Question 33: Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else?

QUESTION: Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else?

ANSWER: No, they should not, as everything necessary to salvation is found in Christ. To seek salvation through good works is a denial that Christ is the only Redeemer and Savior.
Share an example from your life where a model or replica of something paled in comparison to the real thing.

Before Jesus came to earth, people had access to God through an elaborate tabernacle system, priests, and sacrifices. Now, because of the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, believers do not need to look to anyone or anything else for salvation. The way God views us through Jesus’ atoning work is the most important thing about us. Despite this truth, the way we perceive God’s view of us in our conscience often negatively impacts our relationship with Him. For most of us, either bad things we have done or good works we do, get stuck in our conscience and prevent us from fully embracing the forgiveness and atonement we have in what Jesus has done for us. It is only when Jesus has purified our conscience that we are able to rest in the righteousness with which God views us.

Hebrews 9:11-14
11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
  • Share a story of a time when you had a conflict with someone and then saw them again later and knew something wasn’t quite right between the two of you. What happened?
  • Hunter described the Biblical concept of “dead works” as things that stick in our conscience and distort our perception of how God views us. “Dead works” has two applications: 
    • Things we do, say or think that produce physical, spiritual, and relational death
    •  Actions or works we do that may be good but are ultimately lacking in power or sufficiency or driven by impure motives.
  • Where do you see dead works in your life right now?
  • Is there something that you don’t feel forgiven for? How does that impact your relationship with God and other people?

What does it look and feel like in our conscience to believe that our “dead works” are forgiven and redeemed by Jesus?  

Think about how we can live as a community in the reality of Jesus atoning work for our sin. How will a clear conscience affect our relationships with our families, friends, coworkers, and neighbors?

One and Only God, keep us from trusting in good works or living our lives in such a way that we imply they are the grounds for our salvation. Let us glorify your grace by leaning our whole weight upon it, staking our lives on the promise that you are the beginning and the end of our salvation. Amen.