Tag Archive for 'works'

Salvation Requires A Work

What work do we have to do? It’s to believe. So it would appear that this is what we need to do. But some translations would interpret is as something God does for us.

John 6:28-29 NRSV
Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

Wouldn’t “the work of God” be what God does for us? Or “the work of God that He requires”? The former looks to me to be a more ‘literal’ translation and is how most by far render it.

The Good News Translation, which is one of my favorites, explicitly says that it’s something God does for us to cause us to believe.

John 6:29 GWT
Jesus replied to them, “God wants to do something for you so that you believe in the one whom he has sent.”

The NET goes the other way, along with the REB, my favorite:

John 6:29 NET
Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires–to believe in the one whom he sent.”

What do you think?

Quote of the Day: Theology and Works

Without right theology, our right actions are simply self-serving. There’s nothing in them for God.

TC Robinson

Legalism and Low Grade Guilt

Here are a couple of quotes from Living the Cross Centered Life that I think go together.

Here’s a simple definition I use: Legalism is seeking to achieve forgiveness from God and justification before God through obedience to God.

A legalist is anyone who behaves as if they can earn God’s forgiveness through personal performance.

The subtle and serious error of legalism is a sinful fruit from sinful roots.

Thomas Schreiner writes that ‘legalism has its origin in self worship. If people are justified through their obedience to the law, then they merit praise, honor and glory. Legalism, in other words, means the glory goes to people rather than God.’

That’s how serious legalism is. The implications are staggering, because legalism claims in essence that the death of Jesus on the cross was either unnecessary or insufficient. It says to God, in effect, ‘Your plan didn’t work. The cross wasn’t enough and I need to add my good works to it to be saved.’

Philippians 3:9
not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith–

Do you see any traces of condemnation in your life? Don’t be surprisee if you do. But don’t keep carrying the burden! Because of the gospel’s power you can be completely free of all condemnation.

Not mostly free; completely free.

Don’t buy the lie that cultivating condemnation and wallowing in your shame is somehow pleasing to God, or that a constant, low-grade guilt will somehow promote holiness and spiritual maturity.

It’s just the opposite! God is glorified when we believe with all our hearts that those who trust in Christ can never be condemned. It’s only when we receive His free gift of grace and live in the good of total forgiveness that we’re able to turn from old, sinful ways of living and walk in grace-motivated obedience.

Isaiah 1:18, Romans 8:1, Hebrews 11:6, 1 Peter 3:18

Knowledge of the Holy

In the last chapter of A.W. Tozer’s book Knowledge of the Holy he spells out six conditions. I’d like to summarize them with just a few added Scripture references. (Click on Scripture references.)

“…this knowledge is difficult because there are conditions to be met and the obstinate nature of fallen man does not take kindly to them.

Let me present a brief summary of these conditions as taught by the Bible and repeated through the centuries by the holiest, sweetest saints the world has ever known:”

“First, we must forsake our sins.”
Isaiah 55:7, Acts 3:19

“Second, there must be an utter committal of the whole life to Christ in faith.”
Psalm 63:8, Psalm 84:1-2, Luke 9:23

“Third, there must be a reckoning of ourselves to have died unto sin and to be alive unto God in Christ Jesus, followed by a throwing open of the entire personality to the inflow of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 6:3-4, Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:25

“Fourth, we must boldly repudiate the cheap values of the fallen world and become completely detached in spirit from everything that unbelieving men set their hearts upon, allowing ourselves only the simplest enjoyments of nature which God has bestowed alike upon the just and the unjust.”
Psalm 1:1, Romans 12:2

“Fifth, we must practice the art of long and loving meditation upon the majesty of God.”
Psalm 1:2, Psalm 63:6, Psalm 145:5

“Sixth, as the knowledge of God becomes more wonderful, greater service to our fellow men will become for us imperative. This blessed knowledge is not given to be enjoyed selfishly.”
Matthew 5:16, Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 2:4, Titus 3:8, Titus 3:14, James 2:17-18