God Initiates & Man Follows

There is much confusion about man's effort in relation to God. On one side, we hear that man should rest on God's finished work and hence man should do no work, otherwise it is of the flesh and that is against God. On the other side, we hear that man should be the light and the salt of the world and hence need to do good work. People who lack understanding will be struggling between Book of Roman's Grace and Book of James' Work.

Hopefully, the chart below, a 2x2 matrix, can shed some light:
We starts with Quadrant 1 when God and Man make no effort. In this case, Man will naturally go to hell.

In Q2, God still rest and Man tries his best to save himself. Man comes out with all kinds of religions, every educational efforts to save himself. Man tries to follow God's laws to get justification. All he ends up with is either self-righteousness ( I attain the standards of God by my own interpretation) or self-condemnation when I fail. All these man efforts without revelation of God's will and initiated by man alone are dean works. After all the hard efforts, man still go to hell.

In Q3, God does all the work of saving man (by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for us). Man just rest and really rest on God's finished work. He does not want to take any effort, everything is wait on God. There is the extreme case that since God has already saved me and then I can do all the things I like, including sinning.... we have this abuse of God's Grace.

In Q4, God initiates and man responds by following God's direction. In this way, the saved and new spiritual inner man is revealed in the outer man of good works that bring glory to God and satisfaction to man. God is glorified through the victorious living of man. Man is relying on God's grace to live up to God's standards. This is the desirable and ideal state. Man needs to do the work that God has called us and saved us for. Eph 2:10.

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