domingo, 10 de noviembre de 2013

"Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works?"

Answer: This is perhaps the most important question in all Christian theology.

This question is the reason for the Reformation - the division between the Protestant church and the Catholic church.

This question is a key difference between Biblical Christianity and most sects professing "Christian".

Is salvation by faith alone, or by faith plus works? Am I saved only by believing in Jesus, or I have to believe in Jesus and do certain things?


The issue of faith alone or faith plus works is made difficult because of some Bible passages difficult to reconcile. Compare Romans 3:28, 5:1 and Galatians 3:24 with James 2:24. 

Some see a difference between Paul (salvation is by faith alone) and James (salvation is by faith plus works). In fact, Paul and James do not disagree at all. The only point of disagreement that some people claim, is about the relationship between faith and works. 

Paul dogmatically says that justification is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) while James seems to be saying that justification is by faith plus works. 

This apparent problem is solved exactly by examining what he was talking Santiago. Santiago refuted the belief that a person could have faith without producing any good works (James 2:17.18). James emphasizes the point that genuine faith in Christ will produce a changed life and good works (James 2:20-26). 

James is not saying that justification is by faith plus works, but rather a truly justified by faith will have good works in his life. If a person claims to be a believer, but has no good works in your life - then you probably do not have a genuine faith in Christ (James 2:14, 17, 20, 26).

Paul says the same in his writings. The good fruit believers should have in your life, are listed in Galatians 5:22-23. Immediately after telling us that we are saved by faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9), Paul informs us that we were created to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). 

Both Paul and James expect nothing less than a changed life, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17) 

James and Paul not differ in their teaching about salvation. They approach the same subject from different perspectives. Paul simply emphasized that justification is by faith alone while James put emphasis on the fact that faith in Christ produces good works.

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  1. SEEKER FRIENDLY PREACHING BY STEVE FINNELL
    There are more than a few who believe more people would be converted to the truth about Jesus and His gospel plan of salvation if preachers were nicer and more understanding in preaching the truth.

    Is seeker friendly preaching the answer to evangelism?
    Is the gospel of the Bible too narrow and restrictive to win the world to Christ?
    Should the gospel be expanded to include, all men, no matter what doctrinal position they embrace?
    Is God's truth too offensive for that world to accept?

    If Jesus and the apostles would have been more seeker friendly preachers would the world have already been converted to Christianity?

    THE GOSPEL AS SEEKER FRIENDLY ADVOCATES SEE IT!

    THE JESUS VERSION.
    John 8:24 'Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."(NASB)

    THE SEEKER FRIENDLY VERSION.
    John 8:24 'Therefore I judge no man. It is optional to believe or not believe if I am the Son of God." (Seeker Friendly Handbook)

    THE JESUS VERSION.
    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (NASB)

    THE SEEKER FRIENDLY VERSION.
    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am one of the ways, and I have partial truth, and there are many different roads that lead to the Father." (Seeker Friendly Handbook)

    THE JESUS VERSION.
    John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.(NASB)

    THE SEEKER FRIENDLY VERSION.
    John 8:44 I will not make any judgment concerning any ones genealogy. Who is truthful is strictly a matter of opinion. (Seeker Friendly Handbook)

    THE APOSTLE PETER VERSION.
    Acts 2:36-37 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--- this Jesus whom you crucified" 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?"(NASB)

    THE SEEKER FRIENDLY VERSION.
    Acts 2:36-37 Peter said, "Jesus loves you this I know." 37 Then they were pierced to the heart and all recited the "Sinner's Prayer."(Seeker Friendly Handbook)

    THE APOSTLE PAUL'S VERSION.
    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived ; neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.(NASB)

    THE SEEKER FRIENDLY VERSION.
    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 I just preach Jesus, I am not the judge of sin nor sinners. Only God will decide who will enter the kingdom of God. (Seeker Friendly Handbook)

    THE APOSTLE PAUL'S VERSION.
    Galatians 1:6-9 I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;.......9 As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received he is to be accursed! (NASB)
    Galatians 1:6-9......8 Let God's cures fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other way to be saved than the one we told you about......(The Living Bible---Paraphrased)

    THE SEEKER FRIENDLY VERSION.
    Galatians 1:6-9 Let every denomination decide in their heart how to become saved and write it in their creed book. God will not judge those in error. (Seeker Friendly Handbook).


    IS SEEKER FRIENDLY EVANGELISM THE WAY TO CHURCH GROWTH?


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