I saw the exchange below while reading some articles and it really struck me as the classic gospel debate that we see playing out in the church these days. Shannon and Gino are spot on with their argument that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was for all past, present, and future sin’s and sinners. It takes nothing else that belief and acceptance of Christ’s free gift. Otherwise, Jesus’s words to the second thief on the cross with him would have been a lie. He didn’t tell him that he could be with Him in paradise if he found someway to get down off the cross and get baptized, or pay back all those that he had wronged. No, He said, through his faith and belief in Jesus as the Son of God he would be saved and with Him in paradise. See he accepted the free gift of salvation by making Jesus his Lord and Savior.
Romans is chalked full of this comparison of Grace/Faith verse Works…
Romans 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.
Romans 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
Romans 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
Romans 9:32 Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone,
Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
The trouble with Brenda and Jordan’s arguments below is that they add something to the work Jesus did for us on the Cross. They have some works that we need to do to “earn” or “keep” our salvation. That is where they venture off the narrow path. The Narrow path is belief/faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Heaven help us if we have to do anything to keep our salvation, or worst yet earn it. What pride, what arrogance do we as men have. We in our fallen/sin laden form have no hope. But we as Christians have hope in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through Him all things are possible. His works are our gain. All the work is done on God’s side, we just graciously have to accept.
In context, the infamous, James 2:14-26, scripture actually back up Paul in Romans. (Gods word never contradicts Itself.)
James 2:14-26New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Faith and Works
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can 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, 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 dead, being by itself.
18 But someone 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 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 as a result of the works, faith was 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 the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
James is simply stating that as we become believers and our faith grows in Christ after the acceptance of His free gift, we will begin to live life differently. The old self is put off as Paul would often say. These are the actions. James is simply questioning people’s “declared” faith, by what he sees them doing happily, without regret. Does the doing, “earn” the salvation, or is the doing a sign of gratitude for the free gift of salvation? I believe the latter is clear from scripture.
Paul Washer does a great summary of the Gospel here in two videos: https://myblessedhope.com/the-gospel/
Remember, the darker it gets, the brighter and farther our little light shines!
Maranatha, Lord come quickly!
- So you have never willfully sinned? Yes you have.If you say no then you are lieing. Actually all sin is willfully done whether you want to admit it or not. Jesus said that if you even think about sinning you have committed it. AND there is NO tier of bad to worse sins with God. If you broke one Law you’ve broken them all. THAT is why God sent us Jesus to be our “SAVIOR” cuz NO ONE can ever do good enuf or be good enuf to save ourslelves. ONLY JESUS could do that. and when he did it was MORE than enuf to cover past, present and future sins. And thank God it covers future sins. DO NOT say his Grace doesn’t cover future sins cuz ALL our sins were future when Jesus died on the cross.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” 2 Corinthians 5:10 God forgives you for everything you do, but to his own judgement, truly, but in order for God to recieve you… “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6 and Jesus means so much more than just an atonement, in order for us to get to heaven there is also a price, following Jesus’s every command, doing as he would and striving to be the best person we can be. NEVER in the bible does he say that a man may go to heaven if he JUST believes, actually he says that “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” James 2:14-26 Meaning that faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. The Bible offers the world so much truth, but to be selective about the bible, that allows for it to be manipulated for the convenience of man, BY NO MEANS was the bible created for the convenience of man, but for the salvation of man through his efforts, through his convictions, his love, and his intentions, God’s love and Grace is eternal and embodies the entire universe, but his Grace is earned. Please, by saying all this I only wish for you to see the bible for all it has to offer, to allow any misinterpretation would be a sin, if any part of you believes me, or what I said, read the bible for yourself, thoroughly, take however long you need, see what everything could mean, don’t take my word for it, by no means, I only hope to convey the lessons that have so much improved my life unto you. My church is so loving and willing to help, if you’re in a search of any kind of answer(s), my church would be ever willing to answer them.
Click on the article title for a link to full original referenced article.
In Romans 10 Paul lays out how salvation is open to all, Jew and Gentile. He writes:
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:4-5
What he is saying is now it is not about works or how closely to a “T” you follow the law. But that it is through God’s gift of grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is really that simple, and yet a hard step for some of us.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
Christ is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), through faith in Him you will be saved. It is the only “works” that God requires for eternal salvation.