"NOT OF WORKS!"          Ephesians 2:9

Don Fortner


     Grace, salvation and eternal life in Christ are altogether independent of the works of men. This fact should be obvious to anyone, whose mind has not been perverted by false religion. Even the best works of the best of men, performed in the best manner possible, are entirely without merit before God. All the works of unregenerate men and women, their best deeds of charity, benevolence and religious duty, are utterly abhorrent to a holy God (Isa. 64:6; Phil. 3:4-9; Luke 16:15). So far are our works from being meritorious with God that even our most costly and deligently performed deeds of religious devotion, in and of themselves, can only provoke the wrath of God upon us (Isa. 1:11-14; 66:1-4).

     In order for our works to be meritorious with God, deserving of his favor or obligating him to be merciful, they would have to be profitable and beneficial to God; and that is impossible (Job 22:2; 35:7; Psa. 16:2). Does God lack anything? Can man, God's fallen creature, give his Maker anything, or contribute anything to his Creator's happiness, majesty, glory and satisfaction? Preposterous! How then does any man hope to place the infinite, eternal God under obligation by his works?

     Our works can never earn anything from God, simply because perfect obedience is due to God; and we cannot expect God to reward us for doing imperfectly what we are duty bound to do perfectly (Luke 17:10).

     The works of men cannot be meritorious with God, because God himself gives us the strength to perform them (John 15:5). We cannot expect God to reward us for what God himself performs in us and through us.

     And the works of men cannot be meritorious with God, because there is no proportion between the works of men and the merciful favor of God. Can austerity of life make atonement for sin? Can tithe money purchase the bliss of heaven? Can eternal life be earned by dead ritualism? Can mercy be won by mortification? Can salvation be gained by separation? Can heavenly rewards be earned by earthly labor? Nonsense! See that you clearly understand this fundamental truth taught throughout the Word of God: Good works have absolutely nothing to do with the accomplishment, preservation, or consummation of salvation.