For years I struggled to do enough good works to make myself acceptable to God. I was under the false impression that my good works would somehow make up for the sins I committed. I tried to be a good person in my flesh and do good works to be saved because so many "Christian" denominations used a persons behavior as the ruler of whether that person was going to heaven or not.
I cannot tell you how hard I tried in myself and failed as I knew internally-through the small still voice of The Holy Spirit- that I was not getting it and the harder I worked the less pleased with the results I was. The more I tried the worse it became, because I could never stop sinning and for every good work I did, I committed at least a 100 sins. I was hopeless and hoped God would judge me on a sliding scale based upon my works being better than some others works and therefore be acceptable.
I lived like that for years because I had the false hope in God's mercy not being demanding of justice being done. I had even convinced myself of it, because I thought no-one is perfect and all these religious leaders through the years have preached a works based salvation, there must be something to it.
There is something to it, a lie to lead us away from Christ and into their traps, whether set intentionally or ignorantly does not matter to the ensnared who are trapped and perish because of it. So being ensnared in that trap I found myself dying spiritually and The Holy Spirit was being quenched by my flesh and the comfort of accepting a lie was becoming the web I allowed to be spun around me.
I cried out from the darkness as my soul was wearied of living-actually dying- in the sin and asked for God's direction to lead me from this place of dryness and the desertion of Christ's path.
I started re-reading the Bible and and asking for the discernment from Him through The Holy Spirit. As I read the Old Testament again I was given fresh understanding and it was revealed that the Old Testament was the Promise of God and the New Testament the fullfilment of that Promise through Christ His Son. Oh yes there are many examples of behaviors given so we can understand the difference between the ways of man and The Way of God.
So many in the Old Testament lived by the laws are judged by that law. Yet even then the real salvation was in the faith that God will always do as He said He would do. The animal sacrifices were just a picture of the blood and the cost of sin, not meant as a ritual, but as the belief in God's promise to forgive us if we have faith in His Way. To remind us that His Way is not our way, and we cannot get to Him our way, but only through His Way.
The Jews were very religious and wanted to do the works of God to be acceptable to Him, they understood that His work was the most important thing a person could do in their lives and that we were and are created to do God's work.
With that in mind I offer these two verses as a way that Christ offered understanding to those who want to do God's work.
Jesus Christ is telling them He is the Messiah and only through Him is the work of God done. He is telling them that all they do in the flesh means nothing without believing in Him, for works without faith is dead.
Look at the verses prior to and after this and see where He speaks of being the bread of life, and how they seek the bread to feed the flesh and understand that He is saying He is the food we need.
John 6:22-27 and 30-40
22 On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone- 23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks- 24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" 26 Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
32 Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
He is telling us He is The Way and there is no other way, there is no amount of works in the flesh that will make us acceptable, nor is there any way we may perfectly keep God's law except through Him.
To many believe that we have to do physical works in order to gain acceptance. We do phyicals works because we have His acceptance and are working in Him, because we are saved, not to be saved.
He already saved us. Remember when He said it is finished on the cross. He finished the work needed for our salvation, we just accept it, repent, and turn to Him allowing Him to change us and we do works in Him as we are called by Him to do. He has provided us with the talents He will have us use for His will to be done and we use them in Him to glorify Him not ourselves.
Thus we do His work through being in Him and the works are of Him and not of ourselves, for there is no need for us to work for salvation, He already did it all.
Now I know this will upset some who think by their works they are made righteous. I'd rather they be upset now and know the Truth, than to face the Truth later and be sorry that they didn't have it laid out for them in a way they could understand. Because we are responsible for our decisions.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:10 you will find this verse which is often cited as a call that the lazy should not be fed.
Now compare that to what Christ taught about what the work of God is and remember He said he is the bread of life.
Now the verses 3:6-15
Notice the difference the full message gives and that it is about believers.
6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; 8 nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, 9 not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
Can you see how the religious twist this verse to be a works oriented piece of scripture when it is not. It is speaking about believers who refuse to work because they think others should support them. They become busy bodies spreading rumors and lies trying to create dissenscion within the body of Christ. It is not speaking of the non believers, it is speaking of those who claim to believe and yet turn from the teaching of Christ and will not do His work, which is whatever He calls them to do. Just as Paul had disagreements with the other Apostles over what he was called to do, we will have disagreements as to what we are called to do.
Follow the calling of The Holy Spirit and do not let man or woman dissuade you from His call. For you follow Christ, not men or women.
Thanks for allowing me to share this with you my brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those who are reading it for their own reasons.
Thank You Lord Jesus Christ for Your Love and Mercy and Your forgiveness of our sins paid for on the cross.