Faith & Works

As Christians today, there is major debate is faith or works that save humanity? The Gospels appears to claim Jesus said we are to be judge by our actions. He said couple of times you will know person by his or her actions.

According to Matthew Jesus said,

 “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”” (Matthew‬ ‭9‬:‭35-38‬ ESV)

Jesus said,

““Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.””(Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭33-37‬ ESV)

Jesus also said,”And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”” (Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭49-50‬ ESV) he you once more see you judge by action, rather be relate even to Jesus.

Jesus also said,

“And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”” (Matthew‬ ‭15‬:‭16-20‬ ESV)

So what you say and do is reflection of soul.

:St. Paul would be the one who said, we are saved by work and major part of the Christian Bible was written by St Paul.

St Paul wrote,

Well then; it was through one man that sin came into the world,   and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned.  Sin already existed in the world before there was any law, even though sin is not reckoned when there is no law.  Nonetheless death reigned over all from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sin was not the breaking of a commandment, as Adam’s was. He prefigured the One who was to come …  There is no comparison between the free gift and the offence. If death came to many through the offence of one man, how much greater an effect the grace of God has had, coming to so many and so plentifully as a free gift through the one man Jesus Christ!  Again, there is no comparison between the gift and the offence of one man. One single offence brought condemnation, but now, after many offences, have come the free gift and so acquittal!  It was by one man’s offence that death came to reign over all, but how much greater the reign in life of those who receive the fullness of grace and the gift of saving justice, through the one man, Jesus Christ.  One man’s offence brought condemnation on all humanity; and one man’s good act has brought justification and life to all humanity.  Just as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience are many to be made upright.  When law came on the scene, it was to multiply the offences. But however much sin increased, grace was always greater;  so that as sin’s reign brought death, so grace was to rule through saving justice that leads to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.[1]

 However, St. James the brother of the Lord, would seem to believe we are saved by works.

St James wrote,

How does it help, my brothers, when someone who has never done a single good act claims to have faith? Will that faith bring salvation?  If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes and has not enough food to live on,  and one of you says to them, ‘I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,’ without giving them these bare necessities of life, then what good is that?  In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead.  But someone may say: So you have faith and I have good deeds? Show me this faith of yours without deeds, then! It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith.  You believe in the one God—that is creditable enough, but even the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear.  Fool! Would you not like to know that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by his deed, because he offered his son Isaac on the altar?    So you can see that his faith was working together with his deeds; his faith became perfect by what he did.  In this way the scripture was fulfilled: Abraham put his faith in God, and this was considered as making him upright;   and he received the name ‘friend of God’. 24 You see now that it is by deeds, and not only by believing, that someone is justified. There is another example of the same kind: Rahab the prostitute,   was she not justified by her deeds because she welcomed the messengers and showed them a different way to leave?  As a body without a spirit is dead, so is faith without deeds.[2]

As you can read both authors had very different perspectives on salvation. Jesus even seem to say we are judge by our actions

too. Remember the good Samarian? This is a person enemy of the Jews were used as example what to do and the Priest and

other Jewish persons did what was wrong. I attend to agree more with St. Paul, because it seems it almost impossible not to sin. Therefore, it must be faith alone. But, Paul did not fully say this. Martin Luther would come to use this wording.   Maybe this is cough out, that Catholic seen to believe we are judge by works. I have come to believe in more faith, but with some works too. What is your point of view on this ?


[1] The New Jerusalem Bible (New York: Doubleday, 1985), Ro 5:12–21.

[2] The New Jerusalem Bible (New York: Doubleday, 1985), Jas 2:14–26.

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