Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saved by Grace and Empowered to Every Good Work

Matt. 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

It seems on the surface of things that Jesus Christ and Paul are in disagreement over the conditions of salvation. Who do you believe--Christ or Paul? Obviously these scriptures need to work together. So how do we rectify the teachings of Christ with those of his Apostle? Paul teaches that we are saved by grace alone and man can do nothing of himself. But Christ taught that we need to do the will of the Father. The key to rectifying these scriptures is in the Holy Ghost.

Man alone without the grace of Jesus can do no good works. But after a man has accepted Christ and is justified by His blood, be can receive the Holy Ghost. Once the Holy Ghost enters into a person, it will start the process of sanctification and inspire the individual to make changes, repent, and do certain works. It doesn't mean you become a perfect person over night. But you need to harken to and heed the Holy Ghost because if you reject what the Holy Ghost is telling you then you have rejected Christ and have left the straight and narrow path and will need to repent to get back on the path.

John 13:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

This is the process of sanctification and if we continue in the Spirit and grow from grace to grace, good works being a manifestation that the grace and power and love of Christ are in us. Then is his grace sufficient for us, even though we are not perfect yet. But if we die somewhere in the straight and narrow path, we can say we have kept the faith, finished the course, and endured to the end.

But through the power of the Holy Ghost we will be empowered to do certain things, and change certain things. My changes may be different than your changes. And we shouldnt guilt each other or say, well I feel like I am being empowered to make this change or have this calling in life and therefore am better than you because you dont. But the Holy Ghost may lead us to pray, to read the scriptures, to be baptized, to attend church, or enter into other ordinances. Some may not feel to attend a church as yet and may still feel the Spirit working in them in some other area.

And if the Holy Ghost is not empowering you to a particular work, then I am in no place to judge. As long as you are heading what the Holy Ghost is calling you to do in your life than you are continuing to accepting Christ and His grace covers you, even though there may be other sins, habits, vices or omissions that you struggle with. Christs grace will cover them.

But, as we receive of the Spirit more and more within us, eventually at some point we will be witnesses of the power of the grace of God within us and we will be able to miraculously put off every temptation and vice and bad behavior, and we will be enabled to do all the works, callings, and ordinances which God desires that we do to and not only enjoy the the happiness of righteous living in this life but be rewarded with exaltation and eternal life in the next.

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