Faith and Works

In the church today, there is a big emphasis on faith, which is good, but this can downplay the importance of works. This is wrong and may lead into great problems. For example, people may start to think that if works don't matter, they can sin in any way they want because they have faith and that is all that matters.

James 2:17 says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead”. We are saved by faith alone, but you don't have faith if you don't have works as the two are inextricably linked. James goes on in chapter 2:26 to say, “For as the soul apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead”.

If you have faith, it should be shown by works, and one proof of faith in a person’s life is works. So, when you see someone who is acting abominably and they tell you it does not matter because they are under grace, a fitting answer might be to tell them that you are only under grace if you have faith, and you only have faith if you have works.

On judgment day we will be judged according to our works, as it says in Revelation 20:12: “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.”

Richard van den Broek

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4 comments:

  1. This was a very intriging post!

    I agree with what you said.... If we show works along with our faith, it gives such a better testimony for others!

    Thanks for posting!
    I truly enjoy reading each post!'

    Stepheny

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  2. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
    Ecc 9v10

    What good we can do now, we should do as best as we can.

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  3. Samuel Mackereth19 April 2010 at 20:08

    Hmm. Interesting topic. I agree with you Richard that works are an important outworking of true faith,and I think this is a very important topic for Christians to study: but I think it's also very important to remember that those works are only a natural outworking of true, living, faith, which is the gift of God; not something we can add on ourselves.

    I also think the greater doctrinal problem in the church today is works without faith, not so much faith without works, certainly Christians need to get out and show their faith in their lives in Britain, but the idea that we can please God by our own works without saving faith in Jesus Christ is far more dangerous, a deadly heresy affecting many 'Evangelical' churches. Hebrews chapter 6 verse 1 tells us that the foundation of our Christianity is "repentance from dead works and of faith toward God" Works designed in and of themselves to please God are dead and something to be repented of, just like faith which does not overflow in the voluntary service of God for his Glory alone.
    I am not sure what you mean by "On judgment day we will be judged according to our works" I certainly do not want to be judged by the greatest of my filthy rags, for Christians service of Christ in this world is rewarded but not used as a basis for judgement, perhaps you could clarify what you meant by that?
    Thanks for a thought-provoking article and please forgive me if I've been a little pompous.
    thanks,
    Sam.

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  4. Interesting discussion... I think that as with a lot of things in the Bible, we read two seemingly opposing things which we know must somehow both be right. As with many things, I don't suppose that we'll ever fully know the answer until we are face to face with God in heaven!

    I definitely agree that there is a problem with people thinking that they can 'earn' salvation but, I also think that there is a BIG problem in the church of faith without works. It's almost as if because we know Jesus has paid the ultimate price for sin, we think we don't have to try and be sinless!

    Galatians 5:19-21 says; “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Although the Bible clearly says “those who call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Joel 2:32 and Acts 2:21), the above passage clearly says that those who 'practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God'! Also Matthew 7:20 says “So then, you will know them by their fruits.”

    Samuel in regards to your question about being judged by our works, take a look at 1 Corinthians 3. Verse 11 reads “each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work”. Verse 11 says that our only foundation can be Jesus (which ties into works without faith being dead) and verse 15 says, “If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire” - although we'll be saved, we won't have any rewards for using our 'talents' wisely (Matthew 25).

    You've also said: “Works designed in and of themselves to please God are dead and something to be repented of”. I'm concerned that you seem to be saying that when we do something simply to please our God, that is worthless and even sin! Maybe, though, I've misunderstood what you mean?

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