Workings of Man and God

A word to those who have been appointed to prepare the church.
Eph 4:11-13
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, 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.

The works of natural man are as filthy rags to God.

Isa 64:6 "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."

God will provide the spiritual man to do good works.
Phil 2:13 "...for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."


Old Man (Flesh) and New Man (Spiritual)
The Bible teaches that a New Christian should crave spiritual milk, yet warns of the danger in remaining or teaching to "live on spiritual milk." The Christian or new creation is spiritual man, not the rebellious man before Grace. Maturity in faith then requires going beyond "the milk" in teaching, and into the "meat" or deeper truths of God.
Teaching new Christians that they are saved by Grace apart from Law is correct, but only partially correct, and here without completing Gods word error might be imparted. By the very mention of Works, the relationship of "law and works" must be clarified, also as important the relationship of "grace and works" most certainly concerning the new man or new spiritual man called now Christian most certainly needs be understood. Teaching and concentrating only on one of these works concerning the man yet living in sin nature might lead to error of understanding, for we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
Consider this important truth, you are no longer teaching carnal man before grace from God, you are teaching the spiritual (new) man who has many important works God has prepared for them from the beginning of time. Indeed, faith without works is dead and useless, as we are told in James 2:26 "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." We can only use what we have from God, not what we do not have, gift's from God bear good fruit or works of righteousness only if planted and grow into fruition called maturity.
So often it is taught that through faith, Abraham in believing God was accredited as righteousness, forgetting to follow through with the Lords full teaching. Yes, salvation is acceptance of Gods promised Grace through Christ, but salvation without works is as empty as the works of straw and twigs. As scripture tells us in James 2:20-24 "You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."
Do not believe or teach that our faith will not be tested, we are warned about the test by fire in 1 Cor 3:13-15 "If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." Error taught to a new Christian babe is doubly hard to correct, this manner of teaching is in truth denying the reward they will receive until the teaching error can be corrected.
About these works it is true we can build on no foundation that is not laid out by the Lord, yet it will be by our works according to the Lord for which we shall receive reward. Indeed from the beginning it is God who works within us that we may will and act according to His good purpose. Were there no purpose of God, or need of these works, we would not be assured that our labor will not be in vain.
Understand that when you teach the new (spiritual) man, you are no longer teaching the unbeliever or old man of flesh, those who must be told they cannot earn grace through works. Instead you are teaching the new spiritual man, the babe in Christ, who very likely still uses old world wisdom and knowledge, not being spiritually mature and as such not using Gods wisdom and knowledge. So then teach the new man, using wisdom and knowledge of God, impart understanding that God has given each a measure of faith. But do not stop there, it is very important you continue and teach that our Lord has established a work and purpose for each. Do not mislead, do not lead the babe of the Lord astray, by telling these new Christians our Lord has no desire or need of their works.
Understand and teach spiritual man how faith and works are essential parts of each other, as the Bible teaches about Abraham in James 2:23-24 "And the scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,' and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone." So the works done for self glorifies self, but works done according to the will of God glorifies God. This is made clear in Heb 13:20-21 "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

We must trust in the Lord to provide...

John 6:28-29 "Then they asked him, What must we do to do the works God requires? Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Matt 3:9-10 "And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

Phil 2:12-13 "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

John 14:10-12 "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father."

Eph 2:10 "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

2 Cor 9:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

Heb 6:1-3 "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so."

2 Tim 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

1 Cor 3:11-16 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?"

2 Cor 8:13-15 "Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little."

James 2:17-19 "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-- and shudder."

Matt 25:34-40 "Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

John 6:27-29 "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. Then they asked him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?' Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

Col 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

John 7:18 "He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him."

Matt 6:1-6 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Luke 8:15-16 "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light."

Eph 3:16-21 "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

John 9:4-5 "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."


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