Salvation: Faith, Works, Both?


If you have not been reading my posts of 1 Peter, I am diving into my thoughts on salvation and how we receive it and who gets it. There is a struggle in the Christian world on how to approach living a life that guarantees salvation. Is it by works? Is it by faith? Is it both or neither one?

It is by the grace of God that we are saved. For if we focus too much on works, we turn into Pharisees and if we focus to much on faith we might have missed out on sharing God’s love and gently leading friends in His direction. So do we lie in the happy medium?

These verses in the Pauline epistle, Titus, cover much of the confusion many have:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

(Titus 2:11-14 ESV)

Salvation is for those who because of Christ’s death and resurrection and who now live above the law, fall more in love with their Savior every day. Because of this rekindled relationship, Christ-followers cannot help spreading His love, grace, justice, joy, and peace to EVERYONE they come in contact with. Salvation is for those who have faith and cannot keep it to themselves.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

(James 2:14-17 ESV)

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One comment

  1. Trent,
    This is so spot on and is missing in many churches. Salvation is often assumed and churches preach “Do, Do, Do” intsead of salvation through faith. We are justified through faith, not good works, although good works are the fruit of our faith — an overflow of the heart.

    Thank you for posting this.

    –Andrew

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