We Are Justified by Faith Not Good Works

We Are Justified by Faith Not Good Works

Remember God created the first man Adam in His own image and breathed the breath of life into him.  Then realizing Adam was lonely, He took a rib from Adam and created Eve.  But they disobeyed God, and to redeem and justify sinners would cost the Father His only Son. Paul never forgot his life of persecuting Christians.  I truly believe that is one reason letters written by him contain more passages about justification than any other New Testament writer.  One can better write about something experienced: Paul realized he had sinned grossly and then had been justified by the …

Faith Will Produce Good Works

Faith Will Produce Good Works

In Ephesians 2: 8-10 Paul wrote,  “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has before foreordained that we should walk in them “ I remember after my salvation, though unlearned concerning most of the Bible, there was a desire in my heart to begin serving God.  I believe this should be the desire of every true believer. Though I was not employed and had no income, …

Source of Good Works

Source of Good Works

Many thousands of dollars are given to charitable organizations each year, and hopefully most are used for worthy causes. Countless hours are spent working on helpful entities, but unless money and work are done to honor God,  all is in vain as far as heaven’s rewards. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Pharisees boasted about their good works, but Jesus knew their works were not to honor God but for self-praise. Based on certain scriptures for our works to be acceptable, they must be done to honor God only and not for selfish reasons. From early childhood selfishness has been man’s …

Want your Good Works to Produce Abundant Fruit?

Want your Good Works to Produce Abundant Fruit?

A farmer plants seed, and later cultivates the plants, but without rain his crops won’t produce fruit, and his labor is in vain.  Likewise no matter how diligently an individual plans and then works, without the Holy Spirit one’s work will not please God. Paul realized this truth and wrote: “For I am the least of the apostles, and am not worthy to be called an apostle: because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain, but I labored …

Reward of Living an Abundant Life

Reward of Living an Abundant Life

Throughout life individuals are rewarded for good behavior: babies cry and get attention, young children are promised rewards for good behavior. They enter school and throughout their school days are rewarded for good grades; then at graduation two students with highest scholastic grades are honored. Then after they enter the world of employment, some are given promotions for their hard work or skills.  So rewards become something familiar to us, but are believers to perform good works primarily for the purpose of receiving a reward? Since knowing the joy of being adopted into God’s family, even if I receive no …

What is Guilt?

What is Guilt?

Although devotionals are to encourage others, sometimes there are things in our lives that must be coped with before we can enjoy life and its blessings. Since guilt is one such culprit, I feel impressed to discuss this subject. So what is guilt? It is a feeling of responsibility or remorse for an offense, wrong, or thought, real or imagined, that one commits. And in the beginning, it should be said there is real or necessary guilt and there is unnecessary or false guilt. Perhaps all who read this devotion are familiar with guilt as I am: because long before I …

Guilt: a Horrible Companion

Guilt: a Horrible Companion

Scripture does not tell us, but Adam and Eve perhaps were the first individuals to cope with grief. God had created them, placed them in the beautiful Garden of Eden, provided everything they could desire, and even walked with them in the cool of the day. He placed only one limitation on their lives: not to eat fruit from the tree of life in the garden. What an ideal life! God further blessed them by giving them the ability to make choices. Have you ever thought about that as a blessing? Though many of us have difficulty making decisions, what a blessing! God made mankind …

Role of Real Guilt

Role of Real Guilt

There is a vast difference between real guilt which leads to conviction of our sins and points us to Jesus and false guilt which is condemnation that keeps reminding us of our past sins and failures even after they are forgiven. This in one of Satan’s most often used and favorite tools, but don’t listen to him: instead quote scripture as Jesus did. This is an excellent one to quote: “For we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the …

Living With False Guilt?

Living With False Guilt?

As we read in yesterday’s devotional thought, real guilt is necessary and should lead to repentance. I believe every believer, no matter the age when saved, felt at least some guilt before asking Jesus to be Savior of his/her life.  Then after salvation, when we sin the Holy Spirit convicts of that sin, but when it is confessed, we should accept God’s promise: “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1John 1: 9 We should believe the sin was forgiven and let it go; then there should be no room …

God’s Grace Greater Than Guilt

God’s Grace Greater Than Guilt

We have been discussing guilt this week, and have seen that true or real guilt leads to repentance and many times to salvation; however, we saw that false guilt is used by Satan to hinder a believer’s maturity, but God’s grace is greater than our sin and guilt; so let’s focus our thoughts on God’s grace a few minutes. Grace is defined as the unmerited favor and love of God given a person who deserves punishment, but is shown mercy instead. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul explained that he thanked Jesus for putting him in the ministry, when he had been a blasphemer, persecutor, and …

Living A Guilt-free Life

Living A Guilt-free Life

After a believer’s sin has been forgiven and all guilt removed, she should be able to live her life as free as a bird of the air; however, even birds sometimes have their difficulties. God prepares food for them and knows when one falls to the ground, but even birds of the air have their problems. Nevertheless, soon after a tragedy, notes of cheer can be heard as a mother bird hovers over her empty nest. Nor has God promised to remove all road-blocks from a believers life as she travels her journey of life. Most individuals will face forks in their road of life and will struggle to determine which …

An Eye for An Eye

An Eye for An Eye

When God gave Moses the law recorded in Exodus, He did say if men strive and mischief results, then they should give life for death, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. Also in Leviticus 24: 20 and Deuteronomy 19: 21, this same law is stated and to be practiced. Therefore, during the earthly ministry of Jesus, the Pharisees, who not only taught the law, but added many of their own laws to Moses’ Law, made it impossible to keep them. Then in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus challenged this former teaching. He did …