"Nevertheless, Jesus clearly indicated that He will judge the
> reality and the quality of our faith by the good works it produces." And
he goes on to cite the parable in Matt. 25:31ff.
I agree, and I add to that important passage Eph. 2:10. So often I hear
Eph. 2:8-9 quoted, without 10, as a passage against good works, as if they
are something a Christian shouldn't do. I mean it. Some of my former
conservative and fundamentalist students would talk about works as if they
thought works were radioactive. But verse 10 is an integral part of the
thought of Paul here, and completes the thought: "For we are what he has
made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared
beforehand to be our way of life." If Christianity is the Way, it is a way
of good works.
----- Original Message -----
To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>; <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 1:13 AM
Subject: Re: Adam and Eve
> Dick asked: So what would be your assumption for men with souls who lived
> a hundred thousand years before Adam, thumb up or thumb down?
> I answered: The same as my assumption for all the billions of men who have
> never heard of God's means for our salvation who have lived in the
> of years since Adam, Christ will judge them based upon their works and
> Dick responded: We are saved by grace not judged by works, but I bet you
> Of course I did, Dick. I was not referring to the basis by which "we" will
> judged. I was clearly referring to the basis by which those who have never
> heard the gospel message will be judged. They will not be judged by their
> faith, for as Paul wrote to the Romans, "How can they believe in the one
> whom they have not heard? ... Consequently, faith comes from hearing the
> message." (Rom. 10:14,17)
> However, as Christians we should keep in mind that the way in which our
> may be judged will also have a lot to do with our works. For, as James
> "Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." A saving
> faith is more than merely a strong belief in God and Christ. For as James
> also wrote, "Even the demons believe - and tremble." (James 2:17,19) Yes,
> will be judged by our faith. But a real live faith produces good works, as
> surely as a real fire produces heat.
> Of course, no amount of good works can possibly earn us God's forgiveness
> our sins. When it comes to the value of good works being able to buy us
> forgiveness for our sins, "All our righteous acts are like filthy rags."
> (Isaiah 64:6) Nevertheless, Jesus clearly indicated that He will judge the
> reality and the quality of our faith by the good works it produces. Christ
> said He will one day separate all those who call Him "Lord," just as a
> shepherd separates sheep from goats. And Christ said He will then
> who among those who call Him their "Lord" will receive "eternal life," and
> who among them will receive "eternal punishment," based on the acts of
> kindness they had shown to others. Jesus made this quite clear. (Matt.
> I believe God made Christ's story of "the sheep and the goats" and James'
> letter on faith and works a part of the Bible for an important reason. I
> think we ignore them at our peril.
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