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Saved By Works

Wait, what?

Why would I, a preacher in the Christian, Protestant, Methodist tradition, title a blog post “Saved By Works”?

Is not our faith defined this way:“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” (Ephesians 2:8-9)? The fact that God does for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves distinguishes Christianity from every other belief system and religion in the world.  To a certain degree it even distinguishes the Protestant tradition from the Catholic one.

So why would I say we’re saved by works?

Well, earlier this week I sat through a funeral service that was lovely, poignant, and very much centered on the person of Jesus.  And one of the speakers mentioned something about Jesus on the cross and it hit me in a way it’s never hit before:

We ARE saved by works. 

Jesus’ works, not ours.

We’re saved by JESUS’ work on the cross and through the resurrection. 

He does the work and we get paid.

So yes, I’m still Christian, Protestant, and Methodist.  I don’t believe we earn our way to heaven by being good.

But I’ll never be so dismissive of “salvation by works” again — you just have to know Who works and who benefits.

As Paul tells the Corinthians:

 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21).

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