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GodSeeker
Jul 20th 2008, 05:24 AM
I am having a bit of a dilemma, as I am sure many others have as well in regards to faith vs. works in salvation.

First, let me just say that I am quoting from the King James Version of the Bible. As one who grew up as a Baptist that's the only version of the Bible I use. I apologize in advance if you are used to a different version.

Ephesians 2: 8 and 9 say...

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.



However, James 2: 16-26 seems to say the opposite...

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.



So which is it? Are we saved by faith alone? Or is it a combination of faith and works together which brings salvation? Or is it faith alone saves us and we show good works based on our faith? This topic has had me confused for many, many years now and I would love to find a resolution to my dilemma. :)

GodSeeker
Jul 20th 2008, 05:50 AM
Feel free to delete this post. I posted it in the wrong thread. Oops! My fault.

renthead188
Jul 20th 2008, 05:56 AM
I am having a bit of a dilemma, as I am sure many others have as well in regards to faith vs. works in salvation.

First, let me just say that I am quoting from the King James Version of the Bible. As one who grew up as a Baptist that's the only version of the Bible I use. I apologize in advance if you are used to a different version.

Ephesians 2: 8 and 9 say...

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.



However, James 2: 16-26 seems to say the opposite...

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.



So which is it? Are we saved by faith alone? Or is it a combination of faith and works together which brings salvation? Or is it faith alone saves us and we show good works based on our faith? This topic has had me confused for many, many years now and I would love to find a resolution to my dilemma. :)

Greetings!

I am glad that you've asked this question as I believe that it will lead you to more Scripture. I would definitely take a look at Paul's letter to the Romans and Galatians for some more information on this topic. In fact, I think that you should definitely do so, with this topic in mind.

We are saved by faith. Check out Hebrews 11 for some more information on faith. It details how many different men, throughout history, have been saved by their faith.

These men didn't simply "believe" God. They lived it. That's what James is talking about, faith that produces fruit.

When we accept Jesus as both Savior AND Lord we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit comes to live with us, inside of us. This Spirit will then begin to produce fruit in our lives. True faith produces fruit. Please read Galatians 5 if you've understood what I've said so far. It talks about what true fruit looks like.

We are saved by faith, the evidence of which is works.

I hope this has helped you.

With love

Christopher

slynx
Jul 20th 2008, 06:33 AM
I am having a bit of a dilemma, as I am sure many others have as well in regards to faith vs. works in salvation.

First, let me just say that I am quoting from the King James Version of the Bible. As one who grew up as a Baptist that's the only version of the Bible I use. I apologize in advance if you are used to a different version.

Ephesians 2: 8 and 9 say...

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.



However, James 2: 16-26 seems to say the opposite...

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.



So which is it? Are we saved by faith alone? Or is it a combination of faith and works together which brings salvation? Or is it faith alone saves us and we show good works based on our faith? This topic has had me confused for many, many years now and I would love to find a resolution to my dilemma. :)

Salvation is obtained strictly by grace through faith in Jesus' atoning death on the cross. Period. No person can EVER work their way to salvation; if they COULD, then Jesus' sacrifice would have been unnecessary.

The faith must be a true heart faith though, not just a belief that is merely an intellectual assent.

Once a person IS saved, a RESULT of that salvation is good works.

Good works are not only feeding the hungry, or taking care of the sick, etc.; biblical good works are also witnessing to unbelievers, defending the gospel, having a heart (and the resulting behavior and attitudes) transformed daily by the operation of the Holy Spirit in the Chrisian's life. See Galatians 5:22-23

None of these works that are a RESULT of salvation count in any way as EARNING salvation itself. What they DO count towards are the REWARDS Jesus will give us at the Judgement.

James does not advocate salvation as a result of works. He says that IF you ARE saved, then you WILL have works. If a person DOESN'T have works and thinks he is saved, then he had better think again! Paul also made the same point:


2Co 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test? [NASB]

If a person is saved, Jesus IS in him; therefore he cannot HELP but have some work of the Spirit EVIDENT in his life.

ImmenseDisciple
Jul 20th 2008, 08:26 AM
Hi again :)

Well, what's the significance of verse 19? It's saying that even the devils believe in God, and clearly, therefore, that's not enough. If your "faith" is simply believing in God, then it's not the kind of faith required of you.


6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brotherIf you believe in and love God, you will strive for righteousness, you will want to perform good work, just as you will want to pour out love throughout your life. If you don't have this longing for righteousness, and this love in your heart, then your faith is "dead", it is worthless - it's no more valid than the faith which even the demons have.

ServantofTruth
Jul 20th 2008, 01:41 PM
Yes what is being said is that FAITH automatically leads to WORKS.

Jesus challenged the people of his time. We are sons of Abraham (the chosen people/ Jews) - means nothing said Jesus. But we are circumcised, have obeyed the covernant in other words - again means nothing said Jesus. We offer all the daily sacrifices in the temper and obey the Law given to Moses - not enough says Jesus.

WHY? Because their hearts followed Satan, not the true God.

You see i can read the bible, go to church, pray etc. But do i have FAITH? Am i internally heart and mind a servant of Jesus Christ.

That FAITH will save me from deep within, where only God can see. Then when no one else is looking, when no EGO is involved on my part - then i will do the Lord's work.

Love and God bless you,




BIG SofTy :hug:

TEITZY
Jul 20th 2008, 02:04 PM
A couple of things to note. In the middle of this passage (v23) James quotes Gen 15:6 which clearly states that Abraham was declared righteous before God (justified) by faith alone (See Rom 4:1-4 & 3:28). Also this declaration of Abraham's righteousness came BEFORE the incident with Isaac (Gen 22) mentioned in verse 21:

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Abraham was a true believer (ie. he was justified or saved) prior to him offering Isaac on Mt Moriah. The simplest explanation and the one that best fits the context (and the rest of NT teaching) is that works are the evidence of true genuine saving faith. Verse 18 suggests that James is talking about being "justified" before men rather than God when he says "I will show you my faith by my works". He then uses the example of Abraham (and Rahab) to demonstrate his argument that a man can't claim to have faith in God without works.

Cheers
Leigh

tango
Jul 20th 2008, 04:02 PM
I am having a bit of a dilemma, as I am sure many others have as well in regards to faith vs. works in salvation.

We are saved by faith, as you mentioned. We can't save ourselves by works - if we could then Jesus' death was a waste of time (Gal 2:21). Salvation is a gift from God, if it could be earned then people could boast about it (Eph 2:8-9)

The thing with faith is that it leads on to other things. If someone proudly announced that they had become a vegetarian but continued to eat steaks, it would raise a few eyebrows. Sooner or later people might conclude that they weren't really a vegetarian, that their actions didn't give the same message as their words.

In the same way when our lives are transformed through Jesus, we change. If we say all the right things but our lives don't change, if we don't show forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), then at some point it has to be asked whether we did actually accept Jesus at all. Jesus himself said that not everybody who said to him "Lord, Lord" would enter heaven:

Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

If we call Jesus "Lord" that means we are handing over the reins of our lives to him. The phrase "No, Lord" is self-contradictory, we cannot call Jesus Lord and then refuse to do what he calls us to do.

Some people believe that since we are saved by grace, all we have to do is accept Jesus and then we can carry on sinning regardless because we can be forgiven. I'm not going to judge whether any individual will enter heaven (it's not my decision to make), but I can say Jeremiah had a few choice words to say about it:

Jer 7:9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know,
Jer 7:10 and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'?

BroRog
Jul 20th 2008, 08:06 PM
I am having a bit of a dilemma, as I am sure many others have as well in regards to faith vs. works in salvation.

First, let me just say that I am quoting from the King James Version of the Bible. As one who grew up as a Baptist that's the only version of the Bible I use. I apologize in advance if you are used to a different version.

Ephesians 2: 8 and 9 say...

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.



However, James 2: 16-26 seems to say the opposite...

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.



So which is it? Are we saved by faith alone? Or is it a combination of faith and works together which brings salvation? Or is it faith alone saves us and we show good works based on our faith? This topic has had me confused for many, many years now and I would love to find a resolution to my dilemma. :)

In general, I agree with the others and would like to add that Paul is using the term "works" to indicate religious practices such as tithing, going to church, baptism, prayer, fasting, etc. James, on the other hand, is using the term "works" to indicate acts of kindness and charity toward others, especially other believers.

StevenC
Jul 21st 2008, 04:40 AM
So which is it? Are we saved by faith alone? Or is it a combination of faith and works together which brings salvation? Or is it faith alone saves us and we show good works based on our faith? This topic has had me confused for many, many years now and I would love to find a resolution to my dilemma. :)

Both Apostles spoke the truth. Paul said that salvation is a free gift of God on account of our faith. James said that faith without works was dead faith. Nowhere did Paul say you cannot do works, he simply said salvation wasn't about the work. James reminds us that as Paul said, those who do not work do not eat. Why should we be expecting that God called us to be idle?

-Steven

watchinginawe
Jul 22nd 2008, 01:02 AM
It is by faith.

A salvation based upon our own works would leave us wondering if we are really saved or not. We would be like the "rich, young, ruler" who comes to Jesus and ultimately asks "what lack I yet?" (Matthew 19:20).

However, salvation based upon faith in Jesus Christ's work will never fail. The foundation is sure and already accomplished.

:hmm: Part of the problem is that many only go as far as confessing a Saviour and not their Lord. If Jesus is our Lord, then we are His willing servants. As servants, we will work for our Lord. Right?

Indeed, if you go just one verse further in Ephesians 2, Paul offers:

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Or basically, by being in Christ we are able to do God's will.

God Bless!