What is the relationship between faith and good works? Are we saved by just faith, or by faith and good works? Learn the answer.
The answer is that we are saved by faith alone, but saving faith is always accompanied by good works, or a life that desires lifelong obedience to God. This is because saving faith is the result of regeneration, or God giving a sinner a new life and nature that replaces the sinner’s old, sinful, life and nature.
Ephesians 2 teaches that we were once dead in our sins, but God made us alive.
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved
John 3:3 teaches that we must be born again before we can even begin to contemplate spiritual things.
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Regeneration results in both saving faith and a transformed life, or good works. Good works do not save a person, but they are the inevitable result of regeneration and saving faith.
So, a person without good works does not truly have saving faith.
Martin Luther once said:
We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.