Q34: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through Christ alone, must we still do good works and obey God’s Word?
A: Yes, because Christ, having redeemed us by his blood, also renews us by his Spirit; so that our lives may show love and gratitude to God; so that we may be assured of our faith by the fruits; and so that by your godly behavior others may be won to Christ.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” – 1 Peter 2:9-12
Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this truth mean in my relationship with God?
To think that Jesus’ death on the cross was only to save us from the punishment of hell, would be to miss the power of the gospel. To believe in the work of the cross and never open up the Word of God is to miss out on the greatest tangible gift we get to hold in our hands this side of the cross. Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly, now and forever. The only reason we are able to have a relationship with God is because of the saving work of Jesus on the cross. If we truly believe this truth then our life should and will reflect it. We will praise God for what He has done and want to live our life in a way that brings Him glory. Our belief will change the way we see our circumstances, both good and bad. We get the incredible opportunity to show a broken and hopeless world what it means to be a follower of God Most High!
- John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.”
- Psalm 147:1, “Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting it is to praise him.”
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this truth mean in my relationship with humanity?
We are called to make disciples of Jesus and in order to do that we must reflect Jesus. Our desire should be to live in such a way that shows the world how true God’s Word is. God lays out His best design in Scripture and when we are obedient to read it and do what it says, our lives reflect holiness, peace, joy and faithfulness. We show a world that is often oppressed with brokenness that we serve a God who is in the business of restoring it. We are ambassadors of hope.
- Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
- John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action?
We should be people who read God’s Word, walk in obedience to it, experience His best for us and make other disciples who do the same. I believe that we should always have someone that we are learning from and also investing in. If you find yourself in a more self-focused kind of living, I would invite you to open up to the gospels, watch how Jesus lived His life and then imitate it.
- Psalm 119:1-2, “Blessed are those whose way is blameless,who walk in the law of the Lord!Blessed are those who keep his testimonies,who seek him with their whole heart.”
- 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
Note to readers
New City Catechism is a tool intended to spark family discussions and to inspire pursuits of greater understanding and spiritual growth. Gain greater insights by reading referenced scriptures in context and/or full chapters in your Bible. As a part of your prayers, ask the Lord for wisdom and understanding. The Bible reads, in James 1:5, “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
More Questions & Answers:
Q33: Should those who have faith in Christ seek their salvation through their own works, or anywhere else? A: 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...