works of faith

Are your deeds incomplete?

February 13, 2019 // 48 Comments

If Christians are worn out, it is for one of two reasons: (1) they don’t know how much their Father loves them and (2) they have an unbiblical definition of work. Hey, I’m not judging anyone here. When it comes to overwork, I’m guilty as sin. I’m a workaholic who regularly pushes himself past breaking [...]

What does it mean to keep his deeds?

January 31, 2019 // 10 Comments

If you were to make a list of big topics discussed by Jesus and the New Testament writers, the subject of deeds or works would have to be on that list. They all spoke about it, and no one more than Jesus. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not doing the works of Abraham (John 8:39-40), and said we would be judged [...]

What deeds does Jesus know?

January 24, 2019 // 32 Comments

“I know your deeds,” says Jesus to the churches. He exhorts the Ephesians to do the deeds they did at first (Rev. 2:5), he rebukes the Sardisians for having incomplete deeds (Rev. 3:2), and he promises to reward the Thyatirans according to their deeds (Rev. 2:23). Clearly our deeds or works matter to Jesus. [...]

What Are Heavenly Treasures?

March 1, 2018 // 33 Comments

We know there are heavenly treasures, because Jesus says so, but what are they? Some say God is going to dispense treasure, mansions, and even cities to those who have proven faithful. “There had better be some reward for my hard work—a gold star at least—otherwise why I am working?” Others say there are [...]

Is Grace a License to Be Lazy?

June 15, 2016 // 28 Comments

One of the complaints made against the gospel of grace is that it promotes sin and slothfulness. However, those who say such things know little about the grace of God that empowers us to reign in life. Elsewhere I have addressed the misperception that grace is a license to sin. Today I want to look at its evil [...]

The Parable of the Two Sons

November 11, 2015 // 37 Comments

From time to time people ask me to write about the parables of Jesus. This is something I enjoy doing because I love the parables. The parables of Jesus are launch pads to revelation and if we have ears to hear they reveal the wisdom of God. Especially this one: What do you think? There was a man who had two [...]

Rewarded for Doing Good?

October 1, 2015 // 50 Comments

Jesus and Paul both said we would be rewarded for doing good, which sounds like a punch in the face to the gospel of grace. In the previous post we looked at the words of Jesus (in John 5:28-29) and saw that “doing good” means trusting him. But what about Paul who said this: God will repay each person [...]

Judged for What We Have Done

September 24, 2015 // 33 Comments

The good news of heaven declares that everything comes to us as a free gift from our heavenly Father. But the bad news of earth says you better work baby, because there’s no such thing as a free lunch! Your choice is grace or works. Either the favor of God is given or earned, but it can’t be both. The gospel [...]

Rewarded for What We’ve Done?

September 16, 2015 // 66 Comments

The Bible says that we will be rewarded for what we have done. Not what we have believed, but done-diddley-done-done. So what do we have to do? In this three-part series, we’re going to look at some of the rewarded-for-what-we’ve-done scriptures, beginning with this one: For the Son of Man is going to come in [...]

Rewarded for their Labor? (1 Corinthians 3:8)

June 11, 2015 // 20 Comments

I have been asked this question again and again: What are heavenly rewards? Or, how do rewards fit in with grace? Some say there are no rewards, yet Jesus spoke about storing up treasure and Paul spoke about being rewarded for our labor. I have a long chapter on Eternal Rewards in my book The Gospel in Twenty [...]

Labor to Enter His Rest (Hebrews 4:11)

December 18, 2014 // 59 Comments

The other day a strange man approached a young girl and offered her candy if she would get in his car. Thankfully, the girl knew all about stranger danger and quickly walked to a shop where she was safe. I know you’ve heard this sort of story before but this was different for us because it happened on the [...]

Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy

December 11, 2014 // 90 Comments

“Grace is a soft gospel for soft Christians,” say the critics. “Grace promotes passivity and laziness.” It does? I guess somebody forgot to tell Paul: By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that [...]