When Faith Becomes a Work

Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Many world religions make faith into a work by either eliminating grace or perverting grace to mean some type of cooperation needed by man in order for the grace to work. It turns God into the debtor by this, and faith becomes a work. Let me explain how.

The question I have posed to many who think it was their effort which saved them, is did Jesus pay for the sin of unbelief on the Cross? If so, then how can a sinner claim it was that inherent effort which saved them instead of grace. If you made the choice, then you have something to boast about. If God made the choice, then no one can boast.

The question cuts to the heart of contradictory preachers of unlimited atonement. This is where they say that Jesus died for every last living soul, paid their sin debt, propitiated the wrath of God, EXCEPT for the sin of unbelief because otherwise they’d be teaching universalism. So to attempt to get around this, they’ll then in effect say “the application of the atonement is applied when one believes”.

Do you see the contradictory messaging? Because if there is this supposed application in a present tense, then in actuality, the sin of unbelief remains UNPAID in full by Christ’s atonement UNTIL one believes. It goes to the problem of understanding WHEN Jesus made the atonement, WHEN He actually saved a sinner. It was WHEN He made the atonement, not WHEN a sinner realized they had been (past tense) saved.

So if for example you ascribe to the falsehood of the sin of unbelief being paid for by faith, then being saved by Jesus is in a present tense, meaning then He didn’t make the atonement as Scripture teaches. It remains unfinished. So by this, you have made FAITH A WORK. You have made God the debtor who owed you salvation by your faith. This would also mean Romans 5:8 got it wrong, because Christ would not have been able to die for you while you were still a sinner. Jesus would have had to WAIT for each sinner to come to faith, and only THEN the atonement could take place.

I have debated this topic for many hours with those who just cannot bring themselves to believe and/or understand that the atonement was specific and effectual for every sinner Jesus died for. He KNEW each sinner and each sin He paid for WHEN He died on the Cross, when He rose again.

So as Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches us, salvation is by grace THROUGH faith, not faith through grace. Grace, meaning what Jesus had done, your faith granted you is the realization what He did on your behalf! Being fallen in nature, God gives a sinner a rebirth at which time they FULLY realize Jesus SAVED them (past tense) on the Cross. God chose, you didn’t, so you could never boast or be even perceived as boasting, because it wasn’t you who girded up faith, it was God who opened your eyes to what Jesus did at which time you BELIEVED.

Faith becomes a work when it is USED as the prompter, not as the result of what Jesus DID, past tense!

“Read John 1:12 & 13. It says that those who believe on Jesus have been “born, not of the will of man, but of God.” As your will is not responsible for your coming into this world, it is not responsible for the new birth. It is your Creator who must be thanked for your life, and if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation (II Cor. 5:17). Who ever chose to be created? When Lazarus rose from the dead, he chose to answer the call of Christ, but he did not choose to come to life. So Paul said in Ephesians 2:4 & 5, “When we were dead in sins God has quickened us with Christ (by grace you are saved).” Faith is the first act of a will made new by the Holy Spirit. Receiving Christ is an act of man just as breathing is, but God must first give life.” Walter Chantry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s