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Thread: Works help

  1. #1
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    Default Works help

    Just had a conversation with a believer about works. They'd been going through James 2...they also have come out of a very works based background into new found freedom in the truth of the Word. However I guess it can take a long time for the Lord to work through every bit of wrong teaching they've had in the past. Their Pastor had taught about how we "must" do this that or the other as evidence of our salvation, quoting James 2: 14 - 26 as proof. But I do feel this will put the believer back into bondage again - surely scripture teaches our works flow from our salvation & we are led by the Holy Spirit to do them. There should be no "must do".
    But then DH & I were asked what are works? Is there a specific list in scripture? How do we know what we are doing isn't just because we know we should rather than feeling it's what the Lord wants us to do?
    I know 1 Corinthians 3 gives a list of rewards & we are rewarded for our faithfulness to them. I have a teaching recorded by our previous bible teacher about it somewhere & what they are isn't obvious from a straight reading of scipture in english, I think from memory it's more apparent in the Greek. Thing is I can't find the tape!
    But in the mean time, can we discuss works please? What are they?
    Thank you in advance, we'd like to ensure this dear one doesn't slip back into bondage again. We've shared a little of what we know, but it seems it's not a subject that I've heard taught from scripture, rather what a church wants from it's congregation.
    For Thou art my hope, Oh Lord God Psalm 71:5
    Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you, will perform it to the day of the Lord Philippians 1:6


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    Works is such a tricky topic. It's what a lot of "churches" have used to entrap people. "prove to the world you're a Christian!!" Last I looked only ONE sits on the throne of judgement. I will confess with my mouth He is my Lord and Savior but I don't have to demonstrate to earthly men my salvation. Salvation was a GIFT. Start from there. Are true gifts stipulated? No. You give a gift with no strings attached. The only string I'm aware of is in The Gospel and believing His work, not mine then or ever, pays for my sin.

    Now after accepting the gift we all tend to fall head over heels in love with the Lord and start reading the Bible looking for guidance and direction. This is and will always be where men and self righteousness get in the way. They constantly remind us Jesus gave. Jesus gave. Jesus gave. Well yes he did. But they always forget when Jesus was demanded to prove Himself He didn't do as they commanded. He had one person tell Jesus to go to his house to cure his dying son.

    John 4:46-54

    Jesus even scolds them for needing to see in order to believe. If Jesus doesn't think it's acceptable that you demand to see in order to believe He is the Messiah I find it a bit ridiculous to demand I demonstrate proof of my salvation again to an earthly man.

    While we are talking about proof let's talk about how God bragged about Jesus being the Messiah. He sent Jesus to be proclaimed to the world in dirty rags and a feeding trough! Oh er well he rode into Jerusalem on a glorious and magnificent......donkey. So yeah. Plus Jesus constantly ran anytime people were about to proclaim Him as king.

    I trust God will put me where He wants me when He wants me. He will present me with good works in His name. I just have to be obedient and listen. I can tell when I do something pleasing to God cause I get what I like to call the "Holy Spirit hug".

    Humans get very wrapped around results. That's what we do. Sometimes we just have to be the light and salt of the earth without forcing ourselves onto people "in the name of Christianity" and let God deal with the results. I promise He is a lot better at results than we are.

    Edit also Mark 10:17-27 Verse 27 is probably the huge note to be made.

    17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[a]”

    20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

    21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

    23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

    24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is[b] to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

    27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

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    So-blessed, I struggle with this constantly. I seem to be very much a pharisee, always wanting to earn my own salvation. It tripped me up for years.

    I struggle because I love God, and I have the gift of giving/helps. So I enjoy doing things for others, I enjoy just working hard. Rest is difficult for me. So to hear Jesus command us to rest in His finished work, is a struggle.

    It is even more difficult because I give to some who are not hearing me preach the gospel, and it is a secular organization. I wonder sometimes if this is the best use of my time. But then I do other very visible things sometimes like handing out tracts. So sometimes I wonder what my motive is for handing out tracts. Am I doing it out of love for God and love for people, or doing it to get attention for myself? Or maybe I am handing out tracts because I feel guilty spending my time doing what I wonder if it is God's will.

    There is a scripture somewhere in the New Testament that speaks of our works that are done with the wrong motive will be burned up by God after we die. That God knows how to judge the heart in this. Then another verse elsewhere tells me that my heart is wicked and deceptive, and who can know their own heart?

    I fear that my own heart is deceptive and that I will lose rewards. But I also can't really stop doing what I do (it isn't sin, but my leadership in this organization is blessing others and I am showing my faith in subtle ways to them, so I think I am just over thinking this). Sorry so long. And I hope this made sense.

    I commend you, so-blessed, for desiring to keep this new believer in the truth and taking your time to care and guide. If there was more of this, how many would see the true joy of Christ in us!
    "Therefore my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
    always abounding in the work of the Lord;
    knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."

    1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)

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    Firefly, this verse?

    1 Corinthians 3:10-15

    10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

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    Thank you both. The verses in 1 Corinthians 3 are the verses we have a study on. I remember the 1st part was excellent, but one of the group members was taken ill part way in & DH & I took her home, that explains why I don't remember what gold silver & precious stones represent. Now we're determined to dig it out & listen.
    So really the reality is, in spite of things I'm sure we're all asked to do by church leaders, only these things will be rewarded if our motive is right. I'd lik e to find a good study that tells us what we should do, scripturally, in our walk (aside from the obvious witnessing) that I can pass on to this believer so they don't get bogged down in church works - it'd do us good too!
    I think it's very easy to be distracted with church works & be too busy for what the Lord wants & then burdens are placed on us when we question things.
    For Thou art my hope, Oh Lord God Psalm 71:5
    Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you, will perform it to the day of the Lord Philippians 1:6


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    Quote Originally Posted by so-blessed View Post
    Thank you both. The verses in 1 Corinthians 3 are the verses we have a study on. I remember the 1st part was excellent, but one of the group members was taken ill part way in & DH & I took her home, that explains why I don't remember what gold silver & precious stones represent. Now we're determined to dig it out & listen.
    So really the reality is, in spite of things I'm sure we're all asked to do by church leaders, only these things will be rewarded if our motive is right. I'd lik e to find a good study that tells us what we should do, scripturally, in our walk (aside from the obvious witnessing) that I can pass on to this believer so they don't get bogged down in church works - it'd do us good too!
    I think it's very easy to be distracted with church works & be too busy for what the Lord wants & then burdens are placed on us when we question things.
    That was one of the reasons I left my mega church. Found it very difficult to swallow their redistribution ideas when they are opening their 8th large church and bragging about fixing up schools when the schools don't allow prayer in them.

    My current pastor will usually mention someone is doing something charitable and mention if it's within your needs and hearts to help. There is never pressure to be forced to. Honestly you can see he is walking with the Spirit and it shines through our church. The youth ministry was supposed to go on a Bible vacation. At some point when the leader left to grab something they came back to a group of children telling them their hearts weren't in the trip and wanted to get permission to use the money to support a local evangelical mission for them.

    But that's all personal experiences. I would love to have some more scriptural stuff as well!!

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    As far as I remember from the bit of the study I did hear, our rewards are about how faithful we have been to each work. I think the precious stones were likened to being pillars in the church - reference OT temple/tabernacle - again can't quite remember.
    Scripture tells us to walk in the good works preordained before time Ephesians 2:10 -so glad God has prepared them for us. That's more conformation that we should ensure they are the Lord's works, lest we become exhausted doing what man tells us we should do.
    I'll try to dig out & listen to the study, make notes & share asap.
    For Thou art my hope, Oh Lord God Psalm 71:5
    Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you, will perform it to the day of the Lord Philippians 1:6


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    ^^that would be awesome!

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    So-Blessed said,
    Their Pastor had taught about how we "must" do this that or the other as evidence of our salvation, quoting James 2: 14 - 26 as proof. But I do feel this will put the believer back into bondage again - surely scripture teaches our works flow from our salvation & we are led by the Holy Spirit to do them. There should be no "must do".
    I and many others have some difficulty understanding the issue of works, and trouble understanding how 'grace alone' saves people. Is a simple mental declaration that one has accepted Christ sufficient to deliver us from spiritual death? This is the way I see it.

    The entire planet is saved by grace, so grace saves NOBODY unless it's acted upon through faith. So what is faith?

    According to Strong's faith is...

    A conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it

    From what I see, faith is better understood as "living faith."

    That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

    And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

    First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
    What is 'works.'???

    "Works is anything that which any one is occupied."

    We saved by grace through faith IF we have active, productive, living faith that results in works. Works do not save anybody, but they are the evidence that something significant has taken place in the life of a believer. If there is no evidence that grace and faith resulted in something productive we call fruit, then there's no difference between an unproductive 'believer' and an unbeliever because you would never see the difference.

    In the 70's one girl told me that all we had to do to be saved is believe. I say we have to act upon our beliefs with living faith for us to partake of God's grace.
    Being SAVED is all about being a productive member in the body of Christ. True Christians should be productive members of the Church.

    Most Americans today are 'professed' Christians who amount to nothing for the Lord. They're no different than others who haven't accepted Christ. I think we have to look at the whole picture here.

    Grace saved planet earth, but everybody on planet isn't saved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turmoil View Post

    "Works is anything that which any one is occupied."

    We saved by grace through faith IF we have active, productive, living faith that results in works. Works do not save anybody, but they are the evidence that something significant has taken place in the life of a believer. If there is no evidence that grace and faith resulted in something productive we call fruit, then there's no difference between an unproductive 'believer' and an unbeliever because you would never see the difference.

    In the 70's one girl told me that all we had to do to be saved is believe. I say we have to act upon our beliefs with living faith for us to partake of God's grace.
    Being SAVED is all about being a productive member in the body of Christ. True Christians should be productive members of the Church.

    Most Americans today are 'professed' Christians who amount to nothing for the Lord. They're no different than others who haven't accepted Christ. I think we have to look at the whole picture here.
    Then whom determines what constitutes fruit? Whom decides if my works are a demonstration of my salvation.

    I've heard the exact thing you've said twisted in a mega-church to insight fear amongst its flock. In order to get people give every penny they could to the church. In order to not focus on end times theology but instead get people to go and clean up schools (which don't allow prayer in them) or to demonsish white people for not being as oppressed as black people and to not be lazy and go to a black neighborhood and fix it up and encourage all its members to take a stand with the black lives matter movement (even though it was started off a lie AND the movement has huge ties to LGBT movement).

    Fruits can be things hidden from society. I'm but a babe in Christ. Would my renewed study in the Bible not count as works?

    Would my desire to understand end times prophecies and where we are at not count?

    I don't go out and evangelisize yet cause I'm still weak and with flaw. Still strengthening my knowledge. No one in the world would notice any souls ive saved but what about my two children who didn't follow the Bible correctly?

    What about the time I told my wife I don't agree with homosexuality period because it is a sin?

    Is it wrong for me to not search out others views of charitable work but as I go through my sinful life eagerly look for random acts of kindness to throw out to the world?

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    It's like WORK. I go to work to be a productive member of the company. If I'm not productive, I'm no doubt getting fired.

    If I'm a member of the body of Christ, and show no evidence of Christ in me, then I'm no different that any unproductive member of anything!
    Works don't save people. But...

    For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    Grace, faith, and works, are three components of salvation. You really can't separate the three. NOT that works saves you, but that they are the evidence that living faith in God's grace has translated itself into being productive member of the body of Christ.

    Grace; What God did for planet earth through Jesus Christ.
    Faith; What a person does to act upon that grace.
    Works; Evidence that a person HAS acted upon that grace and faith.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turmoil View Post
    It's like WORK. I go to work to be a productive member of the company. If I'm not productive, I'm no doubt getting fired.

    If I'm a member of the body of Christ, and show no evidence of Christ in me, then I'm no different that any unproductive member of anything!
    Works don't save people. But...

    For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    Grace, faith, and works, are three components of salvation. You really can't separate the three. NOT that works saves you, but that they are the evidence that living faith in God's grace has translated itself into being productive member of the body of Christ.

    Grace; What God did for planet earth through Jesus Christ.
    Faith; What a person does to act upon that grace.
    Works; Evidence that a person HAS acted upon that grace and faith.
    What "work" did the thief on the cross do? He believed. Period.

    Come soon Lord Jesus - Take us Safely Home

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.



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    Quote Originally Posted by turmoil View Post
    It's like WORK. I go to work to be a productive member of the company. If I'm not productive, I'm no doubt getting fired.

    If I'm a member of the body of Christ, and show no evidence of Christ in me, then I'm no different that any unproductive member of anything!
    Works don't save people. But...

    For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    Grace, faith, and works, are three components of salvation. You really can't separate the three. NOT that works saves you, but that they are the evidence that living faith in God's grace has translated itself into being productive member of the body of Christ.

    Grace; What God did for planet earth through Jesus Christ.
    Faith; What a person does to act upon that grace.
    Works; Evidence that a person HAS acted upon that grace and faith.
    Romans 3:20-30

    because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; read more.
    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
    Galatians 3:10-12

    For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM."
    Galatians 5:22-23

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness

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    Quote Originally Posted by turmoil View Post
    Bed side conversions are different. In the few minutes he had left to his life, he TOOK ACTION. He 'repented' of his thinking and acknowledged that he was a sinner, and asked Christ to accept/remember him into his kingdom, and that Christ did nothing to deserve the same punishment as him. The other thief didn't, even though he was under grace which he didn't accept.
    It's not only bedside conversions. And we aren't called to be fruit inspectors.

    Faith And Works

    https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bib...h-and-works-2/
    Q.
    Of all the ministers on line and elsewhere, I love reading and hearing the Grace preachers more than all the rest, but then there are those who appear to believe that it requires both faith and works to make it to heaven. Most of the people who teach this do not come across as mean-spirited legalists who want to put us all in bondage, yet there remains this conflict between grace through faith alone and faith plus works. This really leaves me torn. Is this conflict resolvable?


    A. Put in its simplest terms, we’re dealing with a cause and effect relationship. Our faith is the cause of our salvation (Ephes. 2:8-9) and our good works are the effect if it (Ephes 2:10). Put another way, faith precedes salvation and good works follow it.
    As long as we maintain this distinction there’s no problem. But if we ever try to make our good works part of what it takes to qualify for or maintain our salvation, then we’ve rendered the Lord’s death on the cross insufficient to save us, and ultimately made ourselves responsible for our own salvation. But when we see faith and works in a cause and effect relationship, the conflict disappears.
    Of course God created us in Christ for good works. Not so we could save ourselves, but so we could bring glory to Him after He saved us. Notice that verse 10 says He prepared these things in advance for us to do. That means we don’t go around looking for things to do that will prove we’re saved. It means He has already prepared them and will prompt us to do them at the proper time. Over and over the New Testament makes it clear. We’re saved because of what we believe, not because of how we behave.
    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephes. 2:8-10).

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    Come soon Lord Jesus - Take us Safely Home

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.



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    This is exactly why I started this thread, to address wrong works teaching, & here it is above! Why oh why do others think they are called to be fruit inspectors & sit in judgement of anothers behaviour? Only God see the heart of man, sees the beauty of small internal things that no one but He can see. He sees the works done for Him alone, that quietly bring Him glory & none to the doer, who would have it no other way.
    Just about to do the study again, so will post a few notes. The person we are trying, with the Lord's help, to assist, has come out of the bondage that has been posted upthread & it bound & choked them. His truth, however, is a blessed assurance to us.
    For Thou art my hope, Oh Lord God Psalm 71:5
    Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you, will perform it to the day of the Lord Philippians 1:6


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    Quote Originally Posted by so-blessed View Post
    This is exactly why I started this thread, to address wrong works teaching, & here it is above! Why oh why do others think they are called to be fruit inspectors & sit in judgement of anothers behaviour? Only God see the heart of man, sees the beauty of small internal things that no one but He can see. He sees the works done for Him alone, that quietly bring Him glory & none to the doer, who would have it no other way.
    Just about to do the study again, so will post a few notes. The person we are trying, with the Lord's help, to assist, has come out of the bondage that has been posted upthread & it bound & choked them. His truth, however, is a blessed assurance to us.
    I still maintain the last thing I ever want to do going into the Bema Judgement is if Jesus asks if I'm saved I go "look what I did Jesus"

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    So to address the subject fo His (not our works but His through us) a brief outline:

    Gold represents Divine life : how we grow, our likeness to Christ
    Silver represents salvation: the link between the Lord & us, again how we change through that salavtion
    Precious Stones represents: beauty of His charcter within us & pillars in the church - serving other believers

    Wood represents: works in the flesh, the carnal believer
    Hay represents: a boastful show off ( me, my works, what I have done for the Lord)
    Straw represents: a wasted believers life, one who was simply saved & then very little changed etc.

    So it's clear, those works of gold, silver & precious stones are all the work of the Lord within us. Aside from those are the crowns we receive from Him to give back to Him, that wasn't touched on in this study. These works then are quiet, gentle, gradual changes within us. Not all these big showy things some would have us believe. That fits pertectly with His character. Hope that helps a little, I will enlarge things with some scripture references when time allows.
    For Thou art my hope, Oh Lord God Psalm 71:5
    Being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you, will perform it to the day of the Lord Philippians 1:6


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    Quote Originally Posted by so-blessed View Post
    So to address the subject fo His (not our works but His through us) a brief outline:

    Gold represents Divine life : how we grow, our likeness to Christ
    Silver represents salvation: the link between the Lord & us, again how we change through that salavtion
    Precious Stones represents: beauty of His charcter within us & pillars in the church - serving other believers

    Wood represents: works in the flesh, the carnal believer
    Hay represents: a boastful show off ( me, my works, what I have done for the Lord)
    Straw represents: a wasted believers life, one who was simply saved & then very little changed etc.

    So it's clear, those works of gold, silver & precious stones are all the work of the Lord within us. Aside from those are the crowns we receive from Him to give back to Him, that wasn't touched on in this study. These works then are quiet, gentle, gradual changes within us. Not all these big showy things some would have us believe. That fits pertectly with His character. Hope that helps a little, I will enlarge things with some scripture references when time allows.
    I've always wondered and somewhat believe that I feel like at judgement we are going to be surprised by how some of the things we deem small (maybe you waved and smiled at someone who was having a very bad day) will be amplified and we will be shown the full extent of a bad behavior
    Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

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