There is a point where the Doctrine of Justification and its relationship to
good works can be compared to marriage.
There may be more than one point, but only one point of comparison
will be presented at this time.
First, the Doctrine of Justification as presented in
the Bible teaches us that people are justified, that is, declared righteous
through faith in Christ. Galatians
2:16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by
the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we
might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law:
for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
word of God creates faith in Christ. Romans
10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of
Secondly, faith produces good works like a fruit tree
produces fruit. Ephesians 2:8:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it
is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are
his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath
before ordained that we should walk in them.” Matthew 5:16: “Let your
light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven.”
There are many, many verses in the Bible that maintain
this relationship of Justification by faith and not by works.
Yet, there maybe even more religious denominations, while claiming to
follow the Bible, they insist that good works count towards salvation.
In other words, God should love us because we’ve done so many good
works for Him.
Yet, it is almost universally accepted that a man and a
woman should marry because they love each other, not because of what they
can do for each other. Every
soap opera viewer knows that a marriage based on gratitude instead of love
is destined for failure. We know
what’s coming when the actor says, “He or she as done so much for me,
and I’m so grateful.” There
will soon be a third party in the script with whom they have an
uncontrolled, emotional attachment.
Also, a couple that keeps track of how many good works
they do for each other is destined for conflict.
No completed list of good works can substitute for true love.
Yes, husbands and wives should serve each other but
this is not enough of a reason to go to the courthouse for a lifetime
license if their service to each other is not motivated by love.
The poets, philosophers, marriage counselors, and
Hollywood, all know that love doesn’t keep a record.
Yet, it is almost universally accepted, outside of the
Bible, that God should love us because our good works for Him.
We don’t accept lists of good works from each other as basis for a
relationship but God is supposed to accept our list of what we have done for
Those who rely on good works for God’s approval are
saying, “Oh God, you know how much I’ve done for you.
That is why you love me.”
Those who rely on faith alone for salvation are saying,
“Oh God, I know how much you love me, because Christ saved me before I did
anything for you. My works for
you are motivated by love not paybacks.”
How could husbands and wives ever pay each other back
for their love, much less we pay God back for Christ?
John says, “God so loved the world” but John never says why.