Work-less Walk

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Nov 21, 2018
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#1
Note: It's my opinion that the intention of the title of this article does not mean the Christian's walk will be without works, but rather that the obtaining of salvation is without works, and that any works intended otherwise are work-less (vain labor).



Scripture often plainly testifies that God’s law to the Jewish nation was not to justify, for “by the deeds of the Law nobody shall be justified” (Rom 3:20). Man’s guilt being revealed to him incurred accountability for condemnation (Jhn 9:41; 15:22, 24). This is all of which gives rightful place concerning “the righteous requirement of the law” (Rom 8:4)—to condemn for disobedience (Eze 18:4, 20), “for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom 3:20).

Thus, even if the Decalogue could have been perfectly followed by its recipients it would yet have been useless labor in effecting forgiveness (though establishing earthly morality), because this was obtained only via the sin sacrifice of the high priest for his and the people’s sins that were committed unintentionally (Num 15:24-31). Willful disobedience has always evinced unbelief!

Concerning retaining redemption, it’s sensible to note that if works could retain it, they could also serve to effect it; for that (Who) alone which effects salvation is that alone which retains it.
-NC





Work-less Walk

It is a fearful thing to turn back to the merciless and unfulfillable demands of the law from the grace that is ours by faith in Christ. How is it possible? First we must see how irrational it is, that we may never allow our reason to be played tricks upon buy the madness of Satan. To strive hopelessly in the face of abundant achievement, freely procured for us, is surely to stand forth in all the disreputable glory of petty and perverse pride.

The sheer presumption is laughable if we could stand out from ourselves and see it. That we do not see this when we are fixedly intent upon our narrow legalism indicates that we have lowered our sights to view only a part of God’s impossible demands by the law, and have exalted that above Christ; failing to realize that law-keeping cannot stand before Christ, inasmuch as He will not allow His perfect keeping of the law in life and in death to be set alongside our ridiculous efforts.

This is to vie with Him where we have no hope of qualification (effecting and retaining salvation—NC); and so great is the gulf fixed between His achievement and ours that in all honor it would be as though He must withdraw as soon as a competitor appears on the scene. To see the gracious Savior bending over us with the lavish dainties of His grace, and then some ragamuffin come and wave away the luscious food with a contemptuous, “No thank you, I have my crust and my watery soup!” The tragedy is not that he tried himself—in certain circumstances that would be good—but that he deprived himself of grace so rich that only an empty stomach could hope to have sufficient capacity for it.

The two are mutually exclusive, because for God to admit man’s aid in His own salvation (other than showing it—NC) is to admit that which he most needs to be saved from, his pride. Allow that, even a grain of it, to enter His heaven and the whole would be defiled (Gal 5:9). The great thing therefore in discerning Christianity is to be able to distinguish the categorical difference between that which is done in love of Christ and that which is done in exaltation of self and its particular codification of God’s law.

The two are as opposed as heaven and hell, as God and the Devil; and happy is that man and that church which can discern the difference between things that look alike; or rather between things which may both belie their true nature, the evil appearing far more religious that the good.

Christianity does not need to put on airs. So true faith rests and does not run around in circles seeking to impress others with its religiosity. When the time comes for expression, it looks up to the Father who alone works in its heart, and He sends down His gracious enablement and the humble child of God, who looks far less religious than the supposed ardent doer of works, becomes incandescent with the life of Christ. Yet no halo appears—it is just that God’s servant has become radiantly alive.

All this wonderfully natural miracle is lost on the laborious law worker: he is on his own. He must do it all himself. Nor is there any expectation of the Lord stepping in by His Spirit and doing the work. It is all grinding work, and no gracious operation of the Spirit, and it is that which makes Jack the legalist such a dull, obtuse and bitter boy.

Those who recommend new converts to get busy immediately have forgotten the long experience of that new convert Paul in the Arabian Desert (where Damascus lies - Gal 1:17—NC). Only he who has learned to rest and wait is fit for service. One may prefer the hard-working man and think he is the right type—thousands do—but he has made one mistake. He has shut God out of his universe. True, he hopes to meet Him in heaven—at least as an equal. But someone had that idea before him—the Devil.

- Wm Still



Excerpt from MJS devotional for January 9, 2019:


“The world, the flesh, and the devil say, Be powerful. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit say, Be powerless — “for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). - MJS

“There would be little harm in trying to imitate Christ if such an endeavor did not hide from us what our Lord really desires; and so keep us back from ‘life more abundant.’ Christ has come Himself into our hearts to dwell there, and what He wants is to live His life in us, as the Apostle Paul says, ‘For to me to live is Christ.’ Christ was the very source and mainspring of all he was and did. What a wonderful thing this is! We would be driven to despair if Christ had simply left us an example to follow or imitate, for we have no power within ourselves to do it. We must have a new source—a new spring of action, and Christ Himself wants to be just that for us.” -E.C.H.
http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
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#2
Faith, without orks, is vain. We are not justified by obeing the law, yet we should obey the law remaining according to the teaching of our Lord..

He instructs us never to teach against the least of the laws which remain. Now, it is up to each of us to learn of Him just which laws making up love remain to be fulfilled………..
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
66,861
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#4
This belongs in the bible forum.
 
Nov 21, 2018
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Faith, without orks, is vain. We are not justified by obeing the law, yet we should obey the law remaining according to the teaching of our Lord..
Hi and appreciate your instructional reply! I agree, as James Chapter 2 designs the intention that faith without works means there is no faith, because works manifests faith, therefore no one can have faith and no works (true lasting works). Verse 26 equates no works with that as a nonexistent faith, same that as a dead person with no spirit does not exist. A nonexistent faith is one that merely professes but does not possess faith, thus when the nominal (in name only) professor eventually ceases from professing it, this will be seen that there never was any faith at all; and what he will fall away from is not grace but a false profession of grace.

He instructs us never to teach against the least of the laws which remain. Now, it is up to each of us to learn of Him just which laws making up love remain to be fulfilled………..
The Lord Jesus often stressed the importance of believing all of what God has shown with equal significance. This passage is one among many that relates to the Law of Moses (law of the Jews), and even though He knew it was about to be "taken away" Heb 10:9) upon its fulfillment (Mat 5:18; Jhn 19:30), it yet stood in force at that time and Christ was stressing the urgency of believing and following it, in order to show the equal importance of following what He was about to bring in its place (Grace).

It's not uncommon to accept that since Jesus taught the Jews the importance of the Law while it stood, that the Law is still important to follow, but many (even Reformists) have not understood the passing of the Law (even the Jews who alone were given it can no more in this dispensation use it). There is great significance for orderly Bible study in discerning the dispensational-changes within the Lord Jesus' teachings. My expectation of many realizing this before the Millennium is very minimal, but it will all be shown then.
 

bobinfaith

Active member
Jan 10, 2019
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Daly City, CA
www.livingstoneministries.com
#6
Note: It's my opinion that the intention of the title of this article does not mean the Christian's walk will be without works, but rather that the obtaining of salvation is without works, and that any works intended otherwise are work-less (vain labor).
Concerning retaining redemption, it’s sensible to note that if works could retain it, they could also serve to effect it; for that (Who) alone which effects salvation is that alone which retains it.
-NC
Hello NetChaplain;

Thank you for sharing Work-Less Walk which gave me this thought today. I discuss with others the question of giving our hearts to God instead of giving our works, instead of our hearts to God.

It also speaks to me. No matter who we are in Christ, what we do or where we serve, we all arrive at the question.
Is giving our hearts to God "work?" Or, is the work actually a spiritual battle?

For example, we desire God and want to give all our hearts, but from day to day, we can lose our zeal, for many spiritual or emotional reasons, thus spiritual battle.

After reading your article and quote does help answer.

By prayer (speaking to God) and reading the Word (God speaking to us,) we learn that giving our hearts to God, He is actually doing the work on our behalf revealing His strength.

I hope this makes sense. Its good to fellowship with you again.

God bless you, Netchaplain, and your family.
 
Nov 21, 2018
56
21
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#7
Thank you for sharing Work-Less Walk which gave me this thought today. I discuss with others the question of giving our hearts to God instead of giving our works, instead of our hearts to God.

It also speaks to me. No matter who we are in Christ, what we do or where we serve, we all arrive at the question.
Is giving our hearts to God "work?" Or, is the work actually a spiritual battle?
Hi Brother, thanks for your reply, and I find it a mutual blessing being in fellowship with you in the Word!
The purpose of works are to manifest and glorify God (Jhn 15:8), thus they are used to identify those who are His. The difficulty is not in knowing this but in discerning (via God's Word and Spirit) which are works of the old nature or of the new nature.

For example, we desire God and want to give all our hearts, but from day to day, we can lose our zeal, for many spiritual or emotional reasons, thus spiritual battle.
I'm learning that though we desire to give God the entirety of ourselves, we can only give according what He works in us to give, and this is an unceasing progression which is accomplished by fellowship with the believers and study in His Word.

Many do not rest in the advantage of believing that the battle for our soul is permanently won through faith in Christ, but the progression of growing in the evidence of it is often delayed and it's this that discourages believers.

By prayer (speaking to God) and reading the Word (God speaking to us,) we learn that giving our hearts to God, He is actually doing the work on our behalf revealing His strength.
You are well centered here with this comment, and I think the below material (my favorite in all his books) is the same thing to which you are referring:

"Our Father is going to teach us, mainly through personal failure, that the life we live is the life of our Lord Jesus alone. The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’”

"The end of Christ's incarnation, death and resurrection was to prepare and form a holy nature and frame for us in Him, to be communicated to us by union and fellowship with Him; and not to be able to produce in ourselves the first originals of such a holy nature by our own endeavors.” - MJS