There are many seeming contradictions in the Bible, which disappear when the Word of God is rightly divided and the Greek text is understood.
In this lesson we are to study several Scriptures. First II Corinthians 5:9: “Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be ACCEPTED of Him.” Now Acts 10:35: “But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is ACCEPTED of Him.” Now Ephesians 1:6 and 7: “To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us ACCEPTED in the Beloved, In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
In the light of Paul’s clear statements of grace how are we to understand II Corinthians 5:9, “labor to be ACCEPTED of God?” How are we to reconcile Peter’s message to Cornelius in Acts 10:35, that men who work righteousness are ACCEPTED of God with Paul’s message of grace in Romans 4:5, that the man who does not work, but believes on Christ, is declared righteous?
Then compare II Corinthians 5:9 and Ephesians 1:6 and 7 (quoted above).
The first verse tells us, that we labor to be accepted of God. The other verses say that believers have been made accepted in Christ, redeemed and forgiven.
Now, first of all, the word, “accepted” in II Corinthians 5:9 is from the Greek words “love” and “honor” - “to love honor.” - In Philippians 4:18 it is translated “well-pleasing.”
Then again, the word “accepted” in II Corinthians 5:9 is altogether different from the word “accepted” in Acts 10:35.
In order that we might understand this difference we quote these words from Philippians 4:18 “a sacrifice acceptable, WELL PLEASING to God.” Here the word “acceptable” is the same Greek word as “accepted” in Acts 10:35 whereas the word “well-pleasing” is the same Greek ward as “accepted” in II Corinthians 5:9.
But the word “accepted” in Ephesians 1:6 and 7, where we read that the believer has been made accepted, according to the riches of God’s “grace,” is still a different word. This “accepted” is the verb form of the word “grace.” Believers have been “graced” in Christ according to the riches of God’s grace. What an inexcusable blunder by the Holy Spirit, if He wrote in Ephesians 2:8 and 9, that sinners are saved by grace through faith, not of the sinner, and not of works, and then wrote in II Corinthians 5:9, that sinners have to labor to be accepted by God, that is, saved by God.
By grace are ye saved, not of works. Read this truth in II Timothy 1:9 - Romans 4:4 and 5 - Romans 11:6 - Ephesians 2:8 and 9.
The seeming contradictions are in our misunderstanding, or lack of understanding, of what the Holy Spirit dictated to holy men of God.
We do not labor to be accepted for salvation or righteousness and eternal life. These are all God’s free gifts or grace.
But we should labor to be well pleasing to God; we should endeavor to please Him with our good works done in the name of Christ. Thereby our labors are accepted by Him.
In Titus 3:5 to 7 God’s “grace” way of salvation, without any of man’s doings, religious or otherwise, is made very plain. But in Titus 3:8 the redeemed sinner is exhorted to excel in good works (maintain good works). This is in harmony with Ephesians 2:10, “God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works” that God expects the saint to do. Philippians 2:12 should be studied in the light of all the above Scriptures; “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4
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(A 10 Minute Video)
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Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
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