Romans 4:5 Not Work, But Faith

Walking On Water

However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. Romans 4:5

The majority of the people around the world like to earn what they get. They are willing to work in order to get something. Many do not want to just get something for free.

One challenge is that many people want a lot more for what they work for than what they actually deserve. People want a very large paycheck for a small amount of work, yet, they still want to be able to say that they worked for the paycheck.

There are also many who make the statement that a person will treasure what he works for more than what is just given to him. This implies that people must work more for the things that they want.

This type of thinking has also come into the thinking of many people in the church. People work very hard to be a “good” Christian. They will go to church, carry a Bible, quote a few good verses, don’t drink/smoke, and dress very nicely on Sunday. While none of these things are bad in and of themselves, none of them help a person with being righteous.

Righteousness, which is being right and holy before God, is only achieved by faith in God’s grace and mercy. It is faith in what Jesus has done for the person that makes a person righteous before God.

All of the actions that a believer does, should be done out of love for God and thankfulness for what Jesus has done for him. None of these actions need to be done to make a person righteous.

As a believer, you must have faith in the work Jesus has done for you. Having faith in God is putting your trust in Jesus. Trusting that Jesus has forgiven you and will save you.

While having that faith, you must work for God as though your salvation depended upon your own work. The works you do, do not earn your salvation, but prove that you are saved. It shows that you are grateful to God for what He has done for you.

As you are going through your life, stop working to earn your salvation from God. The price has already been paid. The work has already been done for you. Just trust God and live for Him.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will have faith in the work of Jesus; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus gives you; and that you no longer work for your salvation.   

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21 thoughts on “Romans 4:5 Not Work, But Faith

  1. Tom,
    We must not for get Paul’s exhortation in Phil 2:12 “so work out your salvation in fear and trembling.”
    We are God’s co-workers, and have a part to play in our salvation, albeit it is granted us solely through God’s grace, and we cannot earn or merit it.
    It is nevertheless God’s will that we do our part, forgive others, etc. If we don’t, we will not be forgiven either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tom,
    To be clear, we are moving away from a concept of “faith alone” here, and God’s will for us, and an adherence to and obedience to it to the end, which involves doing the things that Christ taught us, that is put his commandments into practice, becomes a requirement for salvation. (Like loving our neighbour (charity – a good work)).

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    • I believe that the scripture is the highest authority. Anything outside of scripture must line up with scripture. I believe that a person can be moved or guided by the Holy Spirit in unique ways, but never against scripture. The Holy Spirit always moves and acts in accordance with scripture.

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      • Tom,
        Here again we are not far apart in some ways.
        I fully agree with you that: “I believe that a person can be moved or guided by the Holy Spirit in unique ways, but never against scripture. The Holy Spirit always moves and acts in accordance with scripture.”
        I think that “Anything outside of scripture must line up with scripture. ” is a fair call, but subject to what I’ll say next.
        I agree with you that “scripture is the highest authority”. Where we will disagree is that Jesus has vested in the church the authority to interpret scripture (Matt 16 and 18 particularly), and that the development of doctrine (deriving from a greater understanding of scripture) is a process where there must always be congruence with Church Tradition, which is nothing else than developments in our understanding of scripture over the last 2000 years,

        Liked by 1 person

  3. (I managed to post an unfinished comment, I’m sorry.)
    and that the church has the authority to pronounce infallibly in matters of faith. (This happens very rarely, the official dogmas of the church only cover about 20 ares of doctrine over the last 2000 years, things like the Trinity, the nature of God, Jesus as Redeemer, Mary the Mother of the Redeemer, the nature of Grace, Justification, etc. )

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    • Overall I agree, though the “church” can make mistakes in determining dogma. Currently there are churches making changes and allowing sinful practices to be done and even promoted in the church. This is where the church may lose its authority. Believers in the church must be willing to hold each other accountable so that no one goes off to the left or right in interpretation. This does not always happen.

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      • Tom,
        I’m amazed how much we have in common. Of course, from a Catholic point of view, the church refers to the one, Catholic and Apostolic church, and therein lies the authority passed on by Jesus. All non Catholic Christians are connected to this Catholic church in varying degrees, especially through baptism. So that there is one truth and one teaching, not a myriad of opposing doctrines.

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      • True, we do have a lot in common, despite any differences. I have learned over the years that there are true believers in every denomination of church. The only thing that I am extremely dogmatic on for belief is belief that Jesus Christ died and rose again to take away our sins by faith. And that He will return some day to take all believers to heaven with Him. If anyone believes in this, then I believe he can be a true Christian. The rest is just methods that can vary to some degree or more. Such as how a person is baptized. Although a person’s life must show fruits of striving to live for and like Jesus. If there are no changes or fruit showing, I will question their salvation. Or if they try to teach something that is directly against a direct teaching in the Bible.

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      • Tom,
        I go with you all the way there, that is the foundation, but I am impelled to go further by Jesus’ words and actions.
        That he did found a church, his church, for which he prayed a unity that is like that between him and the father (John 17), that is perfect unity, to which he gave his authority, which s guided by the Holy Spirit, against which the gates of hell will not prevail, which has one faith, one baptism, “to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit…” Eph 4.
        We are called to nothing less.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you in the church as a whole, not one individual type of church, but the body of all believers regardless of what denomination or group they are with. That is the universal church. As believers we do need to strive to be one as Jesus was one with His Father. Sadly, most look to personal preferences and are not one as they are supposed to be. Or they look at the scriptures and interpret them differently, causing some division.

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      • Tom,
        I do believe that the problem starts with the reformation, where the individual, as opposed to the church as a whole, assumed the authority to interpret scripture on his own, as it says over and over in the book of Judges “every man did as he thought fit”, bringing division and discord.
        Historically the Catholic church dates back from the apostles, and what the early church taught it still teaches today, whereas the reformers’ doctrines were novel, were not taught, believed or practiced in the first 1500 years of Christianity.
        And the divisions continue unabated, some of these sects/denominations are barely recognisable as Christian any more.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry I just noticed this comment. There is some truth in the reformers did cause some division, though I also believe that God can guide individuals in correctly interpreting the Scripture.

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      • Clearly the Holy Spirit guides us to understand scripture, but we must in all matters of faith submit to the authority of the church. Otherwise our opinion (the ego) becomes the law. Everyday someone challenges his pastor on some issue and starts a new church, with a new doctrine which conflicts with that of his previous church. Thus there are thousands of Protestant denominations at odds on matters of doctrine and salvation. They cannot all be right, and to that extent are not under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
        The kind of unity that God seeks for his followers is illustrated in John 17:21, 23 where Jesus says: “21 May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.”
        “23 With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me.”
        Jesus wants his followers to be united as he himself is united to the Father, that is perfect unity. On this is predicated that “that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me” and that “that the world may believe it was you who sent me.”
        Jesus passed on his authority to the twelve apostles in Matt 18, and that includes the authority to interpret scripture, to the church, that is the church leadership, the apostles,( as well as in a particular way to their leader Peter, in Matt 16.)
        Any attempt to have private interpretation trump that of the church immediately causes division, which Paul warns us about in 1 Cor 1:10 “10 Brothers, I urge you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to have factions among yourselves but all to be in agreement in what you profess; so that you are perfectly united in your beliefs and judgements.”
        Paul speaks here of perfect unity in beliefs and judgements, not in supposedly “important” matters, which is just a euphemism and a pretext for disunity.
        Scripture is indeed the highest authority, and its interpretation rightly rests with the church, where Jesus’ authority lays, in those who have succeeded the apostles to this day, in the Catholic church.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with you. Someone must be wrong or at least in part wrong. The hard part is determining who in the church has the correct interpretation. Every one in the church is human and subject to fallibility. There needs to be a way to check the interpretation. If it rests on just a few men, it could be done wrong, leading many down the wrong path (not necessarily on purpose).

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      • Tom,
        It is easier for a Catholic. Jesus founded the church, it is his church, he gave it his authority (see previous) he said he would be with it till the end of time (Matt 28:20 “And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time”, that he would send the Holy Spirit to guide it. There is nothing in scripture prophesying a break in Jesus’ church, a split, a fracturing of it, the new testament writers call for unity, Jesus calls for unity, as much as the church needed reform in the 16th century (it always does), it was the wrong thing for the reformers to break from the church, no matter how many reasons are given for it, they are just excuses. People like you, and so Luther and Calvin, would have much more to contribute inside the church than being cut off from it. And by setting themselves apart, there is an inexorable logic that ensues, to castigate it for its perceived errors, to make an enemy of it, in fact, Protestantism is defined more by its antagonism to the Catholic church and its teachings than by any other measure. It is not possible to fully understand the church but from within. From the outside it’s like those who heard the parables of Jesus but did not have the advantage of Jesus explaining it as he did with the apostles. Misunderstandings and false conceptions abound.

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      • That is a way to look at it. Though I cannot agree with it. There are some things taught in the Catholic Church that I do not believe agrees with the teachings in the Bible. I do understand why you would believe that.

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      • Obviously that is a Catholic understanding.
        What would you say are the two or three teachings of the Catholic church as you understand them that you think are the most in disagreement with the teachings of the bible as you understand them?

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      • I am willing to answer this, but let’s please bring this offline. Please contact me with this question by my email contact on my site. Thank you.

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    • I appreciate your apology, but I was not offended in any way. I understand that we have some different views, and that is ok. We both have to answer in the end to God alone for our choices and views, not to each other. I believe you are sincere in your walk with God. And I hope to meet you either here on earth or in heaven some day. Many blessings Brother!

      Liked by 1 person

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