The true Gospel is that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead, so that everyone who believes in Jesus is saved by grace and not by a single work!
The true Gospel is that Faith alone saves us, without any works.
Romans 4 “4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”
But the typical response from Christians is that faith without works is dead.
James 2 “17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead…..24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.”
They say that faith needs works to be saved.
But my question is this: how many works do you need to have faith? Let’s look at what James himself said:
James 2 “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism….8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.”
The works required is perfection – in keeping the ten commandments.
Most Christians may not have killed or stolen from a bank, but nobody keeps the Sabbath today. The other thing is that Jesus defined the Ten commandments in the Sermon on the Mount as moral perfection in Matthew 5:17-48 where they had to avoid anger, lust, hatred, speaking evil about others, and also had to love their enemies, turn the cheek and never judge anyone – they had to be perfect as God to keep the law.
Jesus also told the Jews to sell everything to the poor, carry the cross, forsake everything in Luke 12, Luke 14, Matthew 19 if they wanted to be perfect according to the Law.
If you say faith requires works, then it is a works-based salvation because the works required is perfection!
Faith + works = works
You see, not a single Christian does the “works” that James or Jesus demanded.
It’s because James was NOT talking to you Gentiles. He was writing to Jews under the law, just like Jesus preached to Israel before the Cross.
James 1 “To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:”
The Jews were under the law and they were trusting in the Law. Therefore Jesus and James used the same Law to show them that they are not righteous by works!
Romans 3 “19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
The law ended on the cross but Israel still trusted in the works of the law as James tells us here:
Acts 21 “17 When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. 18 The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. 19 Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.20 When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22 What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, 23 so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. 24 Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.”
But just before the city of Jerusalem was destroyed, the writer told the Hebrew Christians to forsake the Law of Moses and fully accept the New Covenant because the Law was passing away in their lifetime.
Hebrews 8:13 “13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
Hebrews 12 “18 You have not come to a mountain (Mt.Sinai / LAW / OLD COVENANT) that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; …… 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
Hebrews 13 “13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp (earthly Jerusalem), bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come (New Jerusalem in heaven).”
The entire law passed away for Israel when Jerusalem was destroyed in AD70.
Luke 21 “20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. “
The Law does not exist today.
The Ten Commandments does not exist today.
Therefore the believer is not required to fulfill the law.
Therefore faith does not need works.
Today we are saved by faith WITHOUT doing a single work.
We are saved by the finished work of Jesus on the cross, who took away the sins of the world.
Romans 4 “God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
Jesus has made the world sinless by removing the law.
Everyone who believes in Jesus receives the forgiveness of sins without doing any works!