Faith vs. Works

Our family (Erick and Amber, Mike and Steph, and Kaitie in

Virginia and Rick and I in Florida) has been having a running discussion on the Faith vs. Works issue.  That makes us sound spiritual, doesn’t it?  Usually we only have running discussions on the Eagles or the Phillies or something equally vital.  🙂  But anyway, while no one would claim that we are saved by anything other than faith–we were discussing the role of “works” in our sanctification.  We kind of had the same faith vs. works issues that were common in the early church (I learned).

Were Paul and James at odds when James said that “faith without works is dead” and Paul said “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith?”  We kind of had that argument…a little bit.

So, my teacher in my New Testament Survey class (Dr. Gary Stanley) made this excellent point and I love this simple explanation to a hard question:

The justification of a believer in the eyes of God is by faith.

The justification of a believer in the eyes of the world is by works.

What makes us right before God is our faith.  What demonstrates our faith before men is our works.

No reconciliation is necessary between Paul and James, but both are necessary!

What do you think?


About rickandjan

We are missionaries serving as the SE Region Director of Operations with Cru Military. Rick handles the operations and Jan tries to keep up with the communications.
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5 Responses to Faith vs. Works

  1. Deb Wick says:

    I am not a born and bred Lutheran but have come to love the Missouri Synod Lutheran doctrine. Here is what Martin Luther had to say in a sermon…way back when….and I like it. 🙂

  2. rickandjan says:

    I read it Deb–I like it too!

  3. Steve says:

    I have a question about the Faith That Works graphic shown above. Is it in the public domain? If not, can you tell me who owns it? I’m just starting a Faith Works group at our church and would really like to use it or something like it.

    I appreciate your ministry. Thank you for the work you do.

    • rickandjan says:

      Thanks, Steve. I wish I could remember where I found the image, but I honestly don’t remember. I was new to blogging and thoughts of owning an image never crossed my mind. I know more now…
      I have searched and seen the image one other place, but it had no copyright information on it. If I find anything, I will let you know.

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