The Divine Partnership — A LifeWords Devotion – Hope 103.2

The Divine Partnership — A LifeWords Devotion

Salvation comes from the initiative of God, but good works are part and parcel of being a Christian. They are evidence of our heavenward journey.

By David ReayThursday 14 Nov 2019LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 2 minutes

Philippians 2:12-13

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (NLT)

One of the greatest challenges Christians face is holding in tension seemingly contrasting truths. In fact, much false teaching over the centuries has arisen out of people not being able to cope with such tensions and instead reverting to extreme positions.

Paul is well-known for reminding us that getting right with God doesn’t come about by our own good deeds. Then again, both Jesus and James tell us that you don’t get to heaven without doing good deeds. We neither sit back and say faith is all that matters or that works are all that matter. They both matter.

Our text highlights this. Salvation comes from the initiative of God. We can’t organise it or demand it. Thus faith is necessary. But Paul also wants to say that works are necessary. We are to obey Jesus, we are to keep the commandments, we are to do our bit. We cannot sit back and presume on God’s grace even though that grace is primary.

Good works are part and parcel of being a Christian. Not that they earn us brownie points to get us into heaven. Rather they are evidence of our heavenward journey. Not that they are merely hard work on our part. Because God is at work helping us to work.

The challenge is that we are commanded to please him. The consolation is that he gives us the desire and power to do so.

Blessings
David

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