Faith first, then works…

Salvation comes through faith in the redeeming work of Christ on the cross. That’s the only way.

Good works are evidence of a changed heart. Of the power of the Holy Spirit to make us new.

There are no works that can be done in lieu of accepting Christ’s payment of our sin debt. But how can we come to the realization that the One True God – totally free of any guilt – died a brutal death so that we could live, and not desire to do good for Him?

There is no salvation apart from faith, yet how can we have faith and not show it with good works?

Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? (James 2:18-20 NLT)

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:9, 10 NLT)

The Bible is pretty clear about the correlation between our faith and our works. We must acknowledge Jesus as the only one that can save us from eternal separation from God. Then we must set out to demonstrate the change he has made in our life. We work for him, now.

Are you doing things differently?

When you accept Christ as your Savior, you are making the decision to follow him all the days of your life. (Matthew 16:24). It is a decision that changes your eternal destination in a moment but you will spend the rest of your moments being changed. You should find yourself doing things differently.

Imagine if you had been working at the same mundane job for years and you were suddenly offered a new, exciting position with a new company. That moment you received a new title, but now you would have to do things differently.

You don’t wake up in the morning and put on your old uniform. You don’t get in your car and drive to the old company. You don’t answer your phone with the same old greeting. You don’t sit at your new desk and try to do the same old tasks you used to do. Each moment throughout every day you make a choice to do something different.

If you are a Christian, a true follower of a Christ, are you doing things differently?

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace…Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. (Colossians 1:6, 10 NLT)

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NLT)