We are saved through God’s amazing grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Our part is to believe. All through Scripture, we have a part and that is to receive God’s grace through faith. This is not by works. But do our works matter? This study will help us to understand grace and how works fit in once we are saved.
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (Verse 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Verse 10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Saved by grace, for good works. Then the verse says, “created in Christ Jesus.” When we got saved, we are “created in Christ Jesus.” We are a “new creation.” And when we became a new creation, He created us for “good works.”
So will we be judged by grace or good works? Yes. For our salvation, are we judged by grace and works? No. However, will our works still be judged whether a believer or unbeliever? Yes.
Ecclesiastes 12:14 – For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.
Revelation 20:13 – The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
1 Peter 1:17 – And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourself throughout the time of your stay here in fear.
When we look at the Bible, we need to distinguish between our “belief” and our “behavior.” Our belief determines where we will spend our eternity. Our behavior determines how we will spend our eternity. In heaven, there will be responsibility for some which will come through our rewards based on the works done while living on earth.
In hell, there will be different degrees of punishment according to the works that were done while the person lived on the earth.
There will be two judgments: The Judgment Seat of Christ and the Great White Throne of judgment. Every person that is at the Judgment Seat of Christ is a believer. Every person that is at the Great White Throne judgment is there because of their unbelief. These judgments are not the place where it’s determined whether a person goes to heaven or hell. That is determined while a person is living on this earth before they die!
Every person needs to know this, but I don’t think it’s being preached enough in our churches today. Too many times in our services today, this is skipped over because it’s not a “good” feeling sermon and people are so offended by the negativity that they will leave and not come back.
However, I believe that every believer has a responsibility to tell others that there is a heaven and there is a hell. Where a person spends eternity is up to them while they live!
This next verse is written to believers: 2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
We need to be aware of this every day of our Christian life. Did we help others; did we treat people how we wished to be treated; did we follow what Jesus said, “Treat your neighbor as yourself;” were we putting others first? What I can never understand is why do Christians have to be told to be kind to others? I’ve met some rude hateful people that call themselves Christians. I have my doubts that they even know what a Christian is. The two don’t go together.
Some Christians have never read or even heard it in the church they go to: “We were created in Christ for good works!” Others should know who we represent without us having to tell someone they are Christians, so we need to act like it!
Jesus tells us to “store up treasures in heaven,” but unbelievers store up wrath. Which do you want to have waiting on you when the doors of eternity swing wide open?