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.

-Works-

[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.

2 Thessalonians 3:18- May The Grace Of Christ Be With You

“18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”

The word “grace” in Greek means favor, joy, and God’s influence in one’s heart. Strong’s# 5485

Without God’s favor, His strength, no Christian can survive any satanic attack. God’s favor is seen in the Holy Spirit living inside the believer. Jesus said in the Book of Luke

[Luke 10:19] 19 “Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing at all will harm you.

authority” Refers to the power of God in the name of Jesus. Only Christians have it. 

“trample on snakes and scorpions” The Lord has given the believers the power, by His Spirit, to defeat the demonic spirits who are described as snakes, and scorpions. Snakes and scorpions are dangerous venomous animals that with one bite can cause pain and death.

2 Thessalonians 3:17- Distinguishing Paul’s Letters From The False Apostles

“17 I, Paul, am writing this greeting with my own hand, which is an authenticating mark in every letter; this is how I write.”

Paul was revealing to the church, who he was writing to, how they can recognize his letters. The reason why is because there were many false apostles in the time of Paul. See below.

[2 Corinthians 11:13-15] 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no great surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their works.

Also, they (the false apostles) were writing letters to the church in Paul’s name, deceiving the church. See below.

[2 Thessalonians 2:1-2] 1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him: We ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be easily upset or troubled, either by a prophecy or by a message or by a letter supposedly from us, alleging that the day of the Lord has come.

Paul wanted to make sure that the Thessalonians would not be deceived by believing a false gospel.