WORKS of the LAW compared to GOOD WORKS?



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THE WORKS OF THE LAW
 
COMPARED TO
 
GOOD WORKS OR WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
 
 
The Bible teaches us that there are works that God accepts and works that God rejects as well as works that God accepted in the past, but now rejects because of the boasting of men. So then to give my readers a better idea of what I mean by the title of this study in God's word a much longer title would be needed such as, “Good works compared to our OWN good works done in our OWN strength boasting in ourselves as opposed to giving God all the glory for his grace and Holy Spirit that empowers us to over come sin and do good works of righteousness.” 

The word of God tells us in Ephesians 2:8,9
 
 
“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of WORKS lest any man should boast.”
 
 
What does it mean when the word of God says,
 
 “not of WORKS lest any man should boast”,...?
 
 Especially when the SAME word of God says in James 2:14-26,
 
“faith WITHOUT WORKS is dead”...?
 
 Let’s take the focus off of “WORKS” for a moment and place it on the
 
“lest any man should BOAST.
 
It is BOASTING and PRIDE that God desires to destroy, because we see in the very next verse of Ephesians chapter two that God has ORDAINED us unto GOOD WORKS.
You see, God has freely given us all things that pertain to godliness. The core meaning of this passage of scripture is that we cannot consistently do good works in our OWN strength. And even if we could there would be an occasion of BOASTING and PRIDE.
 And if boasting or pride is present, then it is sin. So God provides us with his GRACE, which we learned in the study on “WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF GRACE” , is far more than just God’s unmerited favor. He gives us his grace for the purpose of overcoming the enemy and this power of grace can only be received through FAITH. This is one of the reasons why the word says in Romans 14:23,
 
“...anything that is not of FAITH is sin.”
 
Why would anything not of faith be sin? First of all the word anything when left in context does not mean everything we do, but rather the things we do with the intent of pleasing God. And secondly the things we do to please God outside of faith are done in our OWN strength which cause boasting or pride would rise up in us. So then, the WORKS that is referred to in this verse in Ephesians 2:8,9 and in James 2:14-26 means OUR OWN WORKS that we do in our OWN STRENGTH whereby there is BOASTING.
 
In Romans 3:20-31 we read,
 
 
 
“Therefore by the deeds (or works) of the LAW there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the LAW is the knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God without the LAW is manifested (or is made known), being witnessed (being testified or shown forth) by the LAW and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by FAITH of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that BELIEVE: for there is NO DIFFERENCE: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified FREELY by his GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
 
 
Now the deeds or the works of the LAW here are referring to the animal sacrifices and not good works of righteousness as some have mislead us to believe. You see my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, in the Old Testament animal sacrifices were needed to be made for the forgiveness of sin year after year, but they were only TEMPORARY and for a foreshadowing of things to come, namely Jesus Christ coming to be the sacrifice for sin made once and for all. Therefore doing away with the LAW is not the doing away of GOOD WORKS of righteousness, but rather the doing away of the ceremonial law of the Old Testament, that is to say, the LAW that required the sacrificing of animals for the remission of sins. In other words, the CEREMONIAL LAW of offering animal sacrifices shall no flesh be saved. 
Let us continue in Romans 3:20-31.
 
 
"Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through FAITH in his blood, to declare HIS righteousness for the remission of sins that are PAST, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time HIS righteousness: that HE might be JUST, and the justifier of him which BELIEVES in Jesus."
 
 
In other words, Almighty God the Father sent his Son Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sins in order to REPLACE the LAW or to do away with the LAW of animal sacrifice for the covering of sins. Again the LAW here means the deeds of the law, which was the ceremonial work of sacrificing of animals for the forgiveness of sins, and NOT the KEEPING of the commandments of God that we have been ORDAINED to do GOOD WORKS of righteousness. No where do I find that the Bible ever teaches of the doing away with the COMMANDMENTS of Almighty God. We will see this further on in this study, but for now I want to focus upon the BOASTING as the reason for the why God made some changes in how we are considered to be righteous in his eyes as we continue to look at Romans 3:20-31.
 
 
Where is BOASTING then? IT IS EXCLUDED. By what law? Of WORKS? (the works of the law, sacrificing animals, and our OWN good works of righteousness that causes boasting)? Nay: but by the law of FAITH.
 Therefore we CONCLUDE that a man is justified by FAITH without the deeds of the LAW (Again speaking of only the ceremonial law and not the law or commandments of God concerning good works of righteousness).
 
The word faith here does not refer to our belief, as in, referring to what religion or denomination, but rather speaks of the ACT of continual BELIEVING and trusting in God's word. And in this case more specifically it is referring to our FAITH in the shed blood of Jesus, as opposed to the CONTINUING to offer sacrifices of animals and having one's faith in these type of ceremonial animal sacrifices that must be offered over and over again and again by the shedding of blood year after year.
       But the animal sacrifices is not the ONLY deed of the LAW that was done away with as we will see in Romans 3:29,30, which teaches us that the ceremonial LAW of CIRCUMCISION has been done AWAY and replaced by the circumcision of FAITH.
 
 
Is he the God of the Jews ONLY? Is he not ALSO of the Gentiles? YES, of the Gentiles ALSO. SEEING it is one God, which shall justify the CIRCUMCISION by faith, AND the UNCIRCUMCISION through faith.
 
 
You see God, was not doing away with the PURPOSE of the LAW, which was to save mankind, but rather was establishing a BETTER LAW, the law of FAITH. Whereby God was ELIMINATING the need for circumcision of the FLESH and the other deeds of the LAW, but NOT eliminating the keeping of the commandments of God.
To me, I see a lot of needless arguing and controversy in the body of Jesus Christ over the law being done away or abolished and the law not being done away or abolished. There are verses on BOTH sides of this controversy, but in order to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH we must view these verse in the light of the WHOLE word of God. This cannot be done in just one Bible study so I ask my readers to trust me when I say that when the Bible speaks of the LAW being done away it is speaking of only the CEREMONIAL part of the law. Now I fully realize that the Bible does not specifically use the phrases, the MORAL law and the CEREMONIAL law, but it should be clear to all who truly seek the truth of the whole word of God that the CONTEXT of these verses are specifically speaking of ceremonial type ACTS of works as opposed to good works of righteousness and love and kindness done toward our fellow man. Being circumcises has nothing to do with being a MORAL person who walks in love and kindness to his or her fellow man or woman, but rather circumcision is a ceremonial act or work that was ONCE done under the LAW, the ceremonial part of the law written to the JEWS under the OLD covenant. It is THAT part of the law, the CEREMONIAL law that is made void and not the whole law written in the commandments of good works of righteousness done to our fellow man. 
 
 Romans 3:31
Do we then make void the LAW through faith? God forbid: yea we ESTABLISH THE LAW.”
 
 First of all, NO flesh is justified by the works of the law, which included every ordinance that was instituted for the remission of sin. Secondly, it is not of works, that is to say our OWN works, lest any man should BOAST that we are justified.
        But RATHER man is NOW justified by FAITH in what Almighty God has done FOR US through his Son Jesus. That is to say, we as Christians are NOW justified by our faith in the power of God and in his word to set us FREE from sin to place us back into right relationship with Almighty God so that we would live our lives righteously before God unto the obtaining of eternal life in the world to come.

        So then once again, when the word of God speaks of the LAW it can mean the COMMANDMENTS of God, it can mean the STATUTES of God, it can mean the ORDINANCES of God, it can mean the PRECEPTS of God, and it can mean the WORD of God. So it all depends upon the context of the passage of scripture where it is found as to WHAT the LAW is referring to in any given situation. Some parts of the law have indeed been ABOLISHED whereas other parts of the law have been established or made sure.
Here in this passage of scripture in Romans chapter 3 it seems pretty apparent that the meaning of the word “LAW” is referring to CIRCUMCISION verses UNCIRCUMCISION, and more precisely of whether or not God is God of the Gentiles ALSO, just as he is the God of the Jews. It was God’s plan from the beginning to redeem ALL of mankind to himself, but he needed to “make the playing field equal”, so to speak. And the method he chose to use as his PLAN to redeem mankind was to have ALL of mankind, both JEW and GENTILE was to fall short of his expectation and glory so that HE ALONE could be the justifier of all mankind, in order that man would have no place to BOAST.

So then, by God’s GRACE Almighty God the Father made available a way to justify all of mankind in his sight. Remember that GRACE is not only God’s unmerited favor, but ALSO his wonder working POWER, which may be obtained ONLY through FAITH.
 
 
So therefore GRACE, FAITH and the WAY of SALVATION are ALL freely given to us by God so that there can be NO occasion of BOASTING.
 
 
Jesus taught us that he came to FULFILL the LAW and NOT to DESTROY the LAW. The word FULFILL means to ESTABLISH or CONFIRM the validity of the LAW. The word “establish” means to stand firm, to continue and lay to charge. It means to cause to be recognized and be accepted without question. It means to introduce as a permanent entity, and to prove the validity and truth of.
       Jesus said in Matthew 5:17,
 
 
“Think NOT that I am come to destroy the LAW, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy BUT to FULFILL.”
 
 
So again, the word “fulfill” here means to complete, or to accomplish. Fulfill also means to bring into actuality; to effect, to measure up to, to satisfy, to carry out or perform a command for the PURPOSE of an example. Jesus FULFILLED the law NOT to destroy the law, but to ESTABLISH the law. Jesus was our example to follow. In other words, Jesus came to show us the WAY that the LAW of the COMMANDMENTS of Almighty God could indeed be KEPT. Please take a look at 
1st Peter 2:21, which teaches us that Jesus is our EXAMPLE to FOLLOW.
 
 
For even hereunto were YOU called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an EXAMPLE, that we should FOLLOW his steps:”
 
 
And one of Jesus’ steps is given to us in the very next verse,
 
 
Who did NO SIN, neither was guile found in his mouth”
 
 
One of the things that Jesus suffered was TEMPTATION to SIN. Hebrews 2:18 says,
 
 
For in that he himself SUFFERED (how did Jesus suffer? Jesus himself suffered) being TEMPTED (therefore in that Jesus suffered in all points like as we are tempted), he is able to succour (help or aid, comfort and encourage) them that are tempted.”
 
 
And in Hebrews 3:15 we are told that Jesus was TEMPTED in ALL points as we are tempted, yet WITHOUT sin. Jesus showed us the WAY, the way of righteousness and doing good works, walking in love and living without sin. Jesus established the law of doing good works of righteousness as our EXAMPLE to FOLLOW. Jesus FULFILLED the LAW in order to prove to US that it could be done WITHOUT sin. This is one of the reason why I myself believe and teach that it was needful for Jesus to be a man who was anointed by Almighty God the Father.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, that was Jesus. I am just human. Jesus was the Son of God.” This is because many of us have been taught that Jesus is Almighty God himself in the flesh, and that Jesus is 100% God and 100% man at the same time. However, the truth of the matter is that Jesus laid aside his deity and became the Son of man, 100% flesh and blood just like you and me. The truth of the whole word of God teaches us that Jesus overcame sin and lived his life without spot before his God and Father BY or through the power of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, who DWELT IN him, which is the same Holy Spirit of promise that is made available to every believer. Please refer to the studies on "JESUS THE SON OF MAN" , "HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE FREE FROM SIN" , and "YOUR POWER AND AUTHORITY AS A BELIEVER" .


Now Jesus did NOT ESTABLISH the LAW, as in the ceremonial LAW referring to CIRCUMCISION or the OFFERING of SACRIFICES for the covering of sins, BUT he did ESTABLISH the LAW in reference to the COMMANDMENTS of God. Jesus SIMPLIFIED the commandments of God by summing them up into two commandments. Here is what Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-4,
 
 
“ Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the LAW and the prophets.”
 
 
Now God does not expect us to keep his commandments in our OWN STRENGTH. In Matthew 19:16-26 we read about a young man who came to Jesus asking in what I believe was a BOASTFUL manner already knowing that he had kept the commandments of God, What good thing shall I DO to have eternal life, and Jesus told him to KEEP the COMMANDMENTS of God. The young man answered Jesus and told him he had done this since his youth on up and asked what else he lacked. Jesus told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor and you should have treasure in heaven and told him to come and follow him. But the young man went away sorrowful because he had great possessions. Then the disciples asked Jesus, who then can be saved? Then Jesus gives us the answer for HOW men shall be saved in verse 26, which says,
 
 
“…With MEN this is IMPOSSIBLE, but WITH GOD all things are POSSIBLE.”
 
 
God gives us his GRACE, God gives us FAITH, God gives us his WORD, and God gives us his HOLY SPIRIT to live a life that is acceptable to him, a life without sin and most of all a life without BOASTING, because we are HIS workmanship and NOT our OWN !

The reason Paul kept expounding on being saved by FAITH and GRACE was because the Jews in his day wanted to go back and observe the LAW as referring to CIRCUMCISION and the offering of sacrifices for the covering of their sin. Paul was trying to get it through “their thick heads”, so to speak, that Jesus made the sacrifice for sin once and for all. And that now there is a new covenant of circumcision that is BY FAITH in the blood of Jesus.The Jews were trying to keep all the holy days, the new moons and the Sabbaths that were ordinances that were instituted under the LAW. It was this DIFFERENCE between the Jew and the Gentile that had for so long been ingrained into the thinking of the Jews that Paul had so much trouble explaining GRACE to the Jews.

Remember in Romans 3:21
 
 
“But NOW the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God WITHOUT the LAW is made MANIFEST, being WITNESSED by the law and the prophets;”
 
 
The word “NOW” refers to us being under a NEW covenant with God, which is without the LAW, as in, the CEREMONIAL LAW referring to the continual offering of burnt sacrifices for the covering of sins, without the LAW as in referring to the keeping of the holy days and feast days which were shadows of things to come. And the "these things to come" meaning the things or prophecies  pertaining to Jesus. And without the LAW as in for an example referring to circumcision, but NOT without the LAW as in referring to WITHOUT the COMMANDMENTS of God.
The word “MANIFEST” here means to show, reveal, or make known. The things which the law and the prophets foretold came to pass or came into being, that is to say, they were manifested or made known through Jesus. In other words Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. The law and the prophets witnesses or testified of him. In other words, the sacrificing of the LAMB in the Old Testament was FORETELLING of Jesus being the LAMB of God that would be SLAIN for the redemption of mankind.  In John 5:39 and 40 Jesus talking to the Jews said,
 
 
“Search the scriptures (the law and the prophets); for in them you THINK you have eternal life: and they are they which speak (witness or testify) of me. And you will not come to me that you might have life.”
 
For a deeper understanding of the prophecies of the Old Testament being fulfilled through Jesus please read the study called "PROPHECIES of JESUS being the MESSIAH", but for now I want you to see how Jesus came to show the Jews the WAY to have eternal life, but they would not receive him. So then, after many of the Jews rejected Jesus as being the Messiah, the anointed one of God the Bible teaches us that Almighty God turned to the Gentiles to provoke the Jews to jealousy. Jesus said in John 14:6,
 
 
“Jesus says unto him, I am the WAY, the truth and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.”
 
 
The word “WAY” here means the road, the path, the manner of life, lifestyle, or journey. It is a course or specified direction, or a progressing along a route from one place to another. The believers in the early church were called the WAY before they became known as Christians, which by the way means CHRIST like. Believers were so much like Jesus walking in the same ANOINTING that those in Antioch called the believers there Christians, or anointed ones. Look at Acts 11:26, which says,
 
 
“…And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
 
 
So then, if one is in the “way” or as we would say today “on the way” we would be traveling, moving or progressing in a certain and specified direction. And if one were to deviate from this direction he or she would no longer be in the “WAY” or on the way anymore. They would be temporarily or even permanently sidetracked and headed in a different direction if they did not CORRECT their course or WAY that they were now heading. Again, they may at any time redirect their course back to the RIGHT path that they were originally headed and once again be in the “WAY” or on the way to obtain ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come.
       When Jesus said he was the WAY, the truth and the life and no man comes unto the Father but by him, he was emphatically saying that he was the ONLY WAY and that there is no other WAY to come to God the Father. Please read the study "I AM THE WAY: WHAT DOES JESUS MEAN?" for a deeper understanding on this subject of Jesus being the WAY.

So when the word of God speaks of us as SAVED it literally means that we are BEING saved, as in so long as we are in the WAY, and REMAIN on the way or the road that leads to eternal life. In other words, we are in or on the way when we are headed in the right direction, which is living righteously before God. It is then that we ARE saved and will OBTAIN eternal life in the world to come by being is a RIGHT relationship with God.
       However, if we turn, go to the right or to the left, and fall into the ditch as one who is blind, then we are no longer in the WAY or being saved. We one is living in sin they are NOT in a RIGHT relationship with God. Those living in sin may say that they are saved and can never lose their salvation, but this is not what the whole word of god teaches us. You see dear child of God, if one were to die while heading in this wrong direction of living in sin, then we would be lost and they would not receive eternal life in the world to come. Please read the study on "DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THAT ONCE WE ARE SAVED THEN WE ARE ALWAYS SAVED?"
 This study covers all the scriptures in depth that are used by those that teach eternal security and once saved always saved in the light of the WHOLE word of God.

Again Jesus is the WAY, as in, Jesus is our EXAMPLE to FOLLOW. He showed us the WAY by living the WAY of righteousness himself as a man like you and I.

Jesus is also the WAY, as in, he is our RANSOM. He paid the price for our sin so that we might be free from the bondage of sin.

The word says that we are JUSTIFIED through him. The word justified means to declare free from blame or that which is being accused. This word means to vindicate and to put into right relationship with another, implying a proper LEGAL or moral relationship.
When man sinned in the garden he fell from having authority over the earth. It seems that Satan became the god of this world at this time and that God no longer had LEGAL right to interfere with the working of mankind without mankind asking for his help. In other words, mankind fell captive to Satan, and the only way God could intervene was if man asked him for help. But God had a plan to redeem mankind back to himself and God's plan of salvation is Jesus.
The word “vindicate”, which is one of the meanings of being justified, means to clear of ACCUSATION. Satan is known as the ACCUSER of the brethren. He accuses us before God. He is LEGALISTIC in his accusations of us before God. Also Almighty God chose to be bound by his word and therefore when we are accused by the enemy God must honor his word and therefore ALLOW his people to be destroyed by the enemy. Every time God wanted to help mankind Satan accused us before God and God had to honor his word thereby allowing Satan to oppress mankind with evil. If you have ever looked up the word "ILL", as in, being oppressed with a sickness of disease, then you will remember that the word ILL means EVIL in the worst way. God does not tempt any man with EVIL. This is another study in and of itself. Please read the study "IT IS ALWAYS GOD'S WILL TO HEAL YOU!", but for now back to the study at hand.
It was for this reason of mankind being accused by the enemy that God chose to send his Son to JUSTIFY us, CLEAR us from any accusation of the enemy and bring us back into a right relationship with him. Please read the study on "UNDERSTANDING WHY?" for a deeper understanding on Satan’s role in life and how God’s plan for mankind free us from Satan's dominion.
So then, when the word of God says,… for by grace you are SAVED through faith…it means that we are forgiven of ALL our PAST sins and thereby placed in a right relationship with God. This is one of the meanings of the Greek word SOZO, which is translated as SAVED. The word "SAVED or SOZO" means being placed back into right relationship with God. It means that we are freed from the captivity of the enemy and thereby ENABLED to once again travel on the road or WAY to eternal life. It means that we are not left to ourselves to travel this road ALONE, but rather we are given a guide, a helper and a comforter or companion to go with us along the WAY, the Holy Spirit. It means we are given ALL that we need to complete this journey or WAY to eternal life along with a detailed map, God’s word.
But what it does NOT mean is that we have arrived and we can sit back and do nothing. Faith is and ACTIVE word and if it ceases to be productive it is no longer FAITH. Jesus left us with these words, if you LOVE me, KEEP may commandments. If we SAY we LOVE God and and do NOT LOVE our fellow man, then we LIE and the TRUTH is NOT in us.
       Now if we slip and fall along the WAY then we have an advocate, a mediator, a lawyer, a conciliator, or a propitiation of our sins with the Father, that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Do not live in the past focusing only on your failures, because living in the past causes one to cease in moving forward toward the goal of eternal life. Also when one is standing still he or she becomes an easier target for the enemy. At times some stay in their fallen state of sin being deceived by the enemy that they can NOT overcome sin. Yes you can overcome sin. The Bible clearly teaches us that sin shall NOT have dominion over us. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off and press on toward the mark of your high calling. Some Christians may say to you that we cannot live without sin, but God not only says we that sin shall not have dominion over us, but he commands us to live without sin and to live righteous and holy before him for without which no man will see the Lord.
Please read 1 John 2:3-6, which says,
 
 
 “And hereby we do know that we do know him, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. He that says, I know him, and keeps NOT his commandments, IS A LIAR, and the TRUTH is not in him. But whoso KEEPS his word, in him is the love of God PERFECTED: hereby know we that we are in him. He that says he abides in him OUGHT himself ALSO so to WALK EVEN AS HE WALKED.”
 
 
So I ask you, "are we saved by WORKS, the KEEPING of the LAW, as referring to the COMMANDMENTS of God?" To me the answer is an obvious and emphatic YES! Faith WITHOUT WORKS is DEAD being ALONE. We show or demonstrate our FAITH by our GOOD WORKS. A tree is known by his fruit.
So be not deceived my dear brothers and sisters. We are to fight the good fight of faith. But always remember we are not in this fight ALONE and we do NOT do these good works of righteousness in our OWN strength. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. We can do all things THROUGH CHRIST, or through the ANOINTING or the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, who strengthen us. We are more than conquerors THROUGH CHRIST or through the ANOINTING of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. If God be for us who can be against us, and God for a certainty is for us without a doubt.
So let us lay aside every weight (sin) that so easily besets us, and let us run the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH; for the JOY that was set before him Jesus ENDURED the cross…. for consider him that ENDURED…. lest you be wearied and faint in your minds. You have not RESISTED SIN unto blood as Jesus striving against sin. You see dear child of God, in order for us as Christians to CONSIDER the example of Jesus we must see and know that Jesus was truly tempted in ALL points in like manner as we are tempted. In other words, we must truly see and know that Jesus was a MAN, a HUMAN being just like us without having any advantage over any other human being. It is only when we truly see Jesus as a MAN who was ANOINTED with the Holy Spirit, the SAME Holy Spirit that now DWELLS IN us that we will truly BELIEVE that sin shall NOT have anymore dominion over us. Again please read the study called "HOW YOU CAN LIVE FREE FORM SIN!" where I show you HOW you can live free from any and all sin! This is not just a suggestion by God that we keep his commandments, but rather it is a REQUIREMENT in order to obtain eternal life in the world to come.

The word OUGHT in I John 2:6 is teaching us that we who abide in Christ Jesus OUGHT himself to WALK EVEN AS JESUS WALKED .  The Bible meaning of the word "OUGHT" here in this verse means or indicates an OBLIGATION or duty to the keeping the commandments of God the Father and living WITHOUT SIN. The word “ought” means a must, or having to do without fail. So in other words living without sin is without option, we must without fail live without sin or we will not continue to be saved and inherit eternal life. Again the keeping of the COMMANDMENTS of Almighty God are NOT a SUGGESTION, but rather it is our OBLIGATION that we MUST WITHOUT FAIL KEEP the COMMANDMENTS of God if so be we desire to OBTAIN ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come.

NO! Salvation is NOT of WORKS meaning OUR OWN WORKS in OUR OWN STRENGTH that we are saved. NO! Salvation it is not of OUR SELVES by our OWN WORKS of righteousness, lest any man should BOAST.


But SALVATION is BY WORKS that we do BY the GRACE that Almighty God gives to us THROUGH the FAITH which he also gave to us. The only role we have in salvation is our OBEDIENCE to God, to his word and to his Holy Spirit, and even in this area of obedience we are given STRENGTH by God. So again, there is NO occasion of PRIDE or BOASTING, which is the original sin of the universe. Pride is what caused Lucifer to fall from GRACE, so humble your selves before God (HOW?), casting all your care (worries, anxieties, fears, helplessness, inabilities, weaknesses) upon God because he cares (loves) you and then BELIEVE his word that SIN HAS NO MORE DOMINION OVER YOU!
 
1 Peter 4:16-19 tells us,
 
 
“Yet if any man SUFFER as a CHRISTIAN (being like Christ Jesus), let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on his behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it begin at us, what shall the end be of them that OBEY NOT the gospel of God?
And if the righteous SCARCELY be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear? Wherefore let them that SUFFER according to the will of God COMMIT the KEEPING of their souls to him in WELL DOING, as unto a faithful Creator…."
 
 
1 Peter 5:5-11 says,
 
“…. be clothed in HUMILITY: for God resists the proud, and gives GRACE to the HUMBLE. Humble yourselves therefore under the MIGHTY HAND of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.
 Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour: whom RESIST steadfast in the FAITH, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
But the God of all GRACE, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you PERFECT, ESTABLISH, STRENGTHEN, SETTLE you, to HIM be the GLORY and dominion forever, and ever, Amen.”

With man, as in doing good works in our own strength, it is impossible without boasting and pride, but WITH God, as in joining WITH God and relying on HIS strength, and in the POWER of HIS might, then all things are possible. May God's grace be with you always. Always remember to OBEY is better than sacrifice. Hide God's word in your heart that you sin no more. And if you are overcome by the temptation of the enemy and sin, then repent QUICKLY and get right back in the WAY of righteousness. Know that at the very moment of repentance you are made PERFECT in the eyes of God. Even if you have to repent hundreds of times a day, each and ever time you repent you are placed back into a RIGHT relationship with God so never believe the LIE of the enemy that you have crossed some kind of line of no returning to God. If there is even a hint of a desire to please God in you, then follow that working of God in you and repent. God is ALWAYS faithful to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Hold fast to your faith and I assure you that you will arrive at that place of peace being established, strengthened and settled where sin will not have any more dominion over you.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Always and Forever,

Mark

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