Roots and fruits
Herschel Hobbs wrote in Baptist Faith & Message:
Salvation is a work of God’s grace which the Christian receives through faith. Its source is neither one’s self nor works. “Have ye been saved” (Eph 2:8-10) means that it is a completed work wrought in the believer by God. So the Christian is a creation of God. Good works are not the root but the fruit of salvation.
What is the difference between faith and works? If one is indeed the root and the other the fruit, aren’t they still both a necessary part of our lifestyle? How can they be separated?
A person who is saved will bear the fruit of good works. Maybe not immediately–the minute the root begins to grow, there isn’t fruit. There isn’t even a seedling above the ground. But the root is there. Fruit comes with time and care. If there is no fruit, check the root. But remember: works don’t sustain us, grace does. Works don’t anchor us, grace does. How depressing it is to rely on works for salvation! There comes a point in our lives that we face the truth: our righteousness-all our good works-is nothing when revealed before a holy God. Without grace, we fail. Miserably. But grace… grace doesn’t tell the story of what I’ve done, but of what God’s done. Grace is the root of salvation. Grace is at work long before we see the fruit of it’s work in our lives. It anchors itself deep in our lives, and holds on tightly through every season