Q. I’ve read several of your articles that address “works based faith” and 100% agree with all of them. But I know a believer who really does believe in Jesus and what He did at the Cross, yet still thinks he “has to do more” to make himself “worthy”. When we talk about it He says things like, ” A true saved soul, child of God, will do His will no matter what and work harder every day to prove himself worthy to our Lord and Savior” and “I do believe that I can show God more & more every day that I am worthy of His love.”
A. If your friend is doing what Paul described as “living up to what we’ve already attained” in Philippians 3:16 then there’s no problem.
But if he’s worried that God might revoke his salvation if he doesn’t keep working to prove himself worthy then he doesn’t understand what really happened at the cross, and may not be trusting fully in the Lord’s completed work on his behalf.
This could call into question whether he’s really saved or not because if we don’t believe the Lord saved us to the uttermost (Hebr. 7:25) it means we believe it’s up to us to finish the job. And that means we’re really working to save ourselves.
We have to continually remind ourselves that it’s not our worthiness that matters. It’s the Lord’s faithfulness. If we could make ourselves worthy then God would not have asked His son to die for us.
Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me. Yet not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). In effect He was saying, “If there’s any other way to save them, then I don’t want do this. But I will do what you ask.” The Father’s silence either meant He would allow His son to die needlessly, or else there was no other way.