stories, lessons, and a lot of nonsense

Many people go to church all around the world every weekend.  They sing praise songs, listen to sermons, maybe they even volunteer in one of the ministries.  They do stuff “for God.”  They even share memes on Facebook that say that everyone who loves Jesus will share them, and obviously that’s totally legit.  So we, along with them, are pretty sure they’re true disciples, true believers, real Christians.  But that may not be the case.  Though faith without works is dead (James 2:14-25), works without faith does not produce life or make someone right with God, either (Galatians 2:15-16).  We are supposed to do good works (see that passage in James), but those should be a natural outwork reflection of what has occurred inside a regenerated heart.  So salvation is by faith, which results in good works, but not faith + good works, and certainly not by good works alone.

Unfortunately, some people have faith in the fact that they are doing works instead of having faith in Jesus.  So the Holy Spirit will draw on that person, telling him he needs Christ, and he’ll shoo Him away.  “No, I’m saved.  I said a prayer when I was a kid.  I got baptized.  I serve in children’s ministry every month.  I’m a Christian.”  But these sources of security are rooted in us, who we are, and what we have done.  It must be rooted in Christ alone. Salvation is in Christ alone, through faith alone, by grace alone.  Not by works, you’ve been saved by God.

If you think you have been saved, but you have no inclination to ever do anything for God, I would recommend examining that, because faith does result naturally in doing good works.  On the other hand, if you feel the Holy Spirit drawing on you, telling you that you are not in Christ, you should yield to that and not rest the surety of your salvation on your own works.  No amount of good works could ever save you.

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