Not By Faith Alone

The bible is replete with passages that testify to the requirement that a Christian ‘work out his salvation with fear and trembling’ (Cf. Philippians 2:12). The erroneous doctrine of salvation by faith alone is not taught when the bible is read in context. Faith without works is a legal and dead faith, and a legal and dead faith will not save you. Faith is not alone because salvation does not come by faith alone. Salvation comes through the love of God. And love of God involves worshipping Him with your whole being – body and soul. Without loving God and neighbour, there is no salvation for you. It’s simple. No love? No salvation. Count on it.

Luke 10:27-29: “And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered right; do this, and you will live.”

What must I do to live, Lord? Love God AND Love my neighbour. You love your neighbour through works of Christian charity. See also Matthew 22:39.

Luke 6:46-49: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Every one who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But he who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

What will happen to YOUR house if you do not DO what Jesus commands? Why indeed to you call him “Lord” and do not do what He tells you? If you are not serving God, then just who are you serving? See also Luke 6:46.

Matthew 7:18-20: “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits.”

What happens if you don’t bear good fruit? You are thrown into the fire. Does that sound like works are not necessary to you? See also Luke 13:6-9.

Matthew 16:27: “For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.”

What?!? It’s not just “clinging on to Christ” or a fiduciary faithin Him? So you think this is just one isolated verse where God’s word reveals that he will repay according to works? Think again! – 2 Corinthians 5:10, Galatians 5:6, Galatians 6:7, 1 Peter 1:17, John 5:29-30, Romans 2:6, Rev. 2:23, 20:12.

Matthew 21:28-31: “What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he repented and went. And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.'”

Did you get that? The Pharisees are the hypocrites. They “believe” in God but do not do His will. The tax collectors originally did not believe, but later did believe and did the Father’s will. Compare the eternal fate of the two.

1 Peter 1:6-7:“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

You may have to suffer trials in life in order to test the AUTHENTICITY of your faith WHICH IS PERISHABLE. You have no irrevocable ticket to heaven. You must choose Christ, and if you fall, you must get back up.

Matthew 25:44-46: “Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

So it appears that Jesus recognizes that a believer *can* refuse Christian charity. Notice that he allows them to say “Lord”, but because they “did it not” to the least of his brothers, they were damned.

Luke 1:5-6: “In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah; and he had awife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”

What made Zechariah and his family righteous? Was it their ‘faith’ only. Or was it something more? And speaking of ‘righteousness’, show me one place in Scripture where someone is “righteousness” without the works to back it up.

Matthew 7:21: “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enterthe kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

How much more plainer can it be? Talk is cheap. Put your action where you faith is, then you can be called sons and daughters of God (Romans 2:13, James 1:22-25, 1 John 3:18,23).

James 2:15-22: “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…”

At least Martin Luther was honest about St. James’ letter. He wanted to exclude it from his canon. He knew that this epistle did not teach justification by faith alone. And if St. James did not teach it, then neither does the rest of the bible.

John 15:8: “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”

Sounds like works to me here. Next time someone asks you to prove your commitment to something, tell them your faith alone suffices…see how far that gets you. If you want to see how someone would react, read James 2:15-16.

James 5:20:“…let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

Wow. Looks like this work actually saves someone’s soul.

Matthew 19:21-23: “Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went a way sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The point of this passage is not to cling to worldly things – possessions, glory, status. Because we are inclined to these things, we must work to divest their influence over us. This way, with God’s grace, we can gain the eternal kingdom that Christ has purchased for us with his precious blood.

By John Pacheco

We strongly encourage you to explore the following selection of highly recommended Catholic books. These insightful and inspiring works will deepen your faith, address various questions, and serve as meaningful gifts for friends and family. Don't hesitate to click on the links and discover these remarkable books that can enrich your spiritual journey.

The Case for Catholicism - Answers to Classic and Contemporary Protestant Objections
Meeting the Protestant Challenge: How to Answer 50 Biblical Objections to Catholic Beliefs
Catholic Bible
Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture New Testament Set
Liturgy of the Hours

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