Now I read an interesting post recently about faith and works recently entitled "The Hole Gospel: How faith killed works" and it got me thinking about a post I did once before on a similar theme, and I thought I would try and revisit it here.
In the Old Testament, we see GOD calling the Israelites out of Egypt, and promising to be their GOD. Then, once they have accepted him, he gives them all the rules to follow. Oh boy but there are rules ,and rules. And sub-rules, and exceptions. But these rules do not make the people worthy of salvation, GOD chose to save them first. Then, once he has given them salvation, he gives them the rules, not for them to earn their salvation, but for them to try and become worthy of it: A way for them to sanctify themselves, and approach him clean.
I guess the same thing with Jesus. He came to save us first, and then after his death and resurrection we are given the various 'rules' that we need to follow in order to make ourselves more 'holy'. These are ways to thank him by trying to live lives he would be proud of, not an effort to 'earn' the salvation he offered.
Ephesians 2:8 " For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's gift, so that no one can boast about it. "
To quote a cliché; we are not saved by good works, but for good works.
Because the chapter of course continues with Ephesians 2:10 "God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do."