The letters of Paul make mention several times of salvation by faith. There are passages in Romans, Ephesians, Titus, and Galatians just to name a few. To some these passages might appear like a pretty open and shut case in favor of a teaching that says salvation is by faith alone and that “once saved, always saved.” Yet, the bible never says “alone.”
Furthermore, the bible actually says the opposite. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” On the surface there appears to be a conflict between this passage in James 2:14-26 and the writings of the apostle Paul. However, the explanation is quite simple and very logical. Three of the passages read as follows.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.
They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus,
…a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
What are works?
The proper context of the “works” referenced in the letters of Paul is seen in his audience and the historical context. Paul is contrasting the old covenant with the new covenant – the Law of Moses vs. faith in Jesus Christ. This is made explicit in Galatians 2:16 which is cited above and it is implicit in Paul’s other letters.
The Law of Moses is the covenant in which Jesus’ death on the cross fulfills and replaces. There are more than 600 laws which prescribe how one should live in accordance with God which comprised God’s covenant with Israel. These are the works that Paul is describing.
Paul letters are written to the Gentiles who, while desiring the salvation that only Jesus can offer, were attempting to obtain it by adhering to the Mosaic Law. Paul is instructing them that there is a new covenant with God open to all people; salvation is now through faith in Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all, not strict adherence to the Law of Moses which was for the Israelites. Paul never intends to say that one’s personal choices and actions have no effect on one’s salvation. James 2:14-26 appears to have been written to explain this.
The works of James
James uses strong language to condemn the non-biblical teaching of faith alone. His language is so strong that he declares that “faith without works is dead.” James, in verse 19, makes a compelling argument against faith alone by saying, “You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble.”
Consider that for a moment. If even the demons believe in God, why aren’t they in heaven? Wouldn’t they be saved simply by their belief? It must mean that faith alone is not enough. Salvation must be dependent on more than just faith alone!
James gives us two concrete examples in the Old Testament of how someone’s works had salvific merit. The first is Abraham. James says,
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called ‘the friend of God.’ See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Note that Abraham’s faith was completed by the works which demonstrates that faith is not enough. The key is not the specific action that Abraham did, but rather his ascent to the will of God, or rather his obedience to what God wanted him to do. This is exactly the teaching of the Catholic Church upon which its morality is rooted: to believe in God and to do his will brings eternal life in heaven with God.
Abraham ultimately did not sacrifice Isaac because God decided it was not necessary, but he was willing to be compliant with God’s demands.
The second example is of the prostitute Rahab. James says,
And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?
Rahab protected spies from the king of Jericho (Joshua 2:1-21); she saved their lives. Despite her status as a prostitute, even though she had faith, her works brought her and her family’s salvation.
“Works” in the letters of Paul are not the same “works” in James. Works in Paul can be more properly understood as works of the Mosaic Law. Works in James can be more properly understood as actions made through personal choices.
Salvation is dependent upon works
All of this demonstrates a simple truth: one can have faith and believe in God yet commit sins. If works can save us, then they can also send us to hell. Baptism and a profession of faith in God or an acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Lord and savior does not remove free will or the ability to choose to do good or evil. Believers can commit sinful acts and they can commit tremendous acts of good. Our actions have bearing on our salvation and there is no such thing as “once saved, always saved.”
Thankfully Jesus provides a formal way for us to repair our relationship with God and get us back on the path to salvation. He instituted the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation in which we confess our sins to God and receive forgiveness (or absolution) for them.
Accepting Jesus is only the first step in a journey of faith in a Christian life. Living that faith is the rest of the journey. Paul understood this when he instructs the Philipians (2:12) to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. If he believed that salvation was a sure thing through faith alone he would not direct them to work out their salvation because he would be able to assure them of their place in heaven.
35 thoughts on “The Truth About Faith Alone, Works, and Salvation”
Debating doesn’t prove anything. Both words, “witness” and “testify” mean to tell of an experience. The truth of salvation is not a test of your reading comprehension, it’s receiving a testimony (and a changed heart and mind) in faith through love, which is not something beyond your ability to recognize. It’s great to read what pastors, priests, what-have-you, have written when you are struggling, in order to be built up when your faith is tested and for edification when you’re confused. Seeking debates for the sake of winning isn’t helpful though. I’m no less guilty of this than anybody else, but, I don’t think it’s particularly constructive. Trust in Jesus Christ, my friends.
Everybody is missing the point here. The word “alone” was put in by Luther for no other reason that to say it is Christ and Christ “Alone” who saves. If was not His work on the cross and His death we would not be having this discourse of what we think we believe. It is all very simple to me the Catholics do not want the word “alone” in there because that would do away with all their traditions they hold dear to their religion. We as Protestants( I am talking mostly about Classical since most if not all postmodern Protestant have no idea what the 5 solas are) hold fast to the word “alone” because it gives the credit where it belongs all to Christ and His work on the cross. It is because of Christ and His work alone lest any man should have the right to boast I did something to save myself. That is the whole thing in a nutshell. ECT I and II both hinged on this one word “alone” We Reformed Protestants would not give in to the that word being left out. It is the whole key to the Gospel of Christ. It it His work and His work “alone” that any of us are saved. Period!!!
I believe that James, the 12 apostles and Jesus came and preached only to the Jews, ie salvation through works and faith, baptism, animal sacrifices etc.
The main thing is properly dividing the bible, with ACTS being the turning point from Jews to Gentiles, specifically Act 15.
The word of GOD is more important than GOD. The gospel according to Paul.
After the Jewish rejection of Jesus, ie stoning of Stephen, God basically said ok Paul here’s my gospel, preach it to the Gentiles grace of salvation through faith alone, Jesus is lord confessed by mouth + 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 Jesus died on the cross for our sins according to the scriptures, that after 3 days GOD rose Jeus from the dead according to the scriptures.
You do works because your saved in the first place by faith alone.
Trying to do works to get saved would mean that Jesus died on the cross for nothing.
Now after the rapture when Jesus calls his bride up ie the church dead and alive, then GOD will return to the Jews in the 7 years of tribulation and salvation through faith and works ie baptism etc
Paul and James
Let us take a look at some statements of both Paul and James. Paul says, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). James says, “Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith” (James 2:24). Paul says, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory” (Romans 4:2). James says, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar?” (James 2:21). Some have thought that there is a conflict between Paul and James, but rightly considered there is not even a seeming discrepancy between them. However, James does flatly contradict the explanation that is sometimes given to Paul’s language here. But the trouble comes from misunderstanding Paul or misapplying James, or maybe both.
Paul was talking about works of law; James was talking about works of faith. Paul was showing the Judaizing Christians that no one could be righteous, or justified, by works of law, for not one kept the law perfectly, and that to be justified or made righteous, a person must believe in Christ. Paul was arguing that works without faith would not justify, and James was arguing that faith without works would not justify. To exclude either is to fail of justification. Both Paul and James referred to Abraham to illustrate their points. Abraham was justified without works of law, but he was justified by works of faith. James laid down the principle that faith without works is dead, and will not justify. He used Abraham as an example, and then drew the broad conclusion that a man — any man — is justified by works, and not by faith only.
An effort is sometimes made to explain Paul and James by saying that Paul was talking of justification of an alien sinner, and that James was talking about the justification of a Christian. It is argued that an alien sinner must be justified by faith only, in order that it may be by grace, and that if the sinner has to perform any conditions, his salvation is of works and not of grace. But what about the Christians? If works of faith destroy grace, then the works which they say a Christian must perform to be justified destroys all grace from the life of a Christian. How is it, according to these teachers, there can be no grace involved if the alien sinner has to do any works, but on the other hand, in the justification of a Christian there must be works?
But the theory that is put forth by these false teachers, that Paul argues for the elimination of all works and conditions in the salvation of an alien sinner, not only contradicts James, but it also contradicts Paul himself. If all works are eliminated, then faith itself is also eliminated, for we are told that faith is a work. “They said therefore unto Him, What must we do, that we may work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe (have faith) on Him whom He hath sent” (John 6:28, 29). And Paul tells us emphatically that eternal life is granted to those who “by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption” (Romans 2:6-7). To seek by patience in well-doing requires human effort. Again, Paul says, “But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18). They obeyed from the heart. That means that their faith expressed itself in obedience to God. By this obedience they were made free from sin. Here again is human effort.
Grace provided the plan by which sinners are saved, or made righteous, and grace tells us how to come into possession of that salvation. If people would quit arraying the commands of God against the grace of God, they would have a clearer vision of the scheme of redemption. God’s grace is in every command He gives. The sinner was lost; God prepared a way by which he could get out of that lost state. That was grace. But that was not enough. He needed to know how to find that way, and how to walk in it. It is as much a matter of grace to tell him how to find that way, and how to walk in it as it is to provide the way. But when the way is fully prepared, and full directions are given as to how to find that way, and how to walk in it, the next move is up to man. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
The whole matter is well illustrated by the events on Pentecost in Acts 2. The way had been prepared and revealed to the people; and then, in response to their question, Peter told them how to get in the way. That was a matter of grace. Then Peter exhorted them to save themselves. Many did as they were commanded and were thereby saved from their past sins. They were prompt in their obedience as if their salvation depended wholly on works. And actually, as far as what they could do about it was concerned, their salvation was wholly a matter of works.
Yes, my beloved brethren and friends, we are saved by grace through faith, the obedient faith. I trust that this study has been helpful. Much more could be said, but this will suffice for now. Be obedient, by faith, to the teaching of God’s grace.
Martin Luther added the word “alone” to his version of the Bible. Jesus established His church with Peter and His Apostles. His church gave us the Bible. Jesus also said He would always be with His church. So, you can choose to go with Martin Luther’s church or Jesus’ church. I think all of us writing here know about Jesus. You should read about Martin Luther sometime before accepting his personally amended scripture and Christian tradition. As for the for the whole faith/works man made conundrum, just follow what Jesus said when asked how we should live. He said we must love God with all our whole being (faith) and we must also love our neighbor as we love ourselves. “Love” is used as a verb (action). Pretty simple until some disgruntled man comes along and tries to be smarter than Jesus. I think I’ll stick with Jesus on all accounts.
Romans 4:5 “However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” Our works have nothing to do with our salvation. Our works are not required before, during, or after salvation. Only His works matter. Jesus didn’t need our help.
Again, Paul is writing of works of the Law, while James is writing about action that comes from a living and active faith.
The thief on the cross is usually used to show that one only has to have faith and no action is required thereafter because the thief could not have physically perform any works as he was hanging there after his clear confession of faith. I agree that one only needs to have faith but is having faith only lipservice? Or does faith produce affirming actions? Are these actions that are the product one having a living faith always physical? No.
The thief actually accomplished a great public ministry for Christ right their on the cross; if it wasn’t great the Gospels would not have written about it. He showed his faith when he rebuked the nonbeliever on the other side of Jesus saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?” Then he openly admitted his sin/guilt, in front of the Jews and Greeks (do you think it possible to whisper while being crucified?). “And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds;” Then he proceded to confess Jesus as not deserving of the same judgement (guiltless), “but this man has done nothing wrong.” And finally, clearly, and again, very publicly showed his faith in the King of the Jews as Lord and Savior of life by asking, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Had he not truly had faith that he was next to the Christ, this thief would have turned to the sky and asked for leniency,instead he turned to the side, toward Jesus, and acted according to the faith that God had obviously given him as a gift of grace. Thus, Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Luke 23:40-43 ESV
“One who does not work” = does not practice Mosaic Law = a Gentile. Paul is talking about salvation for non-Jews without ever practicing the works required in Judaism. The Jews hated the idea that an outsider could be saved without ever having been a Jew and practicing/obeying their Laws. Paul is setting them straight, here (Romans 4:9). Their faith in Christ is enough to open the door, but obedience to Christ and His commandments are still required of everyone. In other words, the verse you cite does not say what you think it does. Be careful not to wrest Scripture to your own destruction. You show me your faith without works (which James explains cannot save you), and I show you my faith by my works. “Jesus didn’t need our help.” And my earthly father did not need my help putting food on the table and supporting us. He accomplished it fully on his own. Does that mean I could behave however I pleased under his roof? Hardly. I had to obey his “commandments” to remain in his household.
Our works have nothing to do with salvation in any way. They don’t earn it, prove it, or are they an absolute after one is saved. Romans 4:5 “However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” Our works have absolutely nothing to do with our salvation. Only His works.
Works prove your repentance, and repentance is all that’s needed, if it’s even needed. Wicked people need it. Others don’t to be acceptable in God’s eyes, but do need deliverance from the bondage of sin and restoration to wholeness. The Good News of the Kingdom is that faith in Christ is an open doorway to receive divine assistance for that life-long process of restoration (aka: salvation). “Repent for the Kingdom is nigh,” is not an ultimatum, it’s an invitation, as is the rest of the Gospel. “To the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” (Acts 26:20)
Faith is indeed necessary to salvation. So too are works. Ref. Matt.26:32-46. eg. For I was hungry and you gave me to eat…v36 As long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. v40. I was hungry and you gave me not to eat… v42. …Amen, I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. v45. And these shall go into everlasting punishment. But the just, into life everlasting. v46. True faith is numbered with good works!!
I think Ryan’s comment is very good and correct, up to a point. What he doesn’t say, and what needs to be said, is that it is crucial for a person to not rely upon their good deeds and obedience for their salvation. If one were to ask Catholic and Orthodox members the hypothetical question, “If you died and God said to you, why should I let you into My heaven?” far too many people would respond, “Well, I’ve lived a pretty good life,” or, “I tried to be obedient and I always gave to the church.” This is the sort of thinking that can send people to perdition. The Catholic and Orthodox viewpoint on works very easily allows people to fall into this mindset of trusting their works. This is why the Protestant teaching on works is better; it more effectively prepares the church members for Judgment Day, when they will respond to the question by saying, “I could never have earned my way into heaven, but I trust the blood of Jesus my Savior. He died and rose on the third day so He could impute His righteousness to me, all glory to the LORD!”
By the way, this article falls flat in that it only presents three scriptures in favor of salvation through faith alone. It ignores John 3:16-18, John 6:28-29, John 5:24, Mark 16:15-16, Romans 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:5-10, and other verses which teach us that faith in Jesus is the key to eternal life. Jesus make the promise to every believer. Consider Acts 2:37-39 —
Act 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Just days after Christ’s ascension, with His words to the apostles still fresh in mind, Peter places no extra conditions for salvation beyond this: believe and be baptized (upon which you will receive the promised Holy Spirit, who guides the believer into all good things and enables right living, as well as assuring the believer that he is sealed unto redemption).
Except many Protestants will hear, “Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity, for though you praised Me with your lips, your heart was far from Me. By your words, you professed Me, ‘Lord,’ but by your actions, you denied Me. You confessed that I died to save you, but you trampled on My Blood by reveling in your sins.” Believing in Christ’s saving Passion and Resurrection without true repentance will only condemn you all the more, and it would be better that you had never heard the Gospel. Only the one who is transformed by grace through faith working through love and perseveres to the end will be saved.
Still you are right that many Catholics and Orthodox do not know the faith they claim to believe. I tremble at the thought of how many Catholics profane the Flesh and Blood of Christ, which were crucified for us, by daring to approach Communion without confessing their sins, or confessing without any intent to avoid sin in the future, for indeed that is what I used to be, despite being raised by devout Catholics and at the top of my Catechism class.
There is a lot of arguments about nothing on here. Both sides are saying essentially the same thing but talking past each other.
Catholics like myself are saying faith without works won’t lead to salvation because it isnt real faith. Protestants are saying real faith leads to works. It is the faith that saves you… but without works, the profession of faith is simply hollow words.
So faith saves you but only if its real faith. How do we know real faith… By our fruits… By our works.
So faith without works is dead. It isn’t the works that save you… but without the works, the faith isn’t real. In the end, you need faith and works irregardless.
Where I do find some issues are when people are saying sacred tradition is not important… That all you need is the bible. That’s where the problem lies. You do realize that the very bible itself is an outcome of sacred tradition. Which books we read, which we don’t was based on sacred tradition. Where does the concept of the trinity come from? Why do the gospels themselves say not everything was written down? Why doctrinal disagreements exist at all? Much is to be gained through the lessons handed down by the apostles through time to today. What did the students of john say and teach about the Eucharist? Where did they get that from? From the traditions passed down by the apostles themselves. Traditions that were not written down but handed down teacher to student one by one. There is great value in an unbroken chain of teacher to student relationships.
Do you really thinking some guy in the Middle Ages, a thousand plus years after the death of Jesus knew more about the lessons of Christ than those were instructed by the very people that lived, ate, suffered with, and learned from him themselves?
If your claim is the Holy Spirit provided that insight, then why the doctrinal differences? Someone has to be wrong. I find it much more convincing to follow the unbroken chain of teacher to student that goes all the way back to Jesus himself… Especially since that chain also conforms to sacred scripture.
Our works have nothing to do with salvation in any way. They don’t earn it, prove it, or are they an absolute after one is saved. Romans 4:5 “However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.” Our works have absolutely nothing to do with our salvation. Only His works.
If Christians had good evidence for the Resurrection, they wouldn’t ask you to believe by Faith
Think about that.
Historians don’t ask you to believe the historicity of any other alleged event in history…”by faith”. So why do we need faith to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth if the evidence for this event is as strong as Christian apologists claim?
Christian Americans, Muslim Iranians, Hindu Indians, and atheist Japanese all believe that Alexander the Great captured the city of Tyre; that Caesar crossed the Rubicon; and that Roman general Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. No one is asked to use faith to believe the historicity of these events. So why do we need faith to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus if the evidence for it is good?
Answer: It’s not good. In fact, its terrible; nothing but assumptions and second century hearsay.
Christians ask us to believe their ancient, supernatural tall tale based on very weak evidence, and, a jump into the dark (faith). And how do they get us to make this jump into the dark? Not by presenting us with more evidence, but by appeals to our emotions and/or our fears: Either by using, “Our almighty, all-knowing god will protect you and give you eternal life (security and hope)”, or, “Our righteous, just, and holy god will torture you for all eternity if you DON’T make the jump (using blind faith).”
It’s an ugly, manipulative, sadistic superstition, folks. Unfortunately, it is the superstition used by the largest cult on the planet.
Let’s double our efforts to debunk it.
Are’nt you on the wrong website,Christian hater? Are you lost? You will now be subject to the prayers of those who love you!!?—PEACE IN CHRIST, ALWAYS!!!
Come now. You don’t believe because any supposed lack of evidence. You don’t believe because you don’t want to.
Please disregard all my comments, I believe I was mistaken when I said faith alone can save. I think faith and works are yoked partners as the Bible said. Repentance from sin is very important. Sorry guys! I was deiceved while I was living in sin.
Zach, as I have read through this thread, I believe that you have been on the correct path up until you changed your position at the end. Please, don’t follow only what man tells you. You MUST listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, especially in this world that seems so intent on being “tolerant” of everybody’s belief. Man has a gift for corrupting what the Bible states, but the Bible is the ONLY trustworthy source of The Truth. By the way, this is mentioned from the standpoint of a Protestant Believer.
So if faith alone does not lead to salvation and works are required then how many good works is enough? And then the thief that died on the cross next to Jesus would not be guaranteed salvation simply by accepting and acknowledging Jesus by faith alone because he wouldn’t have done any good works after accepting Christ as he was dying. So then did that thief not end up in paradise as Jesus said he would? If not then that would have meant Jesus lied to Him and since that isn’t possible for Jesus to lie… Well i draw my own conclusions.
You do draw your own conclusions. That’s the problem with Protestantism is that you each interpret scripture how you will and you “draw your own conclusions” and that is why the Protestant church(s) are so dis unified. If each of you have the Holy Spirit guiding you to truth, how can you draw different conclusions and yet all claim to be correct. Would the spirit lead people to incorrect conclusions? The spirit is infallible is it not? That is why God left interpretive authority to the church so that humans would not interpret on their own and draw incorrect conclusions. The Catholic Church teaches that it is good to read the bible! BUT you must read it with the knowledge of what the church teaches so you will not be led astray. Even Paul says that he wants us to pass on what we have learned from him through his writings AND through his spoken words and traditions. Not everything is in the bible, which is why we need the tradition of the church carried on by the apostles.
Now, when you say that either Jesus was wrong by saying that the thief was going to heaven, or that the catholic teachings on faith + works produced by true faith = salvation are wrong, you are assuming that God cannot work outside of his own words. Do you think that God is not powerful enough to send someone to heaven if they truly believe in him, even if they cannot produce the works of true faith? Because I believe God can do anything.
The reason the Catholic Church and the BIBLE teaches that works + faith =salvation is that TRUE FAITH will produce obedience to God, thus producing those “works”. Works alone cannot save you, but works that are produced by your true faith in Jesus Christ can. Do you believe that someone can believe in Jesus but continue to live a life in opposition to Him? Because if so, then the demons will be in heaven too (see book of James).
When James said that bit about the Demons not going to heaven because they have no works is always misinterpreted! First of all, Jesus became a man and died for mans sins. He did not become an angel and die for angels or demons sins (as far as we know). Demons are not under the same covenant as we are, they do not have access to salvation via faith regardless of their works. Its different for them. And we don’t really know what their deal is, but we cannot say it is faith related because we have no proof of this.
So if faith couldn’t save a demon anyways why did James even bring up demons in the first place? I believe he is just trying to make a point and is using powerful examples to prove his point. The point he is trying to make is faith with no works is not a true saving faith. This is not because works in anyway earn salvation for us or make us righteous but because true faith produces works.
Honestly all this, “salvation is dependent upon works” nonsense is completely pointless and all it really accomplishes doing is confusing fellow believers in a way that makes them think they have to earn their salvation or preform good works to be accepted by God. If they are true believers then this is not the case, salvation is a free gift of God to all who believe period.
Just forget what I said, Jesus wants us to live Godly lives AND believe.
It was by faith that I have been saved….through grace…..not of my works….thank you Lord for dying on the cross for my sins and giving me eternal life which I do not deserve.
I don’t know how works come about, but I do know that I love Jesus who is God in the flesh and that I want to serve him because HE loved me first.
We are saved by faith….but a true faith brings about works.
So do you really have faith if you have no works?
I think you to have faith and salvation mixed up. James says that faith, not salvation, is dead without works.
Isn’t faith a requirement for salvation?
Faith is not equal to salvation. One can have faith in many things, not just God. But faith is how we believe and works is a demonstration of what we believe and most true Christians will perform works out if a heart for their love of God and people but we will all mess up from time to time. God doesn’t expect perfection as we are not equipped yet to be perfect. Rather He expects a repentant heart.
It’s not just believing you have to repent of your sins with your mouth and ask God to come into your heart and save you. Anyone can believe something but you have to acknowledge him by asking him to be your savior
Plain and simple, for God is all simplicity, disobedience brought upon earth damnation. Our first parents did not do the good works, even though they were without sin, they committed the most abominable crime -DISOBEDIENCE, just like Lucifer did!
On the other hand, Mary, the woman, obeyed without any reserve, she did not understand, but trusted in God and did the good work that brought salvation to the world sentenced to eternal condemnation.
Romans 4:4-5 disagrees with EVERYTHING you are saying, its faith alone! a true faith will lead to works but works do not save, the gospel you are teaching is the same one Paul CONDEMNED in Galatians 1:8-9
Hi Keith. How do you reconcile Romans 4:4-5 with the passages from James that I cite? What you are implying is that Bible contradicts itself. If this is the case, then what good is the Bible? If the Bible is truly the Word of God, then there cannot be this contradiction.
Hi brother! I am a believer in Christ and have surrendered my life to Him. I am but an imperfect person and sinner and I only rely on His book to know His will for my life. These days, I really appreciate fellow Christians (like you and all the people searching here like me) in the midst of all the worldly things that are going on nowadays.
I would just like to comment that through my reading of God’s word in the Bible, the passage in James simply implies that faith without works is not REAL faith. It is possible for anyone to simply proclaim faith but to us who cannot see the heart, we can only see faith’s fruit in a person’s life through the resulting works. This is why James said in:
James 2:18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” —James challenges that REAL FAITH must show it’s proof in works as his FAITH is PROVEN by his works. This to me clearly shows that good works is a result of FAITH and that faith comes first.
I also believe the bible does not contradict itself and it even recognizes that Abraham’s faith in
Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; — the fact that God chose to let Isaac live further shows that He has no need for Abraham to actually kill His son which is the actual work He demanded.
Another example you mentioned was Rahab whose faith was recognized as well as the reason for her salvation in Hebrews 11:31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies [t]in peace.
Thank you brother and I only pray that our honest search for God’s truth never leads us astray from Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. God bless.
Dear Keith, in His infinite Wisdom Jesus knew, we, finite minds will be confused and lost if He went to Heaven and left us at the mercy of our own interpretation of His Word. He left us His Church and the Apostles to guide us in matters of Theology and morals.
We should be very mindful of not committing the sin of pride, but like Mary say, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy Word.”
Blessings and Peace!
Aren’t you forgetting something? There’s something else he gave us to guide us and interpret the Bible for us, and its not just the church its the Holy Spirit. I would trust God’s own spirit any day over any church! And God has taught me personally by his own Spirit that we are saved by faith alone. The bible doesn’t use the words “alone” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t implying faith alone saves, it clearly is implying its faith alone even if the word “alone” is not used. Read it for yourself.