Mini Manna: By Grace Through Living Faith

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
~~ Ephesians 2:8-9

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
~~ James 2:24

Are these two passages contradictory?

The two passages are not really in conflict, because James and Paul were each talking about two different kinds of works and emphasizing different aspects of salvation.

Paul emphasized that the grace of God saves, and man cannot earn his salvation by merit. The fact that God’s grace saves, does not relieve us of the responsibility to obey God in order to receive the benefits of that grace.

We are saved by many things:

  • “For in this hope we were saved” (Romans 8:24).
  • “…he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” (Hebrews 5:9)
  • “… the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
  • “and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also…” (1 Peter 3:21).

All of these save because salvation is “by grace through faith” . That faith is a Living Faith.

A living faith is a faith that works, that obeys the commands of Christ. When we let God’s love flow around us, cover us and support us it leads us to a living faith. A living faith manifested through the “fruit of the spirit“: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

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