The thread seems to be jumping quite a bit since yesterday but I wanted to respond to this . . .I used to preach the same thing . . . "You're saved by grace, but you maintain that salvation by works . . .." That was my statement . . . makes me cringe to think about it now.
To think that I 'must' maintain salvation by my own efforts is to say the cross was not enough . . .that it was not as "finished" as Christ said it was . . .and that it was incomplete.
The argument is not that I "must" manifest the outside works . . .the argument is the works manifest themselved "because" of my salvation on the inside . . .it's not about the activity on the outside . .the focus is the transformation that takes place on the inside.
The Gospel shouldn't be about what one must "do". It's about what has already been done. At least that's where I'm at with all of it.
The moment someone has asked for forgiveness and received Christ they have received forgiveness of their debts (sins). So at that point they are without imputed sin. But if they continue in sin they are worse off then if they hadn't been forgiven of their sins. Consider the parable of the Unforgiving Servant. The servant received forgiveness of his debt when he requested it but yet he went out and continued in the sin of unforgiving others of their debt to him and then suffered worse as a result of it. Therefore it is very important to endure till the end. So Salvation is very much about what must still be done. Now consider if the servant had received forgiveness for his debts then for him to go out and do GOOD works could not be because of debt but is because of agreement to the message of the King.
FOR ME- Its very much, a ""Reaping what we sow""
The Lord was Moved with (Mercy) and compassion upon the servant ,another who failed to do likewise to others who deserved the same ,
Mat 18:34 And his lord was wroth
, and delivered him to the tormentors
, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you,
if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Are Good works ,mercy and compassion to each man his Brother , well indeed it is.
you could say , he failed to FEAR God
.seems other failed in compassion and mercy, also failing to FEAR,
Jud 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Rom 3:13 Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:
Rom 3:14 Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness:
Rom 3:15 Their feet [are] swift to shed blood:
Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery [are] in their ways:
Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes( understanding).