Table on faith, works, law, righteousness, justification, and salvation

Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.  All deny justification by faith alone in Christ alone. They admit that we must have faith, but we must demonstrate our faith by our works. The combination brings us to salvation, to justification. While it is certainly true that we ought to have good works along with our faith, our works have no part in obtaining it. Justification is by faith alone in Christ alone (Rom. 3:28; 4:5; Phil. 3:9). Nevertheless, these groups connect faith and works and say that both are necessary. Yet, they maintained that we are not justified by works. This table examines faith, works, law, righteousness, justification, and salvation in the Bible.

Roman Catholicism: “…the Second Vatican Council confirms: ‘The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord…the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism, and the observance of the Commandments,’” (CCC 2068).
Eastern Orthodoxy: “According to St. Paul, not only loving deeds but also the sacraments of Baptism (Rom 6:1-11) and the Eucharist (1 Cor 10:16-22; 11:23-32) are decisive to salvation.”
Mormonism: Nephi 25:23, “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses: “Many have found the second requirement more difficult. It is to obey God’s laws, yes, to conform one’s life to the moral requirements set out in the Bible. This includes refraining from a debauched, immoral way of life.” (Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1983, p. 12)

How then do the Scriptures deal with the relationship between faith and works? Below, I’ve compiled a table of verses that contain the words faith, believe, works, law, justification, salvation, and righteousness. A verse might mention “faith” and “works,” or “faith” and “law,” or “belief” and “justification,” etc. There are several combinations.

Conclusion

Paul juxtaposes, compares, and contrasts faith, works, law, justification, and salvation. He tells us justification is by faith, not by faith and works that prove faith. James speaks of justification before people, not God (v. 18 of James 2:14-26).  See for yourself.

Outline summary of Paul’s Writings

Boasting

By faith, not Law (Rom. 3:27)

Christian Living

Have both faith and works (2 Cor. 8:7)

Establish the Law

By faith (Rom. 3:31)

Faith

The work of faith (1 Thess. 1:3; 2 Thess. 1:11)

Freedom from the Law

By faith, not Law (Gal. 3:22-23)

Justification

Apart from works of the Law (Gal. 2:16)
By faith (Rom. 3:20, 26; 10:10; Gal. 3:8, 24)
By faith, not Law (Rom. 3:28; 4:5; 5:1)
Not by Law (Rom. 3:20; Gal. 3:11, 21)
Not by works (Rom. 4:2)
By grace (Rom. 3:24; Titus 3:7)
By doing the Law (Rom. 2:13)

The context is Paul addressing the hypocritical Jews who judged the Gentiles and professed to keep the Law by which they were justified but did not keep it. The Gentiles kept it, so then who would be justified?

Live by the law

Law is not of faith (Gal. 3:12; 5:4)

Maturity in Christ

Not by dead works (Heb. 6:1)

Receive the Spirit’s presence by

By faith, not works (Gal. 3:5)

Righteousness

Apart from the Law (Rom. 3:21)
Apart from works (Rom. 4:6)
Based on faith (Rom. 10:6)
Credited by faith (Rom. 4:9, 11; 20–22; Gal. 3:6)
Through faith (Rom. 3:22; 9:30)
Not by law (Gal. 2:21)
By faith, not Law (Rom. 4:3; 9:32; Phil. 3:9)
Which is according to faith (Heb. 11:7)

Righteousness based on the Law (Jewish perspective)

If by Law, then you must live that law (Rom. 10:5, see also Gal. 3:10)
If by Law, then cursed (Gal. 3:10)

Sanctification

By obedience (Rom. 6:16)

This righteousness is not justification before God, but the display of righteousness, of sanctification, per. Rom. 6:19

As slaves of righteousness unto sanctification (Rom. 6:19

Salvation

Not based on deeds in righteousness (Titus 3:5)

The Promise Obtained

By faith, not Law (Rom. 4:13, 14, 16)

 

Outline summary of James’ Writings

 

Real faith produces works

Faith with works (James 2:14, 17, 20, 24, 26)

Works demonstrate one’s faith

Truth faith has true works (James 2:18)

Justification by works (Before people v. 18)

By works, not faith (James 2:21)

Works perfect faith

Faith with works (James 2:22)

 

Outline summary of Other Writings

Justification

Jesus taught justification is without good works (Luke 18:9-14)

Righteousness

Is practiced by the righteous (1 John 3:7; Rev. 22:11)
Those who do not practice righteousness are not of God (1 John 3:10)

 

—————– TABLES —————–

 

Paul on Faith, Justification, Law, Works, and Righteousness

VERSE
COMMENT

Rom. 2:13
“for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.”
Justification
By doing the Law (The context is Paul addressing the hypocritical Jews who judged the Gentiles, professed to keep the Law by which they were justified, but did not keep it. The Gentiles kept it, so then who would be justified?)

Rom. 3:20
“because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for bthrough the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”
Justification
Not by Law

Rom. 3:21
“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.”
Righteousness
Apart from the Law

Rom. 3:22
“even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction.”
Righteousness
Through faith

Rom. 3:24
“being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”
Justification
By grace

Rom. 3:26
“for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Justification
By Faith

Rom. 3:27
“Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.”
Boasting
Faith, not Law

Rom. 3:28
“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”
Justification
Faith, not Law

Rom. 3:30
“since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”
Justification
By Faith

Rom. 3:31
“Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.”
Establish the Law?
By faith

Rom. 4:2
“For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.”
Justification
Not by works

Rom. 4:3
“For what does the Scripture say? ‘ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.’”
Righteousness
By faith

Rom. 4:5
“But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
Justification
Faith, not Law

Rom. 4:6
“just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works.”
Righteousness
Apart from works

Rom. 4:9
“Is this blessing then on athe circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, ‘FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.’”
Righteousness
Credited by faith

Rom. 4:11
“and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them.”
Righteousness
Credited by faith

Rom. 4:13
“For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.”
The Promise obtained
Faith, not Law

Rom. 4:14
“For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified.”
The Promise obtained
Faith, not Law

Rom. 4:16
“For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,”
The Promise obtained
Faith, not Law

Rom. 4:20–22
“yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22 Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

 

Righteousness
Credited by faith

Rom. 5:1
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Justification
By Faith

Rom. 6:16
“Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?”

 

Righteousness
By obedience (This righteousness is not justification before God, but the display of righteousness)

Rom. 6:19
 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.”
Righteousness
(This righteousness is not justification before God, but unto sanctification)

Rom. 9:30
What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.

 

Righteousness
By faith

Rom. 9:32
“Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.”
Righteousness (v. 30)
By Faith

Rom. 10:5
“For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.”
Righteousness
If by Law, then you must live that law.

Rom. 10:6
“But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: ‘DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART, ‘WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?’ (that is, to bring Christ down),”

 

Righteousness
Based on faith

Rom. 10:10
“for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Righteousness
By faith

2 Cor. 8:7
“But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.”
Christian Living
Have both faith and works

Gal. 2:16
“nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.”
Justification
Faith apart from works

Gal. 2:21
 “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
Righteousness
Not by the Law

Gal. 3:5
“So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?”
Receive the Spirit’s presence by
Faith, not works

Gal. 3:6
“Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Righteousness
Credited by faith

Gal. 3:8
“The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.’”
Justification
By Faith

Gal. 3:10
“For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.””
Righteousness
If by Law, then cursed

Gal. 3:11
“Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
Justification
Not by Law

Gal. 3:12
“However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.”
Living by Law
Law is not of faith

Gal. 3:21
“Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.”
Righteousness
Not, by the Law

Gal. 3:22-23
“But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.”
Freedom from the Law
Faith, not Law

Gal. 3:24
“Therefore, the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.”
Justification
by faith

Gal. 5:4
“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
Justification
Not by Law

Php. 3:9
“and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,”
Righteousness
Faith, not Law

Titus 3:5
“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
Salvation
Not based on deeds in righteousness

Titus 3:7
“so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Justification
By Grace

1 Thess. 1:3
“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,”
Faith
Work of faith

2 Thess. 1:11
“To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power.”
Faith
Work of faith

Heb. 6:1
“Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.”
Maturity in Christ
Not by dead works

Heb. 11:7
“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.”
Righteousness
Which is according to faith

 

Outline summary of James’ Writings

 

Real faith produces works

Faith with works (James 2:14, 17, 20, 24, 26)

Works demonstrate one’s faith

Truth faith has true works (James 2:18)

Justification by works (Before people v. 18)

By works, not faith (James 2:21)

Works perfect faith

Faith with works (James 2:22)

 

Faith and works in James

VERSE
COMMENT

James 2:14
“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?”
Real faith produces works
Faith with works

James 2:17
“Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”
Real faith produces works
Faith with works

James 2:18
“But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Works demonstrate one’s faith
Truth faith has true works

James 2:20
“But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?”
Real faith produces works
Faith with works

James 2:21
“Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?”
Justification by works (Before people v. 18)
By works, not faith

James 2:22
“You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected.”
Works perfect faith
Faith with works

James 2:24
“You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
Justification (Before people v. 18)
By works, not faith

James 2:26
“For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”
Real faith produces works
Faith with works

 

Outline summary of Other Writings

Justification

Jesus taught justification is without good works (Luke 18:9-14)

Righteousness

Is practiced by the righteous (1 John 3:7; Rev. 22:11)
Those who do not practice righteousness are not of God (1 John 3:10)

 

Other

VERSE
COMMENT

Luke 18:9–14
“And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 “I tell you, this man went to his house justified
rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Justification
Without good works.

1 John 3:7
“Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”
Righteousness
Is practiced

1 John 3:10
“By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.”
Righteousness
To not practice,

Rev. 22:11
“Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”
Righteousness
Practice it

 

The post Table on faith, works, law, righteousness, justification, and salvation appeared first on Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry.

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