It cannot be work then receive, for how can one work without having received that which is required to know and do the work? It can only be work after receiving, for works do not produce faith, but the inverse is true. The work involves, not our attaining nor retaining faith and salvation but manifesting they have been received, and this performed is by learning to “walk in the Spirit” (spiritual growth), which will be what manifests that we “live in the Spirit” (Gal 5:25). Everything done apart from the Spirit and faith is man’s devising, which is used in distinguishing the difference between God’s ways in Scripture and ours according to what we believe Scripture teaches (all for our learning and understanding, which should always be in progression, as taught by the Spirit – 1 Co 2:13). Manifesting faith can be accomplished in only one way—by agape love—that is, God loving others through those who “have the love of God” (Jhn 5:42; 1 Jhn 3:17). Believers strengthen one another through this love, and the lost are drawn by witnessing it (Jhn 13:35); and faith “works” solely “by love” (Gal 5:6). Hence, works are true only when intentioned with “love,” otherwise they are completely meaningless (1 Co 13:1-3). The saint cannot not work (perform services) “for” anything, but does work because “of” something, which are saving grace and faith, and what more could be given since these are packaged with “all things that pertain to life and godliness?” The goal of faith is to grow first by believing these “things” and then understanding will eventually ensue, for growth in faith is not in explanations but in reckoning that all of God’s Word is not only true, but also that He applies it all to each accordingly! Works manifests faith, and faith manifests grace, and it’s the “grace of God” which “brings salvation” (Tit 2:11). The grace of salvation does not admit in degrees but faith does, and it, only by increase of strength for it never decreases nor disappears, in order to avoid conflicting with the Lord’s ultimate declaration that, “Whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” Misunderstanding the purpose of works leaves one in self-dependence and hence, disappointment, due to the conception that our performance must meet a self-evaluated level that accords with where we think we should be concerning our service and manner of life. There’s nothing that has not already been met in Christ concerning our eternal security and favor with the Father, thus any works attempted with the intention of addressing these established certainties are only “besetting weights” (Heb 12:1) which interfere with clarity of the conscience, but never from the possession of their promises. - NC “There is no way to a full abiding fellowship with our Father, but through the rent veil of the flesh; through a life with the old man crucified in the Lord Jesus. God be praised that the Holy Spirit ever dwells in us to keep the old man in the place of crucifixion and condemnation, and to give us progressive liberty from all the old.” -A.M.