The Mystery of Faith and Works

A priest told one of my relatives that she’ll go to heaven because she’s a good person. I’ve had several people tell me they believe that if they do more good than bad, they’ll go to heaven. If that were true, how could anyone know if they’ve done more good than bad?

Perhaps it’s human nature to think we need to earn our way into heaven. But is this really how it works? Are we saved by doing good deeds? There are religions that think so including some who call themselves Christian.

The truth is that God created us to do good works but that’s not how we gain our salvation.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10
God’s grace is what prevents us from getting what we all deserve, which is separation from God and an eternity in hell. What saves us is our faith that God’s word is true, that His son Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the third day.

We all put our faith in something

Faith is required to believe something that can’t be proven scientifically. Atheists put their faith in the big bang theory and in evolution, both of which they like to promote as science, but are only theories because they haven’t been, nor can they be, proven scientifically.

Jesus said, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Of course, He wasn’t referring to believing in unproven scientific theories. He was referring to people putting their faith in the living God who they have not seen.

How foolish of the atheists and unbelievers to put
their faith in something that can’t save them.

Jesus also said, “most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).

So this again reinforces my earlier point that we were created to do good works. But I want to remind you that good works are not what saves us. But rather, good works are an outward sign that our faith is genuine.
If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Romans 4:2-3
James, the half-brother of Jesus explains that works are a natural response of someone who has put their faith in God. It’s an indication that they have saving faith as opposed to a dead superficial faith.
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:17
He goes on to say “But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works (James 2:18). You see, genuine faith always results in good works and is how we express our faith through obedience to God’s word.

God bless,

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