Is a person saved by faith alone (God’s grace) or faith and works?
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.
16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.
6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this 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 workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Notice we are saved by faith so that we can do good works. In fact we are created by God to do good works. But we are saved by faith in His grace, not by our works.
5 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,
6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
It is very clear that a person is saved (experiences salvation) by faith in God’s grace, not by any works whatsoever. There is nothing required of me except to confess (be in agreement with God that I am a sinner in need of a savior), believe (to totally rely on and trust in), and repent (turn away from sin).
In our next lesson we will look at Acts 2:38-39 and explore the concept by some who profess to be Christians but require individuals to be baptized in water in Jesus name to be saved. Some even say that a person must also speak in tongues to be saved.