MISUNDERSTANDING: The relationship between faith and good works

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One way to consider the relationship between faith and good works is to try and construct a maths equation.

SUPPOSE YOU ARE GIVEN THE FOLLOWING NINE CARDS TO USE…

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Each card can be used to construct the formula.
S stands for Salvation
F stands for Faith
GW stands for Good Works

MANY OF US WOULD NATURALLY CONSTRUCT THE FORMULA LIKE THIS…

FAITH plus GOOD WORKS leads to SALVATION.

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The problem with this equation is that the Bible explicitly states that we are saved by faith alone: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph 2:8-9).

AS A RESULT, WE NEED TO ELIMINATE ‘GOOD WORKS’ FROM OUR EQUATION, AND BE LEFT WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS…

FAITH (ALONE) leads to SALVATION

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Although this is correct, it doesn’t really give the full story. The Bible goes onto say that once we are saved, we will find that we have a desire to do good works: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10).

SO PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER, WE ARE NOT SAVED BY GOOD WORKS, BUT ONCE WE ARE SAVED, WE WILL HAVE A DESIRE TO DO GOOD WORKS. OUR EQUATION SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS…

FAITH (ALONE) leads to SALVATION which leads to GOOD WORKS

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