• By John Hicks

Provoking you unto good works...


This is what typically happens in the modern preaching of grace. When Romans 8:1 is brought up, the only part of the verse mentioned or focused on is typically just the first part, which is “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus”.

There is a built in condition within the second part of the verse that has to be mentioned whenever this verse is used.

Today’s gospel, in the way that it is presented, seems to be somehow afraid to mention ‘works’. The preachers seem to be fearful that they may somehow come across as justifying a so-called “works based salvation”.

There is a balance but that balance will not come with ignoring the ‘works’ aspect of living a 'saved' life.

The second part of the verse states: “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”.

This is a powerful and essential qualification for the first part of the verse and should never be left out.

The modern gospel message leaves it out and thus gives people the false assurance that they can continue on in their sin and still be without condemnation.

The fact is, Paul said that those who are without condemnation are those who walk after the Spirit.

Living a life of sin is walking after the flesh and not after the spirit.

Anyone who is walking in the flesh is not free from the condemnation of God. In fact it makes a mockery of God and the sacrifice Jesus made with His life to forgive that sin.

What is found in this verse is what is known as a conditional statement and the Bible is full of them. Look for these yourself, they are not hard to find.

The modern Gospel states that God’s gift of salvation is unconditional but scriptures state otherwise.

So to be clear, salvation is not based on works but good works have to be present or else one’s faith is dead. James taught us that quite clearly. (see James 2:14-26)

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (vs 17)

I want to to encourage you to be someone that walks after the Spirit. I want to provoke you unto good works.

If doing so is too tedious and not joyful then please examine yourself with God as King David did at the end of his 139th Psalm:

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-34

Let us not get so hung up on “worked based salvation” that we neglect a life that is diligent in seeking both earnestly and joyfully the good works that bring much joy and glory to our Father in heaven!

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:23-25

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. Titus 3:8

Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. Titus 2:6-8

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Titus 2:11-14

And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful. Titus 3:14

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17


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