Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Faith Produces Good Works? No...

I hear a lot of guys say "True faith produces good works."

I have to disagree. Faith isn't a work. It's a rest, a trust, a reliance upon what Jesus did for us.

And I want to quit using the phrase "true faith." Faith is faith. Don't confuse the situation for people. I believe faith in the Good News of Jesus Christ brings salvation. I don't mean getting out of hell in order to go to heaven, though that is obviously involved. I mean our faith in the Gospel is the way God saves us. By save I mean He makes us into men and women again. He makes us alive again! We were dead and now we are alive! We were sinners but now we're saints! He put His Law on our hearts and minds and gave us new spirits and new hearts and even put His own Spirit within us! THAT is salvation! The reason we go to heaven is because heaven is where God dwells and we go to be with Him.

So...We're new creations in Christ Jesus. New creations who are no longer sinners. Therefore we no longer want to live in sin. That is, our true selves. Our body is constantly seeking to draw us away from God and the things we want to do. But we ourselves are saved. We are made alive with Christ forever. We have God's Life. Eternal Life!

So then...Faith doesn't produce good works. Faith receives salvation and God, in us, produces His good works. Jesus Himself said "The Father who dwells in Me does His works." "Work out your own salvation (not going to heaven) with fear and trembling. For it is GOD who WORKS in YOU to WILL and to DO according to His good pleasure."

We work it out with fear and trembling knowing that it's not us doing it! It's God who works in us!

So we're zealous for good works because of who we are! A good tree will bear good fruit. A sinner will sin and a saint will glorify God.


Aida said...

Matthew, I'm still playing catch up but I don't know how I missed this one since it was posted before I went on vacation. However, I'm really glad I found it.

"Faith doesn't produce good works. Faith receives salvation and God, in us, produces His good works."

That is awesome. When I started reading, I was wondering where you were going with this post but I love your conclusion.

Great post! I'm glad I didn't miss it.

Matthew Daelon said...

Hey Aida!

I'm glad you were encouraged! I was just thinking one day because the whole "faith produces good works" never made any sense to me really.

People are always so quick to add "Yeah, but faith in Jesus will produce good works" when you say that it's Jesus alone through faith alone. I guess it's the fear of Grace and Freedom.