Skip to comments.Who Needs Works?
Posted on 03/15/2014 5:31:38 AM PDT by DaveMSmith
It seems to be a matter of common sense to say that good people will go to heaven and evil people will go to hell. Something would be terribly wrong if God could send an innocent, sincere, charitable, helpful person to hell. Yet sometimes people suggest that a person's salvation depends upon his faith alone, and not upon the good things he does, or how he lives, or whether he obeys the Ten Commandments. The Bible never mentions "faith alone" (except in one passage which says faith alone is dead--James 2:24) The concept first came into existence during the Reformation, when Luther and other Protestants split away from the Roman Catholic Church. Luther's concept of how a person gets to heaven was different from what had been taught by the Catholic Church. Luther's phrase "faith alone" emphasized this difference.
In the early Christian Church there was no controversy about whether a person could be saved by faith alone without obeying the Lord and living well. Early Christians knew that loving the Lord meant obeying His commandments, (Matthew 19:17; John 14:21; 15:10) and that salvation depended on bearing fruit (that is, doing good works). (Matthew 7:19; 16:27; 21:43; Luke 3:9; John 5:29; 15:1-16; Revelation 20:13; 22:12) In fact there are so many passages which say that a good life is necessary, that it would be quite a contradiction if the Bible did say that faith alone is enough.
Probably the closest the Bible comes to mentioning "faith alone" is Paul's phrase, "man is justified by faith without the works of the law." (Romans 3:28) Sometimes this phrase has been used to defend or promote the idea that man is saved by faith alone. But if we look at Paul's statement in context we can see that Paul was simply saying that you can be saved without being a Jew. (Read Romans 3:28-31) Some early Christians felt that to be a good Christian, one should obey all the ritual laws of the Jewish Church. "Certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, `Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'" (Acts 15:1) Now Paul knew that it made no difference to the Lord whether a person was circumcised or not, so he made it clear that it is not necessary to keep the laws about washing, sacrifices, offerings, holy days, diet, and circumcision. (Colossians 2:16; Galatians 2; Romans 3; 2:25-28; Hebrews 8-10) "Does this blessedness then come only on the circumcised, and not on the uncircumcised also?" (Romans 4:9) "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what counts." (1 Corinthians 7:19) "In Jesus Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working by love." (Galatians 5:6) Paul says here not "faith alone," but "faith which works by love". Faith, works and love are all necessary.
These and other references make it clear that when Paul said a man is saved by faith without the works of the law, he meant that a person is saved without circumcision and other ritualistic works. There are other laws, which relate not to ritual but to living well, as for example the Ten Commandments and laws such as "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18) Paul made it clear that it was necessary to keep these laws in order to be saved. He said, "Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, not adulterers, nor homosexuals... nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9,10; see also Galatians 5:19-20) Paul had no thought at all of doing away with the law: "Do we abrogate the law through faith? Far from it! We establish the law." (Romans 3:31) He knew that salvation depended on action, not just on faith: "Not the hearers of the law shall be justified by God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (Romans 2:13) And he taught that every loving person will obey God's law: "Love does no harm to a neighbor: therefore love is the fulfillment of he law." (Romans 13:10)
It is clear from the passages above that according to Paul, we must keep the Lord's commandments and live a good life in order to be saved. This agrees completely with what other disciples said about living well. What could be more direct that this statement of James: "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? That faith cannot save him, can it?... Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.... By works a person is justified, and not by faith alone." (James 2:14-24) John showed that you can't have faith unless you love others when he said, "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8) He also taught that we can and should obey God's commands: "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3)
For any Christian, the way to eternal life is to follow Jesus and do as He says. And what He says is very plain: "If you will enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17) This is not only the way to life, but the way to happiness: "If you know these things, happy are you if you do them." (John 13:17) It is the way to love the Lord: "He who has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves Me." (John 14:21) And it is the way to be His friend: "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." (John 15:14)
Unless a person has become a reprobate, works does not factor in our salvation. However, I do think God wants us to be continually improving.
Only when judging by man's standards. There is no such thing in the eyes of our perfect God.
We are saved wholly and completely by grace through the object of our faith—The Lord Jesus. And we are saved unto good works. Until we are saved we have no good works to offer a holy holy holy God. The Bible likens our best works to “filthy rags” and says that not one understands, is righteous, seeks after God, or does good...”no, not one.” Man at his very best is still “dead in trespasses and sins.”
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
A man who has been born again will indeed produce good works because his nature has been changed. However, a man who has the miracle of the new birth wrought in him by the Holy Spirit, a man in Christ, is fitted perfectly for heaven.
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” (1 Cor 1:30)
Our salvation is y the grace of God.... period. We know a tree by its fruits.... therefore once saved by God’ grace. we would want to do His will. All the rest is fuzz and fluff
Works are the fruits of Salvation.
Saying someone is good is too subjective to be a basis for belief.
God does the Saving, not man. With man, it is impossible to be Saved. With God, all things are possible.
Lemmie see, now.......
Just who is it that will determine where your soul will go?
Gee, I had it right here on the tip of my tongue a minit ago.....
We are saved by His grace through the means of faith in Christ Jesus. Regeneration is something God does, it’s not something we accomplish.
Read carefully what Christ said to Nicodemus in John 3. He tells him we must be born again, a statement which puzzled Nicodemus. Then He says in verse 6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Being born again is something done in us by the Holy Spirit.
In light of the free will beliefs of most people, what Christ said next in verses 7&8 is perhaps the most astonishing part of that passage:
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
He likened the Holy Spirit to the wind and said no one knows where it comes from or where it goes, and so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Just as God told Moses in Exodus and just as Paul reiterated in Romans 9, God has mercy on whom He has mercy. Men cannot decide by their own free will to be saved. We are born again by the will of a God. (John 1:13)
Christians can go forth spreading the good news with great confidence for when His sheep hear his voice they will follow Him. (See John 10) We know that in the day of His power we are made willing to believe. (Psalm 110:3) Those who don’t believe were not ordained unto eternal life. (Acts 13:48)
So the question still stands... what is it we DO? Sit slack jawed waiting? What is the process?
God saves us by giving us our faith. After accepting this gift, do we not want to do everything for Him? cleaning, playing, reading, sharing, giving, being friendly to those who spit on us, taking care of others, everything. Do all to glorify His name. All. It’s what people who are in love do in response to that love.
First, you have to determine if we have commandments or not. In my personal theological opinion, too many people treat the commandments as suggestions from which they grovel for forgiveness.
If the Almighty is perfect, He will make sense.
I agree. Paul lists over 95 terms of what a Christian should not be doing.
**Who Needs Works?**
We all do.
Even God worked six days and then rested on the seventh day.
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