The concept of salvation as promulgated within the Bible is not one of works, for that would be self-justification. Neither is it a claim that profession of faith justifies. Rather, faith is an active element that manifests itself through actions that verify claims of faith.
In the book of Galatians we read a statement about true faith that enables us to comprehend the difference between a statement of belief and justification by works.
- For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is of any avail, but faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6)
Conversely, those who are justified by works often do not possess the intellectual skills to analyse their actions—but then they are often too busy doing what is required to have the time for contemplating what might be required. (If only I were so adequately endowed.)
Interestingly, Calvin claimed that salvation by works was anathema, yet he signed the death warrant of Michael Servetus, rather than loving his neighbor as himself. The Bible states that he who hates his brother is a murderer, and no murderer has eternal life.
- Any one who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15)
The misconception that causes so many arguments between those who claim that “we are saved by faith alone” and those who state that “one’s work justifies one’s faith “ would cease if all understood “faith working through love” is what is required. While there is no difference between justification and salvation—for God justifies (Romans 8:33)—there is a misconception regarding the views concerning being saved as a gift (Ephesians 2:8) and being saved because of the gift at work (James 2:24). Therefore the difference, in some instances, would be a matter of securing or losing one’s hope of salvation. Those who believe the lie (John 8:44), do not believe they have to produce evidence of salvation—otherwise known as fruit (Matthew 7:16). Evidence of fruit is not something that man alone can produce, it has to be the work of God within.
Without Simple Truths Being Understood People Wander Off The Path Of Salvation