"To him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt."
Text: Romans 4:4
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRACE AND WORKS
The doctrine of grace and the doctrine of works must be carefully distinguished. Paul was careful to make the distinctions very clear.
“Now to him who works, the wages
are not counted as grace but as debt.”
1. What is the “doctrine of grace”?
Two aspects may be highlighted in particular
a) It is a teaching that takes into serious consideration that man is a wretched sinner (Romans 1-3).
i) Man being in sin is not deserving of any blessing from God.
ii) Man’s sinfulness is most evident.
iii) Given his sinfulness man is unable to obtain salvation on his own merits (works).
b) On the other hand, the doctrine of grace builds on the knowledge of God is a very great and compassionate Person.
i) Out of love and compassion, He extends to man the offer of salvation.
ii) God has provided for man the perfect plan of redemption in Christ Jesus.
iii) All God requires is genuine faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. What is the “doctrine of works”?
a) It is a teaching that presupposes that man is able to merit God’s salvation.
b) It unfortunately ignores the depth and the severity of the sinful plight of man.
c) It is woefully lacking in comprehension of the righteousness and holiness of God.
d) It does not take into full consideration the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
IMPLICATION OF “WORKS”
If a person works, he is expected to be paid wages. That is only fair! If a man works for his salvation, then it follows that God is indebted. There are two systems, and only one is correct and acceptable. It is impossible for both doctrines to co-exist. It is either the grace of God or the works of man that will prevail as the truth!