Bless you, but I'm afraid I can't take any credit for those particular insights, because I think there's a much bigger context.
Hopefully your thread isn't being hijacked Shawn. If you intended it to go in a different specific direction, just mention it and we can split this off.
We've had discussions on this before, and I guess people have argued about it for hundreds of years. Since I posted the scriptures, I feel some responsibility to at least present my understanding, although I know I also have much to learn.
IMO, what mainstream misses is that ALL will be saved, each in their own order. They don't have the view of God's plan for the ages.
The scripture I posted is translated a little differently than most; most read similar to to this - "but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him." As I understand
, we cannot work righteousness unless we are led by the Spirit, and we ("generally") aren't led by the Spirit unless we're reborn, filled with ,and walking in the Spirit
. Even as a believer, I believe I can do works of my flesh (trying to be good, righteous, earning things through my own effort) that aren't "acceptable to God" - I must be led by the Spirit, having the Spirit do works through
I believe, in attempting to take into the "whole" of scripture - including taking things in context - that we are in fact
only saved by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves
lest any should boast; Eph 2:8
that there is only one way to the Father, and that's through His Son, Jesus the Christ Jn 14:6 - and that we can only come when He draws us;
that works cannot save us (the Law never could) - Paul said when we start depending on works, then we've "fallen from grace"; Gal. 5:4
however, that when one does come to know Jesus, we then become "a new creature, old things are passing away, and behold all things are becoming new";
so, there are
good works that occur as a result
of the new spiritual birth, and those will be evident as a believer develops and matures; because we "are predestined from the foundation of the world to good works - Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.";
however, there does appear to some to be a judgment of works, even among (maybe especially
among) believers; that it's not a "salvation"-type judgment, but more so consequences
/works not of God burned/rewards, etc.
------------------------------------------------------------[As a point of perhaps further understanding/explanation, (and is probably s/w controversial to some) part of the discussion in the past has centered on Peter and James being circumcised Jewish believers, who still had vestiges of the Law in their thinking and teaching, while Paul was the dispatched envoy to the Gentiles; and as such, brought to them (us) the evangel of "total" grace. And that though all are saved by grace, including those early Jewish believers, they still had some customs and beliefs that were associated with the Law, temple worship, etc., that Paul's "progressive revelation" and teachings clarified as time went on.]*Even if one rejects the bracketed paragraph above
about Peter, Paul, and James' focus, I don't believe all the understanding hinges on that anyway; as I think it's extremely important
to look at the overall view of the scriptures, reconciling verses with one another, and not just pulling out a particular piece and building a doctrine on it. So IMO, in attempting to do so, we're saved by grace through the cross and saving blood of Yesu, and works will be a result
), as the Spirit moves in and through us.
Some of my thoughts anyway, James.