Thursday, May 5, 2011

Saved By or For Good Works?

"For we are [God's] workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10)

In his book A Gospel Primer for Christians, Milton Vincent addresses the gospel's implication on works. In the section titled Saved for Good Works he says:

The Bible tells me that when Christ redeemed me, he did so in order that I might now be 'zealous for good works' (Titus 2:14). When God 'works' in my day by day, he does so in order to produce in me the desire and the power to 'work for his good pleasure' (Philippians 2:12-13). Indeed, though I am saved by grace and not by works, I am God's 'workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that [I] would walk in them.'

The more I embrace the saving work of God on my behalf, the more I find myself embracing the works for which God saved me. And as I am 'working hard' at doing these works for the good of others, I experience the truth of Jesus' words: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive' (Acts 20:35)

Then he speaks about how reminding ourselves of the gospel daily will help us with these good works:

Preaching the gospel to myself each day not only reminds me of the love of God for me, but it also reminds me of the love of God for the works that he has saved me to perform. When I see the cross, I see the premium that God places on the works that he has prepared for me. How valuable all of these works must be if Christ would die so that I might now perform them! And how precious are those for whom these works are done if Christ would die that they might be served!

The gospel is not being saved by our works but rather God saving us for good works.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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