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How God Actually Works by Dr. J.T. Parish

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How God Actually Works

Man is not entitled to his opinion of how God ought to work. We do have the responsibility to study the scriptures to determine how God actually does work. One misunderstanding many people have concerns the grace of God. It is a fallacy that often is taught to us from childhood. A well-meaning parent or Sunday School teacher says, “If you are good boys and girls you will go to Heaven when you die.” “Bad boys and girls go to Hell when they die.” This is the opinion of many and seems reasonable. It is our opinion of the way it ought to be. But it is an error, a fatal error, an eternal error.

It leads to the belief that salvation is earned by our works or behavior. A man once said to me “If we keep the Ten Commandments we will surely be saved.” I pointed out to him that in the first place no one except Jesus has ever perfectly kept the Commandments and that we only have one Savior, Jesus Christ – not the Ten Commandments.

The scriptures teach that a religious, moral man, Nicodemus, came to Jesus and Jesus told him he must be born again. His religion and his morality would not gain him entrance into the Kingdom of God. The scriptures are clear: you are saved by grace through faith and not by works. It is God’s unmerited favor given to us, and received by faith that gives us eternal life.

The scriptures go on to tell us we are created as new creatures in Christ in order to do good works. Our good works are a result of salvation and have nothing to do with procuring salvation. Personal merit has nothing to do with it. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. All the merit belongs to Jesus. His death on the cross purchased our salvation. His righteousness is given to us. Our trust is in His merit, not ours.

We should never try to exalt our opinions above God’s word. We need to say with King David, “Show me Thy ways, O Lord; Teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth, for Thou art the God of my salvation…” Psalm 25:4-5

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