For those that say "works" are not important, only faith, how do you reconcile these verses from the Bible?

My caps for emphasis....

Matthew 7:21

¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Proverbs 24:12

12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS?

Matthew 5:16

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good WORKS, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

James 2:14-26

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 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.

24 Ye see then how that BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Revelations 20:12-13

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and THE DEAD WERE JUDGED out of those things which were written in the books, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.

James 1: 22-23

22 But be ye DOERS of the word, and NOT HEARERS ONLY, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

Romans 2:13

13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the DOERS of the law shall be justified.

I am not denying the need for and importance of faith. The Bible teaches that we should have faith.

What I am saying is that according to the BIBLE as clearly pointed out, we need works as we will be judged according to our works. We are justified in our faith by Jesus Christ, but he also judges us according to our works. We need to have good works or we will be judged accordingly as the Bible points out.

John 5:22

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:


CJ: How do you reconcile Matthew 7:21 that says "not everyone enters heaven save he doeth the will of the faither. Doeth is works.

Would you be saying that Matthew was a liar then?

Update 2:

Dude: You are missing the point. I agree that faith is important, and that NO AMOUNT of works can save us without Christ. But the Bible is clearly saying works is important. You have not answered the question. How do you explain these verses about the importance of works? Are they not to be believed?

Update 3:

Xeus: You are close to the point I am suggesting. You need BOTH. But in saying that, you do indeed need WORKS too. You cannot dismiss WORKS. It goes hand in hand with faith.

Update 4:

Jay: I agree with your point. We of course need faith in Christ. And faith brings works. They go together. Yet, only having faith without works, as James says, profits us nothing. I am simply saying you have to DO (works) along with your faith.

Update 5:

Mike Matney: You are uincorrect sir. James is NOT talking about those that are already saved. Where does James say that? He does not. Again, why would the Master, Jesus Christ say in Matthew 7:21 that even those that proclaim him "Lord, Lord" which is faith and belief, are not then saved. You have to DOETH the will to enter heaven.

Update 6:

Gothni: That is my point and that is what I think the Bible is clearly pointing out. No amount of faith alone is going to save you. Just decaring "I believe" is not going to cut it. You have to also "DO."

23 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The issue here are people thinking that works mean that you can't have faith or that works deny the grace of Christ.

    Nobody ever said "we believe in works and works only".

    BOTH are needed.

    Acts 26:20 was one I read this morning " that they should repent and turn to God, AND DO WORKS meet for repentance."

    Beyond the argument of faith vs. works comes the question - why does it bother you if someone does works as well? Are other peoples striving to be more Christlike really offensive to you?

    Sadly those who are fully comitted and offended at the idea of "works" are generally trying to justify themselves based on faith with works lacking. Why not do both?

  • Lisa
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Here is my opinion, based on comparing Scripture with Scripture and also from reading several books on the subject. 1, Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians rather early, probably 5-10 years before the Corinthian letters. In 1 Thessalonians, the context of chapter 4 is the believing dead whose bodies "slept" in the ground. What Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is absolutely right--when Jesus returns, in the air, for His saints, the dead will rise first, and, according to the next verse, we who are alive and remaining will join them, and so we will be with the Lord forever. Did you read the next several verses, or the entire context? 2. Now in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul is discussing the individual believer and what happens when a believer dies. The believer goes to be with the Lord. Again, I'm sure you saw the verse that stated if Paul was absent from the Lord, he was in the body, and so forth. So there is no contradiction, These verses reflect two different sides of a believer's death, should a believer die before the Rapture. The body goes into the ground and the soul/spirit goes to be with the Lord. When the Rapture comes, the body is raised, and joined to the soul and spirit, and goes to Heaven.

  • Joseph
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I must say I find this whole argument funny. Let me explain why.

    Doing works is another way of saying obeying God.

    So those who are trying to argue that you do not need works are trying to say that you do not need to obey God.

    I am certain that God will not condemn anyone for thinking that they need to obey Him, and certainly not for obeying Him.

    And even if you do not need to obey God to get into heaven, I really do not think that anything bad could come from saying like Christ did so frequently Father not my will, but thine be done.

    Are works important?

    Is it important to obey God?

    Everything that Christ did was in obedience to his Father.

    Christ the greatest to ever walk this Earth lived a life of perfect obedience. Everything that Christ did was also to teach a lesson.

    He was and is the master teacher.

    So if the only perfect teacher to ever walk the Earth spent His life in perfect obedience, then how could anyone who follows Him be able to disregard that obviously extremely important lesson on obedience that their Master tried to teach them.

    We do need to obey the commandments of God. Not because it will get us back to heaven, but because it will help us to keep our faith strong and keep it growing.

    I try to follow God completely. I will not disregard anything that he has taught. I will continue to strive to shape and mold my life after the example that he left me, not because I believe that doing this will get me into heaven, but Because Christ is my Lord and Master, so I will make His will my will. I will obey Him because I love Him and worship Him.

    Source(s): This is what I have learned from 23 years as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Vanity
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    That first verse suggests that not all asking will get into the kingdom, claiming that they did the work of God. Hence, "Lord, Lord, did I not...

    (fill in the blank) do this in your name?" The will of the Father is gaining accurate knowledge of what it is that he wants and being the example to it, or trying to. Anyone can do works but much of it is not for God or the Son or done the way he wants. It does matter how you worship. He has a book that guides you and the answers are there if you really look or want to.

    Your second verse is about the condition of your heart and that God knows what's in it. He judges you by your heart. If you say you don't lust for example, but it is in your heart to do so, he knows it. Everyone is judged according to their own hearts, no one else's.

    Paragraph three is just setting an example that is acceptable to God, not man, for man to look and see that it is good.

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  • MikeM
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I think you are missing what we are saying. Works are very important. They just do not save us, because Jesus fully paid the price on the cross.

    Do not ignore the verses on works. Do not ignore Ephesians 2:8-10 either! Works do not save us one tiny bit!

    Matt 7:21. What is the Father's will?

    John 6:40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

    Proverbs 24:12 - Yes! We are rewarded for our works

    Matthew 5:16 - Yes! We are to do good works and give God glory through them. This is not for salvation though.

    James 2:14-26 - Yes! If we have faith, the faith will cause us to do works. James is talking to those already saved though. Again, works are a result of being saved.

    Revelations 20:12-13. This is true. We are judged according to our works. As you read on though, the ones that went to heaven had their name written in the book of life. How do you get your name written in the book of life? (John 3:16)

    Romans 2:13. This is true, but read on. Nobody has fully DONE the law.

    Romans 3:19-23 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 his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. (21) But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    P.S. Kerry -

    For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do (2 Nephi 25:23)

    The AFTER ALL WE CAN DO part is not Biblical. It is a lie from the pit and that is how we know Joseph Smith was demon possessed. . I don't know how I can be more clear. We cannot add one tiny bit to what Christ did on the cross. We work, BECAUSE we are saved. We don't do anything to be saved.

    P.P.S "James is NOT talking about those that are already saved. Where does James say that?"

    Christians are adopted as sons and daughters.

    James 1:2 My BRETHEREN, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

    "why would the Master, Jesus Christ say in Matthew 7:21 that even those that proclaim him "Lord, Lord" which is faith and belief, are not then saved."

    I've already addressed this. LDS claim Jesus is "Lord, Lord" just as these people did. These people said:

    Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    LDS say basically this same thing - we've done works for your name!

    These people did not make it to heaven. LDS are headed on the same path.

    We need to do the father's will!!!

    John 6:40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

  • 1 decade ago

    You can"t keep up with the Lord in works as He strays ahead in blessings, so we are saved by grace, but without works our talents are given to another.

  • 1 decade ago

    We have 6 DAYS OF SPIRITUAL WORKS to complete, which are outlined in the first 6 churches of Asia.

    6 days = 6 x 24 = 144...

    a spiritual mesurement reached through the spiritual creation of " a new heaven and a new earth," bringing us into a new state of being, which is called "new Jerusalem."

  • 1 decade ago

    Part of the disconnect between Latter-day Saints and other Christian denominations is that the o.c. seem to think that LDS define 'works' as ordinances, church service, etc -

    The works or actions of faith to a Latter-day Saint are prayer, scripture study, and becoming Christlike - assisting the needy, uplifting the poor and downtrodden, becoming meek, etc. These match up with many o.c. perspectives.

    Latter-day Saints heed the commandment of Jesus Christ to 'be ye therefor perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect' - thru obedience to the laws and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. LDS understand that we will inevitably fall short - no matter how hard we try - we cannot, in mortality, become perfect as our Father in Heaven. This is where the great atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ comes into play. As we repent of our sins, Christ's atonement pays the demands of Justice upon our soul - lifting us unto salvation and our eternal reward [which we refer to as exaltation].

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Are we saved by grace or works?

    Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 3:20,28; Galatians 2:16

    and James 2:24; Matthew 19:16-21

    Saved by grace

    (Ephesians 2:8-9) - "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, that no one should boast."

    (Rom. 3:20,28) - "because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin...28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law."

    (Galatians 2:16) - "nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified."

    Saved by works

    (James 2:24) - "You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone."

    (Matthew 19:1617) - "And behold, one came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" 17And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."

    God does not want a faith that is empty and hypocritical. James 2 is talking about those who "say" that they have faith but have no works. Therefore, people cannot tell if they are true believers or not, because there is no fruit. That kind of a faith is useless and is not a saving faith. True faith results in true works.

    In Matthew 19:16-17, Jesus was speaking to a Lawyer who was self-righteous since he wanted to put Jesus to the test (Luke 10:25). He asked what he must do in order to obtain eternal life and Jesus responded with the requirements of keeping the commandments. If a person keeps all of the commandments, it would seem that they could obtain eternal life. However, nobody can keep all of the commandments. Therefore, Jesus' comments to this man show this man that justification can only be by faith since no one can keep all of the commandments. This is why it says in Eph. 2:8 that we are saved by grace through faith. Also, Romans 3:20,28 and Galatians 2:16 tells us that no one is justified in the sight of God by the law; that is, by the works that he can do.

    There is no contradiction at all when we examine the contexts. We are justified by faith but that faith must be alive (James 2). The Law cannot save us because we are incapable of keeping it (Matthew 19:16-17). Therefore, salvation is by grace through faith.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree completely. Faith without works is dead. Works without faith is a waste of time. You need both faith AND works!

    Source(s): *LDS*
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