“Works” is a dirty word within the church community. This attitude toward God’s Word has been in effect since the Garden of Eden. Martin Luther declared that faith was all that was necessary relative to receiving salvation. For this reason he called the Book of James a “straw (worthless) book”. In that book, moreso than in any other book of the Bible, God condemns the “only believe” theology that has become the cornerstone of Institutional Church theology (Jam. 2: 14,17,18,20). The Biblical Truth is that He is vitally interested in what a believer DOES (works) following a profession of faith, etc. What one DOES determines if he is indeed a true convert or simply a convert in name only. The Apostle Peter said that the believer must show forth his good WORKS so as to glorify the Lord (2:12). The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:19 that the most important thing a true Christian can do is to “obey (work) the (10) commandments.” Jesus said in John 14:15,23 that His people love Him and prove their love by obeying His Words, which He calls His commandments. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8,13 that without such love one is a fake Christian. In Romans 13:8-10 he lists some of the Ten Commandments one must obey and references those he does not list. When asked by a rich man about how to receive salvation, Jesus begins to list the Ten Commandments (Mk. 10). When asked by a lawyer the same question, Jesus said to him: “What does it say in the Law?”
Satan has convinced billions of people that the Law was “nailed to the cross.” The Apostle John wrote that only those who obey God’s commandments (Law) know God and are in God, and that to say they know Him while not obeying Him makes them liars (1 Jn. 2:3-5). Jesus tells us in Revelation 21:8 that all liars will burn in the Lake of Fire. Here He places liars in the company of the fearful, the unbelieving, the abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers and idolaters. Man is defined by the company he keeps. Revelation 21:8 perfectly describes those who call themselves “sinners saved by grace” who have “nailed the Law to the cross.” Grace, they say, gives them a license to sin (Jude 4). By doing away with the Law they do away with sin so that they do not need the Savior Who wrote the Law in stone with His finger. Jesus speaks directly to these people in Revelation 3:14-20.
The word “walk” in Scripture means lifestyle–how one conducts himself relative to his thoughts, words and deeds. A true Christian “walks with God.” Can two walk together unless they agree? the Lord asks. A true Christian agrees with God–with what He says. But how do we know what God says? We study His Word. This creates faith, which must be “walked” (done). This is the walk of Jesus of Nazareth which the true Christian duplicates (1 Jn. 2:6). God promised to bless the descendants of Abraham because he walked with Him. This is brought out in Genesis 26:5 where God said that Abraham “… obeyed My voice, kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My Laws (commandments).” Note that Abraham was called the “father of the faithful.” Abraham WORKED/WALKED his faith by DOING what the Almighty said, which is the Biblical definition of faith. Without such works, one’s faith is DEAD (Jam. 2: 14,17,18,20). And in that one must live by one’s faith, which is based on God’s word, doubt of even one of God’s Words renders one’s faith dead. Having a dead faith renders the faither equally dead.
Several people in Scripture are called God’s “friends.” Only His friends will be allowed into His Kingdom. Jesus said that greater love has no man than that he lay down his life for his friends. “You are My friends,” he told His disciples, “IF you do whatsoever I command you” (Jn. 15:14,15). In other words, His death has no meaning for those who do not obey His Law because they live in sin. First John 3:4 explains: “To transgress the Law is sin, for sin is the transgression of the Law.” James tells us that to break even one of the Ten Commandments (#4 for example) is to break the entire Law (Jam. 2:10). Lawbreakers–“workers of iniquity”–are not Christ’s friends and will not join Him in paradise. L.J.