When workers believe they have not been paid for work they have done, they may go to court to recover lost wages. They do it believing that when a person has worked, they are entitled to be paid. But when it comes to our salvation, we cannot earn it. The Apostle Paul writing in Romans Chapter 4 was quite bold in refuting those who think we can earn God’s salvation by doing good works. He used the experience of the patriarch Abraham to make his point. He explains how God declared Abraham righteous on the basis of faith apart from any deeds. God declared him righteous based on his confidence in God’s promise. Lest anyone should think faith permits us to live as we please, please know faith is not just giving mental assent that the Gospel is true; genuine faith engages the mind, the emotions, and the will. We cast ourselves upon the sufficiency of God in Christ. We rest in God’s promise that when we turn from our sins in repentance, He accepts us on the merits of His Son who paid our sin debt. Salvation is a gift from God, not a reward for doing good deeds. Yet evidence of our faith is our strong desire to obey the will of God.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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