Faith and Deeds

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Apr 1, 2018
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#1
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 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. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. James 2:14-24
 

Noose

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2016
1,388
151
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#2
The deeds that originate from faith and obedience to God is what is being talked about- works without faith are also nothing; Abraham obeyed God and his faith in God was completed by the works that originated from His faith.
 

OneFaith

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2016
2,110
273
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#3
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 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. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. James 2:14-24
'Faith alone' people either do not accept this passage, or they twist and explain it away.
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
15,422
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#4
'Faith alone' people either do not accept this passage, or they twist and explain it away.
'Works-salvationists' people use this passage to teach that man is saved by works and twist and explain away such passages of scripture as (Romans 4:2-6; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9 etc..). Salvation is by grace through faith (rightly understood) IN CHRIST ALONE.

Let's examine James 2:14-26.

In James 2:14, we read of one who says/claims he has faith but has no resulting evidential works (to substantiate his claim). That is not genuine faith, but a bare profession of faith. So when James asks, "Can that faith save him?" he is saying nothing against genuine faith, but only against an empty profession of faith/dead faith. *So James does not teach that we are saved "by" works. His concern is to show the reality of the faith professed by the individual (James 2:18) and demonstrate that the faith claimed (James 2:14) by the individual is genuine. Simple!

In James 2:19, we see that the demons believe "mental assent" that "there is one God" but they do not believe/entrust their spiritual well being to Christ; have faith/reliance upon Christ for salvation. In other words, they do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31) and are not saved. Their trust and reliance is in Satan, as demonstrated by their rebellion in heaven and continuous evil works.

In James 2:20, "faith without works is dead" does not mean that faith is dead until it produces works and then it becomes a living faith or that works are the source of life in faith. That's like saying a tree is dead until it produces fruit and then it becomes a living tree and the fruit is the source of life in the tree. James is simply saying faith that is not accompanied by evidential works is dead. If someone says-claims he has faith but lacks resulting evidential works, then he has an empty profession of faith/dead faith and not authentic faith.

In James 2:21, notice closely that James does not say that Abraham's work of offering up Isaac resulted in God's accounting Abraham as righteous. The accounting of Abraham's faith as righteousness was made in Genesis 15:6, many years before his work of offering up Isaac recorded in Genesis 22. The work of Abraham did not have some kind of intrinsic merit to save him, but it showed or manifested the genuineness of his faith. This is the "sense" in which Abraham was "justified by works." He was "shown to be righteous."

In James 2:22, faith made perfect or complete by works means bring to maturity, carry to the end, to complete like love in 1 John 4:18. It doesn't mean that Abraham was finally saved based on merits of his works after he offered up Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22. When Abraham performed the good work in Genesis 22; he fulfilled the expectations created by the pronouncement of his faith in Genesis 15:6.

In James 2:23, the scripture was fulfilled in vindicating or demonstrating that Abraham believed God and was accounted as righteous. Abraham was accounted as righteous based on his faith (Genesis 15:6) not his works (Romans 4:2-3) long before he offered up Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22.

In James 2:24, James is not using the word "justified" here to mean "accounted as righteous" but is "shown to be righteous." James is discussing the evidence of faith (says-claims to have faith but has no works/I will show you my faith by my works - James 2:14-18),not the initial act of being accounted as righteous with God (Romans 4:2-3). Works bear out the justification that already came by faith.

In the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the Greek word for justified "dikaioo" #1344 is:

1. to render righteous or such he ought to be
2. to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered
3. to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

In Matthew 12:37, we read - "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." This is because our words (and our works) reveal the condition of our hearts. Words/works will appear to be evidences for, or against a man's being in a state of righteousness.

God is said to have been justified by those who were baptized by John the Baptist (Luke 7:29). This act pronounced or declared God to be righteous. It did not make him righteous. The basis or ground for the pronouncement was the fact that God IS righteous. Notice that the NIV reads, "acknowledged that God's way was right.." The ESV reads, "they declared God just.." This is the "sense" in which God was justified, "shown to be righteous".

Matthew 11:19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified/vindicated/shown to be right by her deeds."

In James 2:25, Rahab believed in the Lord with authentic faith (Joshua 2:9-13), requested "kindness" (2:12), received the promise of kindness (2:14), and hung out the "scarlet line" (2:21), as the demonstration of her authentic faith. She showed that her faith in God was not a dead faith by her works, just as all genuine believers show theirs.

In James 2:26, the comparison of the human spirit and faith converges around their modes of operation. The spirit (Greek pneuma) may also be translated "breath." As a breathless body emits no indication of life, so fruitless faith exhibits no indication of life. The source of the life in faith is not works; rather, life in faith is the source of works (Ephesians 2:5-10).

In a nutshell, man is saved through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9); yet genuine faith is vindicated, substantiated, evidenced by works (James 2:14-26).

Christ saves us through faith based on the merits of His finished work of redemption "alone" and not based on the merits of our works.

It is through faith "in Christ alone" (and not by the merits of our works) that we are justified on account of Christ (Romans 3:24; 5:1; 5:9); yet the faith that justifies is never alone (solitary, unfruitful, barren) if it is genuine (James 2:14-26). *Perfect Harmony* :)
 
Dec 9, 2011
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#5
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 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. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. James 2:14-24
:)Excellent scripture.

Even the demons believe but they are not going to do anything for GOD.The devil will not war against his own ways.Bind the strong man first,then,take his stuff.
 
Dec 9, 2011
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#6
I heard someone say before that the grace of GOD alone saves through faith alone but after salvation the faith that saves Is never alone.
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
4,881
116
63
#7
:)Excellent scripture.

Even the demons believe but they are not going to do anything for GOD.The devil will not war against his own ways.Bind the strong man first,then,take his stuff.
What do the demons believe? That there is one God. They have not believed upon the gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
Sep 4, 2012
14,424
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#8
'Works-salvationists' people use this passage to teach that man is saved by works and twist and explain away such passages of scripture as (Romans 4:2-6; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9 etc..). Salvation is by grace through faith (rightly understood) IN CHRIST ALONE.

[snipped for brevity]
Long story, short - GOD told Abram to do something, and he obeyed because he believed GOD.
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
4,881
116
63
#9
'Works-salvationists' people use this passage to teach that man is saved by works and twist and explain away such passages of scripture as (Romans 4:2-6; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9 etc..). Salvation is by grace through faith (rightly understood) IN CHRIST ALONE.

Let's examine James 2:14-26.

In James 2:14, we read of one who says/claims he has faith but has no resulting evidential works (to substantiate his claim). That is not genuine faith, but a bare profession of faith. So when James asks, "Can that faith save him?" he is saying nothing against genuine faith, but only against an empty profession of faith/dead faith. *So James does not teach that we are saved "by" works. His concern is to show the reality of the faith professed by the individual (James 2:18) and demonstrate that the faith claimed (James 2:14) by the individual is genuine. Simple!

In James 2:19, we see that the demons believe "mental assent" that "there is one God" but they do not believe/entrust their spiritual well being to Christ; have faith/reliance upon Christ for salvation. In other words, they do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31) and are not saved. Their trust and reliance is in Satan, as demonstrated by their rebellion in heaven and continuous evil works.

In James 2:20, "faith without works is dead" does not mean that faith is dead until it produces works and then it becomes a living faith or that works are the source of life in faith. That's like saying a tree is dead until it produces fruit and then it becomes a living tree and the fruit is the source of life in the tree. James is simply saying faith that is not accompanied by evidential works is dead. If someone says-claims he has faith but lacks resulting evidential works, then he has an empty profession of faith/dead faith and not authentic faith.

In James 2:21, notice closely that James does not say that Abraham's work of offering up Isaac resulted in God's accounting Abraham as righteous. The accounting of Abraham's faith as righteousness was made in Genesis 15:6, many years before his work of offering up Isaac recorded in Genesis 22. The work of Abraham did not have some kind of intrinsic merit to save him, but it showed or manifested the genuineness of his faith. This is the "sense" in which Abraham was "justified by works." He was "shown to be righteous."

In James 2:22, faith made perfect or complete by works means bring to maturity, carry to the end, to complete like love in 1 John 4:18. It doesn't mean that Abraham was finally saved based on merits of his works after he offered up Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22. When Abraham performed the good work in Genesis 22; he fulfilled the expectations created by the pronouncement of his faith in Genesis 15:6.

In James 2:23, the scripture was fulfilled in vindicating or demonstrating that Abraham believed God and was accounted as righteous. Abraham was accounted as righteous based on his faith (Genesis 15:6) not his works (Romans 4:2-3) long before he offered up Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22.

In James 2:24, James is not using the word "justified" here to mean "accounted as righteous" but is "shown to be righteous." James is discussing the evidence of faith (says-claims to have faith but has no works/I will show you my faith by my works - James 2:14-18),not the initial act of being accounted as righteous with God (Romans 4:2-3). Works bear out the justification that already came by faith.

In the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the Greek word for justified "dikaioo" #1344 is:

1. to render righteous or such he ought to be
2. to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered
3. to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

In Matthew 12:37, we read - "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." This is because our words (and our works) reveal the condition of our hearts. Words/works will appear to be evidences for, or against a man's being in a state of righteousness.

God is said to have been justified by those who were baptized by John the Baptist (Luke 7:29). This act pronounced or declared God to be righteous. It did not make him righteous. The basis or ground for the pronouncement was the fact that God IS righteous. Notice that the NIV reads, "acknowledged that God's way was right.." The ESV reads, "they declared God just.." This is the "sense" in which God was justified, "shown to be righteous".

Matthew 11:19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified/vindicated/shown to be right by her deeds."

In James 2:25, Rahab believed in the Lord with authentic faith (Joshua 2:9-13), requested "kindness" (2:12), received the promise of kindness (2:14), and hung out the "scarlet line" (2:21), as the demonstration of her authentic faith. She showed that her faith in God was not a dead faith by her works, just as all genuine believers show theirs.

In James 2:26, the comparison of the human spirit and faith converges around their modes of operation. The spirit (Greek pneuma) may also be translated "breath." As a breathless body emits no indication of life, so fruitless faith exhibits no indication of life. The source of the life in faith is not works; rather, life in faith is the source of works (Ephesians 2:5-10).

In a nutshell, man is saved through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9); yet genuine faith is vindicated, substantiated, evidenced by works (James 2:14-26).

Christ saves us through faith based on the merits of His finished work of redemption "alone" and not based on the merits of our works.

It is through faith "in Christ alone" (and not by the merits of our works) that we are justified on account of Christ (Romans 3:24; 5:1; 5:9); yet the faith that justifies is never alone (solitary, unfruitful, barren) if it is genuine (James 2:14-26). *Perfect Harmony* :)
A lot of fancy explanations to make it fit Paul's doctrine to the body of Christ. Do works justify man's salvation, yes or no? What works justifies salvation and how often must one perform these works?

Context, context, context...who is this written to and to whom does this doctrine apply? James 1:1

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

The body of Christ, the church, is not the "twelve tribes". The term "twelve tribes" is never associated with the body of Christ but the nation of Israel as a whole. Using this term to describe the church would be counter-productive to Paul's teaching where there is no Jew or Gentile, but we are all one in Christ. The term "twelve tribes" makes a clear distinction between Jew and Gentile.
 

Gman

Junior Member
Nov 30, 2017
75
34
18
#10
There's nothing wrong with doing good deeds it's just the mindset needs to be that we understand that good deeds can not earn us a spot in heaven rather in obedience to God's word by faith since we believe in him by faith we go forth and do what is good because that is pleasing to the Lord for that's what we learn from his word to do good to those who are in need therefore we look to help others whenever possible. Besides the Lord did say here I come and my reward is with me and I will give to each one according to what they have done so it is good to do good and you will be rewarded for that it but only after you are in heaven, your Deeds cannot bring you in heaven there's only one way to get into heaven or to the father and that is through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but if you say you love God and you don't do what is good you're simply lying because God did say love for him is keeping his commands and his commands are asking us to do good.
 
Sep 4, 2012
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#11
A lot of fancy explanations to make it fit Paul's doctrine to the body of Christ. Do works justify man's salvation, yes or no? What works justifies salvation and how often must one perform these works?

Context, context, context...who is this written to and to whom does this doctrine apply? James 1:1

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

The body of Christ, the church, is not the "twelve tribes". The term "twelve tribes" is never associated with the body of Christ but the nation of Israel as a whole. Using this term to describe the church would be counter-productive to Paul's teaching where there is no Jew or Gentile, but we are all one in Christ. The term "twelve tribes" makes a clear distinction between Jew and Gentile.
Your reasoning isn't compelling at all:

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Philippians 1:1

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:2

Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians [which is] in God the Father and [in] the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:1
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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#12
Long story, short - GOD told Abram to do something, and he obeyed because he believed GOD.
Absolutely, yet at what point was Abraham's faith accounted to him for righteousness? When he believed God in Genesis 15:5-6 or not until after he obeyed God by setting out to sacrifice Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22? *Also see Romans 4:2-3.
 
Sep 4, 2012
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#13
Absolutely, yet at what point was Abraham's faith accounted to him for righteousness? When he believed God in Genesis 15:5-6 or not until after he obeyed God by setting out to sacrifice Isaac on the altar in Genesis 22? *Also see Romans 4:2-3.
Righteousness was imputed to him when he believed, and he saved himself when he obeyed GOD's command to be circumcised.
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
4,881
116
63
#14
Your reasoning isn't compelling at all:

Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Philippians 1:1

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:2

Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians [which is] in God the Father and [in] the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:1
Unto the church...that's the body of Christ. In these letters, Paul addresses the problems, difficulties and encouragement that is needed for any member of the body of Christ.

For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

The doctrines given through Paul to the body of Christ are the doctrines that the body of Christ is to live by even 2,000 years later.

When Scripture addresses the "twelve tribes" it is always a reference to the nation of Israel as a whole and never, never, never refers to the body of Christ.
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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#15
A lot of fancy explanations to make it fit Paul's doctrine to the body of Christ. Do works justify man's salvation, yes or no? What works justifies salvation and how often must one perform these works?
I was simply harmonizing scripture with scripture. Believers are justified by works, only in the sense of being "shown to be righteous" (James 2:14-24) and not accounted as righteous (Romans 4:2-6; 5:1). It's not about how often or how much. The apostle Paul had a multitude of good works to substantiate his faith in Christ, yet the thief on the cross had little time to accomplish much, yet still rebuked the other thief, admitted his guilt and defended Jesus while asking Him to remember his when He comes into His kingdom and that was still enough to substantiate his faith as well.

Context, context, context...who is this written to and to whom does this doctrine apply? James 1:1

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

The body of Christ, the church, is not the "twelve tribes". The term "twelve tribes" is never associated with the body of Christ but the nation of Israel as a whole. Using this term to describe the church would be counter-productive to Paul's teaching where there is no Jew or Gentile, but we are all one in Christ. The term "twelve tribes" makes a clear distinction between Jew and Gentile.
So what's your point? In James 1:2, Paul refers to them as his "brethren." Are you suggesting an alternative interpretation to James 2:14-24 because the term "twelve tribes" is used?
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
15,422
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#16
Righteousness was imputed to him when he believed, and he saved himself when he obeyed GOD's command to be circumcised.
Say what? Romans 4:9 - Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; 11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them.

Where do you read saved himself when he was circumcised?
 
Sep 4, 2012
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#17
Unto the church...that's the body of Christ. In these letters, Paul addresses the problems, difficulties and encouragement that is needed for any member of the body of Christ.

For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

The doctrines given through Paul to the body of Christ are the doctrines that the body of Christ is to live by even 2,000 years later.

When Scripture addresses the "twelve tribes" it is always a reference to the nation of Israel as a whole and never, never, never refers to the body of Christ.
Each letter specifically states that it is only to that church. Applying your selective reasoning, it was only meant for them
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
4,881
116
63
#18
Righteousness was imputed to him when he believed, and he saved himself when he obeyed GOD's command to be circumcised.
Abraham's justification was not fulfilled until he obeyed to sacrifice Isaac, his only son.

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.
 

John146

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2016
4,881
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#19
Each letter specifically states that it is only to that church. Applying your selective reasoning, it was only meant for them
Wrong! If the body of Christ at Philippi had the same trouble arise as in the church of Corinth, then they were to apply the doctrine given by Paul to the church at Corinth. Paul taught the same doctrines to every church.

For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
 
Sep 4, 2012
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#20
Say what? Romans 4:9 - Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; 11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them.

Where do you read saved himself when he was circumcised?
It can be argued that if Abram hadn't circumcised himself he would have been cut off from GOD's promises.

And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. Genesis 17:14

Here's another one that supports that. Noah believed GOD, yet he saved himself by building an ark and getting on-board it.