Pastor James shared Horatius Bonar’s thoughts on the matter. Take a gander and see how scripture qualifies and expresses the need, place and purpose of living in obedience to Christ.
While these conversations are always on the table, the two “sides” are both biblically rebuked. First, the person who suggests that he is right before God due to his works is fighting for the place of his own security in his own might. Much like the Devil who argues that he is worthy to “share” the light of the glory of God due to his beauty. He forgot that he was created to reflect the light of his creator, not his own. Second, the person who argues that good works are not even on the radar of “faith alone” and “grace alone” wants to maintain the record of fleshly so-called joys and ignore the premise of the reality of the good news: rebirth and new heart and mind. The love we have for Christ employs our obedience toward Him, not for our justification, but as a result.
Bonar gives great insight on this matter below. You can get a printed copy of this from Chapel Library.
Good Works and the Justified
Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt”—Romans 4:4.
Does [Paul] by this speech make light of good works? Does he encourage an unholy walk? Does he use a rash word, which had better been left unspoken? No, truly, he is laying the foundation of good works. He is removing the great obstacle to a holy life, viz., the bondage of an unforgiven state. He is speaking, by the power of the Holy Ghost, the words of truth and soberness. The difference between working and believing is that which God would have us to learn, lest we confound these two things and so destroy them both. The order and relation of these two things are here very explicitly laid down, so as to anticipate the error of many who mix up working and believing together, or who make believing the result of working, instead of working the result of believing. We carefully distinguish, yet we as carefully connect the two. We do not put asunder what God has joined together; yet we would not reverse the divine order, nor disturb the divine relation, nor place that last which God has set first. (To read the rest of the article, click here)