Cashing the Check



by: Robert Duffrin (@bob_duffrin)


Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:3 (KJV) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV)
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

One common answer that I have received when pointing out the flaw of works’ righteousness to Catholics, JW’s, and Judaisers is that in their performance of works for salvation they are “cashing the check” for salvation.

The problem remains that Eph 2:8-9 clearly identifies FAITH as the necessary “cashing of the check,” and clearly distinguishes that from works. True, works are a necessary evidence (or “fruit”) of faith, but the motive for these works being FROM salvation– as opposed to FOR salvation– is an essential distinction.

For instance, bad people can still do good things, but as a result of bad motives. Is there a fundamental difference between a child telling his parents he loves them out of genuine affection for them, as opposed to saying it as a tool to manipulate them into getting his way? Of course there is. The actions are the same, but the motives are different.

Matthew 7:21-23 describes this. (KJV) [21] Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Furthermore, Isaiah 64:6 tells us that we all have become unclean, and all of our good deeds are like filthy rags before Him. Gal 2:21 asserts that if righteousness came through works then Christ died needlessly.

Gal 3:24 clearly states that the Law is a tutor to lead us to Christ. It is in that context that we see our desperate need for a Savior, and in response to the gospel that we would cry out to Him in repentance– not in trying to make a deal with Him, but in gratitude that He would stand in our place.

Romans 5:7-8 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

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One Comment on “Cashing the Check”

  1. Jason Says:

    Amen. Further, apart from Christ, is there such a thing as a “good” man or woman? Perhaps, according to this world’s definition of “good”, some would be considered “good”. But, according to the God’s standard of righteousness, none are good (see Romans 3:9b-18)
    I think that trying to please God through works is not only unBiblical, but just plain unreasonable. I mean, who can say that God owes anyone anything (see Hebrews 11:6) Anything we have, any resource available to us, even the air we breathe & the pulse that spurs our heart to beat, comes from God! Everything belongs to God, & all glory & honor belong to Him! (see Psalm 24:1)
    The problem is, the simple act of realizing that none can do right apart from God requires the :”blinders” to be removed (see 2 Corinthians 4:4). Unless the light of Christ shines in someones heart, they will continue to “exchange the truth of God for a lie” and serve & worship “the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed [q]forever. Amen.” ( see Romans 1:25).
    )? Yet, even: “…while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6 NASB). So, works isn’t a MEANS TO salvation, but PROOF OF salvation.


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