Are We Saved by Faith and Works?

Question from a Site Viewer
Are we saved by faith and works? Scripture says we’re saved by faith, but James says that without works our faith is dead.

Tim’s Answer
Thank you for your question about whether we are saved by faith and works. The Bible is quite clear that we are saved by faith and not by works. In fact, the Bible expressly states this to be the case (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Believing God is the sole basis for salvation. Abraham believed God and he was declared righteous solely on the basis of his belief (Genesis 15:6).

Nevertheless, for those who think that they can have faith in Christ and do whatever they please, they demonstrate by their works that they have no faith in Christ. Faith in Christ is not simply believing that He exists, but it is believing in Him. If we believe in Him, then we will seek to do what He says. It is like a student and a teacher. A student may believe in a teacher or may doubt the teacher. A student who doubts the teacher will not be motivated to do what the teacher says. But a student who believes in the teacher will trust the teacher. If the teacher says that the way to solve a problem is by reading the textbook, the student who believes in the teacher will read the textbook. So it is with faith in Christ. Those who believe in Christ will seek to do what Christ has said. Those who only believe something about Christ but are not yet willing to believe in Christ will end up doing their own things. True faith, then, is shown by our works. This is what James teaches in James 2:14-26. And Paul says much the same thing in 2 Timothy 2:19. John says the same thing in 1 John 3:10-15.

Thus, those who say they are saved but see no need to do what Jesus said should have little confidence that they are saved. Our faith is the basis on which God gives us His righteousness. And those who have His righteousness should no longer walk in the lusts of our flesh, but in His righteousness and love.

I trust this helps. May the Lord Jesus guide you into His love,

a servant,


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