Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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09.25.20Keith Haynie Is a Grandpa Again
09.25.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 20
09.25.20ApX Episode 140 This Weekend
09.25.20How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
09.25.20Bible Reading Update: Job 1-42
09.25.20New USB Thumb Drives in Stock
09.25.20Get 1300 Tracks for $100 This Week
09.18.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single
09.18.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 19
09.18.20New Donor Will Match All Donations This Week
09.18.20Get Multiple Downloads for One Donation
09.18.20New Single: '69 & '77
09.15.20New Single, Another Matching Donor
09.11.20Fans in Kansas Will Match Donations Thru Wed.
09.11.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 18
09.11.20New USBs on the Way
09.11.20ApX USBs Contain Complete Catalog
09.04.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single
09.04.20How to Donate Online or by Mail
09.04.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 17
09.02.20New Single, 2 New Matching Donors
09.01.20New Single: 2 Groups We've Never Spoofed Before
08.31.20We Need Help but Fan Will Match Donations
08.28.20From a New Fan in Virginia
08.28.20ApX Reaching Kids in Canada
08.28.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 16
08.28.20Clues for 2020 Single #15
08.21.20Encouragement from FL, SD, TN, TX & VA
08.21.20Fan in Kenya Reacts to New Single
08.21.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 15
08.17.20New Single: East Coast 80's, West Coast 90's
08.14.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 14
08.13.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
08.11.20Weekly News Update
08.11.20New Video from Our 25th Anniversary Show
08.08.20Alphabetical ApologetiX IV: The Final Frontier
08.07.20The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
08.07.20Get All of Our Parodies at Once on Download or USB
08.07.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 13
08.02.20New Single: Old Testament Ladies, 90's Style
07.30.20New CD BOGO Ends Friday
07.30.20He's Heard ApX Played on Five Continents
07.30.20ApX Lead Singer Interviewed on Philly Radio Show
07.30.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 12
07.30.20Wonderful Words from MI
07.30.20Touching Testimony from TX
07.27.20New CD BOGO Ends This Friday
07.24.20Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner Recovering After Surgery
07.24.20Former ApX Sound Man Needs Prayer
07.24.20Fans React to New CD
07.24.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 11
07.22.20Clues for Our 13th Single of 2020
07.20.20Weekly Email Update
07.18.20A Bad Case of Mono (and How It was Overcome)
07.18.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 10
07.14.20New Video from Todd Waites
07.13.20New Single: '83 & '97
07.11.20The Meaning Behind the Title of Our New CD
07.11.20What's on the Braggadocious CD?
07.11.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
07.03.20Next CD Coming Soon: What's It Called?
07.03.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 8
06.29.20New Single: '78 and '90
06.27.20Prayer Request from Fan with Aspergian Narcissim
06.26.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
06.20.20God Turns Prayer Request to Praise Report
06.20.20Here's an ApX Father's Day Playlist
06.20.20New Single: '67 & '84
06.18.20ApX Alum Keyboardist Releases New Album
06.13.20Watch ApX Accept Award Online Today
06.13.20Prayer Request for Kansas Pastor
06.13.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
06.01.20New Single: Sisters Side by Side (80's Ladies)
06.01.20Over 1300 Tracks for $100
05.29.20How to Help the Studio Where We Record (It's Free)
05.28.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
05.28.20Another New Video from Our 25th Anniversary Show
05.23.20The 365-Day Album Challenge
05.23.20Prayers for ApX Fan & Fiancée with COVID-19
05.21.20New Single: 2 More from Our 25th Anniversary Show
05.15.20Alphabet Super: ApX from A–Z (Again and Again)
05.11.20New Video from Our 25th Anniversary Show
05.08.20Here's an ApX Mother's Day Playlist
05.08.20New Single: 2 from Our 25th Anniversay Show
05.01.20ApX Webmaster Facing More Health Challenges
05.01.20Prayer Request from a Fan
05.01.20Bible-in-a-Year Finishes Next Tuesday
04.25.20Songs We're Working On While Staying at Home
04.25.20What J's Been Reading in 2020
04.18.20Whatever Happened to the 25th Anniv. Recordings?
04.13.20This Week's News Update: CD BOGO Ends Tonight
04.13.20New CD BOGO Ends Tonight
04.10.20J. Sings All of the #1 Songs from 1964-78 in Order in 25 Minutes
04.10.20ApX Easter Playlist Now on Spotify
04.07.20This Week's News Update: New USBs in Stock
04.03.20God Enables Fan to Help Others in Midst of COVID-19
04.03.20Passion Week Playlist: ApX Songs for the Season
04.02.20New Video from ApX 25th Anniversary Show
04.02.20Happy Birthday, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner!
03.31.20This Week's News Update: New CD Sent to Fans

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!