Sunday, March 25, 2018
Unless we use the preponderance of scripture to establish doctrine, we can become confused and think there are contradictions. For instance, in Ephesians, Paul writes plainly that we're saved by grace alone and not by our works:
For 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. - Ephesians 2:8-9
God draws us to Jesus and gives us a measure of faith to believe. That measure of faith will also give us a hunger to know more and will empower us to truly repent of our sins.
Paul makes it clear that there is evidence of someone who has truly repented. Towards the end of his ministry, when sharing his message with King Agrippa, he says this:
“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. - Acts 26:19-20
When someone has truly believed the message, their repentance will lead to deeds of righteousness, as Paul writes:
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:10
There is a difference between the works a person performs to try and justify him or herself in the eyes of God and the works that God prepares for us to do once we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ.