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SALVATION QUESTION 39
If salvation is not by works, what does Matthew 7:21 mean, when is says " Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father?" Does this not teach works?
To find the meaning of this verse one must know what is meant by "the will of the Father." There are many verses that definitely say that salvation is "not by works." Ephesians 2:9 "Not by works, lest any man should boast." Romans 4:5 "Now to him that worketh not, but believeth." Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but by His mercy He saved us." Works follow salvation, but they are not the means of obtaining eternal life. The will of the Father is clearly stated in relationship to the "Lord." In John 6:40 quote, "And this is the will of Him that sent me, that everyone that seeth the Son, AND BELIEVETH ON HIM may have everlasting life." The word "seeth" means to "view attentively, consider carefully." The phrase "believe on" means "an action toward the object." He also said in the same chapter that, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent," John 6:29
This kind of saving faith in the Son of God produces works in us. We are "created unto good works," Ephesians 2:10. Where there is real faith there will be work; but it is not the works that merit eternal life.
Do you have faith in the Son of God? Do works accompany your salvation? James says "faith without works is dead," James 2:26. He does not mean that "works and faith saves, but that faith works in your life. Does it work in yours? Genuine faith will manifest itself in "good works"
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated July 2009, by Shelly Allen