As I have already said, on Sunday, I was handed a list of questions and asked to write a written response to each one of them and also asked to include scriptures. This is another one of those questions.
According to what I read in the Bible, works and grace are both extremely important, and there is not way to God without both of them. Let’s talk about grace first. It is clear that we can’t be saved without God having made provisions for it to happen because, after all, God in in charge. We are not, and we made the gulf between ourselves and God by sinning, but he gave the gift of his son. That is grace. He fixed it so we could go over that gulf that sin caused and come back to him. Ephesians 2:9 says, “For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and not of yourselves.” God gave us grace when he decided to send his son to the earth and to give us a way to go back to him. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” We have a way to go back to God that he provided, and if we believe, it is up to us to do something about it. We should not neglect it and perish. Romans 3:15 says, “But the gift is not like the trespass for if many died by the trespass of one man (Adam), how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of one man, Christ Jesus, overflow to many.” God has done what he can do to save us. Romans 3:17 says that we receive “God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness to rein in life through one man, Jesus Christ.” We can’t do it without God. He made the provision. He is in charge.
The important thing in these scriptures that some miss are words like “the gift of righteousness” or “we should not perish.” The gift has been given, and we couldn’t do it ourselves, but God has made a way for us, and we must bend our wills to the will of God and follow what Jesus told us in order to reach our destination, living with God in Heaven. The brother of Jesus, James, says in James 2:18 &19,” But someone will say, ‘You have faith, I have deeds.’ Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God, Good! Even the demons believe and shudder.” Repentance means that we don’t just continue living in sin just because God has done his part. God asks us to change and try to do better. We will never be perfect on our own. the blood of Jesus covers our sins, but we are expected to try.
1 John 1:5-10 says, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light. In him, there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him, but walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim to have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” We can’t say we are perfect, but we have to try, and God made a way for us. We have to try to understand him and try to do what he asks us to do and be who he asks us to be. We must try to be obedient children. Yes, children make mistakes, but if we just keep trying, God will forgive us. When we leave God and go off on our own is when the problem comes. If he hang in there and keep trying, we are covered by God’s grace.