Why is faith without works dead?
The Role of Music in the Good Life.
The Strong Virgin https: Saint Therese of Lisieux https: Most of what is said and written on the issue of Faith and good works is superficial in that it ignores what lies at the heart of the matter.
The real issue is the difference between the Catholic conception of salvation and its Protestant opposite. Essentially, this difference lies in the role each person plays in his own salvation. From the start, it should be mentioned that although Catholicism is one particular system of dogmatic teaching, Protestantism is not.
Therefore I should specify that when I refer to the Protestant teachings on this subject, I refer to the general teachings of the so-called Reformers.
As with every religious issue, so too with good works, the individual Protestant is free to believe or reject whatever he wants without jeopardizing his status as a Protestant. It should also be pointed out that, though the position of the Reformers on the issue is still officially believed by Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, and some sub-sects of major denominations Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists…most Protestants believe exactly the opposite of what these others profess.
That is, most Protestants believe in salvation by works alone. In this article, I will defend the Catholic position against the official Protestant one by using Holy Scripture and common sense.
A Free Gift I mentioned that the heart of the issue is the difference between the Catholic and Protestant conceptions of salvation. That difference is the role each person has as a free agent in securing his own salvation.
Now I will expand on that concept somewhat. Protestants and Catholics both agree that salvation entry into heaven after death is a free gift of God. We also both accept that justification holiness in this life, a necessary preparation for salvation is a free gift of God.
What this means is that, independent of any merits of our own, God gives to us the grace by which we can become holy in this life, and be counted fit for heaven upon death. In the practical order, this means that he must do good and avoid evil in order to be saved.
We are satisfied with first establishing that man is obliged to do certain things for his salvation. Beginning at the End The first proof has to do with last things.
The final judgment furnishes an excellent argument to prove our point. Keep in mind what we are establishing here. Protestants say that the believer does not have to do good works to be saved.
Making that all-embracing act of faith, the Christian is saved and needs do nothing more. In the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew, Christ our God tells of the judgment at the end of the world. The sheep and the goats, representing the elect and the reprobate are gathered into two groups, one on his right, the other on his left.
I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. The chapter ends with this verse: Certain people go to heaven because they did certain things, and others are cast into hell because they did not do those things.
Can it be any clearer?Yet throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries some Methodists have reduced sanctification to doing good works, and even some have believed that talk of personal faith was a diversion from concern for the needs of the neighbor.
Here James is comparing two different types of faith: genuine faith which leads to good works, and empty faith which is not faith at all. True faith is alive and backed up by works.
True faith is alive and backed up by works. This means that our good works don't save us in any way, but once we are saved we naturally obey God's law and do good works which is a sign of our being saved.
So the relationship between faith and works . Faith and Works: Paul vs. James. Is justification by faith, as Paul claims, or by works, as James seems to say? This problem actually has a very simple solution.
For some Christians, one of the thorniest problems in the Bible is the apparent contradiction between Paul and James.
The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is. Faith without works is a dead faith because the lack of works reveals an unchanged life or a spiritually dead heart.
There are many verses that say that true saving faith will result in a transformed life, that faith is demonstrated by the works we do. James is not saying that justification is by faith plus works, but rather that a person who is truly justified by faith will have good works in his/her life.
If a person claims to be a believer, but has no good works in his/her life, then he/she likely does not have genuine faith in Christ (James , 17, 20, 26).