Hello there… Maybe you have heard it already that there are two views on justification – by works and by faith. Some would say the probability of works for justification. Some adhere that it is the works of faith alone. So, I am compelled to present to you these views and their reconciling end so that we can have sufficient understanding of this subject.

Understanding Justification by Faith

Justification by faith is a central concept in Christian theology that emphasizes the belief that our salvation is solely dependent on our faith in Jesus Christ. It is based on the understanding that humans are inherently sinful and incapable of earning their own salvation through good works or personal righteousness.

In the Bible, Romans 3:28 states, ‘For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.’ This verse highlights the fact that faith is the primary means by which we are justified in the eyes of God.

The Limitations of Justification by Works

In contrast, justification by works is a belief system that asserts that salvation can be achieved through good deeds and moral living. This perspective suggests that by adhering to religious laws and performing righteous acts, individuals can earn their way into heaven.

An example of this perspective can be found in James 2:24, which states, ‘You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.’ While this verse seems to contradict the concept of justification by faith, many theologians interpret it as a call to demonstrate one’s faith through actions rather than relying solely on faith.

Reconciling the Two Perspectives

Although there appears to be a conflict between justification by faith and justification by works, many theologians argue that the two concepts are not necessarily mutually exclusive. They believe that true faith should naturally lead to good works and righteous living.

Ephesians 2:8-10 affirms this idea: ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.’ These verses suggest that while salvation is received through faith alone, it should produce a genuine transformation and a desire to do good in the lives of believers.

By Roge Sison

An ordained clergy of The United Methodist Church.

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