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"GOD'S GRACE" and "OUR WORKS"

Posted 19th November 2009 at 04:31 PM by 357magnum
Updated 25th November 2009 at 06:21 PM by 357magnum
"GOD'S GRACE" and "OUR WORKS"

This is a little mini-study I prepared on Romans 11:6. The focus of the study is on "GOD'S GRACE" and "OUR WORKS". The objective is that we all have a better understanding of our relationship with God.

Romans 11:6 (KJV) 6 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.

Romans 11:6 (AMP) 6 But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].

The key words in this Scripture are "grace" and "works".

"GRACE"
G5485 (Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)
G5485 charis (khar'-ece) n.
1. graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act
2. (especially) the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life
3. (also) gratitude
{abstract or concrete, literal, figurative or spiritual}
[from G5463]
KJV: acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace(- ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank(-s, -worthy)
Root(s): G5463

My Note on Grace: Scores of other Scriptures clearly indicate that unmerited favor and a gift that is not deserved or earned is the most appropriate definition of "grace" in Romans 11:6 and many other precious portions of Scripture.

"WORKS"
G2041 (Mickelson's Enhanced Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)
G2041 ergon (er'-gon) n.
1. toil (as an effort or occupation)
2. (by implication) an act
[from a primary (but obsolete) ergo "to work"]
KJV: deed, doing, labour, work

Also See:

2 Timothy 1:6-10 (KJV) 6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Romans 3:27-28 (KJV) 27 Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4:4-5 (KJV) 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Romans 5:20-21 (KJV) 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:10 (KJV) 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace [which was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Galatians 2:20-21 (KJV) 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Galatians 5:4-6 (KJV) 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Ephesians 2:4-9 (KJV) 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

2 Timothy 1:7-10 (KJV) 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Titus 3:3-7 (KJV) 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

The above and many other precious portions of Scripture clearly prove that the Grace of God is a GIFT, one that can never be deserved, earned, or paid for on the installment plan. God's GIFT is not an extension of credit that must be either paid for or returned. The full payment was made at THE CROSS. Any man who thinks that he can add to the PERFECT SACRIFICE OF JESUS with man's righteousness or man's works is insulting our Lord and Saviour.

Those who try to use other portions of the New Testament to prove that works are required for Salvation or to maintain Salvation neglect to consider the writer, the purpose, the audience, the time, and THE CROSS.

James is one of the most consistently misused and abused in trying to prove that works are required for Salvation or the maintenance of Salvation. There were many devout Christian Jews of the time who still had strong bonds to Mosaic Law. James and many others of the time were known for fairly strong legalistic leanings. The bonds to Mosaic Law were not cut overnight. Formal and informal councils were necessary to address these bonds.

James 1:1-3 (KJV) 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

James 1:1-3 above should make it apparent that Christian Jews were the intended audience for the book of James.

One could and should ask if churches of the time were of one mind regarding Mosaic Law. The obvious answer was "NO", and the answer is still "NO" today. A companion topic, "works", had the same questions and the same answers. One could and should also ask the question, "Was there a difference in teaching between primarily Jewish Christian Churches and primarily Gentile Christian Churches"? The obvious answer was "YES!". There were formal and informal councils of the time to address these differences.

Acts 21:18-26 (KJV) 18 And the [day] following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. 19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. 20 And when they heard [it], they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: 21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise [their] children, neither to walk after the customs. 22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. 23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave [their] heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but [that] thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. 25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written [and] concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from [things] offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

If one rightly divides the Word of Truth, there are NO contradictions in comparing James with Ephesians. However, James remains a popular argument for those who wish to: (1) Rely on self-righteousness instead of yielding to the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST; and/or (2) Hold on to all or part of the law for Salvation; and/or (3) Add man's pitiful works to the PERFECT SACRIFICE AND BLOOD OF JESUS AT THE CROSS.

There are many other portions of Scripture that appear to contradict each other, but there are no contradictions in the Holy Bible. There may even appear to be contradictions from one chapter to the next in the same book, but there are no contradictions. This is simply a failure to rightly divide the Word of Truth.

As another example, what might you think that 1 John 1:4 means?

1 John 1:4 (KJV) 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

What might you think that 1 John 2:4 means?

1 John 2:4 (KJV) 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Wait, you can't make up your mind yet. What does 1 John 1:8 mean?

1 John 1:8 (KJV) 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Well, it appears that we are all liars, that we all sin, and the truth can't be in us, so does this mean that we are all lost? Wait, don't make up your mind yet. What about 1 John 1:9 and 1 John 2:1-2?

1 John 1:9 (KJV) 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 2:1-2 (KJV) 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

The members of the audience are Christians already. There are no contradictions in 1 John. A student of 1 John doesn't have a chance of understanding it unless they consider the purpose of the writer and the audience it is intended for. One must also read the entire book of 1 John. Anything less would be a total failure to rightly divide the Word of Truth. One would be claiming contradictions that don't exist. Further, there are no contradictions in comparing 1 John with Ephesians.

Thanks be unto GOD for HIS unspeakable GIFT!, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Saviour Forever!


If you wish to view the portions of Scripture I used in more context or in a different translation, you might try the following if you don't have your own materials: Blue Letter Bible - Home Page

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