By Pastor Doug Bankson
Let me make what may seem like a controversial statement to many Christians today:
Grace does not free us from works, it frees us from being justified by our works.
We hear it in many of the most popular Christian songs, mostly sung by baby Christians where doctrine is concerned. Don’t get me wrong, grace is a most wonderful thing, but if misapplied and misunderstood, it can be used to excuse carnality rather than free us from carnality.
Consider the following direct from scripture:
“For we are saved by grace through faith; and that not of ourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8-9
Most probably recognize that verse as it is a bedrock of our faith concerning salvation. But read the very next verse:
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10
Grace is thus understood, “I am not accepted by what I do, but rather I do what I do because I’ve been accepted.”
And Paul goes even further when he says,
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Cor. 15:10
We see here he said that by this grace he labored more abundantly.
So we can conclude that grace is neither an excuse to sin or be lazy, but rather the motivation to do even more for the one who saved us from our sins! We are not saved from works, but from being justified by our works, so we can produce good works in Him.
Now that we are free, let’s get to work!
Doug Bankson is the lead pastor at Victory Church World Outreach. He is also the Apopka Vice Mayor and a city commissioner.