Gary Wilkerson wrote the following in the June 3, 2013 issue of the Pulpit Series: “I have a default system at work in me. It’s a reflex that springs into motion whenever I fall short in my walk with the Lord. I’m talking about my tendency to turn to works rather than to God’s incredible grace to reestablish my standing with Him.”
The question of grace and works has been a long standing issue of tension for believers. An extreme emphasis on grace can lead to laziness and lax living. It should not be so, but some do abuse grace to that extent. The constant call to more works can cause feelings of guilt for not working enough, or a sense of self-righteousness for being such as hard worker.
Where does one find balance? The Scriptures are clear, but the application is sometimes blurred. In writing to Titus, the following truth is penned by the Apostle Paul: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, teaching us to renounce impiety and worldly lusts, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:11-13)
The application is that we must allow the grace that saves us to also be the grace that teaches us. We must settle once and for all that no amount of good works could ever save anyone. It is by grace and grace alone that we are saved. Equally, we must also settle once and for all that we do have God ordained responsibilities to fulfill. Our lives are to be lived with self-control. We are to live with hope of eternal life. While we wait for Christ’s return, we are to live with a willingness to serve Christ and his church.
– Terry A. Morrison