Are people saved by good deeds or by the grace of Christ?

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Saved by grace through faith

People are NOT saved by good deeds, rather they are saved by the grace of Christ. The Bible declares, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).  Thus, salvation is not effected by human effort.

Salvation is a free gift, without money or price (Isaiah 55:1; John 4:14; 2 Corinthians 9:15; 1 John 5:11). It is grace on God’s part and faith on man’s part. Faith simply receives the gift of God. It is through the act of trusting Him that we are saved, not that faith is the tool of our salvation, but simply the channel (Romans 4:3).

Works are the fruits of true faith

The deeds of obedience are the real test of love. Works are not a cause but an effect of salvation (Romans 3:31). This is why they are so necessary in the experience of a true believer. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). Words are not enough. The true evidence of love is obedience. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). John said, in 1 John 2:4, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Jesus spoke of those who said, “Lord, Lord,” but did not do the will of the Father. Then He described many who would seek entrance to the kingdom claiming to be workers of miracles in the name of Christ. But He would sorrowfully have to say, “I never knew you: depart from me” (Matthew 7:21-23).

To know Christ is to love Him, and to love Him is to obey Him. John assured us, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Loving and obeying are all tied together. John summed it up in these words: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3).

Grace and the Law

Grace and the law work in perfect cooperation. The law points out sin, and grace saves from sin. The law is the will of God, and grace is the power to do the will of God. We do not obey the law in order to be saved but because we are saved and by His grace. John the Revelator presents this truth this way: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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