I am going to make a statement that should settle the disagreement once and for all.
You are correct in saying that dead faith does not produce salvation.
Yet Living faith produces salvation before
it produces works. We are saved first, then works follow. Works do not precede salvation, salvation precedes works. The reason God did it this way is so that our faith would be in Him, not partly in Him and partly in our works. I will present two items of evidence that demonstrate that salvation precedes works, the issue of forgiveness and the issue of the Holy Spirit.
1. To demonstrate that salvation precedes works, we only have to look to the issue of forgiveness. The Bible never says that God makes works a condition for being forgiven and cleansed from sin. Faith and Repentance are the only conditions for being forgiven. When He forgives us He also cleanses us, engrafts us in the Vine, and gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now some think that God's free grace in forgiveness is a license to then live as we please. Nothing can be further from the truth, now that we are saved we are even more accountable to God. ( see the parable of the Talents and the epistle of Jude )
2. Additionally, salvation must precede works in salvation because any works that we do before salvation are done in the flesh
. How do I come to the conclusion? Please read the following scripture which demonstrates this truth.
Romans 8: 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness
This passage demonstrates that there are two types of people, those in the flesh and those in the Spirit. If we are in the flesh, we cannot please God. Yet we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Holy Spirit is in us. Now if the Holy Spirit is not in us, it is evident that we are in the flesh, so any works that we may do will be done in the flesh and are incapable of saving us. Yet when we are converted, we receive the Holy Spirit and are no longer in the flesh, and now it is possible to please God. The Holy Spirit does not indwell unsaved people, so we must be saved before our works can have any eternal