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Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The key to "saved by grace" is obedience.
God gave Noah specific instructions on how to build the ark.
God gave Moses specific instructions on how to build the Tabernacle.
And neither one was given any discretion or authority to by-pass those instructions. If Noah had deviated, the ark would have sunk. If Moses had deviated, the Glory and Presence of God would have never dwelled between the Cherubims.
Here are a few examples of obedience in response to very specific instructions...
John 9:11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
Luke 17:12-14 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
Luke 5:4-6 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
2 Kings 5:9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.  And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
Question: Was their obedience a "work"? Would they have received the miracle had they not "obeyed"? Jesus once told Peter to go catch a fish, and take the money from its mouth to pay tribute. He could have just spoke the word, and would have been as easy as breaking bread for the multitudes. However, that wouldn't have anything to do with us exercising our Faith, or being Obedient. Remember Naaman in the above scripture, at first he was wroth and went his way. He did not receive his miracle until after he obeyed his instruction according to the saying of the man of God.
At the birth of the New Testament Church in Acts chapter two, the apostles were all gathered together and were asked a very important question regarding how to be saved...
Acts 2:37-38 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
(verse 38) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Peter said to:
2. Water baptism
3. Receive Holy Ghost
Remember, Jesus said in John 3:5 "...Except a man be born of born or water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
What happened to baptism in John 3:15? "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
We know God didn't remove baptism, so what happened?
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Yes, there's the baptism.
If we are to be saved the New Testament way, we need to follow Peter's instructions and obey Acts 2:38 - which is not a work, it is Obedience.
Acts2 is trying to "shoe horn" obedience/works "into" salvation through faith. The end result is salvation through faith + obedience/works. Faith is belief, trust, reliance in Jesus Christ for salvation and obedience which "follows" is works. Paul clearly stated that we are saved through faith, not works in Ephesians 2:8,9. It's not hard to understand. Just hard for Acts2 to ACCEPT.
remember you said this : //because by his grace we are saved. He sent his only begotten son Jesus, who was God in flesh, to take the sins of the whole world upon himself on the cross. To be the propitiation for the sins of all people in all the world for eternity. ///
Obey His instruction happen when people have time to learn a His instruction. The thief doesn't have much time to learn His instruction but he did something right. He wasn't agree evil thing the authority do to Jesus.
Punish thief like him is justice not evil, but punish innocence like Jesus is evil
1 cor 13
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
It may from his conscience this thief doing something exactly like what bible teach
SCENARIO: two kids, brothers- Zack and Mack. Zack asks his father to please give him the jet skateboard turbo 2000. Mack asks the same thing, and both brothers jump up and down repeating their requests. The dad says “That skateboard costs a lot of money boys!” Zack runs to the closet and pulls out the monopoly game. “Oh no you don’t” says Mack, while grabbing his share of fake money. Both boys lay their money at their father’s feet. “I’m sorry boys, this kind of money cannot earn or purchase anything.”
A week goes by and Zack does extra chores trying to earn the skateboard, but his dad says the store won’t give you the skateboard just because you’ve been a good kid. Zack walks away sad. During the next couple weeks Zack continues to do good and obey his father, while Mack displays disobedience and a fowl mouth.
One day dad goes to the store and purchases the jet skateboard turbo 2000, and brings it home. Both boys walk in the room. “Is that...” they are so stunned they can’t finish their sentence. “But dad”, says Mack, “You only brought home one.” “That’s right” he replies, and gives it to Zack. “That’s not fair!” Mack screams, then stomps outof the room.
“But dad...” Zack replies, “I thought you said nothing I could do could earn this skateboard.” “That’s right”, dad replied, “You didn’t earn it, it is my gift to you.” “But why did you chose to give me one and not Mack?” “Because son, the person giving a gift can choose to whom and why to give it, and I chose you because you obey me. Your obedience did not earn it, it is simply a matter of what I want, and I didn’t want to give it to your brother who disobeyed me.”
Again you are in disobedience. We HAVE obeyed, if we believed the gospel . The whole world is in disobedience to the Gospel ,until they believe by Faith . That s the 'message of the cross '. Not this virtue signalling ,Lordship ,subtle works salvation that many are peddling today sadly . Which is not saving anyone ,but pushing people away from the truth and keeping believers in bondage .
When we are trusting in ANYTHING other than Christ and His atoning work at the Cross, we are NOT obeying the Truth, nor are we running the race, but rather only beating the air (1 Corinthians 9:26) with an outward form and show in deception. This is why Paul says that Christ and Him Crucified is THE POWER of God! I’m praying that God’s people find that determination to know nothing other than faith in what allows them to run the race and be found obedient to the Truth in God’s eyes! The Cross!!