Oct 22

The Bible clearly teaches that salvation delivers us from sinning. In fact, this is what the word salvation means – deliverance. The Greek word σωτηια, which is translated as “salvation” 44 times in the KJV, and is defined by Thayer’s Lexicon as “deliverance”.

This deliverance is not only from the love and penalty of sin, but it is from the very power of sin. If you are not clear on this, please read my post on true conversion.

The idea that at some point after we are converted we grow out of sin or reckon ourselves dead to sin, and thereby stop sinning, is foreign to the Bible and an unbiblical teaching.

I have been meditating for sometime on the position that some hold that at some point after a person is converted, they become free from sin by looking to Christ, or putting their eyes on Christ, or by reckoning themselves free from sin. I hold that this view is unbalanced, unbiblical, and is spiritually dangerous.

We are saved by grace alone through faith alone (Eph 2:8). This saving is the saving not only from the penalty and desire to sin, but from the power of sin (Mat 1:21). When we are sinners, we need to look to Christ and set our eyes on him and his example. However, this is not what saves us in and of itself. We are saved by God’s unmerited favor through faith! Faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17), not in the act of looking to Jesus. It is by faith that we lay hold of Jesus and his promise to save us.

Getting the victory over sin is a salvation issue, not an issue of growth and maturity. Moving the sin issue to one of growth and maturity makes sin compatible with the Christian life, and leaves people with the impression that you can sin and still be a Christian.

No one can ever be saved without true godly sorrow and repentance (2Cor 7:10), and repentance includes the fruit of a commitment to forsake all sin by the power of God (Luk 3:8). The idea that you can come to God and hold onto some of your sin is unbiblical.

After we are saved, it is not only the reading and hearing of the Word of God that produces faith, but also fervently praying in the Spirit, which also builds up our faith (Jud 1:20). Now that we are saved, we have a fight to fight. We need “grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16).

Here we find that not only are we saved by faith, but we are kept by the power of God through faith (1Pet 1:5). We overcame and continue to overcome the world (self, flesh, sin, and the devil), by faith (1Joh 5:4), we stand by faith (2Cor 1:24), we stop the flaming arrows of the wicked by faith (Eph 6:16), everything is by faith. Read this Word Study on Faith.

As a Christian, we are to hear the Word of God and appropriate the promises by faith. We are told that we are to be diligent and add the Fruit of the Spirit to our life (2Pet 1:5-7), and that if we do this we will never fall (2Pet 1:10). Christ said to “hunger and thirst after righteousness”, and that if we do so, we will be filled (Mat 5:6).

The Scriptures instruct us to watch and pray, so that we won’t be overcome by sin (Mat 26:41). We are told that if we “humble ourselves God will give us grace” (1Pet 5:5). James says to “resist the devil” and when we do, he will flee from us (Jas 4:7). Jesus says to “abide in him” that we may bring forth much fruit (John 15:4).

With many other exhortations throughout the New Covenant scriptures, we are instructed in what we must do to live a life that is pleasing to God. We must take the whole Word. It is not just prayer. It is not just reading the Word. It is not just looking to Jesus (Heb 12:2). It is not just reckoning yourself dead unto sin (Rom 6:11). We must take all the Word, and it must abide in us richly (Col 3:16) for us to live a successful Christian life.

Yes! Asking, seeking, knocking, working, perfecting, hungering, adding to, giving diligence, laboring, following after, laying hold, fighting, contending, praying, reading, humbling, and much more. Yes! That’s right! Faith is made complete (perfect) by works (Jas 2:22). While we live this life by faith, at the same time we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phi 2:12).

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One Response to “Faith and Works”

  1. 1. Peter Says:

    Hi,

    how do we deal with sins of omission? There are thousands of times I could have done something for good but I didn’t, doesn’t scripture say that He who knows to do something and does not do it, that this is sin to this one?

    Its easy to claim a victory over sin when we stop doing something we shouldn’t and define sin as merely doing the wrong thing, but what about not doing the things we should? isn’t that a sin as well? How can I ever hope to do everything I should?

    Pete

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