“That no flesh should glory in His presence.” I Corinthians 1:29. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” I Corinthians 1:31.
“For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” Philippians 3:3.
It generally takes a long time, and many lessons, to teach some Christians to have no confidence in the flesh, especially if they are religious Christians. Such are foolish Christians, like the Galatians, to whom Paul wrote, “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:3. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit.” Galatians 5:17.
In this same Epistle Paul wrote:
“But God forbid that I should GLORY save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14.
After reading Galatians 5:19 to 21 and inventorying the works of the flesh, it is difficult to understand how any one, who has been redeemed by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ, can trust in the flesh for one moment.
As “they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8), there is not one thing in the flesh that commends itself to God. The most religious sinner on earth has nothing that God will accept as part payment for salvation. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.” John 3:6. No man can begin to adequately appreciate the grace of God until he can and will say with Paul, in sincerity, “I know that in my flesh there dwelleth no good thing.” Romans 7:18.
Paul said, the commandment (law) wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.” Romans 7:8.
On account of the weakness of the flesh, the Ten Commandments cannot aid in man’s redemption one iota, unless, as the ministration of condemnation, it convinces him of his entire dependence for salvation upon the grace of God and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, apart from any works until after the Divine transformation has taken place in the believer’s soul. II Corinthians 3:7 and 9; Galatians 3:24 and 25.
Believers will be rewarded according to their works when they meet the Lord in glory. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed towards His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” Colossians 3:23 to 25.
“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” I Corinthians 3:13 and 14.
The Scriptures, which deal with the Gospel of the Grace of God, clearly differentiate between “salvation not BY works of righteousness” and “salvation UNTO works of righteousness. For our salvation, for our hope of heaven, for our regeneration, or new creation, Christ must receive all of the boasting, one hundred per cent of the glorying.
We must reach heaven as sinners saved by grace. We can never stand in God’s presence and tell Him we reached heaven by supplementing the perfect work of Christ.
Then for service, we believe and act upon II Corinthians 9:8: “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
We are saved unto good works and they should daily abound in the life of every sinner saved by grace. Let us glory in the cross of Christ.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.