Question and Answer: What about Works, Falling from Grace and Being Disqualified?

  1. What about Matthew 25:31-46? The “accursed” were calling Jesus “Lord” (v 44). And when Jesus explained why they were accursed, he didn’t say “because you didn’t believe,” but instead, enumerated the WORKS they did not do (v 41-43).

    Here are the other verses speaking about the importance of works:
    cf Philippians 2:12-14 “So then, my beloved, OBEDIENT as you have always been…WORK out your salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and TO WORK. DO every thing without grumbling or questioning…”

    James 1:22 “Be DOERS of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”

    James 2:14,17, 24 “What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but has not works? Can his faith save him? . . . So faith by itself, if it has no works is dead. See how a person is justified by WORKS and NOT BY FAITH ALONE.”

    And if it doesn’t matter if Christians sin, why does Paul warn the Christians of Galatians that evildoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? (Gal 5:19-21) In fact, it is possible for Christians to “fall from grace” or become “disqualified.”(1 COr 9:27, Gal 5:1,4)

    Indeed, we are saved by faith and God’s grace. But this is not to the exclusion of works. Because as Phil 2:12-14 said, God is the one who works in us, meaning, it is also through his grace that we are able to do good works. But remember that as free beings, we are capable of rejecting God’s grace, hence, explaining why we often fail to do good things. SOmetimes, we even fall into grave sin and thus fall away from grace. That’s why we must struggle to “work out” our salvation with “fear and trembling.” We should pray to God for the grace to become more faithful to him and the pray always for forgiveness, as Christ taught us in the Lord’s Prayer. Indeed, if ever we fail, God’s grace and mercy is always there to lift us up again as we repent of our sins and restore us in his grace. As a Catholic, God assures me of forgiveness of sins (even grave sins) through the Sacrament of Penance, in which Christ gave the Apostles and their successors the power to forgive sins (John 21:22-23)

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  2. Dear Vince,

    Thank you for your reply. I can see you are sincere in your questions. Sometimes things are not as they seem. I have written much about what you have to ask. So let me answer you with my notes. I hope that is fair.

    Sheep and the Goats

    The parable of the goats and sheep is probably the most misunderstood. It does not refer to the kindness of the sheep or its good works. It is about the differing nature of the sheep and the goats. The sheep do good works without knowing it. The goats, on the other hand, base their existence, on not missing out on good works. They delight in it so much that they forget, what really matters. In Israel the sheep and the goats are in a single sheep fold. The shepherd separates them by their nature.

    If you have a nature that trust in your good works you are a goat. If you possess a nature that produces good works you are a sheep. This is because the Holy Spirit is in you. He is the one that fills your heart with the nature of God. As such the emphasis is not about your works but the change in nature when you believe in Jesus. He is the one that works within you. Its about His works in you and not the ones you produce.

    Phillipians 2

    Here is an article to help you:https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/working-out-your-salvation-d-l-moody/

    You must again understand that “fear and trembling” in a phrase Paul uses. In 1st Corinthians he says “I come to you not with eloquence but by the power of the Spirit, I come to you with much fear and trembling”. As such Paul is saying that work out your salvation with the power of the Spirit. Look at Phillipians 1, Paul says he who begins a good work in you shall complete it in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. Also Paul contrasts works and faith in Chapter 3. And he says I consider my works via the law dung, that I may know a righteousness by faith. So he could not have been talking about working out your salvation by works.

    Galatians 5: Falling from Grace.

    If you read very carefully the term falling from grace does not mean sinning. It means you started believing you are saved by grace then you revert to law or mixture to save yourself. Also if you read carefully, the evildoers who will not inherit the kingdom do not refer to believers. They refer to unbelievers. Paul in 1st Corinthians stated that was who they WERE despite the fact they were still doing all those sins mentioned. What he was saying is this, despite the fact that they were still sinning they are still the new creation in Christ. Paul’s rebuke was not because that they will lose their identity by sinning BUT that they may recognize who they ARE and NOT WERE that they may stop sinning.

    https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/how-do-we-actually-run-the-good-race/

    James</p>

    Let’s look at James.

    what does it mean to be a doer of the word?

    https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/how-do-we-become-doers-of-the-word-mark-boyce-4/

    What about faith without works. Now this takes some biblical history:

    https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/doesnt-james-214-18-make-it-plain-that-good-works-are-required-for-salvation-3/

    Being disqualified

    You must again read things in its context. Here’s a note

    https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/disqualified-from-the-prize/

    As regards to the issue of forgiveness you have been totally forgiven. See: https://hischarisisenough.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/why-i-dont-believe-1-john-19-is-written-to-believers-2/

    Dear Vince,

    I hope you will read everything that I share with you. You would also note for many years I was like you under the impression that I have to “work” to keep my favour with the Lord until Pastor Joseph Prince opened my eyes. I restudied my bible this time in context. I realized I had misunderstood its message. I took 2 years and re read all the passages which you have quoted in its context and realized it totally means something else. I know its not easy and it will take time. But the conclusion is this, Jesus did everything when He says “it is finished”. It really is. We are not saved by our obedience but His. See Romans 5.

    Hence your forgiveness hinges not on some sacrament but the once and for all taking away of your sins (Heb 10:2) by Jesus on the cross. Hope that helps.

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