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Things That Don't Mix (Grace and Works)

Have you ever tried to mix oil and water? They do not mix. Even in the same container they hold their own consistency. The oil does not become watered down; the water does not become oily. They may cohabit, but they do not run together.

The Apostle Paul tells of two elements that can not be mixed. In Romans 11, he writes of grace and of works. Rom 11:5-6 "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." This is one of the Apostles' signature "tongue twisters". When broken down it is easily understood. God's grace can not be defined. It can be partially described as "the kindness God has in his heart toward us"; or "the feeling God has of wanting to do nice things for us". The apostle teaches us that Salvation is entirely of Gods grace. Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Gal 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Now, suppose you try to mix works with grace: what happens? Once you work for something, then you have earned it and it is no more given of grace. It is like trying to pay for a gift. The moment you pay for it, it is no longer a gift. Rom 4:4 "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

Why bring up this topic? Well, we see that we have many religious neighbors whose doctrines mix works with grace. Some say you must be baptized, join the church or speak in tongues to be saved. The Bible says you can't mix works and grace. Others teach that the faithful must confess to a priest, take holy communion, and perform rites and rituals. Would somebody explain to me why we can not just let the Grace of God be enough? I believe the reason is that we are too proud to admit we need a handout. When it comes to salvation there is nothing we can do. It is of God's grace alone obtained through faith alone. When we mix "in" works we mix "out" grace. "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;." II Corinthians 13:5

By David Thompson 03/01/02

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