Archive for the ‘Deception’ Category

Body Building


Preparation for Work!

Our good friend Ray. S. has yet another thought from the ‘Ephesus Protocol’.

[Edited by: Phil. D.]

Passage:  Ephesians 4:1-16

Focus:  to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”  Ephesians 4:12

No—I won’t presume to settle here the debate over the practical relationship between grace, faith, and works that has been active within the Christian community for centuries.

But I do want to offer a few thoughts and observations that flow out of this passage that I believe speak to the extreme position of what I’m inclined to call extreme grace’.

There are those who choose to believe there is basically nothing they can do in or of themselves to receive and/or maintain their salvation.  For them it is totally accomplished by the grace of God.  license

I have beheld far too many cases where I think this spin becomes a form of ‘theological license’ for one to live the way he wants to live and still get in on all the benefits of salvation.  This view holds that once the gift of God’s grace is received there is nothing that can be done to revoke it.

In support of this persuasion, Ephesians 2:8-9 is often quoted.  Let me quote it here for our review.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by WORKS, so that no one can boast.”  They would say, “See…there it is.  Works have nothing to do with our salvation.”

Well, I think it is important to point out the technicality that the main idea of that statement has to do with the origin of the gift—pointing to the fact that works could never pay for it, win it, or deserve it.

Rules & regulations2It is not earned or realized by following a bunch of rules, memorizing a bunch of scriptures, or performing a bunch of good deeds.  While it is true that the gift of salvation is made available by God’s love and grace to which we respond in faith, this saving faith is much more than so much mental activity.

In fact, this faith is declared by James (James 2:14-26) to be dead and worthless without works—without practical responses and actions of obedience to the core purposes of the gift.

Furthermore, I think it’s helpful to give heed to the next verse following Ephesians 2:8-9—that is, verse 10.  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good WORKS, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  That seems to put things into a balanced perspective.

Our salvation is a gift of God’s grace that is specifically designed by God to equip and program the receiver to do good works.  So there may be some good works without salvation, but I can’t see valid support for a salvation without good works.

 Today’s reading carries some of the same emphasis.

  • Why has God instituted the ministry gifts within the Church? To prepare God’s people for WORKS OF SERVICE.”
  • And the purpose of it all?  So that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-13).

Even the last word of the last verse of today’s reading is the word WORKFrom him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its WORK.”

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“The word EASY’ only appears once in the New Testament,

and then in connection with the YOKE’.” (Matthew 11:29-30)

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