Scriptural Thought: Faith and Works

Here’s one of many passages that don’t seem to get much attention in Evangelical circles, from 2 Corinthians 5:9-10:

9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

For many modern theologians, the idea of man DOING anything to be accepted by God is ridiculous, since God does all the work in providing his irresistible grace. But the Bible plainly states that we labor to be accepted by God, and that we will be judged for what we do. It is only by the grace of Christ that we are saved, but He offers that grace to those who choose to follow Him. Having a few conditions for the offering of a precious gift does not deprive the gift of value or the giver of generosity.

For those who insist that we are saved “by faith alone” without any need to “keep the commandments” (which is, after all, what Christ said we must do if we will enter into life – see Matthew 19:17), I would ask why the phrase “by faith alone” (or “by faith only” in the KJV) only occurs once in the Bible (James 2:24), and in a verse that explicitly contradicts Protestant doctrine? Here it is: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” That should be food for thought….

I have a list of exemplary Bible passages on faith and works with many more examples for study, and a rather lengthy page digging into the issue of the Biblical and Mormon view on faith, grace, works, and salvation. Also see “Faith, Grace, and Works” by Barry Bickmore, which includes a discussion of early Christian writings.


Author: Jeff Lindsay

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