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Monday, February 15, 2016

By Faith Alone Or Faith Plus Works?

Can anybody help someone else get into Heaven?

No man can by any means redeem his brother
Or give to God a ransom for him—
For the redemption of his soul is costly,
And he should cease trying forever—
Psalm 47:7-8 NASB

There would be no reason for the Gospel, if a mere man (like a pope) could get people into Heaven before or after death.

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,
Hebrews 9:27 NASB

So, it is the Gospel that people need to hear while on earth which is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).  

Only Jesus, fully God and fully man, was able to redeem sinful people. 

Pardon for sin can only be purchased by God, yet Jesus had to also be fully a man (Hebrews 2:17) as well as God  the Son (John 5:21) to take the sins of mankind upon Himself.

And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Revelation 5:9 NASB

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; 
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
Isaiah 53:6 NASB

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;                                                    

1 Peter 3:18 NASB

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:10 NASB

Not one person can be saved without God regenerating them (Titus 3:5-6).  Faith is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christians are born  from above of the Spirit.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 
“Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:3-8 NASB

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,  whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Titus 3:5-6 NASB

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
John 6:63

Christ's death was sufficient.

Hebrews 9 and so many other passages makes it clear that Christ died once for all.
He isn't continually being sacrificed for sin in communion.
The death for all doesn't mean everyone who ever lived on the planet, but it means that He died for all the sins of anyone who would ever believe.   
He died for all the sheep that God gave Him, as He is like a Shepherd with a flock that He tenderly cares for.  He will never lose those who are truly of His flock.
If you repent of sin that enslaves you and that will send you to the just eternal judgment in the fires of Hell, and if you turn to trust in Christ's death for your sin - then you will be a part of God's sheep saved by grace.  Genuine Christians will desire to obey Christ, but good deeds can never earn a bit of your salvation.  A true believer has died to sin, so we are now able to follow Christ.  If someone claims to have Christ, but they don't act any differently....they don't truly belong to Him.

Some may say, "I'm justified by faith and works."  

If that is you, it is a confusion of what James meant about Abraham being justified by works.  Works are the fruit of salvation.  They are not the root.  
The Spirit empowers a true Christian to be able to do good works, because He indwells the true believer.  
It was Abraham's faith (believing God) that was reckoned to him as righteousness.  
It wasn't any set of good deeds he did that helped earn him Heaven.

Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” 
John 6:28-29

God passed over sins from the past of those who were looking forward to a salvation that was not yet completed on earth (Romans 3:25).
Abraham's actions only proved that his faith was genuine and alive (James 2:26). 
Please don't confuse the cart of good works with the horse of faith.

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
Romans 11:6 NASB

Works are an outworking of the salvation the Christian already has, not a cause of it (Philippians 2:13). 
The only work that saves is the work God did.  The dead cannot respond without God giving life. 

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