A salvation of Grace or of our works•
Excerpts from Titus 3:5,Eph 2:8, Isaiah 64:6 respectively
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Now what about James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
Is it a contradiction? No not at all for God can’t contradict Himself. Rather it is that a person will do good works as a proof of their salvation. In other words a person who is saved will go ahead to do good works as a fruit of their salvation not as a requirement of their salvation. The reason why they are saved is by grace through faith and the result of their salvation is doing good works with a thankful attitude for what God has done for them i.e saving them from the power of sin, death and hell (Matthew 7:17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.) it’s only logical to expect a bad tree to bear bad fruit because of it’s nature(being bad) likewise a healthy tree is expected to bear good fruit because of it’s nature(being healthy). In the same way we expect a sinner under the power of sin to increase in sin and a sinner under the power of grace to reduce in sin and perform good deeds because he is of a different nature(2 Cor5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 1John 3:4-10 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God,… That is exactly what James is saying (James 2:17-18) Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 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.”
Let’s drive the point home; Doing good works in a Christian life is not a prerequisite/ requirement for salvation it is a result of being saved. Simple mathematics for you here;
a) Faith= salvation + works) Faith + work = salvation
Which is right a or b?a) is right of course. A person’s Faith in God saves them and causes them to perform good deeds. While on the other hand b) says a person cannot be saved by faith alone, they have to do good deeds too.
Let’s examine carefully what Scripture teaches; James 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness… We see here that Abraham was called righteous not because he offered up Isaac but because he believed. And later in life after his salvation when God tested his faith(by asking him to offer up his only son and heir Isaac), Abraham obeyed to do it which showed the genuineness of his faith. not so that he could be saved for we see he was already saved (by being counted as righteous in the sight of God) In the same way we do not obey to perform good works in order to be saved rather we obey because we have been saved and love God. And love cannot be shown without obedience 1 John 2:3-6 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
️You are not saved because you are baptized, you are baptized because you have been saved. Remember the thief on the cross(Luke 23:40 -43 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”) You realize Jesus didn’t tell him “in order for you to be saved you need to first get off the cross go be baptized, put up your hand and say this prayer, confess your sins to the priest, pray to the saints, pray to Mary, do penance, tithe more and any other sacraments then you will be saved after performing these “good” deeds. What this man realized was that the only thing his deeds could earn him was judgement and he needed a righteousness not of his own but of Christ to get into His Kingdom. Not even his achievements could save him, all he did was to fling himself upon the mercy of Christ as Paul said Philippians 3:8-9 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.
We have an imputed righteousness from Christ and God considers us as righteous as Christ is. In the same way our sins were imputed to Him on the Cross and He was counted and treated as a sinner for our sake. (Isaiah 53:5-6, 2Cor5:21) But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
While the Roman Catholic believes that salvation is by faith plus works, the bible teaches that salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone and in Christ alone.
Caveat: The moment we add works ,it is at that moment that Grace ceases to be grace. Grace is unmerited favor.
Question to the reader: What is the difference between imputed righteousness and infused righteousness(that Roman Catholicism teaches) ?