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 3:17- 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.

Satan Is After You To Destroy You

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[John 10:10] The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Steal: Satan comes to steal you away from the truth of God’s Word. He will take the truth that you know and give you the wrong interpretation (Matthew 4:6). The devil first has to make you believe in a false Jesus, a false Holy Spirit, and in a false Gospel that cannot save.

[2 Corinthians 11:4] For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

Kill: Once you believe in a false Jesus from Satan, your faith will die.

[John 8:24] I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”

For some examples of a false Jesus Christ that comes from the teachings of demons through false religions.

  • Jesus is not God
  • Jesus didn’t die on the cross
  • Jesus didn’t rise from the dead
  • Jesus wasn’t perfect
  • Jesus was not born from a virgin
  • Jesus was not the Son of God
  • Jesus is not the only way to heaven
  • Jesus is another god apart from the Father
  • A denial of the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all three being Yahweh

If you believe in any Jesus from the list above, you have believed in a false Jesus that cannot save you from your sins.

Destroy: After the devil has killed your faith, it is when you have been eternally destroyed, meaning, there is no more hope for you apart from Jesus Christ. Without Jesus forgiving your sins, you will die in your sins and will be assigned a place in hell where the fire does not go out and your torment will not cease after death.

[Matthew 3:12] His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

“winnowing fork” God’s judgment upon everyone.

“gathering his wheat into the barn” The wheat are the Christians and the barn is heaven or eternal life with Jesus.

“burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire” The chaff are those who have rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior. They will be thrown into hell where the fire does not go out.

Friends, cling to the Jesus that the Bible reveals and pray to Him, worship Him, and give Him thanks for all that you have, especially if you are a believer, give Jesus thanks for your salvation.