in the heavens. The Mormons believe how hard and how much you work declares your position in the heavens. They believe there are more than one realm in heaven. The three heavens, all of them superior to this life are—the celestial, terrestrial and telestial kingdoms. The celestial kingdom is of the highest order. They even say that God became a god because of his good works here on earth. They say if you achieve enough here on earth you can be a god just like Him. Not only do the Mormons believe in salvation by works, but also many Christians believe this also. Misinterpreting the scriptures can also lead to the conclusion that our good deeds can bring us salvation. Many people take one verse and interpret it how they read it. They take it out of context and make it fit what they want it to say. Matthew 25:31-46 is one of those scriptures that are twisted to fit. This verse speaks of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, and visiting the imprisoned. We will be cast out if we do not do this is how the verse reads. Romans 6:2 even has Paul stating that, “God will give to each person according to what he has done.” That leads one to believe that what we receive here on earth and also in heaven is based on our works. If one would read just this verse and nothing around it, they could easily say that our works saves us.


FAITH

Faith is REPENTING which means { turning to GOD from sin }

2 corinthians

7:10 it says "Godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation"

Faith is RECEIVING JESUS CHRIST which means { trusting in christ alone for salvation. }


john

1:12,13 its says "but to all who did receive him,he gave them the right to be children of GOD,to those who believed in his name"



FAITH IS NOT

  • JUST KNOWING THE FACTS

james

2:19 "you believe that GOD is one;you do well.The demons also believe and they shudder"


  • JUST AN EMOTIONAL EXPERINCE

raising your hand or repeating a prayer is not enough

"For BY GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH" (Eph. 2:8). Faith and grace go together. Why? Faith is the "hand of the heart" that reaches out and receives God’s free gift which is undeserved. We need to make a difference between the gift (salvation) and the reception of the gift (faith).

Romans 11:5-6 says, "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." Grace and works are two principles that are completely opposed. If you have grace then your works are only your way of showing gratitude. If you have a free gift, then it cannot be earned or paid for. If you work for something and earn it, then it is not a free gift; although if it is a debt, then it cannot be grace. Salvation is provided and freely given to us through grace, but if you have faith and accept the grace then your works will come accordingly.

Some people feel that you cannot and must not add works in any shape, form or manner to the grace of God. Why not? ". . . otherwise grace is no more grace.” Salvation is something that the sinner does not deserve at all, not even in the slightest bit. A person is saved by gods grace when He sent His son to die in our place so that we can have eternal life. In considering the relationship between grace and works it is helpful to examine Romans 4:4, "Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt." Here is the person who works! This person is a total stranger to the grace of God. He knows nothing of the grace of God. He foolishly thinks that God owes him something because of how he lives. He somehow thinks that his works and his love for God, his commitment, his surrender, and his obedience to God have earned him salvation.

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