Saved by Faith or Works
The question that seems to divide Christians is the way of Salvation. One group says that salvation is achieved by doing good and being good. The other group says it is by believing that Jesus died for everyone's sins. In this article we will take a look at how one is truly saved.
First let's look at the group that says, good works will get a person saved. These people rely on their own self righteousness to justify their salvation. After all why would a holy God allow bad people into heaven? They feel they need to earn heaven. Anything that is worth anything must be worked for.
I John 3
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
These are convincing verses for salvation by good works. Unfortunately these verses are taken out of context. The first verse refers to the second birth. It is a spiritual birth, that occurs when a person puts their trust is Jesus Christ for their salvation. It is called being born again. This second birth is of God and can not sin. The first birth which is of man is fully capable of sinning and does sin. These two births or natures. war against each other and make the Christian life very difficult. The next passage in James, is about faith. If a person is alive in their faith, they will have the good works to show for it. If a person does not have works, it does not mean they are not saved. It means that person's faith is dead or inactive. This passage never mentions the grace of God, which is how we are saved. Works in this passage represents faith and not a way of salvation. The problem with the works salvation crowd is they are hypocrites.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Just like the pharisees, these people believe themselves to be sinless, but are full of sin. They may appear holy on the outside, but inwardly they are wicked. Often they are filled with pride and all kinds of evil thoughts. Now let's take a look at the second group who say salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
This group believes that Jesus Christ died for their sins, as the only means of salvation. They put their faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as payment for all the world's sins, past, present, and future. This group does not stand on their own righteousness as a way to salvation. They completely put their faith in Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
All of these verses and many others not listed, tell of God's simple plan of salvation. It is by the grace of God, that a person gets saved. There is only one way to heaven and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Any other way, is the wrong way and will send a person to an eternity in hell. The bible from Genesis through Revelation, speaks of a redeemer who will take away the sins of the world. We need a redeemer, because no matter how hard we try, we can not stop sinning. Only Jesus Christ's precious blood can wash away our sins.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you are not a Christian, I invite you to get saved now. Tomorrow may be to late. To get saved all you have to do, is admit that you are a sinner and that Jesus Christ died for your sins. The only way to take away sins is with the pure shed blood of Jesus Christ. Good works can not take away sins. If they could, then Jesus Christ died in vain. Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead as payment for all sins. Once you believe that, you are saved forever. You did nothing to earn it and you can do nothing to lose it.
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.