Do You Need Faith & Works To Be Saved?

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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.

-Faith-

[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.

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[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.

Catholics Believe The Book Of James Teaches That Works Is Necessary For Salvation

A Catholic says,

“BFHU: Where has Sola Scriptura always existed? It did not exist until Martin Luther invented it. Did you know that because of his adherence to Sola Scriptura Luther had the audacity to delete 7 books from the NT that conflicted with his doctrines.
For instance, he taught that we are saved by faith alone. Sola Fide. But, in James we find these words;
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”


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I will concentrate on this statement “For instance, he taught that we are saved by faith alone. Sola Fide. But, in James we find these words;
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

I strongly disagree. All false religion have one thing in common and I mean ALL. They reject the Bible as the only authoritative Book and claim to have some extra-Biblical sources that were revealed later. The thing is that at least and this is for the Catholics, we can agree that the Bible is God’s Word, right? If someone comes and tells you that this material is also inspired then test it with what you already know to be God’s Word to see if it agrees with the revelation of holy scripture. Don’t let yourself be blindsided because it sounds good or because you grew up in it but test it with what is 100% reliable, God’s everlasting Word, the Bible. To understand the Bible we cannot come to it with a preconceived notion or with a made up mind on any particular verse. To know what James meant, we must look at the whole context in regards to faith and works to allow the scripture to tell us what it means.

As for James 2:24 which says, “24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

I will start with verse 14 which says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him?

If a person claims to have faith in Jesus Christ, how can he prove that he is saved? He proves it by producing works according to the scripture.


And in verses 15-17 which says, “15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.”

One of the ways that saving faith can be seen is through helping fellow believers with everyday basic necessities and also with nonbelievers as well. If a professing believer in Jesus never shows any love by helping them, it reveals that the Holy Spirit hasn’t transformed his heart because he is still without saving faith. In Philippians 2:13 it says, “13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.

To have good works one must first be saved and have the Holy Spirit in you to have the desire to do God’s will.

Faith means that a person trusts in Jesus with his whole life and desires to imitate Him so that we may please Him.


Continuing with verse 18 which says, “18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works.

This verse is one of the clearest to understand what James is trying to convey. How can you show someone saving faith? Only through works, meaning that faith precedes works. To have good works indicate that you have faith already, so faith alone in Jesus Christ is required to receive the Holy Spirit who enables you to have good works.


Now, James uses Abraham as an example in verses 20-23 which says, “20 Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? 21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. 23 So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.”

A Christian that doesn’t want to preach or tell people about Jesus, read the Bible or have love for people through helping them with their basic needs when given the opportunity has useless faith. A useless faith simply means that their faith is dead. A dead faith cannot bring glory to Christ, only one who has saving faith can the Spirit of God move through that person to fulfill God’s will.

James like Paul (Romans 4) quoted the passage in Genesis 15:6 which has nothing to do with works but Abraham just believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

We must understand that before Abraham showed any good works or better yet before he was tested by God to see if he would sacrifice his son, God declared him righteous, based only by believing in Him.

James is saying with Abraham that perfect faith has to be seen so that it may bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ.

When verse 24 says that “man is justified by works and not by faith alone,” In light of James using Abraham as an example we can conclude that good works in a person shows that he has been declared (past tense) righteous. Works is a byproduct of saving faith