Salvation By Works Or By Grace Of God?

There is no such thing as salvation by works; but on account of the various theories and misleading statements concerning salvation, we speak of salvation by works, that is--an attempt to save oneself by his works. There are those who conceive of the gospel in legal terms. God, according to their way of thinking, will save and bless people when they comply with certain conditions. If they never comply with those conditions and never perform certain works, then thy are never saved.

In Romans, chapter 4, Paul contrasted salvation by works and salvation by grace. There is no law by which a person can be saved. If a law could be given by which a man could be saved, salvation would have been by the law of Moses, which is holy and righteous and good. But when one is under law and has to work for his salvation, if he violates one injunction of the code, he is guilty of all, said James. It is utterly impossible for people to be saved by works-any kind of works.

We are not under law, but under grace. Notwithstanding the clear statements of Scripture that we are not under law, but under grace, there are those who turn to such a passage as Philippians 2:12,13 as proof of this position: "12 So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure." This passage is thought by some to teach that a person is saved by works. Emphasis is laid upon the thought, "work out your own salvation." This is a misconception of the passage. The Greek of the original text indicates that God works salvation in us; then we are to work it out. That which He has worked in us, we are to work out. I might illustrate this principle by the following: A person is born, for instance, a musician but, though he possesses this ability, he can never be a musician unless he works out in practice that talent with which he was born. If a person does not have the talent for music, he never can become one. He can only work out that which is born in him. So it is in a spiritual sense. We are born anew by the Spirit of God when we accept the Lord Jesus Christ. That new nature is given to us, with its capabilities, powers, and potentialities. Then we can work out in our daily life that which God works in us at the time of the new birth. From time to time He puts in our hearts both the willing and the doing, that is, the desire to do a thing and the ability to carry it out--provided we will put forth a conscious effort to work out in our daily lives that which He has worked into us.

But we are saved by the grace of God through faith. It is all due to God's grace that we are saved. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, but was made manifest by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Apostle Paul said in II Timothy 1:8-11.

God graciously offers to save us if we will only believe. All we have to do is to accept His gracious offer by faith. When we do that and trust Him, then the work is done. Jesus said to the woman of Samaria at the well: "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water" (John 4:10). She took Him at His word and asked Him for the living water. We are confident that He kept His word and gave her salvation. He also said to her that "whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life" (John 4:14)

Thus people are saved by simply trusting in Christ and accepting Him as the sacrifice for their sins. Have you done this, my friend? If you have not, now is the time to accept Him and let Him come into your heart.