ďNot By Works Of Righteousness Which We Have DoneĒ

Titus 3:5

††††††††††† Good works have absolutely nothing to do with the accomplishment, preservation, or consummation of our salvation! This is the first thing Paul shows us almost every time he deals with the matter of works. It cannot be stated too often or too emphatically. Good works have nothing to do with the salvation of Godís elect. Good works are important and good in their place. Godís servants always promote good works. But good works have nothing to do with the believerís salvation and everlasting relationship with God. What do the scriptures say? Read Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, and 2 Timothy 1:9.

††††††††††† One of the old writers made this observation a long, long time ago; and it is still true. He wrote, ďI believe that the root of almost every schism and heresy from which the Christian church has suffered has been the effort of men to earn, rather than to receive, their salvation.Ē

††††††††††† Every aspect of salvation, from the beginning to the end, is the work of God alone, altogether the work of his free grace. The Word of God tells us constantly that nothing is given as the result of manís works but wrath, death, judgment, and eternal ruin. ďThe wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LordĒ

1.      Godís eternal choice of his people was an election of grace, without any consideration of works, good or bad (Rom. 9:11; II Thess. 2:13).

2.      Our redemption by the blood of Christ was a free grace ransom and purchase of our souls out from under the curse and penalty of Godís holy law (Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:6-7; I Pet. 1:18-20).

3.      All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ have been born again (regenerated) and called to life and faith in Christ by grace alone (John 1:11-13; Tit. 3:5; Eph. 2:1-5). Our faith in Christ is as much the gift of God and work of his grace as our justification (Col. 2:12).

4.      We are justified freely by the grace of God through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:20-28).

5.      Sanctification, like election, redemption, and regeneration, is the work of Godís free grace in Christ, and the work of Godís free grace alone (I Cor. 1:30; 6:11; Heb. 10:10, 14; Jude 1).

6.      Godís saints are all preserved and kept by grace alone; and our preservation by Godís grace does not in any way depend upon us or our works (Jer. 32:38-40; John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:28-39; Phil. 1:6; I Pet. 1:5; Jude 24-25).

7.      And our eternal reward in heaven is the reward not of our works, but of Christís works as our Substitute. It is given to us as the free gift of the grace of God toward us in Christ (Mt.25:34; Eph.1:3; Rom. 8:17).

††††††††††† My relationship with the eternal God does in great measure determine what I do; but what I do does not in any measure or to any degree determine my relationship with God. Every saved sinner gladly denounces his good works and counts them but dung in the affair of salvation (Phil. 3:4-8) and avows ďBy the grace of God I am what I am!Ē

Don Fortner