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Tyler S.

Is salvation by WORKS or by FAITH or by BOTH?

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I think my final and ultimate confusion about my eternal destination HAS to be the WAY we are saved. Paul, in his many letters, restated over and over and over (and I’m paraphrasing here) that it is by FAITH that we’re saved! He thinks of good works as profitable and pleasing to God and we’ll be rewarded but they don’t SAVE us. This seemed to make sense until I read on to James and saw that, apparently, faith without WORKS is dead and that God doesn’t recognize faith that isn’t augmented by WORKS...but I thought all out righteousness was like filthy rags? So how can I have faith in the finished work of Christ’s mercy and have “assurance” of my salvation if James says I need works...effectively EARNING my salvation. Originally I thought “oh well James wasn’t writing to ME so it’s fine” but, then again, neither was Paul right? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! 🙏

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you are saved by faith alone.....    but if you are really saved, you will by nature have works.....      works are not the cause of salvation, but the result of it

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19 hours ago, Tyler S. said:

I think my final and ultimate confusion about my eternal destination HAS to be the WAY we are saved. Paul, in his many letters, restated over and over and over (and I’m paraphrasing here) that it is by FAITH that we’re saved! He thinks of good works as profitable and pleasing to God and we’ll be rewarded but they don’t SAVE us. This seemed to make sense until I read on to James and saw that, apparently, faith without WORKS is dead and that God doesn’t recognize faith that isn’t augmented by WORKS...but I thought all out righteousness was like filthy rags? So how can I have faith in the finished work of Christ’s mercy and have “assurance” of my salvation if James says I need works...effectively EARNING my salvation. Originally I thought “oh well James wasn’t writing to ME so it’s fine” but, then again, neither was Paul right? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! 🙏

1. Take a deep breath.

2. Try reading James 2 like this: "Witnessing my faith to others without works is dead stuff." See the context for more.

3. Even James is saying a living FAITH saves but not a dead FAITH. Unfortunately, many Christian cults miss this, pass faith, go straight to works in James 2 (they love their works more than Jesus Christ), do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

You have assurance if you've trusted Jesus for salvation. He died a horrible death by torture then rose from the dead to pay your sin, guilt and shame. Your works "can't touch this".

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The short road to understanding - if Jesus in His own body was a certain way … now Jesus in your body will be >???

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Posted (edited)

Salavation is by Faith (belief and trust) and Confession (works): 

They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household,” (Acts 16:31)

”All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.” (1 John 4:15)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)

Salavation is by grace of God in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-11, Acts 15:1-11) and not by works of penance or merit (doing good) to get to heaven. The only works is receiving God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and confessing this belief (the work, often baptism by water is the most obvious public confession).

Misunderstanding this has split the church into faith and works churches, something the Apostle James addressed, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can [n]that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, [o]be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is [p]dead, being by itself. But someone [q]may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that [r]God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?22 You see that faith was working with his works, and [s]as a result of the works, faith was [t]perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without thespirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” (James 2:14-26). 

The only work is responding to Jesus and His all sufficient sacrifice with faith and confessing it. This work isn’t us doing anything except receiving grace by believing in it and the One who it comes from Jesus, and confessing our belief. This is what James was trying to say, faith and works; faith and confession. 

Even the man on cross next to Jesus believed and confessed:

“But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]

43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:40-43). 

Once you believe and confess your faith in Jesus Christ you are sealed and saved:

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day,” (John 6:39)

”Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never drive away,” (John 7:37),

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29), 

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory,” (Ephesians 1:13-14)

“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

”Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge,” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

No one can snatch you out of the hands of Christ and the Father! Nor can anyone remove the Seal of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 6:3-6 is a very radical case where I believe someone did not truly convert (believe and confess Jesus)  for the right reasons, they did it say to make lots of money like Simeon the Sorcerer, “

 

Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.”11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. 12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repentof this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.” (Acts 8:9-25). 

Simon the sorcer converted to get powers and he saw all the people getting baptized and go If after Jesus. To keep his esteem he supposably converted so he could keep make my money, and he wanted to buy the Holy Spirit anointing so he could sell it and make people come to him. Simon’s heart became clear when Peter and John arrived. Jesus says we can tell the tree by the fruit (Matthew 7:15-20) and the fruit of Simon the Sorcerer was rotten. Another example of a false convert was the Judaizers confronted in Acts 15 at the Council of Jerusalem, “

And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.

So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

The Jerusalem Council

Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, [a]acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus [Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” (Acts 15:1-11).

Hebrews 6 in context is a rebuke to those trying to go back to the law to be saved, and it connects with Galatians 5:4, “those you trying to be saves by the works of the law are cut of from Christ, you have fallen from grace.”

As I already laid out Hebrews 6 is when someone is either like Simon the Sorcerer wanting money and esteem not believing they are sinner in neecof Christ the Savior or infiltrators like those of Acts 15:1-3 who want to pollute the  Church with false gospels and etc (see Galatians 1:8-9, 2 Corinthians 11:2-16). 

If you arnt a Simon the Sorcerer trying to profit off the gospel and not really believing it or a Acts 15:1-3 Infiltrator then you are indeed safe in the hands of The Father, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit (John 10:28-29, and verses above). 

 
Edited by Fidei Defensor
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Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God iseternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A gift cannot be earned.  Moreover, it is by grace that we are saved through faith.   Grace is unmerited or unearned favor.  God had mercy on us because we need His help, not because we deserve it.  

Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Eph 2:9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Yet we were created to do good works.  They don't save us but they do fulfill our purpose in life.  True faith produces those good works when we are walking with God because Christ in us cannot do otherwise.

Eph 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

There has never been a conflict in the Bible.  There are only conflicted people.

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Our salvation is based on God's promise to us . . . that if we believe in our hearts, and confess with our mouths that he died on the cross for each one of us and rose again from the dead, we will be saved. And he guarantee's it by putting his spirit in our hearts. So that we never have to wonder if we are his.

2 Corinthians 1:22  set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 

Acts 16 : 31  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

1 John 5: 1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

1 John 5 : 11 thru 13 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

John 10 : 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

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On 7/19/2018 at 12:52 PM, Tyler S. said:

I think my final and ultimate confusion about my eternal destination HAS to be the WAY we are saved. Paul, in his many letters, restated over and over and over (and I’m paraphrasing here) that it is by FAITH that we’re saved! He thinks of good works as profitable and pleasing to God and we’ll be rewarded but they don’t SAVE us. This seemed to make sense until I read on to James and saw that, apparently, faith without WORKS is dead and that God doesn’t recognize faith that isn’t augmented by WORKS...but I thought all out righteousness was like filthy rags? So how can I have faith in the finished work of Christ’s mercy and have “assurance” of my salvation if James says I need works...effectively EARNING my salvation. Originally I thought “oh well James wasn’t writing to ME so it’s fine” but, then again, neither was Paul right? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks! 🙏

salvation is by belief alone. belief in Jesus death burial and resurrection then you receive the holy spirit and then you can not commit the unpardonable sin. because you believe.

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Believe that Jesus once died for your sins and is living to help you overcome sins.  Repent by asking for forgiveness of your sins and make the decision to sin no more. 

Works help demonstrate faith.  Like praying "Lord, save me!" when you realize you're sinning or about to sin, or in a difficult situation, like Peter did when he was drowning mentioned in gospel of John.  Also by turning to Jesus, pray to Him, etc. Faith is trusting that He is, so doing whatever that pleases Him is showing faith.

Hope this makes sense.

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