Friday, January 24, 2020

Not by Works or Grace Alone

By Gerald Cowan

If asked to prove that you deserved           
To be forgiven of your sin
How could you do it, where begin
To list your merits and be served
A pardon, heaven then to win?

Good works alone will not suffice,
Though countless ones you might declare,
To save your soul, your spirit spare
From punishment.  There is a price
That you must pay, a death to share.

But without works we are not free,
Approved by God.  For it is true
That He requires we be made new,
In faith and service constant be
In doing what He says to do.

Tears and prayers will not move God
Your soul from punishment to spare.
Though friends your praises may declare
God will not for their sake approve
Your place in heav’n or take you there.

Christ died for sin upon a cross,
A sacrifice, a ransom true.
There he was crucified for you.
All earthly riches count as loss,

They cannot purchase grace for you.

Faith is our part, not faith alone
But faith that works through love
Of him who dwells in heaven above,
The only one who could atone
For sins he was not guilty of.

Grace is God’s part, but not by grace
Alone.  Unless we do our part
By faithful service from the heart,
Though we may long to see His face
Salvation He cannot impart.

We take the grace that God does give.
And faith from us our Lord does take.
He hears the promises we make.
By faith in Him He lets us live
And saves us then, for Jesus’ sake.

By grace alone we’ll see God’s face,
Not by our works but by God’s hand.
By grace alone shall any stand –
Not by our works but by God’s grace –
With Jesus in the promised land.

You can with Jesus take your place
And with the Lord be crucified.
Though with him you will not have died,
Your debt of sin he will erase.

But other debts are multiplied.

His love and mercy you must show                       
Others. Grace and compassion give.
Teach them how God would have them live,
That to the Father they may go.
Their sin be willing to forgive.
When all you can do has been done
You have not overpaid your debt,
Your obligation is not met.
Until your victor’s crown is won
Salvation is not firmly set.

If you are asked to prove the Lord
In heaven has for you a place
Reserved where you will see His face,
Say you are trusting in His word,
Not in your works but in His grace.

- Gerald Cowan, a longtime preacher and missionary, is retired from full-time pulpit preaching. Gerald publishes an e-mail newsletter entitled GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICAL WRITINGS. He is available for Gospel Meetings and he may be contacted at

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