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Are We Saved By Works?

An important questions that is often asked is: Are we saved by works?  This is a question that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.  We must first define what we mean by works.

If by works we mean works of merit or works of our own righteousness then we are not saved by works.  The Bible says, “ he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).  Paul also wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Eph.2:8-9).  We are not saved by works that earn our salvation, but by God’s grace.

But if my works we mean works of obedience then we are saved by these works.  James wrote,  “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24).  James very clearly teaches that works are necessary to be justified.   The works that James is discussing are works of obedience performed by faith.  Without these works we cannot be saved.  The Hebrew writer wrote, “And having been perfected he became the author of eternal salvation to those who OBEY him” (Heb.5:9).