Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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Yesterday's News:

04.20.21New Single: 2 More from the 80s
04.20.21Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
04.17.21Fans React to New Digital Interactive Songbook
04.17.21Neat Notes from Five Fans in AZ, KY, NE, OH & ON
04.17.21Influential Albums: Wk 49
04.17.21How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
04.17.21New USBs Have Newest Single
04.17.21Join Us for Our Next Trip Through the Bible
04.17.21Bible-Reading Update: 1 John 1-Revelation 22
04.16.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Fourth Single
04.10.21ApX RV Makes Its Final Voyage
04.10.21Influential Albums: Wks 47-48
04.10.21Happy Birthday, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner
04.10.21Video from Good Friday and Easter Sunday
04.10.21New Single: Summer of '84
04.06.21New Songbook Finally Finished
04.02.21This Week's ApX Radio Show: Easter Pt. 3
03.29.21Three ApX Members to Play Good Friday Service
03.27.21ApX Easter Top 50 Update: On the Air in Australia
03.26.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 46
03.26.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Third Single
03.22.21New Single: '69 & '84
03.22.21Get Over 1350 Tracks for $100 This Week
03.18.21Praise Report from Jeff Pakula
03.18.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Wks 44-45
03.12.21Erie Fan Notices Eerie Similarity
03.12.21NEW STORY
03.12.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our Second Single
03.08.21New Single: '67 & '80 and a Bonus Track, Too
03.06.2111 Letters from 8 States (and 1 Other Continent)
03.06.21Two Fans Will Match All Donations Over Next 10 Days
03.05.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 43
03.04.21Clues for 2021 Single #2
03.01.21This Week's News Bulletin
02.26.21More Music Coming Soon
02.26.21The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
02.26.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 42
02.22.21New Single: '72 & '82
02.20.21Jimmy Becomes a Grandpa for the Third Time
02.19.21Clues for 2021 Single #1
02.19.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Weeks 38-41
02.10.21This Week's News Bulletin
01.27.21Fan Will Match Donations This Week
01.23.21ApX Weekly Radio Show Celebrates Third Anniversary
01.23.21Prayer Request from Jeff Pakula
01.23.21Bible Reading Update: Nahum 1-Matthew 12
01.22.21The Never-Ending Album Challenge: Week 37
01.21.21This Week's News Bulletin
01.21.21New CD Bogo Ends Sunday
01.18.21Songbook & Studio Update
01.17.21In Case You Didn't Know, There's a New Studio
01.17.21When Will the New Songbook be Ready?
01.15.21The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 36
01.10.21Some Bible Verses to Ponder
01.10.21The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 35
01.05.21News Bulletin: January 5, 2021
01.05.21New CD in Stock: Buy 1, Get 1 of 34 CDs Free
01.05.21New CD in Stock: Get 1 of 34 CDs Free
01.02.21Links to Our Recent Newsletters
01.01.21The Expanding Album Challenge: Week 34
12.26.20New CDs in Stock Tuesday (Buy 1, Get 1 of 34)
12.26.20More Encouraging Responses to Our Newsletters
12.26.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 33
12.26.20ApX Keyboardist Has Gifts for You (2 New Songs)
12.26.20More from Micah, ApX Alum on Amazon
12.22.20This Week's News Bulletin: New USBs
12.19.20New CD BOGO & Other Updates
12.16.20This Week's Mini-Bulletin
12.11.20Enthusiastic Responses to Last Week's Newsletter
12.11.20New CD Coming in December
12.11.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 31
12.11.20 ApX Alum's Amazon Store Has Great Holiday Gifts
12.09.20Will There Be a Another CD?
12.04.20New Single & Other Updates
12.04.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Weeks 26-30
12.03.20In Case You Missed Our New Single
11.20.20ApX Episode 146 This Weekend
11.20.20Happy Belated Birthday, Rich!
11.06.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 26
11.06.20Band Members Celebrate Big-Time Anniversaries
11.06.20ApologetiX Needs Prayer and Help Now
10.29.20New Songbook Expected by End of Weekend
10.29.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 25
10.29.20New CD in Stock, BOGO Ends Sunday
10.26.20This Week's News Update: CD in Stock, BOGO Ends Sunday
10.22.20Bible Teacher Reacts to New Single
10.22.20The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
10.22.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 24
10.22.20New USB Thumb Drives in Stock
10.19.20New Single: '74 & '79
10.17.20The Story Behind the Title of Our New CD
10.17.20What's on the Decent Alternative CD?
10.17.20Prayers for Jeff Pakula's Brother
10.16.20Clues for 2020 Single #18
10.15.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 23
10.12.20Weekly Email Update
10.09.20New ApX Digital Songbook Almost Ready
10.09.20New ApX CD Coming Soon
10.09.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 22
10.02.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single

The Story Behind Our New Song "Works"
Thu., Jul. 20. 2017 12:12pm EDT

J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX here again.

The second song on our new single is called "Works," a parody of "Words" by Missing Persons. But we don't want any persons missing the meaning. Here's how it came about and what it's all about:

Anyone who's been listening to our parodies over the years should know that we believe that man is saved by grace through faith and not by works. Songs like "I'm a Receiver," "More Than Works," "Ephesians," "Goodnews," "Hard Labor," and a host of others make that pretty clear.

So if we're not saved by works, what are works for? That's a good question and not something I was eager to try to address in a three-and-a-half-minute song. But I felt God leading me toward a Missing Persons parody with the line "what are works for," so I followed with fear, trembling, and prayer.

As you know, our motto is "reach the lost, teach the rest." That's something I take very seriously. As Jesus' half-brother James says, "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment" (James 3:1).

That's why we put Bible verse numbers in our songs to let people read for themselves and Scripture speak for itself. Ironically, James looms large in the discussion of the role of works in the Christian life. Some say James disagrees with Paul, citing verses like James 2:14, 17, 20, 24, 26:

"What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead."

Those verses seem to suggest that works are crucial, but it's not like Paul denied the importance of works. In fact, in some of his most famous passages about salvation through grace alone, he also stressed that good works were a vital part of the Christian life.

Probably the most famous verse cited in the grace/works discussion is Ephesians 2:8-9. But don't forget Ephesians 2:10. Read them all together, as they were meant to be read:

Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Another famous verse cited is Titus 3:5, but read the follow-up verses, too. After stressing that we are not saved by good works, Paul urges believers to engage in good works in Titus 3:8 and says they are good and profitable for all men:

Titus 3:5-3:8
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.

Paul makes similar statements about the importance of good deeds in the life of the believer in Titus 2:14 and 3:14. And, if Paul didn't think works were important, why did he say in another epistle that he worked harder than all of the other apostles:

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

I think that verse helps us to understand things better. Note that Paul said it wasn't he himself who labored, but the grace of God with him. Good works won't help us obtain, attain, maintain or retain our salvation. They are just a natural outflowing of a heart that has been changed by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

Good works are not a way of earning God's favor; grace itself is unmerited favor. Our good works show the good work that God has already done in us. Our works don't save us, but they do identify us. They don't prove the sincerity of our faith to God; He already knows. Rather, they demonstrate it to the world. As Jesus said when telling people how to identify false prophets:

Matthew 7:16-21
"You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter."

Boy, it takes a lot longer to explain that song than it does to listen to it!