Good works are living peacefully with all people, helping the needy, befriending the friendless, feeding the hungry, preaching, teaching, prayer, Bible reading, singing, prophecy, miracles, community service, etc. But, good works do not save the soul.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Matthew 16:27

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:14, 17-18, 20, 24, 26

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. Revelation 20:12-13

Catholics, Calvinists, and other people seem to differ as to how salvation comes.

The Catholics believe that rituals, church membership, and water baptism saves the soul.

Calvinists believe that grace and the gospel means that God preselected who would be saved and lost. And so, God forces someone to receive Christ and the rest are hopeless. They also believe that no one can do anything good at all unless God forces them to. Essentially, according to Calvin and Augustine, people are either born saved or born lost.

Christians believe that true grace and the true gospel is thus:
God loved every human so much that He sent His only begotten Son that whomever would believe in Him would live forever and would not have to go to Hell. This is Grace and this is the Gospel. We are saved by this Grace and this Gospel through believing in Christ and this Grace and this Gospel. We are saved when we repent (turn from sin), ask for forgiveness for our sin, accept this Grace, and this Gospel through believing in Christ. Calvinists would call this works. Calvinistic and Augustinian grace is rubbish. The Gospel and Grace is found in John 3:16-17.

1) We are not saved by works.
2) We are not kept by works.
3) We can be saved when the Holy Spirit gives us opportunity. We must receive it when the Holy Ghost calls. This is not works.
4) We are saved by the works of Christ and not from our own works, but we must be receptive. This is not works.
5) The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of salvation of an individual. This is not works.
6) A backslidden person is lost according to James 5:19-20. They need to repent and do their first works according to Revelation 2:5. Whether they had once been with the Lord or not, if the backslidden do not repent and do their first works before death then their destiny will be Hell. This is not works.
7) Many people believe they are saved and on their way to Heaven but in truth are not.
8) Any human being can come to Christ and be saved. This is not works. This is true grace and the true Gospel.
9) Pelagius was in full error. The Catholic Church has always been in mostly error. The Calvinist Churches have been in full error. The Remonstrandts were in partial Calvinistic error. The present day church is too prone to error.
10) Scripture alone should be the measure and all books, canons, and creeds should be viewed as works of men alone.
11) Future sins are not automatically forgiven before we repent and ask forgiveness. Yet, forgiveness is available but not to the unrepentant. This is not works.

Also see:
Accusation of a Works Salvation
John Wesley's sermons that support this webpage

- Jeremy Brown 2004

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