What must I do to be saved

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Mar 23, 2016
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14What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
It's really interesting the way James 2:14 is written.

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

I noticed the word "that" in your version. I generally read KJV just because that's what I was raised on and the word "that" does not appear in KJV.

So I looked at the verse in the Greek to make sure the word "that" was not added to the text in your version.

Lo and behold, the Greek word appears in the text.

So what is the "that" referring to?

It is referring to the faith the person claims to have. The verse is saying a person says he has faith. Can that faith save him?

Whether or not you believe salvation can be lost, James is speaking of a faith a person claims to have which may or may not be faith that saves. The life of the person will bear out whether or not the faith is the faith that saves him (James 2:14) or whether the faith is dead (James 2:17).

An example is given in James 2:15-16.

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

Do you provide for the person who comes to you with need? Or do you send them on their way and tell them "God bless you, brother/sister"?

 

LW97

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2018
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It's really interesting the way James 2:14 is written.

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

I noticed the word "that" in your version. I generally read KJV just because that's what I was raised on and the word "that" does not appear in KJV.

So I looked at the verse in the Greek to make sure the word "that" was not added to the text in your version.

Lo and behold, the Greek word appears in the text.

So what is the "that" referring to?

It is referring to the faith the person claims to have. The verse is saying a person says he has faith. Can that faith save him?

Whether or not you believe salvation can be lost, James is speaking of a faith a person claims to have which may or may not be faith that saves. The life of the person will bear out whether or not the faith is the faith that saves him (James 2:14) or whether the faith is dead (James 2:17).

An example is given in James 2:15-16.

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

Do you provide for the person who comes to you with need? Or do you send them on their way and tell them "God bless you, brother/sister"?
amen
 

fredoheaven

Senior Member
Nov 17, 2015
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How does a person claiming to have faith but no works automatically equate to a person never having believed? What is James saying that makes it so it can't also be a person who stopped believing?



You are speculating that James is saying the person who says he has faith but has no works never believed to begin with. Show me where James said that.

The simple fact he didn't say that leaves the door open to the possibility that the person who says they have faith but no works has stopped believing.
The verse 14 says "say" this what James really talikg of head belief rather than heart belief. Saving faith is not something what one know just like the devil it is to accept, receve or trust that Christ alone is the Saviour and his gospel is the power of God unto salvation that believes
 
R

Ralph-

Guest
I reject what you and others say about James as a works gospel.
It's not a works gospel. Just accept what he says and know that he's not teaching that works earn justification/salvation, yet you won't be saved without works.


We know Salvation is expressly not of works lest any boast. But James appears to contradict this statement.

But its not a contradiction. Its just not proof of a works based gospel like legalists try to make it.
Well, I don't know what legalists try to make it, but all I know is he's not teaching a works gospel and yet he says your faith that is alone can't save you. But many people in the church will argue with James that your faith that is alone can save you despite the fact that he says the exact opposite.



Ephesians 2:8-10
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

This seems really straight forward and simple. Salvation is NOT of works. Period.

Salvation is the gift of God.
Absolutely true. No one disagrees with this. And I'm confident that James knew this too, yet he plainly says you can not be saved by faith that is alone. So people need to stop saying that since justification/salvation is not earned through works, then faith that is alone saves. They need to learn how it is that justification is secured by faith apart from works (Romans 4:6), yet a person won't be saved if their faith is alone (James 2:14).



But you have to know previous scripture in order to take James the way James needs to be taken. And that is as a balance against an intellectual belief in God without the fruit that should accompany that belief.
The bottom line is, if your 'faith' is alone it's because you either never really believed unto justification to begin with or you stopped believing somewhere along the line and are not trusting in Christ for justification anymore. Either way you're screwed. You're in unbelief.

If you stay that way in unbelief you won't be saved when Jesus returns. So the doctrine of 'once saved always saved' that people like to elevate to the status of the supreme truth of the faith doesn't matter one iota. What matters is that you believe, and that you continue to believe, with works following. No 'once saved always saved, faith alone saves' doctrine is going to save anybody on the Day of Christ's return. Only present believing and trusting in the blood, with works following, will save you on the Day of Judgment.
 
R

Ralph-

Guest
Ah the soils! You kinda like relating stuff to the soils.
“Don’t you understand this parable (the Parable of the Sower)? How then will you understand any parable? "-Mark 4:13

It's teaching a foundational truth. We'd all do well to know why. It's not just another parable. Ask yourself why this one is key.



Matthew 13:20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no ROOT IN HIMSELF, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

Tell me Ralph, Who is The Root?
The root is the word of God planted and growing in a person's heart. It started out as just a seed of knowledge. It's teaching a very foundational truth of the kingdom of God that will open up the truth of the kingdom of God and give understanding to the rest of scripture.


You claim this a person that was saved, born again, believer. BUT HE HAD NO ROOT IN HIMSELF!
I say this person is saved because Jesus plainly said they believe (Luke 8:13). And we know it's not the intellectual, factual 'faith' of demons because it's in the heart (soil) and it's producing the fruit of joy. Pretty sure that's not the kind of faith the demons have. Soil #1 represents the soil of unbelief. The word is not retained in trust in the unbelieving heart.

But anyway, read the parable for yourself. You'll see that 'no' root means no 'deep' root. Plants don't grow without ANY root at all and Jesus said the word 'sprang up' in the 2nd type of soil, that means it had some root, not none at all as 'once saved always saved' insists to make it mean this person was never saved. And not only did it have root, it produced the fruit of joy. Though surely the word of the gospel was not retained in this poor soil long enough to produce the mature fruit of love. That is the fruit that results from the word of God persevering in the soil, like 4th type of soil.


JESUS is the Root. This person didn't have JESUS in him. So tell me how he was saved at one time but then fell away?
Read the parable. The word was in fact in the soil and growing. The failure is not that the word was not in the soil. The failure is that the soil did not permit the word of the kingdom to be firmly rooted so that it could not be uprooted.
 
T

theanointedsinner

Guest
This is the believer’s assurance; nothing can snatch you away or separate you from His love (Matthew 18:3, John 3, John 10:28-29, Romans 8: 31-39)
 
R

Ralph-

Guest
Whether or not you believe salvation can be lost, James is speaking of a faith a person claims to have which may or may not be faith that saves. The life of the person will bear out whether or not the faith is the faith that saves him (James 2:14) or whether the faith is dead (James 2:17).
The bottom line being, you aren't going to be saved by a faith that is alone. But so many think that because justification is by faith apart from works (Romans 4:6) then faith that is alone will save you. They do not know that the faith that justifies apart from works is the faith that works (Galatians 5:6).



This is the believer’s assurance; nothing can snatch you away or separate you from His love (Matthew 18:3, John 3, John 10:28-29, Romans 8: 31-39)
Yes, the believer's assurance, not the ex-believer's assurance. You must continue to believe/trust in Christ to continue to have the security of Christ in salvation and works following to have the assurance of salvation.
 
R

Ralph-

Guest
The verse 14 says "say" this what James really talikg of head belief rather than heart belief. Saving faith is not something what one know just like the devil it is to accept, receve or trust that Christ alone is the Saviour and his gospel is the power of God unto salvation that believes
The danger being that someone who started out in genuine saving faith can slip into a deceitful works-less head knowledge faith which can not save them.

You must continue to believe to the very end to be saved in the very end. Ultimately, your life shows whether or not you are continuing to believe.
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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The verse 14 says "say" this what James really talikg of head belief rather than heart belief. Saving faith is not something what one know just like the devil it is to accept, receve or trust that Christ alone is the Saviour and his gospel is the power of God unto salvation that believes
Amen! In verse 14, James clearly states "says-claims" to have faith but has no works. That is clearly an empty profession of faith/dead faith and not genuine faith and nowhere does James imply in this passage of scripture that it ever was genuine faith, so eternal IN-securists can speculate all they want otherwise, but to no avail.

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.

Works-salvationists try to use James 2:14-26 as a proof text that man is saved by works, yet in context, it's clear that 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! :)

James is discussing the proof/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).
 

PennEd

Senior Member
Apr 22, 2013
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“Don’t you understand this parable (the Parable of the Sower)? How then will you understand any parable? "-Mark 4:13

It's teaching a foundational truth. We'd all do well to know why. It's not just another parable. Ask yourself why this one is key.




The root is the word of God planted and growing in a person's heart. It started out as just a seed of knowledge. It's teaching a very foundational truth of the kingdom of God that will open up the truth of the kingdom of God and give understanding to the rest of scripture.



I say this person is saved because Jesus plainly said they believe (Luke 8:13). And we know it's not the intellectual, factual 'faith' of demons because it's in the heart (soil) and it's producing the fruit of joy. Pretty sure that's not the kind of faith the demons have. Soil #1 represents the soil of unbelief. The word is not retained in trust in the unbelieving heart.

But anyway, read the parable for yourself. You'll see that 'no' root means no 'deep' root. Plants don't grow without ANY root at all and Jesus said the word 'sprang up' in the 2nd type of soil, that means it had some root, not none at all as 'once saved always saved' insists to make it mean this person was never saved. And not only did it have root, it produced the fruit of joy. Though surely the word of the gospel was not retained in this poor soil long enough to produce the mature fruit of love. That is the fruit that results from the word of God persevering in the soil, like 4th type of soil.



Read the parable. The word was in fact in the soil and growing. The failure is not that the word was not in the soil. The failure is that the soil did not permit the word of the kingdom to be firmly rooted so that it could not be uprooted.
 
R

Ralph-

Guest
...nowhere does James imply in this passage of scripture that it ever was genuine faith...
And no where in the passage does he imply that it couldn't have been real faith at one time. You're adding the 'never believed' part to it, not James. And you're doing that because you automatically think 'no faith' means 'never had faith'. You project that predetermined belief onto scripture instead of letting scripture say what it says, or doesn't say. That is probably the #1 biggest problem that I see with 'once saved always saved' people--projected their predetermined belief about 'once saved always saved' onto passages of scripture instead of letting the passages do the talking.



so eternal IN-securists can speculate all they want otherwise, but to no avail.
There is no insecurity for the person who believes in Christ, only for the person who falls away from believing in Christ (or who never believed to begin with). You need to stop thinking everybody who doesn't agree with you can only be pushing the works based Catholic beliefs you came out of. There are other ways to see things outside of where you came from and where you're at now.



Works-salvationists try to use James 2:14-26 as a proof text that man is saved by works, yet in context, it's clear that James does not teach that we are saved "by" works.
True, and yet so many people will reject what he says and insist faith that is alone can save. It's to the point now that many in the church believe you don't even have to have the 'faith that is alone' part to be saved anymore and that even if you stop believing you are still saved.
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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And no where in the passage does he imply that it couldn't have been real faith at one time. You're adding the 'never believed' part to it, not James. And you're doing that because you automatically think 'no faith' means 'never had faith'. You project that predetermined belief onto scripture instead of letting scripture say what it says, or doesn't say. That is probably the #1 biggest problem that I see with 'once saved always saved' people--projected their predetermined belief about 'once saved always saved' onto passages of scripture instead of letting the passages do the talking.
Nowhere in the passage does James imply that it could have been real faith at one time. I'm not adding anything. I'm simply letting the passages do the talking. It's you who is projecting your predetermined speculation onto scripture here instead of letting scripture say what it says in James 2:14. Your obsession with attacking the OSAS doctrine is driving you mad. :eek:

There is no insecurity for the person who believes in Christ, only for the person who falls away from believing in Christ (or who never believed to begin with). You need to stop thinking everybody who doesn't agree with you can only be pushing the works based Catholic beliefs you came out of. There are other ways to see things outside of where you came from and where you're at now.
I've had numerous conversations with people who "claimed" to have once been a Christian/believer, but now claim they are no longer a Christian/believer (and some have even professed to be atheists now) BUT when I questioned them about what they previously believed that made them believers and how they became born again, prior to not believing now, I NEVER received a sufficient answer from ANY of them. :unsure:

True, and yet so many people will reject what he says and insist faith that is alone can save. It's to the point now that many in the church believe you don't even have to have the 'faith that is alone' part to be saved anymore and that even if you stop believing you are still saved.
Genuine faith is evidenced by works and genuine faith does not stop believing. I don't understand why certain people try to make it so complicated.
 

PennEd

Senior Member
Apr 22, 2013
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“Don’t you understand this parable (the Parable of the Sower)? How then will you understand any parable? "-Mark 4:13

It's teaching a foundational truth. We'd all do well to know why. It's not just another parable. Ask yourself why this one is key.




The root is the word of God planted and growing in a person's heart. It started out as just a seed of knowledge. It's teaching a very foundational truth of the kingdom of God that will open up the truth of the kingdom of God and give understanding to the rest of scripture.



I say this person is saved because Jesus plainly said they believe (Luke 8:13). And we know it's not the intellectual, factual 'faith' of demons because it's in the heart (soil) and it's producing the fruit of joy. Pretty sure that's not the kind of faith the demons have. Soil #1 represents the soil of unbelief. The word is not retained in trust in the unbelieving heart.

But anyway, read the parable for yourself. You'll see that 'no' root means no 'deep' root. Plants don't grow without ANY root at all and Jesus said the word 'sprang up' in the 2nd type of soil, that means it had some root, not none at all as 'once saved always saved' insists to make it mean this person was never saved. And not only did it have root, it produced the fruit of joy. Though surely the word of the gospel was not retained in this poor soil long enough to produce the mature fruit of love. That is the fruit that results from the word of God persevering in the soil, like 4th type of soil.



Read the parable. The word was in fact in the soil and growing. The failure is not that the word was not in the soil. The failure is that the soil did not permit the word of the kingdom to be firmly rooted so that it could not be uprooted.
Yes it is important Ralph. That's why you should not CHANGE what the Lord has expressly said.
And what the Lord has expressly said was that it is the SEED that is the Word of God, NOT the Root! Important distinction.
Luke 8:11 “Now the parable is this: The SEED is the word of God.
So once again, JESUS is the Root. These people NEVER had Jesus (the Root).

Here is Luke 8:13. Tell me where Jesus said they were saved? Jesus said they had NO ROOT IN. They were NOT born again. Judas is a perfect example of this.
13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of [g]temptation fall away.

The word sprang up, NOT down! NOT into a newly created heart. That is just the point. The Primary Root is the FIRST thing to emerge. Jesus said they had NO Root. He DID NOT say they had no DEEP root. He said they had NO Root.
 

mailmandan

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2014
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Read the parable. The word was in fact in the soil and growing. The failure is not that the word was not in the soil. The failure is that the soil did not permit the word of the kingdom to be firmly rooted so that it could not be uprooted.
The failure was that the word did not take root in good soil, in CONTRAST to the 4th soil, which represents those who heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance (Luke 8:15).

What did Jesus say about plants that will be uprooted? Matthew 15:13 - "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.
 

Latour

Active member
Jun 11, 2018
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Yes it is important Ralph. That's why you should not CHANGE what the Lord has expressly said.
And what the Lord has expressly said was that it is the SEED that is the Word of God, NOT the Root! Important distinction.
Luke 8:11 “Now the parable is this: The SEED is the word of God.
So once again, JESUS is the Root. These people NEVER had Jesus (the Root).

Here is Luke 8:13. Tell me where Jesus said they were saved? Jesus said they had NO ROOT IN. They were NOT born again. Judas is a perfect example of this.
13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of [g]temptation fall away.

The word sprang up, NOT down! NOT into a newly created heart. That is just the point. The Primary Root is the FIRST thing to emerge. Jesus said they had NO Root. He DID NOT say they had no DEEP root. He said they had NO Root.

That is selecting one case scenario to try to avoid the truth found in others. There are 4 types of soil....

Notice the 3rd type...(since this is the one we are talking about really as it concerns our own condition usually)

Mat. 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

He becomes unfruitful....not was never fruitful. This is speaking of the majority of Christians in the rich countries. It is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom. So this kind of soil should be looked at carefully. It is a conflict of interest for rich Western people to skim over this...and say..."it's not me." But wisdom is known of her children...
 

Stunnedbygrace

Senior Member
Nov 12, 2015
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I used to understand what ralph says. But eventually I realized that He had done nothing but grow my faith more and more and that I was at a point where He was so much a part of me that there was no way I believed He was going to drop me/let me walk away/etc.

But I do believe that for everyone who belongs to Him, He burns out their dross, and so it is true that they grow in virtue and knowledge and they learn the obedience of faith and that just makes them lawabiding. And if the inside, your heart and mind, are clean, the outside just is as well.

Faith grows. We grow in the virtues/fruits, we grow into the obedience of faith by the circumstances He puts us in. So I DO understand why some bristle at a man saying we must love others as ourselves to be saved. And yet, we WILL obey His commands if we are saved.

It doesn't happen overnight. We don't attain to maturity overnight. But the apostle said if these things are yours and are increasing...
babies aren't born walking and running. And so to make a statement that seems to men to be saying that babies can't have any security in Him, makes others mad. If they think you are saying the least mistake makes you not His, they're going to fight you on it. Because babies fall down a lot, they cry at the slightest discomfort and are very carnal and touchy. And God is patient and merciful and He loves babies and knows how to grow them. It takes a long time. But they increase and grow and learn to take steps and stop falling so much.

And then there are men who get just as mad if they see others saying it's okay to remain a baby, to remain carnal, to never grow and stop stumbling.

So...I see what both men are saying. But I think both men believe babies are all about shrieking at any discomfort or doing without, and I think both men think the one important thing is to grow in faith (trust), because all growth comes through our trust (faith).
 
Mar 23, 2016
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The bottom line being, you aren't going to be saved by a faith that is alone. But so many think that because justification is by faith apart from works (Romans 4:6) then faith that is alone will save you. They do not know that the faith that justifies apart from works is the faith that works (Galatians 5:6).
Yes, we are saved by faith alone just as Rom 4:6 indicates.

The "faith without works is dead" statement in James 4:17 comes after an example of our reaction to a person in need who comes in.

On the one hand, the person with faith that saves will provide what is needful.

On the other hand, the person with faith that does not save (dead faith) will say to the person in need "Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled" and send him/her away.

And your reference to Galatians 5:6 (For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love).

Faith is energized by love ... not whether a person is circumcised or not circumcised. A person who believes he/she is justified by the law has fallen from grace (Gal 5:5).

The person who has faith that saves will look upon the one who comes in need and because the love of God flows from his/her heart, will help in whatever way he/she can. There won't be empty words of the faith that doesn't save ("God bless you brother. I'll pray for you to be warmed and filled") and send the person in need on his or her way with empty words that don't clothe the naked body or fill the empty belly.