Faith, Grace, Works – The Just Shall Live by Faith

Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if [any man] draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

When you started building that tower, was there was a point in time where you felt you could do it? There is an endurance that has to be suffered. A constant consistent hanging in there of patience because it’s a long drawn out suffering process which we are called to endure. Christ endured it for the hope set before him to receive us to himself. We endure it for the hope set before us. Apostle Paul would have no pleasure. Apostle Paul spoke these words on behalf of God. When we become weary of well doing God becomes weary of us. We are to hang in there. We are not of them who draw back. Words react upon the mind, they become strengthened. We are not to speak the negative but the positive. If Satan says you are a hypocrite, let him say that to you as you will strengthen. The just shall live by faith. We will see how it is that the just live by faith. How it is that the just are able to keep hold of life despite the odds and the opposition and the endurance?

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

It is grace that saves us through faith, not anything of ourselves we can do. It is the gift of God. James puts questions before our minds.

James 2:14 What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

We want to understand how faith saves us. We are saved by grace through faith not of works, yet faith that hath not works is dead. This is a seemingly contradictory statement. Works on its own is dead. Faith on its own is dead. The just are saved and live by faith. How can we come to understand this operation of faith with grace and works? If you don’t have the faith, you can’t have grace as we are saved by grace through faith. If that channel of grace is not there you can’t be saved.

Grace, Faith, Works

Grace, faith and works are three elements of life, eternal life. How do they work? How do they operate in the Christians experience together harmoniously? You can’t have one without the other as they have to be perfectly knitted and balanced together. Was Abraham justified by works when he had offered his son Isaac upon the altar? The way the question is put gives an affirmative answer.

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God. 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

These two scriptures together are opposing. How can we balance it out?

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our Father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

He was justified by his works, but his works were done with faith. Faith wrought with his works and by works was faith made perfect. Isn’t that amazing? You can have faith without works and it’s not perfect.

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

In this scripture we find the answer, the balance to faith, works and grace. All three working harmoniously together. How was it that Abraham was justified by his works?  His faith laid hold of the atonement. In his experience, he entered into the atonement experience.

John 8:56 Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad.

How did Abraham see Christ’s day? In his experience. His faith took the experience before him and he discerned in that very experience Jesus Christ. As he partook of that experience, he was partaking of the experience of Jesus Christ. He saw Christ’s day. What did he see in Christ’s day? He saw Christ being bound with our sins, laid upon the altar and the Father raised the knife to slay him. This was Abrahams experience and that was the experience of Jesus Christ and the Father. His works justified him because by faith he was working the works of God. What was Christs experience on the cross and through his whole lifetime experience? It was my experience. It was your experience. As Abraham entered into his experience, his faith saw that it was Christs experience and as he was working, he realised that he was working the works of Christ because Christ had done those works. Faith wrought with his works. Faith laid hold of his friend Jesus and brought him into the same experience reality. We have looked at the action of the old and new covenant and how we are to keep trying again and again and again. Never are we to give up.

Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

He shall judge his people. How does God judge? When you fall into his hands. How is he going to execute vengeance and judgement? How is the Lord known? By the judgement which he executes. The old covenant experience is where time and time again we keep falling into the hands of the living God. Time and time again we have to reap the consequences of what we have done. We say yes I will.  I will do all that the Lord has said and then you don’t and there are consequences.

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their Fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Why does he have to make a new covenant? Because we are locked into this old one. God says to break that cycle, to give you a greater purpose and an expected end I will now make a covenant. You keep doing your covenant, you play your part, keep trying but while you are doing that, here is my new covenant. God now steps in and says, I will now put my law in your inward parts and I will write it in your inward heart and I will be your God and you will be my people. God says to break you out of this, I’m going to do something new, I’m going to step in and give you an expected end. After those days of that covenant that we made after we keep trying but not after that one day, not after that two days but after those days that we keep on trying, how is it that he writes the laws in our heart and mind? It is through that old program. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. It is a fearful thing. Israel was scattered because of the result of their transgressions.

Jeremiah 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: 39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

Fear in Their Hearts

This law, this sealing experience of the new covenant as they make their attempt and commitment they fail. We say yes Lord all you have said we will do and we fall flat on our face but we get back up again. The righteous fall seven times but they rise again. We meet the consequences and each time we behold the death of Jesus Christ and his death for the remission of those sins that are under the old covenant. We have said yes we will and we haven’t. The Israelites of old slew an animal to demonstrate that their own life they would put to death.  In place of us having to die, Christ stepped into that old covenant and he died in my place. Again we try and again we discern Jesus having to die my death because of my broken promises.

We shall often have to fall down and weep at the foot of the cross many times. The more we experience that, we become afraid to sin. Not just because of the consequences but because we hurt Jesus Christ. Every time we sin, we separate him from the Father. We can only experience that as we make our promise and fail. As we fail, we feel this sin, guilt, and condemnation that separate us from God. Then with the eye of faith we discern Jesus Christ in that same position as us reconciled to the Father. He will put fear in their hearts and as they make this experience the law is written in their hearts. David said, oh how I love thy law. Wasn’t David’s experience the old covenant experience? God puts the fear in the heart to be afraid to sin and do it in my own strength because I’m learning that I can’t. Then now that new covenant must take its effect. That new covenant consists of three factors. Faith, grace and works. I can’t is to be our confession. Yet Abraham was justified by works. He did things right. He could and he did but if you ask him he’ll tell you he can’t.

The Little Red Caboose

When I was growing up I had a book called ‘The Little Red Caboose’. There was a train with a big engine and a train with a small engine.  One day they had to go up a hill but the train in front wouldn’t operate so it was left to the little red caboose. He was trying and trying saying I can, I can, I can. We are in a sense to be like that as well. To confess I can’t but at the same time I can. Why can I? How can I? How did Abraham do it? By discerning Jesus in his experience. How could Abraham do such a thing? Because the Father did, because Jesus did.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

I can because Jesus did. Whatever temptation we have in all points Jesus was tempted yet without sin because in that temptation he did that which was right so when I am tempted I can do that which was right because Jesus did that which was right. The works are there but in order for the works to be right, we must see Jesus doing the same works. Abraham was a friend of God. Jesus is a high priest who is still touched with the feelings of our infirmities. As we enter into the temptation, Christ is entering into it then and there right at that point. He did that which was right so if I am in that experience with him, I will do that which is right. Take my yoke upon you, let us work together and let us be one in this experience.

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

I can because Jesus did. My faith discerns Jesus being tempted with me there. He has overcome, will overcome and we have this precious succour. Works and faith must be combined. The works must be the works of God in humanity. If we believe I was in Christ, I am in Jesus Christ, when Christ works I work, my experience is his experience and then the victory is mine. It was with strong crying and tears unto him that could save him from death because it’s an endurance. How does grace come into the equation? Faith without works is dead and works without faith is dead.

Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Grace is coupled with this faith that discerns Jesus. The spirit of grace. By grace are we saved through faith.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show [it] unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show [it] unto you.

Grace, faith, works. Grace presents before the mind’s eye Jesus in your experience. Faith takes hold of that and brings Jesus experience into your experience. Then, we work the same works that grace has shown us and by Jesus doing we do. Grace, faith and works functioning harmoniously simply and beautifully together. How can people get confused on these subjects? Faith lays old of Jesus Christ in his experience and brings him into our experience and then we work the works of God. This is how it is that God works in us to will and to do of his good pleasure.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

When we make the experience that’s not my experience someone has made it before me.

1 Peter 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

His stripes heal us because he puts fear in our hearts because time and time again we fail as we don’t discern Jesus. It has to be made perfect by works. We have to keep working at it. Now I see Jesus in my experience and we are justified by his death and saved by his life. I hope we have come to a real simple realisation of the Word of God and salvation that we won’t become confused in the miasma of teachings out there but as we see God’s word is so simple, we will see all of God’s words so simple. We live by every word that proceeds out of his mouth.

Amen.

Posted on November 11, 2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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