Their Works Do Follow Them (Part 1)


Photo by Ismael Paramo on Unsplash

Revelation 14:12-13 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.

Understanding The Difference
Between “Justification” And “Sanctification”

What is a “saint”? The Roman Catholic Church defines a “saint” as “someone who has led a life of heroic virtue”. In Catholicism it is the Pope who proclaims someone to be a “Saint”. Once someone is named a “Saint” by the Pope “public devotion to the saint, called a ‘cultus’, is authorized for Catholics throughout the world”. But is this what the Bible teaches?

The Bible defines a “Saint” as a person who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is clear in Scripture.

Romans 1:6-7 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, CALLED TO BE SAINTS: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Every person called into salvation by Jesus
is “called to be a Saint”.

The noun form of the word “Saint” is the Greek hagios (ἅγιος hágios, pronounced hag’-ee-os) or in the Hebrew (קֹדֶשׁ qôdesh, pronounced ko’-desh), both of which means “one who has been set apart, consecrated, or dedicated by God”. The verb form of this word is, in the Hebrew, (קָדַשׁ qâdash, kaw-dash’), such as is found in creation:

Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Or when God told Israel

Exodus 29:43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.

In the Old Testament God “sanctified” the seventh day, “sanctified” the firstborn, “sanctified” the children of Abraham by circumcision, “sanctified” the Tabernacle and the Temple, and “sanctified” the priests.

In the New Testament the verb form of “sanctified” is (ἁγιάζω hagiázō, hag-ee-ad’-zo). God is the Saint Maker – not the Pope.

1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are SANCTIFIED in Christ Jesus, called to be SAINTS, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

Sanctification is a part of being in Christ Jesus. When you are saved by faith in Him then God comes to you and changes you. The Christian is no longer like the lost of the world – the Christian is found of God. The Apostle told the Church at Corinth:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Justification” is when God makes you righteous because of Christ. “Sanctification” is when the Holy Spirit moves on the justified believer. The Blood of Christ makes our justification possible, and it is the Blood of Christ that causes the Spirit to come into the framework of our lives. Sanctification always accompanies justification or what we call “salvation”.

Justification Versus Sanctification

Justification is Free (John 4:1)

Sanctification is Costly (Luke 14:25-33)

Justification is Immediate,
at New Birth (John 3:8)

Sanctification is a Life Work (John 8:31)

Justification is by Faith alone
(Ephesians 2:8)

Sanctification is by Faithfulness
(1 Corinthians 4:2)

God alone Justifies (Ephesians 2:9)

We partner with God in Sanctification
(Ephesians 2:10)

Justification is Christ’s
love for me (John 3:16)

Sanctification is my love for Christ
(1 John 4:19)

Because of Christ I am justified – I possess His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)

If I am justified I will want to be sanctified (Luke 14:25-33)

Justification involves my position in Christ
(Colossians 2:11-14)

Sanctification involves my practice in Christ
(Colossians 3:1-11)

Justification considers what God has done (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Sanctification considers what I am doing for God (Luke 14:25-33)

Justification is God’s commitment to me
(1 John 5:9-13)

Sanctification is my commitment to God
(John 14:15)

Justification requires obedience to
believe the Gospel (Acts 6:7)

Sanctification requires obedience to
Christ’s commands (Matthew 28:19-20)

Justification focuses on the Cross that Jesus took up for me (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Sanctification focuses on the cross I am to take up for Jesus (Luke 9:53)

Justification stands finished at the
moment of faith (John 5:24)

Sanctification is not finished until I meet my
Lord in Heaven (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

The believer is a “Saint” because Jesus and the Holy Spirit “sanctify” us.

Hebrews 2:9-17 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

A lost person cannot be sanctified. Only a person saved by faith in Christ can be sanctified. On the day that you – dear believer – received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior then God who sees the heart (1 Samuel 16:7) applies the Blood of Jesus Christ to your lives. Jesus then baptizes you with the Holy Spirit – sending the Spirit of God to you to change you (Luke 3:16). The Holy Spirit enters the life of the genuine Christian, saved by faith. Once the Spirit enters your life you are set apart – sanctified – made a saint or, if you prefer, a Child of God.

We are “justified” or made right before God
by the authority of Christ.
We are “sanctified” or made “saints”
by the action of the Holy Spirit.
“ye are sanctified, but ye are justified
in the name of the Lord Jesus,
and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

If you understand the two works of salvation – “Justification” and “Sanctification” – then you will understand this: No Christian Is Saved By Works, But If You Are Saved You Will Work – For You Are A Work Of God!

Sins Do Not Follow Us To Heaven – But Works Do

Revelation 14:12-13 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.

What does God say of His “Saints”?

Here is the patience of the saints

A “saint” is NOT someone saved by works, but by faith in THE work of Christ. The Scripture says:

Titus 3:4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 That being justified by his grace, WE SHOULD BE MADE HEIRS according to the hope of eternal life.

Ephesians 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.

We who are believers are the product of God’s Grace. Jesus Christ paid for our salvation. The Holy Spirit causes us to be born again and adopted into the Family of God. We are changed by God.

But once changed, we work.

We are set apart, sanctified, called to be saints by God. And we patiently work. The Christian continues to serve God in some capacity throughout his or her life. The Christian is not overcome of the world or worldliness, but is an overcomer because our God is in us.

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

God is in the Christian.
God is at work in the Christian.
God uses the Christian.
The Christian is set apart to be used of God.
The Christian is a Child of God.
The Christian belongs to God.

There are many who profess Christ but are not possessed of Christ. They outwardly look good,
but inwardly are not good.

My wife Sherry and I went to Longhorn Steak House the other day to treat ourselves. I love steak. When our meals came (Sherry ate chicken strips) my steak looked really nice. I cut into it, and it was cooked just right. It was a beautiful steak. I took a bite and … something was not right. It didn’t taste right. It was slightly rancid tasting. The waitress came by and asked how our meal was, and I said “Something’s not right with this meat. It’s off.” Without complaint she took it back, and about 10 minutes later the manager came out with another steak. It looked just as good as the first steak looked. Outwardly it was fine. So I took a bite and PERFECTION. Well, maybe not perfection, but it was a good steak. Outwardly it looked good, but inwardly it was rancid.

Those Saved By Jesus Love Jesus –
And Work From A Place Of Love

There are many who profess Christ who look right and righteous but are wrong. There was a group of people who antagonized Jesus while He ministered, the group called Pharisees. Jesus said of these Pharisees:

Matthew 23:3-5 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But ALL THEIR WORKS THEY DO FOR TO BE SEEN OF MEN: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

The Pharisees did not love others. They loved themselves. They did what they did because they loved the praise of their neighbors. Jesus told the Pharisees:

John 8:42-44 … Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. …

The Pharisees of Jesus’ day and the Pharisees of our day look outwardly good – but God looks at the heart. Jesus described them as …

Matthew 23:27-28 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

The outside of the Pharisees looked good, and right, and holy. But inwardly they were lost and undone, without Christ and without the Holy Spirit. YET THE PHARISEES WORKED.

We are not saved by our works, but if saved we are indwelt by God, in partnership with God, and servants as well as sons of God. If Saved you are Sanctified, set apart for God’s use. The Christian was once a broken, bad tree. But God changes the heart – the interior – of the Christian. He does this so that we can be fruit bearing to the glory of God.

Matthew 7:17-20 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The Pharisee obeys the commandments, but does not do so out of love for Jesus. The Christian both keeps the commandments all the while maintaining loving faith in Jesus.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

The Saints are those who overcome the world and worldliness. The Saint keeps the commandments of God AND keeps their faith in Jesus. We follow Jesus. The faith the Christian has in Jesus is a shield that we ever keep before us.

When we fail, we turn our failure over to Jesus.
When we sin, we put our sin into the hands of our Savior.

1 John 2:1-6 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation (covering/ atonement) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And HEREBY WE DO KNOW THAT WE KNOW HIM, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. 4 HE THAT SAITH, I KNOW HIM, AND KEEPETH NOT HIS COMMANDMENTS, IS A LIAR, AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN HIM. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

We who are saved follow Jesus because we love Jesus.

Works Do Not Save Us, But They Are
The Witnesses That We Are Saved

Several times in His ministry Jesus was questioned as to whether He was the Messiah or not. They asked “How do we know you are the Messiah?” Jesus never said “Because I say so”. How did Jesus prove He was Messiah?

By His Works!

The Pharisees told Jesus “How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” (John 10:24). Jesus told them “I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.” Was Jesus the Messiah because of the works? No. He was the Messiah because He was the Messiah. But the works that Jesus did testified or proved that He was indeed the Messiah. When the Pharisees continued to question Jesus, He said:

John 10:37-38 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, BELIEVE THE WORKS: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Jesus was not Messiah because of the works – but BECAUSE He was Messiah He DID THE WORKS.

When Jesus’ disciples began to question Him Jesus said:

John 14:11-12 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else BELIEVE ME FOR THE VERY WORKS’ SAKE. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Jesus said that the works we do for God are PROOF that we are God’s Saints. The works that Jesus did PROVED that He is the Son of God. The works that WE do prove that WE ARE SONS OF GOD. If we are saved, we are sanctified or set apart for God’s use. Our works will reflect our sanctification.

The person who is saved also shows evidence of that salvation. James – the half brother of Christ – states:

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

The faith that saves is always accompanied by the witness of works. What you do is what you are. A duck quacks because it is a duck. A dog barks because it is a dog. A Christian lives to please the Lord because the Christian is a Saint and a Son of God. We are what we do.

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD also.

Let us live for Jesus while we can – for one day we will give an account of our stewardship. More on this tonight! May God touch your hearts with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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