The respective roles of faith and works in a believer’s life are intriguing. We know that it is by grace that we are saved, through faith, and not based on any merit on our part or by any amount of good works that we might perform, so that no one can boast. Salvation is wholly a gift of God — an unmerited gift. After all, how could we earn salvation? For we realize that before being saved we were dead in our transgressions and sins, following the ways of this world and the evil one who works in those who are disobedient. Now, if we were indeed dead, and we were, then how could we have done anything to save ourselves. Only God, because of His goodness and mercy, could make us alive. Yet, we know that faith, all on its own, is dead and ineffective. So, in God’s economy these must work together. They are complimentary. I just ran across the following little devotional by Charles Spurgeon which addresses the issue in a beautiful and easily understood manner. I hope you enjoy it. Incidentally, if you have not previously come across Spurgeon’s work you may enjoy checking him out at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Spurgeon. rmf
Living and Walking in the Spirit
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
The two most important things in our holy religion are the life of faith and the walk of faith. He who shall rightly understand these is not far from being a master in experimental theology, for they are vital points to a Christian. You will never find true faith unattended by true godliness; on the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life which has not for its root a living faith upon the righteousness of Christ. Woe unto those who seek after the one without the other! There are some who cultivate faith and forget holiness; these may be very high in orthodoxy, but they shall be very deep in condemnation, for they hold the truth in unrighteousness; and there are others who have strained after holiness of life, but have denied the faith, like the Pharisees of old, of whom the Master said, they were “whitewashed sepulchres.” We must have faith, for this is the foundation; we must have holiness of life, for this is the superstructure. Of what service is the mere foundation of a building to a man in the day of tempest? Can he hide himself therein? He wants a house to cover him, as well as a foundation for that house. Even so we need the superstructure of spiritual life if we would have comfort in the day of doubt. But seek not a holy life without faith, for that would be to erect a house which can afford no permanent shelter, because it has no foundation on a rock. Let faith and life be put together, and, like the two abutments of an arch, they will make our piety enduring. Like light and heat streaming from the same sun, they are alike full of blessing. Like the two pillars of the temple, they are for glory and for beauty. They are two streams from the fountain of grace; two lamps lit with holy fire; two olive trees watered by heavenly care. O Lord, give us this day life within, and it will reveal itself without to thy glory.