Faith VS works

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The Bible has a lot of things to say when it comes to how to get into Heaven. Asides from the rules and laws, one of the core messages is that you must be a Christian to get into Heaven.

But it might not be so simple. Some of the verses in Romans indicate that you are justified by faith, not works, so horrible Christians get into Heaven while moral non-Christians can burn for eternity. Sounds kind of stupid, don’t you think? On the other hand, some of the verses in James indicate that you are justified by works, not faith, which makes more sense.

The verses in Romans say this:
3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

So you get the idea that faith is most important. But the verses in James say this:
2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

I’m not necessarily here to argue these verses, and when you get interpretation mixed in it causes whole new problems, but at the very least the Bible says that faith isn’t everything. Which still makes sense.

But are works enough to get into Heaven? As far as I know, the Bible doesn’t specifically say they’re not. Is being a good, moral person enough to get you into Heaven? If not, why? Why is faith so important? And as I’ve said before in this ancient post that I wrote soon after starting my blog, if God can forgive all those other sins, why not lack of belief?

If you don’t believe in God your entire life, aren’t you able to convert when you get to Heaven? At least then you would know which religion is right, and have enough proof. After all, what sort of God would discourage critical thought and favor blind faith?

Also, I must note how interesting it is that from what I’ve seen on the internet, people have all sorts of different ideas on the matter. It seriously is a grey area that nobody can agree on. Much like a lot of Christianity!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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17 thoughts on “Faith VS works

  1. don’t forget, Paul says that women can only get into heaven by having children. so I guess I’m damned in about every way possible. Darn 🙂

    some Christians do claim that everyone gets one final chance to convert after they’re dead. Of course, other Christians disagree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, just another case of sexism in the Bible!
      Even though it’s a logical idea that people can convert once their dead, as far as I can recall the Bible doesn’t support this – but that book is vague at the best of times. And if that was the case, preachers and pastors would become redundant!

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      • the bible doesn’t support it at all. once you’re dead, you are judged on your “book of life” and no getting any “get out of jail free cards”. 🙂

        Good observation. If one could convert after one is dead, there is no point to having a priestly class to feed off of the fears of others.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. There is no either or here.
    Christian doctrine teaches faith AND works are necessary for salvation.
    And your James verses concur for Saint James wrote “Faith alone…”
    I don’t understand why atheists fabricate provable nonsense from easy to understand literature written in simple English.

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        • But why are their interpretations correct? People make up all sorts of interpretations to fit their own needs, and the major churches are not free of this.
          Furthermore, I do recall that I never argued that it is either one or the other, I simply stated that it would make sense if both faith and works are equally important.

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          • mclasper,

            The Bible is a Christian tome.

            It was first translated into Latin from the mother tongues (Greek and Hebrew) by Saint Jerome at the end of the 4th century by order of Pope Damasas I.

            Atheists don’t get to tell anyone what the Christian holy book means.

            Only the Christians get to do that.

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            • First off, I hope this is proven, and not just another claim that we have no evidence for.
              But Christians constantly disagree with each other; there are over 30,000 recognized denominations of Christianity, and perhaps 45,000 in total, proving that nobody can agree on what the book actually means. Atheists use an interpretation of the Bible that is rather close to what the rest of Christianity uses, but without making excuses and rationalizations to explain the nonsense and horror contained within. (Not to say that all of it is nonsense or horror)

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  3. You kind of skipped past a chunk of the context in the Romans passage. While I’m not optimistic that my perspective will alter your views in any way, I’m emboldened by a quote that I saw on a blog:
    “Question everything or believe anything.”

    Faith and works are not at odds with each other. We don’t choose one or the other. Our behavior (works) is determined by what we believe (faith). All sane people conduct themselves according to what they perceive to be true. So James is stating that faith is ‘dead’ when it is not reflected in how we behave.

    Would you disagree?

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    • I’m not talking about these verses in particular, rather, I am just talking about how it would make sense if works were just as important as faith, and presenting a handful of questions regarding the topic.

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  4. I recently listened to a Christian struggle with this question about faith and works, and I don’t understand it. When I was a Christian I always felt the message was clear: faith is the requirement. Jesus died for our sins so that we could be forgiven, and we only have to believe. However…. faith is more than words. If you truly believe, you will act as if you believe. Real faith changes you. A person who does not meet the “works” requirement clearly lacks faith, and therefore will perish as an unbeliever. It’s a narrow gate, after all.

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  5. what I always told people was that the Faith that works (ie. the faith that saves) is that Faith that Works.
    but, then again… who can tell what works are actually works from faith vs works from pride… 😦 and the wheel of self condemnation, guilt and unclear expectations leave one open to emotional manipulation by those in leadership who care more about control over others and their own egos to clarify these things.
    in the end, it’s just another fear motivation for doing what the leadership tells you is pleasing to god (and coincidently matches their own agendas or church building/evangelism projects).
    but we never slow down to ask the question “if it’s True ™ and Historical ™ and it actually happened… why would we need Faith?”
    Faith is just another excuse to refuse to give honestly inquiring people Honest answers that you KNOW you don’t have. “Shut up and get back in line! and you better get to Work or you don’t REALLY have the kind of Faith ™ that saves…(subtle threat of eternal fires)”
    needless to say, I’m no longer Christian let alone a minister shoveling this crap
    -KIA

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The faith vs. works argument always made me wonder that if it really was faith that got someone into heaven, couldn’t one just rape and murder, only to confess and state a belief in Jesus and get in heaven?

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