Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Working On Faith”

Categories: SALVATION
     Hello and thanks for your time.  A true saved person will produce fruit and good works… not because they are self-righteous or do physical outward works, but as an inward spiritual production.  Okay, I understand that.  But when the Bible says persevere, endure temptation, do not willfully sin, walk in the light, do not live in the flesh, this sounds like free will.  So with that being said, if Christ justified me, and the Holy spirit is sanctifiying me each day, and I am saved, then is my persevering and walking in the light self-righteousness or works-based?   Jesus said if we continue in His word, we will be His disciples. So if getting saved gives you a clean start, then it seems like we have to maintain that relationship.   If we struggle with sin, it comes down to our willingness to resist temptation.  So it seems we are having to work to maintain the relationship.  We are to fight the good fight… sounds like still a works-based salvation unless the Holy Spirit does it for us through us.  Your thoughts?  I'm really struggling with this.

Sincerely,
Working It Out

Dear Working It Out,

You are saved by works… but not works of perfection.  You are saved by works of faith.  James specifically says that faith without works is dead (Jas 2:24-26).  You are correct; we have free will, and you do have to work to maintain your relationship with God.  Faith doesn’t mean God takes control, and you become incapable of falling away.
The Bible says that we are saved by faith (Eph 2:8), but it never says that we are saved by faith only.  The Scriptures mention a lot of things that are involved in our salvation.  We are saved by hope (Rom 8:24).  We are saved by baptism (1 Pet 3:21).  We are saved by the love of the truth (2 Thess 2:10).  All of these things are involved in your salvation.  In order to understand a topic, we must look at the sum of God’s Word on that subject (Ps. 119:160).
Faith is hearing what God says (Rom 10:17)… and then acting upon it.  It is impossible to be a faithful person and live an unrepentant life.  Faith is more than belief; even the demons believe in God (Jas 2:19).  Faith is belief combined with action.  We must be hearers and doers of God’s Word (Jas 1:22).  God has given us an immense gift – one we could never pay for ourselves.  However, He expects us to reach out and seize that gift.