It is frustrating when people think I believe in "faith only" salvation just because I quote verses from the Bible about being justified by faith.
As you can see from what I’m saying here that is not the case.
So my question is: Does what I say here sound like "faith only" salvation or something else?
Does it sound like I believe in salvation by following the law? Does it sound like I believe in salvation by deeds of the flesh without the spirit?
The words that are in the Bible have been rendered meaningless by "faith only" teachers. Even the word "faith only" can mean just belief only with no works.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Do I need to define the word "faith" every time I mention it in a question or an answer? A Catholic person said my "faith only" doctrine is man made.
So is Pauls doctrine man made, and James doctrine not?
No. Paul is talking about people who believe they are justified by keeping the law. He explains that if that were true then if you voilate part of the law you have violated the whole law. So he explains that we are justified by faith, not by works of the law.
James clarifies this by saying that true faith is evidenced in works.
Notice that James never suggests that our sins can be covered by works without faith. James and Paul agree.
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
So when I say "faith only" it means something different than just "believe only". We receive faith through hearing the word of God, then by this faith, we receive the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Peter explains that in order to be sure we are going to heaven we need to add to our faith virtue:
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
So what should I say "Faith plus Virtue" or "Faith Only"?
But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Almost the whole New Testament and virtually everything Jesus taught was about doing good, loving others, and he said that if you don’t you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. So how can this concept of justification by faith become so distorted as to mean "believe only".
So what do you believe? Do you believe you can be saved by just believing Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe you can be saved by observing various rituals, or various works? Do you believe you can be saved by keeping the law, even if you voilated part of the law?
Or do you believe like I believe, that faith without action is meaningless? Faith is tested by your action,