Does faith plus works equal salvation? What does the Bible say?
[James 2:24] 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
[John 3:16, 18] 16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. … 18 “Anyone who believes in him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.
[Philippians 2:13] 13 For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.
Works are the evidence of a regenerated person who has the Holy Spirit indwelling him already. Salvation is based upon faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for you.
[Ephesians 2:8-9] 8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift – 9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
In context, you will find the meaning of James 2:24. See below.
[James 2:18, 22-23] 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works. … 22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was made complete, 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.
Without the evidence of works in a professing believer’s life, his faith is dead. Meaning, he never had it in the first place. Genuine faith will produce fruits (Matthew 13:23) because it is not the person who produces it, but the Holy Spirit in the person who does. So, without the Holy Spirit, there will be no works, showing that he never had saving faith.