Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Grace That Works

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

2nd November 2014

‘What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?...’ (James 2:14 NIV)

The way we live out our life, the way we behave, both in private and public, is an expression of our character.

As a Christian who and what we are, our Christian character, derives from grace. It all begins with grace, but grace doesn’t permit us to live any lifestyle we chose; it always produces good works.

To say that we have grace without works is to deceive ourselves.

In his letter to the Ephesians the Apostle Paul writes:

‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast’. (Ephesians 2:8–9)

Paul is emphasising here that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works. It’s not what we do that saves us; it’s what’s been done by Jesus Christ’s once-and-for-all, all-sufficient sacrifice that provides our salvation.

If this were not the case then we would be able to boast that the reason we’ve been saved is because of the good works we have carried out.

But grace and faith doesn’t stop at the end of verse 9; this is not the end of the story.

Paul goes on to say in verse 10,

‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do’
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So, we are saved by grace, but that grace produces good works. If we don’t produce good works, we really don’t have the grace.

Again, it’s not the works that save us; rather they are the evidence that we have been saved by grace.

In another of his letters Paul writes,

‘For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good’. (Titus 2:11-14)

At the beginning of this passage Paul speaks of ‘the grace of God’ and he goes on to say that this grace ‘teaches us’ something: It teaches us how to live, saying “no” to ‘ungodliness and worldly passions’ and by implication “yes” to living ‘self-controlled, upright and godly lives…[and to being] eager to do what is good’.

The basis of this Christian character is Christ. First it is his work on the cross. He ‘gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own’, and second it is lived in the light of his return, ‘we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ’.

The things we ought to be doing and the way we ought to be living should be governed by the first and second advents of Christ.

Grace comes first, but it is a grace that works else it isn’t really grace at all.

Prayer

Father, thank you for saving me through your amazing grace. Help me now to live for you as your handiwork.
Amen.

Have a good week working out your grace,

Pastor Barry

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