“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” - Ephesians 2:8-9
Faith vs Works.
Which is more important? The above words from Paul may seem to indicate that faith is more important than works. However James seems to imply the opposite when he tells us that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).
What looks on the surface to be a contradiction turns out to be one of the divine paradoxes of the Christian faith. And like all paradoxes, it is reconciled through the blood of Christ.
A faith that is purely intellectual is no faith at all. Jesus calls us to serve our Father in heaven by serving those around us. Good works are a demonstration of faith, the outer evidence of an inner faith abiding in the True Living God.
But in doing good works we must never be deceived into thinking that our actions could ever possibly earn us the incomprehensible gift of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. The magnitude of this gift of salvation is beyond the capacity for any human mind to conceive, and thus is certainly beyond the capacity for any human to achieve. And thanks be to God for this! For if such a thing were achievable, we could be sure that only those lucky enough to be born with genius levels of intelligence would be capable of figuring out the way.
But in this journey “figuring out” is not necessary. All that is required is the humble faith of a child; a humble faith to listen to the story of the One who lived 2000 years ago and sacrificed His life in order to transmit this message free of charge to you and to me, and to all generations to come.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. -Psalm 71:15