All Our Works
Isaiah 26:12 ESV
“O Lord, you will ordain peace for us,
for you have indeed done for us all our works.”
God the Father sent Jesus Christ (God the Son) to the earth to live from birth to manhood, to minister to the physically and spiritually sick and hungry, to heal the sick and afflicted, to raise the dead, to deliver people from demons, to comfort the sorrowful, and to preach repentance for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God.
He also sent him to the earth to die on a cross for our sins and to be resurrected from the dead in victory over sin, death, Satan, and hell (1). For, he who knew no sin became sin for us on that cross that we might become the righteousness of God. And he died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (2 Co 5:21; 1 Pet 2:24).
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Php 2:12-13 ESV).
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).
It is only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ that any of us can be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God. It is only because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and because the Father first draws us to Christ, that any of us can be in Christ and be forgiven our sins. Not one of us can bring about our own salvation (Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2).
But this doesn’t mean that Jesus does everything and that we do nothing. It just means that the work of salvation that he has wrought in our hearts and lives comes from him and not from ourselves and that there is nothing within us, in our own flesh, which will ever be good enough to earn or to deserve our own salvation. It all comes from God.
But the work of salvation that Jesus wrought in us is not just forgiveness of sins so that when we die we can go to heaven. He died that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who WALK not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
When we believe in Jesus with God-given faith we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are reborn of the Spirit of God to newness of life in Christ, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The old has gone, the new has come. Our old self was crucified with him so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin but to righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
So, our salvation comes from God from start to finish. But when we believe in Jesus, and the Spirit comes to live within us, he empowers us to live holy lives, pleasing to God. He strengthens us to walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and to forsake our sins to follow our Lord in obedience. So, we have to repent and obey, but it is God who works in us both to will and to work for his good pleasure. No glory to us!
They Will Not Live!
Isaiah 26:13-14 ESV
“O Lord our God,
other lords besides you have ruled over us,
but your name alone we bring to remembrance.
They are dead, they will not live;
they are shades, they will not arise;
to that end you have visited them with destruction
and wiped out all remembrance of them.”
Before we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, we are dead in our sins, and we all fall short of attaining God’s divine approval. Before salvation from sin we are still under the control of sin, the flesh, and Satan (other gods).
But, when we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ, and we submit to him as Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and we leave our lifestyles of sin behind us to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands, by God’s grace, Jesus delivers us from our bondage to sin, and death no longer has dominion over us, and sin is to have no more dominion over us.
So, we are to no longer sin. It doesn’t mean we will never sin or that we cannot ever sin (1 Jn 2:1-2), but that sin is to no longer be our master. We are to no longer live in sin. Sin should no longer be our practice. For we are slaves to the one we obey, and if it be sin, it will end in death, but if it be obedience, it leads to righteousness, sanctification, and eternal life.
[Rom 3:23; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24]
He Has Increased the Nation
Isaiah 26:15 ESV
“But you have increased the nation, O Lord,
you have increased the nation; you are glorified.”
Not only does our salvation from sin come from the Lord, but our walks of faith in Jesus Christ come from the Lord, and they are empowered by God’s Spirit who works in us to change us and to conform us to be like Jesus as we submit to Christ as Lord to do his will.
Therefore, if we have died with Christ to sin so that we might live to Christ and to his righteousness, we are now able, by God’s grace, and in his power, to live no longer according to the flesh but now according to the Spirit. But if we do not do this, but we continue to set our minds on the flesh and not on the Spirit, then we don’t have eternal life with God. We will die in our sins.
For we are all going to be judged by our works. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. If sin is what we practice, we will die in our sins, but if righteousness is what we practice, then we have eternal life with God.
So, this isn’t us earning or deserving our own salvation by our own flesh. This is the working of God’s Spirit in us from start to finish.
But the work of God’s Spirit in us is him changing our hearts to be like Jesus, and it is delivering us from our slavery to sin that we might be slaves of God and of his righteousness, and it is that God condemned sin in the flesh in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who WALK not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:7; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
Before the Throne of God Above
Charitie L. Bancroft
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is “Love,”
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart,
I know that while in heav’n He stands,
No tongue can bed me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God, the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there! The risen Lamb,
My perfect, spotless Righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
The King of glory and of grace!
One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased with His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ, My Savior and my God.