Derek Prince - Get Faith And Works In The Right Order
Now, what is the real relationship between faith and works? It’s not that works are unimportant. It’s the order in which we come. Ruth and I quoted a passage from Ephesians chapter 2 which I will go back to. Ephesians 2:8-10: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. We can’t even boast about the fact that we had faith, because we only had faith because God gave it to us. It is not something we can produce from ourselves. And then it says, not of works, lest anyone should boast. And many places where it speaks about people who believe they’ve been made righteous by their works, Paul says: No, lest they should boast.
You see, a religion of works fosters human pride. And pride is the great basic sin. And so God has ordained a way of being made righteous which does not foster our pride. If you consider the people who have rather complicated religions, and I don’t want to name any of them because I don’t want to appear to attack anything, but basically, the more difficult their religion is, the prouder they are. They’re doing something really hard and difficult: fasting, sacrificing, and so on. And this fosters pride. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. So God has devised a way of being found righteous with Him that does not foster our pride.
I don’t know whether you’ve ever noticed but basically let’s talk about Christians. Christians who are very legalistic, very insistent on rules, are often not very loving people, have you ever noticed that? If you went to them for love you might not get much. Actually, legalism and love are more or less opposites. And so, we have to be on our guard continually against anything that nurtures pride. And religion basically does nurture pride. If it’s religion without the grace of God, it nurtures our pride. But, there is a place for works. They’re not unimportant, it’s just to get them in the right order.
Ephesians 2:10 says it as clearly as anything I know: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. So when God has created us anew in Christ, and the Bible says if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, then God has appropriate works prepared for that new creation. But the old carnal nature cannot walk, walk in the good works which God has prepared. So you have to be created anew by faith before you can walk in the good works. Then the good works become extremely important. But you have to get the order right. First of all, the new creation through faith, then the good works which God has prepared for us.
I don’t know whether you’ve realized, you really don’t need to work out what you should do for God if you’ve become a new creature in Christ, because God has got it already worked out. What you have to do is find out the works that God had prepared for you beforehand. Don’t try and make your own plan for your life, find out what God’s plan is. Many times it’s very different from what we would expect.
Let me give you a brief example from my own experience. I was an only child, I had no brothers or sisters. I grew up in boarding schools from age nine to age twenty-five. I hardly met girls except I had a few girlfriends, but basically, girls were a mysterious entity that I didn’t know how to relate to. But when God called me I married a lady who had a children’s home and the same day I married her, I became adoptive father to eight girls. You see, you would not have thought that was the appropriate thing for Derek Prince. If I’d planned my own life that never would have come into it. But it was the good works which God prepared for me to walk in. And I find satisfaction, though I’ve failed many times, in knowing that basically I have walked in the good works which God prepared for me.