Works Are Necessary

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Paidion
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Works Are Necessary

Post by Paidion » Wed Aug 18, 2021 7:06 pm

Requirements to Be With the Lord

Many will loudly and confidently declare that only faith is necessary to get right with God, and that works are of no avail. If anyone stresses good works at all, these people make this hasty judgment, “Trying to get to heaven by your works. 'Works righteousness' will not avail!” They will then quote the words of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:8,9
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Their claim is that good works are fine but not necessary in order to be right with God or to be with God in the afterlife. They assess those who stress righteousness are “trying to earn their way heaven by doing good works.” Indeed, Martin Luther added the word “alone” in Ephesians 2:8 in his German translation of the Greek. When someone objected that it wasn't in the Greek, he indicated that that didn't matter, for that was what was meant. Luther's words are:

“I am not the only one, nor the first, to say that faith alone makes one righteous. There was Ambrose, Augustine and many others who said it before me. And if a man is going to read and understand St. Paul, he will have to say the same thing, and he can say nothing else. Paul's words are too strong — they allow no works, none at all! Now if it is not works, it must be faith alone.”

Those who deny the necessity of works seldom or never quote the immediately following verse:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

So it is God's will that his people walk in righteousness. But is it necessary? Will faith or trust in Christ be enough, making it unnecessary to be holy or to work righteousness and eschew evil? Although Paul makes it clear that we cannot by works of the law earn a right standing with God, Paul and the writer to the Hebrews clearly state that holiness (or “sanctification”) is necessary. This truth is not inconsistent. Let's compare it to building a house. I cannot build a house through work and effort alone. I must have carpenter skills and knowledge in order to build a house. However, work and effort are necessary. If I don't do any work or make any effort, carpenter skills and knowledge alone will not result in a house being built. So I cannot get right with God by striving to do good works and avoiding evil. I also need God's enabling grace (Titus 2) made available through Christ's sacrifice and appropriated by faith. But if I do not live righteously, I will not be acceptable to God.

Here are some passages that clearly teach the necessity of holiness in order to see God and receive salvation and eternal life:

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness (sanctification) without which no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. (Hebrews 12:22)

But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

For He will render to everyone according to his works. To those who by perseverance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, He will give lasting life, but for those who are self-seeking and are not persuaded by the truth, but are persuaded by unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Romans 2:6-10)

Affliction and anguish for every person who does evil, ... but glory and honour and well-being for every one who does good ... for God shows no partiality.
(Romans 2:9,10)
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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paulespino
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Re: Works Are Necessary

Post by paulespino » Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:10 am

1. I believe that we are "INITIALLY" saved by grace through our faith ( in the INITIAL STAGE of our salvation works are NOT necessary)

2. I also believe that works ARE necessary in order for our salvation to " CONTINUE ". ( After the initial stage of our salvation occurred, a second stage, third stage , fourth stage must also occur and this is the "Maturing of our Faith" or the " Growing of our Faith ").
As our Faith matures or grows, it must produce works.

Faith is like a seed and when planted into our hearts will grow and becomes a tree. As the seed becomes a tree and grows it must produce fruits, so also our faith must grow and must produce fruits (works). If a tree doesn't produce fruits, it is dead, so also our faith if it doesn't produce works is dead.
Last edited by paulespino on Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Paidion
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Re: Works Are Necessary

Post by Paidion » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:07 am

Thank you for expressing your thoughts, Paul.

I just wondered what you meant when you said you believed we are initially SAVED by grace alone. Saved from what?
In Romans 6, Paul stated 3 times that we have been set free from SIN. In verse 7, he indicates that Jesus died for that purpose.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 83.

paulespino
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Re: Works Are Necessary

Post by paulespino » Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:44 pm

Hi Paidion,

Yes, I agree that we are saved from perishing due to our sins.

I also wonder if you understood the idea that I am trying to explain, My grammar might not be perfect.

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Paidion
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Re: Works Are Necessary

Post by Paidion » Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:30 pm

I understood you. Your grammar is fine!

It used to be my opinion as well—that when we "accept Christ by faith" we are saved from Hell. At that time, I didn't concern myself much with being saved from sin—that is, with being saved from sinning (a life-long process). I was concerned only with escaping hell fire.

Now I believe that when a person submits himself to the authority of Christ, he has just entered the door of salvation from sinning.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 83.

paulespino
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Re: Works Are Necessary

Post by paulespino » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:32 pm

I agree with you that the main purpose of Christ's death and resurrection is to save and free us from the bondage of our sins, so that we can live a righteous life.

But don't you think that part of the package from being saved from our sins is also being saved from hell?

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Homer
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Re: Works Are Necessary

Post by Homer » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:19 pm

Let's say there is a man who is a drunken brawler, abusive to his wife and others. After an incident of marital abuse his wife convinces him to attend a revival meeting at her church. Reluctantly he goes and to his surprise he is deeply convicted of the life he has been living. They have an alter call and he goes forward in tears and confesses his sinful life and says he wants to be baptized. The favorite site for baptism is a nearby river. Nearly the whole church goes to witness the event. The man tearfully confesses Jesus as his Lord and Savior and is baptized. As he leaves the baptismal site he is hit by a truck and instantly killed.

Does the man go to heaven or hell on judgement day? What, if anything, was he saved from?

paulespino
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Re: Works Are Necessary

Post by paulespino » Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:07 am

Hi Homer,

The man will go to heaven because his sins have been forgiven as a result of his repentance.

The man is FIRST saved from his sins and then as a result of being saved from his sins, he will also be saved from hell and other promises will also follow such as receiving the promised glory and others.

I think we are saved FIRST from our sins, for this is the main reason why Jesus died on the cross.

As a result of being saved from our sins the rest will follow such as being able to live a righteous life, being saved from hell , having an eternal life, receiving the promised glory and other promises as well.

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Homer
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Re: Works Are Necessary

Post by Homer » Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:27 am

Hi Paul (if I can call you that),

So would you agree with me that being saved (from hell) is an instantaneous thing and that the life we then live is evidence of that state of being saved?

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darinhouston
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Re: Works Are Necessary

Post by darinhouston » Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:27 pm

Homer wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:27 am
Hi Paul (if I can call you that),

So would you agree with me that being saved (from hell) is an instantaneous thing and that the life we then live is evidence of that state of being saved?
I might qualify that as "ongoing evidence of remaining in the state..." That someone could die immediately and benefit from that salvation is different from suggesting that (apparent evidence or not) one remains in that same state. That is a condition of the heart, and I'd say that works are evidence of that heart condition but not absolute incontrovertible proof. The thief on the cross may well have seen Jesus in paradise. If he had been rescued from the cross at the last moment, and lived a life thereafter, it is at least conceivable (to my theology) that he could have fallen into pride and forgotten his cross experience and walked away and back into a life of thievery/depravity - even if he was kind to people and on the surface seemed to show some of what we might call "fruit."

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