There are those who have been saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who do not like to use the word “I” when referring to the tasks that the Lord has set before them. It infers in their mind the possibility of self-achievements, of vainglory, to them, it leaves the power of the Holy Spirit working through them out of that work or deed.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil. 4:13) Is balanced inappropriately with John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” in their thoughts, but when a deed done by these same people is not seen as glorifying to the Most High, they blame themselves.
In other words, only deeds done through them have any eternal value and the ones done by them have no value whatsoever.
There is a truth to this statement and a misinterpretation at the same time, for this verse also stands as truth. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12) Along with this one as well. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2nd Cor. 5:10)
What these individuals must believe by default is that they will be rewarded for allowing the Holy Spirit to use them, to work through them for the glory of God, but they will be reprimanded for the times that they hindered His efforts. And even if they adhere to this statement, they are still stating that they have the ability to exert their own free will.
That word “I” gets in the way, to them it has no place coming from the lips of a slave to Christ, it leaves the door open to choice, in their mind it removes the complete and total Sovereignty of the Almighty from the direction their lives are to take.
But they miss out on grace.
How can grace be given to one who is continuously obedient, where is the need for forgiveness to one who always does that which is right in the sight of the Living God?
“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17)
Only One was ever perfect in the flesh, if you were so, there would be no need for you to be hid in Christ. If indeed, and they are, all our works are as filthy rags, and if the only works that are accepted by the Almighty as having eternal value are the ones done through us, then there would be no rewards for any that serve of their own free will, there would be no crowns waiting for any of us who have died to self, for we would be nothing but programable automatons, we would have no free will.
But we do.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” (2nd Tim. 4:7)
Not “The Holy Spirit fought a good fight through me.”
Adam made a choice, and chose poorly, he lived with that knowledge his entire life, but it did not cause the direction of his life to remain in it. Grace led his life.
“For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;” (2nd Peter 2:8) An extremely poor choice by Lot, but still a righteous man.
You cannot take you out of the equation; you will not receive rewards because you allowed the Holy Spirit to work through you, but because of your own free will you made the choice to be obedient to His will. You heard and then acted.
If you can comprehend these truths, then you can fully understand that none are predestined to hell, that each of us are accountable for the choices we make in this life. The Lord calls, you either answer that call or you do not. The Lord says “obey,” you make the decision to do so or not.
If you have been crucified with Christ, then by your free will you laid down on that cross, but you cannot crucify yourself.