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by Wayne Blank
But does that mean that nothing is required of Christians? Can we just sit back and "have faith" that we will be saved?
From a Christian perspective, works means obedience to God. Doing good works cannot get anyone saved, but it determines very much who will be saved. Salvation will only be freely given to those who repent and obey God.
Christ's Works As Proof Of The Messiah
"Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father." (John 14:10-12 RSV)
Christian Works As Proof Of A Christian
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5 RSV)
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 RSV)
"Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity." (Acts 9:36 RSV)
"The signs of a true apostle were performed among you in all patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works." (2 Corinthians 12:12 RSV)
"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good life let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom." (James 3:13 RSV)
Faith Alone Is Not Enough
"For He will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury." (Romans 2:6-8 RSV)
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins [see The Unpardonable Sin], but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries." (Hebrews 10:23-27 RSV)
"My Works Will Show You My Faith"
"What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?"
"If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead."
"But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith."
"You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe - and shudder."
"Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God." [see Abraham, Man Of Faith]
"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."
"And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead." (James 2:14-26 RSV)
Fact Finder: Is faith without works a dead faith?