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A Faith That Works

Daily Reading: Romans 2

 

He will render to each one according to his works. (Romans 2.6)

 

Devotional Thought: Paul, the author of Romans, is the great defender of righteousness by faith and not by works.  James, on the other hand, who is the brother of the Lord and who wrote the book of James, said that faith without works was dead.  So sharp is the contrast that we often find ourselves pitting Paul against James.  But here in chapter 2 we see that Paul’s theology – the Bible’s theology – is not so cut and dried.  Paul says that God will give to each person according to what he has done, not according to what he has believed!  Which is it? Salvation by works or salvation by faith?  Both!  That is if you understand them biblically…

 

The concept is really quite simple.  Biblical faith says that if we really believe something we will act on it.  Jesus himself combined work and faith.  He once was asked, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”  Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6.28b-29)  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus insisted, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7.21)  “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6.46)  John, who wrote the book of Revelation, said this: “each person was judged according to what he had done.” (Revelation 20.13)

 

Paul said it.  James said it.  John the Revelator said it.  And, Jesus said it.  We are saved by grace through a faith that really works! 

 

Prayer: Thank you, O Lord, for the gift of salvation by grace through faith.  Help me to work out my salvation in response to your amazing grace!  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: 22.12-19

12 Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me;

13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;

15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet--

17 I can count all my bones-- they stare and gloat over me;

18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

19 But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!

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