Salvation comes to us by God’s grace and not any work we could do to earn or deserve it. Romans 3:28 says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified (legally declared righteous; acquitted; proven innocent) by faith without the deeds of the law.” We can say faith alone saves. We must also say that the faith that saves is not alone but produces good works James 2:14 (also vv.17, 20, 22, 26), “For what doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? God’s work is seen in everything associated with the word or topic of “Salvation;” but our work is seen in everything associated with the word or topic, “Discipleship.” Saved people, as they grow and develop become disciples who do good works.
Salvation involves God’s love for us through Christ’s work (Romans 5:8; Galatians 2:20).
Discipleship involves our love for God through our works (Matthew 10:37; Ephesians 2:10).
Salvation is provided by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8, 9) but discipleship is empowered by God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:10; Philippians 2:13).
Salvation is an expression of God’s will for us (1 Timothy 2:4) but discipleship is an expression of our will for God (Luke 14:27).
Salvation involves a new STANDING of being righteous before God. One’s standing becomes in Christ or one’s perfect position in Christ. All believers measure up to the full standard of God’s righteousness in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
In contrast to salvation, discipleship involves one’s STATE, condition, or actual practice. As believers we do not always or equally measure up to the full demands of discipleship (Luke 14:25-33). Very often it is less than perfect, but we are to follow after to apprehend that for which we have been apprehended of Him (Philippians 3:12-13).
Teachings on grace need seen or rightly divided by looking at the Word on both salvation and discipleship side by side. When it only shares the grace in salvation it can leave the impression that once we are saved there is nothing we are to do and no works to perform. That is what discipleship is all about; working out the salvation He worked in. In my opinion, the American church has welcomed the salvation by grace message. It seems to me to have resisted, as a whole (and I know there are exceptions), the discipleship message. In most places you never hear the words “grace” and “discipleship” ever mentioned together. Saved people are to become disciples who do good works as a result of their salvation