(The Role of Works)
For just as the body without the spirit is dead,
so also faith without works is dead. – James 2:26
Bearing Fruit for the Lord/Works Through Obedience. This chapter explains the role of works (action on the part of the believer) in the plan of (eternal) salvation for a Christian. A Christian who is living their life in obedience to the Gospel and the “commandments” of Christ can’t help but “bear fruit” (i.e., do “good works”) for the Lord. This is a lengthy chapter, for we must once again confront and clear away the rampant and widespread false teachings of man on this subject. We must make our way through this chapter carefully so that we understand what Scripture actually teaches as opposed to relying on the opinions of man.
Much of the confusion about the role of works comes from trying to reconcile what Paul and James, both inspired writers, wrote in Scripture. So, before we begin, please turn to the book of James in your Bible….is it still there? Yes, it is? … Whew, you can breathe a big sigh of relief, and we can therefore continue along on the path of truth.
THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF WORKS
First, we must understand that there are three types of “works” under consideration in Scripture:
- Works of the Mosaic Law,
- Works of human merit (meritorious works), and
- Works of faith done in obedience to the commandments of Christ.
Understanding the above is key to reconciling what James and Paul wrote. The verses under consideration are:
So, why does Paul write that “you have been saved through faith … not as a result of works” and “a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law,” while James writes “a man is justified by works and not by faith alone”? Keep in mind that the totality of Scripture is truth (see Psa. 119:160)—therefore all of the verses have to be true statements when correctly interpreted!  Since Scripture can’t contradict itself, we must go beyond just a simple reading of the words and carefully consider the context of the verses:
- In Eph. 2:8–10, Paul is referring to trying to earn salvation through works of human merit,
- In Rom. 3:28 and Gal. 2:16, Paul is referring to “works of the [Mosaic] law” (see also Php. 3:9), and
- In Jas. 2: 21–25, James is talking about works of faith done in obedience to Christ.
There is no contradiction—the verses have different contexts. When reading and studying Scripture, you must first expand outward to see the context for the verse(s). Failure to do so leads to many false teachings.
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD
First, it is important to understand, and we see it is clear from the verses, that one does not “earn” salvation or forgiveness of sins by or through your works (i.e., #1 works of the law, or #2 works of human merit). Only the shed blood of Christ on the cross forgives sin. There is nothing whatsoever that a man can do of himself to earn forgiveness of sins or salvation—it is “the gift of God” through God’s grace (see Eph. 2:8–9). It was “the grace of God” (Acts 13:43; 20:24; Rom. 5:15; Titus 2:11) which put Christ on the cross for you— “the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13; Heb. 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19; 1 Cor. 10:16) cannot be earned, bought, or purchased.
However, at the same time, we also see that Scripture tells us that works of faith done in obedience to Christ do play a role in your salvation. Let’s make a list of what the Bible says about this type of works:
- “Faith without works is dead” (Jas. 2:26),
- “A man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (Jas. 2:24),
- “Faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” (Jas. 2:17),
- “Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (Jas. 1:22),
- “… that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:8),
- “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few” (Matt. 9:37),
- “If someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” (Jas. 2:14),
- “Was not Abraham our father justified by works?” (Jas. 2:21),
- “… as a result of the works, faith was perfected” (Jas. 2:22),
- “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works” (Matt. 5:16),
- “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 7:16–20),
- “… that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17),
- “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58),
- “‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance …’” (Rev. 2:2),
- “‘… for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God’” (Rev. 3:2),
- “‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth’” (Rev. 3:15–16),
- “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them” (Rev. 14:13).
As you can see, Scripture has much to say on works of faith done in obedience which come naturally from a newly “born again” heart that has given itself to God in a changed life (see Matt. 3:35; 6:10; Luke 22:42; John 14:15) as a “bond-servant” of Christ (Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:10; Col. 1:7; 4:7; 2 Tim. 2:24; Titus 1:1; Jas. 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:1; Jude 1; Rev. 15:3; cf. Rev. 1:1). These works of faith do not diminish “the grace of God” one iota (see Gal. 2:15–21). Scripture says we “will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16, 20); a true Christian will produce fruit for the Lord, “some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” (Matt. 13:8, 23; cf. Mark 4:8, 20).
FAITH IS AN ACTION TERM
Christianity is as much about action as it is about the profession of faith (see Matt. 7:21; Rom. 2:13; Jas. 1:22). Wayne Jackson writes that faith is demonstrated to be an action term: 
A Christian who lives their life in obedience to the Gospel and the commandments of Christ can’t help but “bear fruit” (see Matt. 3:8–10; 7:17, 19; 13:23; Mark 4:20; Luke 3:8–9; 8:15; 13:9; John 15:2–8, 16; Col. 1:10) for the Lord. It will be the natural result if you wake up each day seeking to do God’s will instead of your own, loving God and loving and serving others. If you love God, you will do what pleases Him. What pleases Him is that you love and serve others. How do you show love? You support, help, instruct, provide for, care for, and serve others as if they were yourself. You place other people’s needs first. We are also told to share the gospel far and wide, to the very ends of the Earth; I don’t believe there is any dispute over this “good work” that is commanded. Faith and works are like two sides of the same hand, both working together (see Jas. 2:22; cf. Jas. 1:22–24; 2:21–25; Rom. 2:13), with one important exception: faith comes first, and it is only by and through your faith in Christ, “abiding in Him [Jesus]” (1 John 2:6, 10, 24, 27–28, 3:6, 9; 17, 24; 4:12–13, 15–16; 2 John 9; John 6:56; 14: 20; 15:4–7; cf. John 15:9–10; 17:21) and “He [I, Jesus] in you” (John 5:38; 6:56; 14:17; 20, 15:4–7; 2 Tim. 1:14; 1 John 2:14, 24, 27–28, 3:24; 4:12–13, 15–16; 2 John 2; John 6:56; 14:20; 15:4–7; Rom. 8:9, 11; 1 Cor. 3:16; cf. John 15:9–10; 17:21), that you can do any “good works” (see John 15:5).
Further, your “good works” of faith (Matt. 5:16; cf. Eph. 2:10; 1 Tim. 2:10; 6:18; 2 Cor. 9:8; Titus 2:7, 14; 3:1, 8, 14; Heb. 10:24; 1 Pet. 2:12; Rev. 3:2), which result from an active faith and obedience, not only result in “bearing fruit” for the Lord (by helping to build His kingdom), they also serve to demonstrate the sincerity of your faith and prove your faith genuine—both before man and before God. Scripture is clear that the Lord notices what a man does as much as what he says (see Matt. Jonah 1:1–3:10; Rev. 2:2; 3:2; Rom. 2:13; Matt. 15:8; Mark 7:6). “Hypocrites” (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16; 15:7; 22:18; 23:13–15, 23–29; 24:51; Mark 7:6; Luke 12:56; 13:15; cf. Matt. 15:8; Mark 7:6) who idly profess faith in Christ, and yet do not do the will of God as expressed in the commandments of Christ and His apostles, will be judged accordingly on “the Day of Judgment,” as it is written: “prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (Jas. 1:22–25).
EVEN THE SECULAR WORLD UNDERSTANDS THIS PRINCIPLE
To drive the point home even further, let’s list a few things which the secular world says on this subject:
- “Talk is cheap,”
- “This is where the rubber meets the road,”
- “Actions speak louder than words,”
- “Put up or shut up,”
- Giving “lip service” to something (but not doing it),
- “Putting your money where your mouth is,”
- “You’ve got to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that you get your Christian doctrine from the secular world, but I think you can see that even the secular world understands that it is actions which demonstrate and prove professions to be genuine. In the same way, God expects you, and Scripture commands you, to prove your faith is real by backing it up with action. Scripture is abundantly clear that you must act on your faith to be saved (justified before God) and for your faith to be pleasing to God. What if Noah, Abraham, and Moses didn’t ever “do anything” after they proclaimed faith in God? —i.e., what if Noah never actually built an ark and Abraham never offered up Isaac. Would you believe that their professions of faith were real and genuine? I don’t think you would.
And let’s take this up to the very top, the absolute highest pinnacle of authority: God Himself. What if God constantly talked about how He wants humanity to be saved from sin to eternal life with Him in heaven, but He never actually did anything about it? What if He never actually gave His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you? What if Jesus made a lot of claims that He could heal people, but He never actually did heal anyone? And finally, what if Jesus said He would die on the cross for your sins, but He never actually did it? Would you take God seriously? You can see that even God backs up His professions and words with action!
ONCE AGAIN, BEWARE FALSE TEACHINGS
You are not “saved by faith alone/only,” as many false teachers and false prophets (“wolves in sheep’s clothing,” Matt. 7:15) claim. It’s as if the entire book of James has been ripped out of the Bibles of many so-called “modern” or “reformed” Christians and their churches which endlessly shout that you are “saved by faith only/alone.” You have just read that Scripture is abundantly clear that true Christianity is as much about action as it is about the profession of faith! Scripture explicitly states that “faith without works is dead” and that “a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Those are very clear, literal, and direct verses that cannot be explained away or twisted into some other meaning; you simply cannot evade the force of those verses!
Despite, and in contradiction to, the very clear, direct, literal, compelling Scripture I have shown and explained to you at the start of this chapter, a couple of false teachings are absolutely rampant and widespread today. I point them out here, so you are not deceived.:
1) You are “Saved by faith alone/only”: Some falsely teach and preach that you are saved solely by a profession of faith (“faith alone/only”), i.e., that obedience and works have no place whatsoever in the plan of salvation or the justification of the believer. They teach this despite the clear and direct Scripture that I have just shown you above! To support their “faith alone/only” false teaching, the “wolves” take Paul’s writing in the letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 2:8–10) out of context. 
2) Baptism Related: Some of the “faith alone/only” advocates additionally claim that baptism is a “good work” of man, and therefore it is not required for salvation (since they exclude works from the plan of salvation). They arrive at this errant conclusion by a) ignoring Scripture, b) decreeing that baptism is a “good work” of man, and then c) because of their “faith alone/only” bias, they exclude it from salvation because they classify it as a “work.” I hope you followed that twisted logic!
This book is showing you that those who proclaim this “saved by faith alone/only” false teaching are triply wrong because:
- Baptism is not a “good work” of man,
- Baptism is required for salvation (to be born again, to receive forgiveness of sins), and
- Works (of obedience) do play an important role in the biblical plan of salvation.
Wayne Jackson writes: 
The saved by “faith alone/only” false teaching comes primarily from those who call themselves “reformed protestants,” and it is blaring out in ferocious volume 24/7/365 from so-called “Christian” pulpits, publications, radio stations, books, movies, and even seminary schools which train up new pastors in so-called “modern” and “reformed” Christianity. You see, I, too, was initially deceived by this false teaching because it was the only thing that I had ever heard taught and preached in any church that I attended!
I have explained in “The Nature of Salvation” chapter that there is a difference between initial salvation (“forgiveness of sins,” being “born again”) and final eternal salvation (“crown of life”). A lack of understanding of that difference can lead one to succumb to both the “saved by faith alone/only” false teaching as well as the “once saved always saved” false teaching. Furthermore, false teachings are usually all interwoven and interconnected together, tangled up into a giant knot/web of deception, and they also usually travel as a pack (like the “wolves” who teach them).
WHAT ABOUT ISAIAH’S “FILTHY RAGS”
But what about the verse where Isaiah says our “deeds” are as “filthy rags [garment]”:
As usual, the false teachers of the “faith alone/only” crowd engage in their most common magic trick: they take a verse completely out of context and distort and generalize it to mean whatever they wish. In the verse above, Isaiah is lamenting how wretched and pitiful (disgusting) the ancient Jews had become in their worship of the Lord. Even when they occasionally did “righteous deeds” according to the Mosaic Law, they did them half-heartedly, without sincerity, in rote mechanical observation without any hint of true reverence for the Lord.
Furthermore, a couple of additional comments are warranted on this verse as it’s widely used to support denial of the works component of salvation. First, compared to the unimaginable holiness of God, all things about us and anything we might do (including our works) will indeed appear as “filthy rags” when compared to the glory of God beheld. Secondly, it is an abuse of interpretation and disrespect to God to apply this to the specific commandments of Christ, to which we are to be obedient – in other words, the Isaiah verse is not to be generalized and applied to the works that a born-again Christian does in obedience to the explicit commands of Christ. Why would actions done in obedience to Christ’s commands be interpreted as “filthy rags”? By way of illustration, surely God would not consider the act (work) of preaching the Gospel to all creation (which is an act of obedience to one of Christ’s commands) to be viewed as a “filthy rag,” now would He? Such an interpretation does great violence to the Gospel and even to Christ Himself! “May it never be!” On the contrary, God would view such acts of obedience as being “well done” by a “good and faithful servant”!
However, we must always keep in mind that the works themselves do nothing whatsoever to enhance or make us righteous (forgiven of sin) before God – our righteousness before God is solely and wholly derived from Christ alone, and His blood sacrificed on the cross.
WHAT OTHER SAINTS HAVE WRITTEN
If you are still struggling to reconcile the role of works, it may also help you to read what has been written about the subject of faith vs. works by other saints who have come before us. First, here is what Wayne Jackson has written; I think it is very well said: 
Next, I present commentary written by Matthew Henry on the role of faith and works. He correctly states that “faith alone/only” is not what saves, but it is faith with your works. He also reinforces that we have no reason to boast before God, even for the works we do out of obedience to God, for we are all fallen sinners undeserving of God’s grace, and we had no part in what Christ did on the cross – that was all God’s doing: 
GOD SAW THEIR DEEDS
Scripture is abundantly clear that the Lord notices what a man does as much as what he says. This can be seen in the case of Nineveh, in the book of Jonah. At the preaching of Jonah (when he finally went to Nineveh after his three-day detour in the belly of a fish), the city of Nineveh repented of their sinful ways. However, note what Scripture says about how God viewed this situation:
It was their deeds that God noticed as proof of their repentance, so He relented on the judgment that He had pronounced on them. God needed to see their profession of faith borne out by their actions. They proved their repentance was genuine and sincere by their works! This is a great example of how your profession of faith and repentance are to be backed up by actions that demonstrate your sincerity of heart. In a further example from the book of Revelation, we see again that God takes notice of your deeds:
We also read that Christ will condemn those who profess faith (only) but are found idle when He comes:
The writings of Matthew Henry are again instructive (on 2 Peter 3:14): 
ON BOASTING ABOUT WORKS
When discussing works, we must also talk about boasting. Always remember that we are only sinners before God, and very frankly, we have nothing that God needs—and we have no righteousness of our own, it all comes from Christ, and no man can stand justified and righteous before God without being covered by the blood and righteousness of Christ. We can only offer our worship, love, and service to God, and our service is manifest through our works done for others. Therefore, nothing in this chapter should be misconstrued to mean you can or should boast about your good works—not before men and most certainly not before God, for:
- “There is no righteous person, not even one” – all righteousness comes from Christ, not from ourself (for we have none),
- You were saved from your sins and death (born again with your sins forgiven) by the grace of God through the blood of Christ, for it is that grace of God out of love (not your works) that put Christ on the cross so that your sins can be forgiven,
- You are obedient by the power of Christ living (abiding) in you,
- You are only able to do good works through Christ living (abiding) in you, and
- You also persevere in faith by the strength of Christ living (abiding) in you.
We must always remember that we have no righteousness of our own – for all righteousness is derived from the blood of Christ, but oh how that covers us like a white garment! As the apostle Paul writes, if we boast, let us boast of Christ and not of ourselves:
Always remember that “every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above,” and it is also written, “I can do all things through Him [Christ] who strengthens me.” So, boasting of any kind is wholly excluded from the behavior of the true Christian. Additionally, remember that grace means undeserved favor, wholly undeserved by anyone, for as Matthew Henry writes, we have forfeited it (and the right to eternal life) a thousand times already by our own actions (sins):
His conclusion concerning both these we have, Rom 9:18. He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. The various dealings of God, by which he makes some to differ from others, must be resolved into his absolute sovereignty. He is debtor to no man, his grace is his own, and he may give it or withhold it as it pleaseth him; we have none of us deserved it, nay, we have all justly forfeited it a thousand times, so that herein the work of our salvation is admirably well ordered that those who are saved must thank God only, and those who perish must thank themselves only, Hos 13:9. We are bound, as God hath bound us, to do our utmost for the salvation of all we have to do with; but God is bound no further than he has been pleased to bind himself by his own covenant and promise, which is his revealed will; and that is that he will receive, and not cast out, those that come to Christ; but the drawing of souls in order to that coming is a preventing distinguishing favour to whom he will.
In our standing before God, it is Christ’s righteousness that counts, not ours. God is no respecter of abilities; the wisest, strongest, smartest, richest, most powerful man is but like a mere puff of wind, soon passing away again, back to dust. Pride is still a formidable enemy of the Christian, and it’s helpful to keep the words of John the Baptist in mind:
It was the grace of God that brought Christ down from heaven for us; this is what offers us the gift of salvation. We have been forgiven of sins and redeemed to new life only by the blood of Christ through faith in Christ. Forgiveness of sins (the blood of Christ) cannot be bought with money or earned through works – it is the gift of God through His kindness, love, mercy, and grace.
However, it is never written in Scripture that you are saved by “faith only”; in fact, just the opposite is explicitly stated (see Jas. 2:24)! Once born again, Scripture teaches us that genuine Christian faith, which is pleasing to God (i.e., not a “dead” faith), has as its natural result “good works” for the Lord, which result from active obedience to Christ (and His commandments), out of love for Christ, as a “bondservant” of Christ, as a “friend” of Christ, as a true “child of God,” as we love and serve others and we love and serve God. Such obedience and resulting works do not diminish anything about what Christ did on the cross; on the contrary, it glorifies Christ and brings glory to the Father.
As God’s grace was made manifest in Jesus, true genuine saving Christian faith is made manifest by your works/deeds. “Faith without works is dead”! Do you think that a “dead” faith will save you to eternal life? Will a “dead” faith please God? So now I ask you straight up: Do you want “dead” faith? Does the Bible state that God accepts “dead” faith? Does the Bible state that God even accepts “lukewarm” faith? The answer is unequivocally no to all those questions. It is further written that Christ expects to find you “doing” when He returns (at His Second Coming to judge the world). In fact, Scripture condemns those who profess to be in Christ in faith but who are found idle.
In the previous chapter, we learned that the life of a true Christian is marked by continued, willful obedience to the commandments of Christ as given in the New Testament. Since many of Christ’s commands involve taking action of some kind, you cannot be obedient to Christ and obey His commandments and yet not “do” anything!
 Following those commands will result in us doing work for the Lord – “bearing fruit” for the Lord, helping to build the Kingdom of God, in which you are now a “fellow partaker” of as a born-again Christian. God expects those who are saved to “work” in His vineyard (Matt 20:1–16), which is His Kingdom. God does not condone nor tolerate idleness; on the contrary, idleness is condemned, and those who bear no fruit will be cut off. Scripture tells us that we will know false prophets by their fruit and that we (Christians) will also be known by our fruit…and even further, that “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
This isn’t to imply that you are being placed again under a great burden to produce good works continually (i.e., nonstop) or you lose your salvation. In fact, it is written: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Compared to being in bondage under sin with Satan as your master or trying to fulfill 100% of the requirements of the Mosaic Law yourself (which no man can do), you are under the amazing Law of Grace in Christ! Furthermore, Christ Himself now abiding in you gives you the necessary wisdom, strength, power, and perseverance to produce fruit (through good works) for the Lord. Amazing! I hope you see how easy and light that is?
If you are waking up each day seeking to do God’s will instead of your own, loving God and loving and serving others, good works will be the natural result. If you love God, you will do what pleases Him. What pleases Him is that you love and serve others. How do you show love? You support, help, instruct, provide for, care for, and serve others as if they were yourself. You place other people’s needs first. We are also told to share the gospel far and wide, to the very ends of the earth; I don’t believe that there is any dispute over this “good work” that is commanded. These actions (works) are what produce fruit for the Lord.
Please also realize that we are not all called to do the same works. Some examples of good works might include:
- Helping those who are needy, widows, homeless, sick, in prison, etc.,
- Leading someone to Christ by sharing the gospel with them,
- Raising your children to know and love the Lord,
- Looking after the needs of your family,
- Being kind and considerate to others so that your “light shines before men,”
- Doing your job well, with integrity and honesty, and with an attitude of: “whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people,”
- Loving others as yourself,
- Just doing a kind deed
Some will be called to great works and others to more routine works—but all works done in obedience to Christ are good works. Remember, it is written: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” We are following the examples set before us of the giants in the faith that have preceded us—Noah, Abraham, Moses, Paul, and even Jesus Himself. Writing this book was an attempt to do a good work for the Lord by sharing the gospel “message of truth” with others. There is no ulterior motive, and hopefully, it will be counted as a “good work,” but I won’t know until the great Day of Judgment when all works are tested as if by fire, to see if any of them stand as being worthy. I’d like to see some of my works survive as having produced fruit for the Lord.
So, faith and works aren’t mutually exclusive, nor are they in opposition to each other. They are like two sides of the same hand, both working together, with one important exception: faith comes first, and it is by and through your faith in Christ that you can do any works. Christ expects your faith to be an active faith, not passive or idle (or even “lukewarm”). When God says He will do something, He always does; in contrast, what man says, he seldom does. Hence it is written: “be doers of the word, not hearers only”—it is not the hearers and idle professors (“make believers”) of the Word which will be saved, but “doers” of the Word. I hope you can see that it is by actual deeds and works that you prove your faith is a real, genuine, saving faith. for if you do not act on your faith, your faith will neither justify you nor save you to eternal salvation; it is what the Bible calls a “dead faith.”
It is my works that testify (demonstrate, prove) that I am a Christian, and it is your works that testify (demonstrate, prove) that you are a Christian. Your works actually complete (perfect) your faith. You may choose to stand before the Lord on “the day of judgment” without any works (of faith done in obedience), but I want to be able to stand before Him on that Day both covered by the “righteousness” of Christ (Rom. 5:17, 31; 8:10; 10:6, 1 Cor. 1:30; Php. 1:11; Php. 3:9; 2 Pet. 1:1), “by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13; cf. 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:5), for “the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38) and also “justified” (see Jas. 2:21–25) by being able to say: “Lord, I show you my faith by my works” (see Jas. 2:18), and by doing so, stand in the blessed company of Noah, Abraham, and countless others who will be able to do the same.
I hope that this chapter has helped the following verses become clear:
Let’s close with a verse:
FALSE TEACHING(S) YOU WILL ENCOUNTER:
- Saying a “Sinner’s Prayer” saves you
- You are saved by “Faith Alone/Only”
- Being born again is the only required step one has to take for eternal life (i.e., obedience, works, and perseverance are not required)
- Sabbath keeping/legalism
“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” – Matthew 3:8-10
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. – James 1:22
And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him.” – Luke 24:19-20
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. – Galatians 5:6
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:15-20
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” – John 15:1-8
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth. – 1 Peter 1:17
Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. – 2 John 1:8
…so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. – 2 Timothy 3:17
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. – Colossians 3:23-24
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – Hebrews 13:16
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. – Galatians 6:9
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. – James 4:17
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you. – Proverbs 3:27-28
They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. – Titus 1:16
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. – 1 Timothy 6:18-19
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. – Titus 2:11-14
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. – Hebrews 6:10
…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. – Hebrews 10:24
This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. – Titus 3:8
Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. – Titus 2:6-8
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. – 1 Corinthians 15:58
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 3:10-11
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. – 2 Corinthians 9:8
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:9-14
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days’ walk. Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”
Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.”
When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it. – Jonah 3
“‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.’” – Revelation 2:19
By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. – Hebrews 11:7
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” – Hebrews 11:17-18
We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father. – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
…that they are to repent and turn to God, performing deeds [works] consistent with repentance. – Acts 26:20
 No correct interpretation or understanding of one part/verse of Scripture can contradict another part/verse of Scripture. If your interpretation of one verse causes it to conflict with another verse, then it is your interpretation that is wrong, not Scripture. Additionally, you cannot interpret verses of Scripture that may be more difficult to understand (i.e., passages which are more obscure or symbolic) in a way that contradicts another simple, clear, direct, literal, and easily understood verse of Scripture.
 See also Jackson, Wayne. “Buy a Sword?” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: November 8, 2018. https://christiancourier.com/articles/1458–buy-a-sword
 We must remember that the Jewish religion under the Mosaic Law was one based in large part on works; this is why Paul is correcting them sternly in the books of Galatians and Ephesians—that salvation is not of those works done under the Mosaic Law. The early Christians, many of whom were Jews, kept wanting to return to that old system, which was done away with (abolished and fulfilled) on the cross, and they also were turning others (gentiles) back into doing works of the law to obtain salvation, and hence they were placing themselves once again under the curse of the law, instead of grace under Christ.
 Jackson, Wayne. “God’s Great Plan Consummated.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: September 14, 2020. https://christiancourier.com/articles/1562–gods-great-plan-consummated
 Or your eschatology (end-times prophecy)
 It is helpful to understand where this “faith alone/only” false teaching originated. It didn’t start until many centuries after Christ. It came about when Protestantism arose during the reformation movement to counter the blatantly unscriptural teachings of Roman Catholicism, which included concepts such as 1) the “selling of indulgences (sins)” (i.e., you can buy forgiveness), and 2) that “meritorious good works” justify man before God. This is what the “faith alone/only” advocates are usually referring to by a “works-based salvation”: i.e., obtaining salvation (justification before God, forgiveness of sins) by doing meritorious works. While opposition to the Roman Catholic Church’s corrupt teachings was much needed, the Reformed Protestant movement (generally credited to Martin Luther in 1517) erred by pushing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction by negating the role of works altogether from the plan of salvation. In fact, Martin Luther objected to the book of James – he did not think it was part of the canon of Scripture (because he didn’t agree with it!). Even further, he then rewrote Romans 3:28 by adding the word “only” to it! The word “only” is not found in the original Greek texts from which he was translating. Yes, Luther changed (added to) Scripture to make it conform to his own beliefs!
 Note: Those who teach this usually also teach the “sinner’s prayer” false teaching—that you are saved to eternal life by simply saying a one-time prayer “inviting Christ into your heart,” which is nowhere to be found in the Bible!
 Jackson, Wayne. “JUSTIFICATION: By Faith or Works?” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: November 8, 2018. https://christiancourier.com/articles/294–justification-by-faith-or-works
 Also Calvinists/Calvinism.
 The “saved by faith alone/only,” “sinner’s prayer,” and the “once saved, always saved” false teachings almost always come together as a pack; where you find one, you will almost always find the others.
 Jackson, Wayne. “The Role of “Works” in God’s Plan of Redemption.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: November 8, 2018. https://christiancourier.com/articles/729–role-of-works-in-gods-plan-of-redemption-the
 Clark, T. & T., Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Edinburgh, 1958.
 Henry, Matthew. Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, London. 1706–1710/1721.
 Henry, Matthew. Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, London. 1706–1710/1721.
 Henry, Matthew. Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, London. 1706–1710/1721.
 You must study Scripture enough to know what all the commandments of Christ actually are, for if you don’t even know what they are, how can you keep them? For more information, see The Commandments of Christ book that we publish.
Anderson, R. John. "4.3 Bearing Fruit (The Role of Works)." EachDay.org. Access date: September 25, 2023. https://eachday.org/part-iv-the-way-of-a-christian/4-3-the-role-of-works/