The Importance Of Works
This is controversial and often misunderstood. Nevertheless, it is crucial. What is the gospel? How are we saved?
The question is: Does our salvation depend at all on our works/actions?
What is Not Controversial?
Every biblically orthodox Christian agrees that a person is saved by grace through faith.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
A person is saved by the grace of God when he/she has faith. The grace of God is a free gift, totally unmerited. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. It is specifically not by works. No one can boast claiming that he/she got him/herself to heaven. Nevertheless, we are created to do good works. God has good works that He plans for us to do.
But what if we do not do those good works? Are we still saved? What if there is little evidence of a changed life?
James Versus Paul?
"Lordship Salvation" Versus "Free Grace"
Is it necessary to follow Jesus as your Lord in order to be saved? or is salvation a gift of grace that requires no response from us? This is controversial. people on both sides of the debate will say that it is so fundamentally important that those on the other side are heretics who are distorting the gospel (indeed preaching "another gospel") and therefore preventing people finding salvation. It is that important. What is the gospel?