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Cross Words: A Working Faith
Each of the Apostle Paul’s Epistles is divided into two distinct halves. The first half of his letters explain what we are to believe. The second half is an exhoratation on how we are to behave. In other words, the Christian’s duty is always nipping at the heels of the Christian’s doctrine.
Paul’s letters are uniquely crafted in this manner so that believers understand that they are supposed to do more than just believe. We are called to not only work out our faith (Phil. 2:12), but to also express our faith by way of our works. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10).
Now let’s make one thing perfectly clear. We cannot be saved regardless of how many “good works” we perform. Salvation only comes when we repent of our sins and express our faith in Christ. That seals the deal so to speak and secures our eternal relationship with God. However, if in fact we have made that profession there should be a radical change in our behavior.
You may ask the question, “If I’m saved apart from anything I do, why do I have to do anything once I’m saved? Can’t I just keep living the way I used to?” The answer is no for a couple of reasons.
First off, if you have been spiritually reborn you should have a desire to act in such a way that is pleasing to God. If God has spared your soul, you should feel compelled to offer him your body out of gratitude. Secondly,when a person becomes a believer the Holy Spirit enters into that individual, changing their very nature. And when someone’s nature changes (if indeed it has) their actions automatically follow suit.
All this begs the question, can a person be saved and not live any differently than they always have? I don’t think it would be humanly possible and besides that, why would they want to?  “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17).

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