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.
4 thoughts on “Do You Need Faith & Works To Be Saved?”
You make a really good point SpaniardVIII. Thanks for the encouragement. We have to have faith in Christ so that the works we do reflect Him, not us.
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Good to see you. Works reflect God’s working in us for His glory and our benefits.
“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.”
Incidentally 1st Peter speaks of genuine faith in the unseen Christ (1Pet1:8) and in the living hope of the resurrection (1Pet1:3), Where this faith is tested for it genuineness by the trials of persecution (1Pet1:7).
Also in 1st Peter, it reveals the purpose of same genuine faith is for the salvation of the soul (1Pet1:9) through sincere brotherly love (1Pet1:22).
The genuine faith walk (where the world judges the behavior of Christians, 1Pet4:6) is faith expressed in sincere brotherly love that lays aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy and all evil speaking (1Pet2:1) while doing good and suffering for it according to the will God (1Pet3:17).
This helps to understand Mark9:24, “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Applying the above truths, Mark 9:24 will take on the following appearance
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe (related to Rom10:9); help thou mine unbelief (related to Jam2:17).
In-summary, Jam2:17 was speaking of the faith walk that saves the soul does not conflict with Eph2:8-9 that was speaking of the believing faith apart from works that saves the spirit. This understanding is important to fight the good fight of faith (1Tim6:12), where the soul is the battle field (2Co10:3-5), is fought from the spiritual victory ground that God has already won on behalf of us.
Thank you for your visit.