Works or Faith Alone (Thinking Challenge #2)

This is the 2nd installment of the Thinking Challenge.  If you haven’t read the last post (the 1st in this series), I am challenging everyone to reconsider what they had been taught growing up.  This is a challenge to think a bit about what we believe and why.  If you have any opinion or dare to take this challenge, I will be doing this for the rest of this month and possibly next month, depending on responses.  READY for the next challenge?

James 2:14-26 talks about faith versus deeds (works).  James is asking a very critical question to those Jews who called themselves Christians.

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?” (vs. 14)

Is James suggesting that deeds and faith make you a follower of Christ?  This would seem to contradict what Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”  So is there a contradiction here or is there some way we can clearly tell if both of these statements are correct?

Now look at 1 John 5:1-4, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.  This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.  And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Now ask yourself this…Are James and John right and Paul wrong or is there another way to rectify this potential problem?  Let’s look at what James says about believing in God, “You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” (James 2:19)

Oh boy, now it gets confusing.  First James says that you have to do deeds and have faith.  Then Paul says it is by faith alone in Jesus that saves us. Finally, James and John seem to disagree with each other as one says that everyone who believes in God is a child of God, while the other says that even demons believe in God and shudder.

Hmmm.  Sounds like a predicament awaits and some answers are needed.  How would you rectify this sticky situation if someone asked you these questions.  Respond and let me know how to satisfy both sides of this argument.

The reason for this one is mainly because some Evangelical Christians believe in faith alone, while others say that our works get us into heaven.  Yet other Protestant beliefs say that faith alone doesn’t get us into heaven, we must also do works to.

Again, the challenge is here….Let’s see if anyone is up to this challenge.  I can’t wait to see how you respond.

God Bless and Think Today…


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