“[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk NOT after the flesh, but after the SPIRIT.” (Romans 8:1)

” . . . Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his FAITH is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3-5)

“Knowing that a man is not JUSTIFIED by the works of the law, but by the FAITH of Jesus Christ. . . for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16)

“What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? . . . faith, IF IT HATH NOT WORKS, is dead, being alone.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith BY my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how FAITH WROUGHT WITH HIS WORKS, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. . . . For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith WITHOUT works is dead also.” (from James 2)

If we must work for our salvation, then God would owe it to us if we did a good job. However, we are NOT justified by the works of the LAW, for none of us is capable of perfectly keeping the law!

What hope of salvation have we then? We can be justified by faith in Jesus Christ.

There is a difference between belief and faith. Belief is a declaration that we agree that something is real or true. But faith, genuine living faith, is the guiding force of our life.

All the actions and decisions of our life spring not from what we believe, but what we believe IN (in other words, from our faith)! Our works, the way we live our life, will testify as to our faith. If our life reveals that we had our faith in God, then that faith will justify us.

‘Abraham believed God’ . . . in other words, Abraham lived a life of obedience to God–and not because he feared the LAW, but because he revered and had faith in the character of GOD.

This faith, in the character and promises of God, was counted to Abraham as righteousness . . . in spite of the fact that he, himself, was neither completely righteous nor perfect.

And here is how we can examine our own hearts:

Do we place our faith in the LAW . . . because we believe IT has the power to determine whether we should be condemned or justified? Is it the LAW that we fear and respect? Do we strive to know the LAW and obey IT completely? Is it the requirements of the LAW that we meditate on? Is it the LAW that we hold dear in our hearts? Is it the LAW that we judge ourselves by?

Or, do we place our faith in GOD, because HE is greater than the law? Do we realize that we can never completely, perfectly fulfill the law ? Do we realize that, even after doing all that we can, we still fall short of attaining the perfection that could justify us, under the law? Do we know that it is only the grace of GOD and the sacrifice of JESUS CHRIST that CAN fulfill the righteous requirements of the law? Do we trust in HIM to bridge that gap for us, when we come to the end of our righteousness and still fall short?

Is it JESUS CHRIST whom we place our faith in? Is it GOD whom we fear and respect? Is it GOD we strive to know and obey? Is it the requirements of GOD that we meditate on? Is it GOD whom we hold dear in our hearts?

We all have faith in something. Our faith gives birth to actions (works). Will our works demonstrate a faith that can justify us?

Other people may have a hard time discerning the difference between works done to please the law and works that spring from faith in God, but God knows the difference!

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