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The age-old question: Is it faith or works? If it's faith, does that mean that the things we do aren't important? Can we just say that we believe and then do as we please? Some would like to think so.
However, the Bible is very clear about the relationship between faith and works and it's imperative that every Christian understand this great subject.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Our good works bring glory to God the Father.
Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Although Paul doesn't elaborate here, he confirms that good works are "good and profitable".
John 8:39 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham."
A person's works reveal whether or not we really are people of faith.
John 14:12 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.
Eph 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
As new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), we have been created for good works; therefore, our good works are evidence that we have experienced the new birth, and our lives have been transformed.
Mat 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
Rom 2:10 but glory, honour, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Each person will be rewarded according to his works.
Gal 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
We are made righteous (justified) by our faith, not our good works.
Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.
2 Tim 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
Salvation is obtained through faith in Christ's work on the cross, not through our good works.
Rom 4:4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
Obtaining salvation through faith in the grace of God is very different from attempting to obtain salvation through our good works.
If the person existed who was good enough to earn eternal life from God, then God would be in his debt.
Rom 3:10-12 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; (11) there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. (12) They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one."
The reason it is impossible to obtain salvation through our good works is that there is no such thing as a person who is perfectly righteous and in a position to produce perfect works.
Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
It is possible for a person to claim to have faith, yet by their unrighteous works deny Jesus Christ.
James 2:17-18 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (18) 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.
Our good works are the proof of our faith, that it is real and that it is alive.
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Just as the body contains the spirit, the faith that we have in Christ contains the potential for all the good works we will ever do.
Our works are therefore the proof of our faith.
If you like these Topical Bible Studies, don't forget to check out our Expository Bible Studies too.