2 Faiths but 1 Work

The scriptures teach that God’s plan for man includes the whole person.  A person consists of an inward man and an outward.  There is a soul in man and the flesh of man.  God’s plan, as He presents it in His Word, is to affect both parts of man.  Jesus Christ addressed both parts of man as He taught the correct order to cleanse a vessel.  He stated that the inward part had to be cleansed first so that the outward “might” also be clean.  Notice this verse of scripture: (Mat 23:26) Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  In this verse it should become clear that the outward part doesn’t become clean “automatically” when the inward part is cleansed.  The same follows for a person.  The outward man doesn’t “automatically” become cleansed when the inward part is cleansed.  This point is further clarified by reading the scriptures before and after Matt. 23:26.

There is an inward man and an outward man.  The outward man doesn’t automatically become “right” in the eyes of God when the inward man is cleansed.  As the outward man is born of the flesh, so the inward, Spirit part of man, must be born of the Holy Spirit.  This new birth cleanses the inward man.  The Lord taught this and it is found in the following verse: (John 3:6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  This new birth occurs by faith alone.  This type of faith is free from works and constitutes one of the “faiths” mentioned in the title of this article. Notice this teaching: (Eph 2:8-9) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.  The type of salvation mentioned in these verses is a completed type of salvation.  This is revealed when verse eight states that those mentioned have been “saved”.  To be “saved” is to have something that is complete.  This salvation came by faith, void of any works.  Thus, the inward man is cleansed by faith without any works.

The outward man still needs to be considered.  It is remembered that the inward man must be cleansed first, so that the outward man “might” be cleansed.  How has God planned to cleanse the outward man?  The scriptures teach that God raised Christ from the dead.  He really is alive, dwelling now in Heaven.  God placed Christ as the Shepherd over His sheepfold.  Notice that His sheep will follow only Him: (John 10:4-5) And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. {5} And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.  Christ will direct all who will unite with Him.  If a person will wholly follow Him, He will lead them.  As He leads people, He teaches them to do His work.  The works that His followers do define “the faith” that bears His name.  Notice the following verse from Ephesians: (Eph 2:10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

So then, a person is saved (cleansing the inward man) by faith without works.  The followers of Christ are “created unto good works”.  This is just like Abraham who after he received righteousness by faith without works (Rom. 4:1-5) then he lived by faith that was made alive by works (Jam. 2:16 -26).  There again we learn of two faiths and one work.  A person is born again by faith without works, but a person who has been born again has been created to do good works.  These works of God start with uniting to the body of Christ by baptism.  The works of God reveal the true followers of Christ.  Let’s be careful to rightly divide the Word of Truth.