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Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:28 KJV) According Paul is one justified by faith alone both in Rom 3:38 and also mentioned in Gal 2:16.

The question is, are we saved merely by faith alone just as Paul writes, as also so many I talk to claim.

Scriptures below emphasizes each a different aspect e.g endurance, obedience, by doings and also one verse seems to faith without works while another says with works.

By faith

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8)

By obedience

And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him (Hebrews 5:9)

By endurance

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)

By doings

For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Romans 2:13)

By faith alone

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

Not by faith alone

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. (James 2:24)

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    These are all correct - none is correct alone. – Dottard Jun 22 at 10:59
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    This question, also asked of Jesus by the rich young ruler, is the most important question anyone could ever ask. It is crucial to have a correct understanding on this point. This site is obviously not "Christian," or at least the moderators are not, to deem such a question unworthy of being asked or answered here, and therefore must be closed. Jesus answered the question, and He is the Christian's example. Unfortunately, I did not see this one till after it had been closed. I'm voting to reopen. – Polyhat Jul 10 at 2:13
  • With all of the verses that you quote, it looks like you're after a systematic theology answer, not an exegetical answer. Feel free to ask systematic theology questions at the Christianity site, but here on this site questions must be strictly of an exegetical nature. – curiousdannii Jul 11 at 8:15
  • @curiousdannii Thanks I have joined Christianity. Is it possibly to move the question over there? – Daniel Dahlberg Jul 11 at 9:31
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The best explanation is given in Eph 2:8-10

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.

The quotes in the OP's question each concern a different part of the process of salvation.

  • God's love and Grace are the motivation for God to save us, 1 John 4:8, 16, Eph 2:8-10.
  • We accept this external gift of grace by faith/trust in Jesus, Gal 2:16, Rom 3:20.
  • Having been saved, we are transformed into His likeness (1 John 3:2) and image (2 Cor 3:18) and do good works. If these works do not follow, we have not been saved in the first place, Heb 5:9, Rom 2:13, James 2:24.
  • This is accomplished by a steadfast look at Jesus (Heb 12:2, 3), which if we continue to trust to the end will keep our connection to God and His saving grace. Matt 24:13.

Simple!

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  • Amen, real faith produce good works! – Daniel Dahlberg Jun 22 at 11:32
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We are justified vertically by faith evidenced horizontally by works. People cannot observe one's faith directly. People can only see the fruits of his faith which are his works.

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God

Grace and faith belong to the spiritual realm.

James focuses on the physical reality in 2:24

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

Paul emphasizes that works alone cannot justify a man in Galatians 2:16

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

The vertical faith in Christ has to come first before horizontal works are valued.

How is one saved?

We are saved vertically by faith evidenced horizontally by works. Both are important but faith has to come first before works are produced.

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Faith in Christ is merely the mode of entering the religious covenant, the new grace covenant of God, that replaced the Mosaic law/covenant. Paul never taught anything like "faith alone", it was a wrong translation and interpretation by Martin Luther who was clearly influenced by the agenda to justify sin by creating a lawless licentious theology, by twisting Paul as the early heretics did (2 Pet 3:16-17). Faith without the law, does not mean faith alone, as Luther believed. The NT consistently teaches, that Faith or religion without works are dead.

Endurance, perseverance to the end, works, holiness, commandments are all works that can be summed up in obedience to God. Even Paul consistently taught that the final judgment of every man is according to works, not religion; and only the obedience to God, that is the righteous works or love trumps faith. So none of those concepts or instructions should be seen as confusing and contradictory, as all of them, including Faith in Christ, are part of obedience to God.

[NASB 1 Cor 7:19-20] Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but [what matters is] the keeping of the commandments of God. Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called.
[NASB Gal 5:6] For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

[ESV Matt 7:21-27] ​“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. ​On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ ​And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ ​“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

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    Amen good answer+1 – Daniel Dahlberg Jun 22 at 11:39
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    "Faith in Christ is merely the mode of entering the religious covenant, the new grace covenant of God, that replaced the Mosaic law/covenant." This is what Faith Alone means. There is no "lawless licentious theology" in Luther or Protestantism. – curiousdannii Jun 23 at 3:10
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    @curiousdannii if thats what faith alone is then Catholics are also faith alone coz they reject the law too. I should have added that the Lutheran faith alone implies works as any efforts rather than law works. You need to study the basics of Lutheran protestant theology. – Michael16 Jun 23 at 8:34
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    @Michael16 No, Catholics don't teach that. christianity.stackexchange.com/a/74977/6071 Catholicism teaches that "we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life." – curiousdannii Jun 23 at 8:39
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    @curiousdannii you think faith alone is without mosaic law. Do you think Catholics mandate and observe mosaic law? Luther also taught works as beneficial when countered and cornered about his lawless theology; it does nothing to change his faith alone doctrine, which is lawless. If you admit and know the true faith alone doctrine, then you shouldn't inconsistently say that it is faith without mosaic law. Maintain the original definition and meaning of it, that is only one- faith without any and every effort/works; NOT the law works. – Michael16 Jun 23 at 8:43
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You have to keep the Law - clearly explained in James 2:20-24. Jesus never came to change the law. Faith only - that means you can do anything you want as long as you have faith (murder, rape, steal etc...). Many examples but will be brief and to the point.

James 2:20-24 - 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

Acts 21:25-26 - 25 As for the Gentile believers, we have written to them our decision that they should abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.” 26 The next day Paul took the men and purified himself along with them. Then he went to the temple to give notice of the date when the days of purification would end and the offering would be made for each of them.

(clearly following the law as does Paul when he is told to do so. Albeit being a Jew you would think that he has already been circumcised, maybe a different Paul)

Luke 16:17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.

Matthew 5:17-20 – 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.

Jesus and the disciples followed the OT - Jesus never stated that he came to change anything and the only source they had and relied on was the OT. The NT came couple of hundred years later by arguably unknown authors.

You have to follow Jesus.

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  • The law was not done away with. Paul explained what it really was for : to conclude everyone under sin and show them that they are sinners and need to repent. It still works for that today. Also it is still valid without one jot or tittle changed. However, Paul tells us that it is to be read spiritually not by the letter. This difference in reading changes death into life. Which means victory over death. – user38152 Jul 13 at 11:47
  • @user38152 - no evidence to what you say from Jesus or what came before. Paul changed many things - Eph 2:8-10 - For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life. These are all Pauls gospels as he says; “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” – Romans 2:16 – another theory Jul 13 at 12:58

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