Summary: Works is not seperate from faith, but a necessary component of our faith.
The Faith alone argument is no where in the Bible except in James where James refutes the argument. The book of James was made specifically to clarify the misconception that Paul advocated faith without works. I draw the conclusion that works are part of faith, one in the same as the Trinity is three in one, the upholding of the law, good works, and sincere belief all make up faith. So good works or the upholding the law under the foundation of the Christian faith add to your credit and are indeed necessary to keep a healthy relationship with God.
First off the Old Testament gives me the idea that works are important, that God appreciates, loves, rewards, but perhaps does not require good works for salvation. The Old Testament seems very black and white though. Either you are one of the righteous like Noah, Lot, Abraham, etc. or you are of the wicked in which case one must repent or face destruction. Neh. 13:14, Psalm 11:7,28:4, Isa. 3:10, 59:18, Jer. 25:14, 50:29, Ezek. 9:10, 11:21, 36:19, Hos. 4:9, 9:15, 12:2,
Christ also teaches the same in the New Testament.
I also consider Purgatory, a scenario where works may greatly determine when a person may be allowed to enter the Kingdom of God. I know that many Protestant churches do not believe in Purgatory but consider this: 1 Cor. 3:11-15. Indeed Christ is a foundation and upon that foundation we will be judged according to our works, and we will be purified based on our works.
Do not judge and you will not be judged? But if I am saved why not? Because it’s the nice thing to do? What keeps me from judging all that I hate and despise in the world? This verse implies that the act of forgiving others will in turn give us forgiveness, but forgiveness from what? Hell? No, we are saved. Purgatory? We don’t believe in Purgatory?
Why must I endure the trying times of this world? If once saved always saved than what must I endure? If I am predestined to be the elect as the Calvinist say what must I endure? Am I safe always from sin? I have the impression that if one does not truly love God he will sin and commit evil acts. But one that believes will be saved because they have a deep love for Christ yet because of human weakness fail.
Matt. 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13
I say one must repent of sins, as St. John the Baptist declared in the desert. When Christ comes again there will be two witnesses who will also call upon the human race to repent.
Even St. Peter’s declaration is not enough, for Christ rebukes him many times, gives him the charge of His church. Following the logic of faith alone Peter would not need to form the Christian Church and simply stay at home as a fisher man.
Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Pentecost is another example. The Holy Spirit came down on the disciples and they acted encouraged and strengthened by the Spirit into preaching the Gospel in all tongues.
Christ Himself was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tempted for 40 days. True Christ and the Holy Spirit are one in the same which is a mystery for humans to understand but even so. So to not perform good works when asked of us by the Holy Spirit is a “rejection” of the Holy Spirit. Now we humans reject the Holy Spirit all the time and we are sinners as a result, but we are given the chance to repent and restore our lost grace. Restore our connection to God, but of course this connection given willfully comes from God, we disconnect this grace when we willfully sin against God in our action and “inaction.”
Our refusal baptized or not, to help and comfort our brother’s and sister’s will bring about our fall. “Do you love me,” “You know I do Lord,” “Feed my sheep.” Acts are a sign of our love to God.
Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself , neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes .
Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him ,