Romans 2:1-11 Part 3 – Saved by Works?

Romans 2:5-11 NIV

But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath , when his righteous judgment will be revealed. [6] God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” [7] To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. [8] But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. [9] There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; [10] but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. [11] For God does not show favoritism.

 

working hard

 

Saved by works?  Judged by works?  How does this work with faith in Christ alone?

When we stand before God in judgement.  We will not be judged according to what we believe, but on what we have done.  In Revelation 20:11-13 “11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.” These verses seem confusing when the Bible clearly states we can never be righteous enough on our own.  It is only through the work of Christ and the revealing of God’s righteousness on us that puts us in a save relationship with God.  Then how do we reconcile this verse?

 

NOT WORKS … EVIDENCE

 

The focus of these verses are focused on the evidence of a changed life. You might say these verses are looking to find proof a life in Christ and living in the Holy Spirit.  Becoming a Christian is more that the initial salvation.  It is a lifestyle.  We learn to walk in the new life and learn to be led by the spirit.  Our relationship to others will change as well as our nature is changing.  We are becoming more and more Christ-like.

If there is no change in your life and behavior it is an indication there was never a change.  Christ in you will change you.  The Holy Spirit in you will change you.  The well of life flowing up in your heart brings peace, joy and power that spreads out into relationships and actions.

What we do reflects who we are inside.

There is a danger in some of our beliefs and traditions.  Some beliefs who baptize babies believing they are forever saved or maybe you believe speaking a prayer one time and now you are forever saved.  The Bible is very clear about salvation that is instant but is also clear there is an behavior of evidence following a commitment in Christ.   Works will never save us.  But when Christ lives in us there is an evidence of our works that point to the work of Christ in us.  Notice the last two verses that follow after Paul write about judging behavior. They are verse 7 & 8. “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. [8] But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.  Choices create behaviors that is reflected in works.

When I stand before God.

There will be a book opened revealing my works.  It will record mistakes but I do believe there will be a thread of righteousness from God’s Righteousness that has worked itself through my life in doing good.  I will always wrestle with sin but the evidence of Christ in me is my repentance, seeking God’s direction and living by the Holy Spirit.  It is in my works, my life, my lightnside.

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