The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




The Coin Flip... Faith/Works

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (Jas.1:17).

There has been an age old temptation on the part of man to pit obedience to the word against the grace that Jesus manifested to us on the cross. The apostle Paul wanted to make this crystal clear... Christians need to understand about the forgiveness of sin, and that rightness with God is possible because God, by His grace, acted through Christ. Thus Paul wrote; "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith ----- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift from God----not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph.2:8). Does that imply that what those who confess Christ do is of no interest? Paul denied this in most vehement terms. If it were the case, we ought to go around sinning more and more so that there would be more and more grace, and Paul said "by no means" to that (Rom.6:2). James too, it seems, encountered those who wanted to pit obedience to God against the grace manifested on the cross. During the some 2,000 years since Paul and James lived, the subject has not died. When a believer says that what one does in response to the gospel is important, or that no one can continue to be a liar and expect to share in the kingdom of God, they inevitably hear the disgusted response, "there you go again! Don't you know that salvation is by grace, not by works?" To both James and Paul, salvation by grace through faith and salvation by works were not opposite sides of a coin ------ one of which had to be accepted and the other rejected.... God's grace through faith in Christ implies a readiness to repent, and repentance demands obedience to God... Lets make sure we get this.... Behavioral changes based on faith, are the works necessary for salvation! For those who understand the teachings of Christ and the apostles, works are a natural and necessary response and output to the gospel. No coin flip is needed....

Have a great start to your week.... Begin it with a RAK or two.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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