Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Works Of Faith”

Categories: DOCTRINE, SALVATION
If we are saved by grace through Christ alone, and not by works, why does the Word say that at the Judgment, Christ might say to some, "Depart from me; I never knew you"  (Matt 7:23)?  It seems to suggest that after being born again, we then must do something to stay saved.  Some of them were obviously doing wonderful works in His name (Matt 7:22).  Can you help me understand?

Sincerely,
Working On An Answer

Dear Working On An Answer,

When Paul says that we are not saved by works, he is talking about perfect works (Rom 3:27).  Paul was dealing with the argument that a man could be saved by living by the law and that he didn’t need God’s grace (Rom 3:28).  We are saved by faith in God, not perfect works.  However, that doesn’t mean that what we do doesn’t matter.  James says that faith without works is dead (Jas 2:20).  The choices we make in life show who we have faith in.  We know we have faith in God when we listen to His Word (Rom 10:17) and then do our best to live by what it says (Jas 1:22).  Abraham is a perfect example of this.  Abraham was saved by faith (Rom 4:9), but we are also told that Abraham was saved by works when he offered Isaac (Jas 2:21).  God knew Abraham’s faith when Abraham lived by that faith (Gen 22:12).  Our actions do define us.  We have all sinned (Rom 3:23), and God in His grace, sent His Son to pay the price for our sins, but that doesn’t mean that how you live doesn’t matter.  Matt 7:23 is referring to those people who say that they trust the Lord but aren’t living by His Word.  Those people won’t be saved.