Re: Debate [RE: Anniversary motto]

Jay Thomas (
Thu, 07 May 1998 12:16:17 -0400

Joe Barrera wrote:
> Is one saved by faith and deeds, or by faith alone?

Sola Fide. Faith alone. My $.02. However, you need to define "saved".
And, by "faith", do you mean Christian faith? Faith in whom or what?
Which religion are we discussing? Just a side note, I was born,
baptised, and raised (for a few years) Catholic, but my studies led to
the realization that the Catholic church had added a lot to the
religion, subtle and not-too-subtle nuances, that weren't biblical,
didn't seem to mesh with my concept of God's love. So, now, I am no
longer a Catholic, but a (generic) Christian. I am only qualified to
discuss Christianity, as it is my faith, and I haven't studied other
religions in years, and then, not in depth. =20

According to the Bible, the text that teaches us the tenets of our
(Christians) faith, in the book of Romans: "3:23 for all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God. 3:24 But they are justified freely
by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus".
Justified is translated as "Or =93declared righteous.=94 Grk =93being
justified,=94 as a continuation of the preceding clause. Because of the
length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was
started here in the translation." There is no mention of a need for
good deeds for salvation.

1)Peter, to whom Christ referred as the "rock upon which I shall build
my church", said "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there
is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be
saved" (Acts 4:12) referring to the name of Christ.

2)In the book of Acts 16:31, Paul says to a prison guard: "Believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house".=20

3)In Ephesians, Paul again says: "2:8 For by grace you are saved
through faith, and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
2:9 it is not of works, so that no one can boast.

4)Paul wrote "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am
chief"(1 Timothy 1:15)

The only time Christ specifically tells anyone that they must "do"
something to gain salvation, it is to follow the ten commandments. In
the book of Mark, Chapter 12, when a rich young man asks Christ what
to do to gain eternal salvation, Christ replies: "Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
And the second is this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There
is no other commandment greater than these"(Mark 12:30,31). However,
I don't look at these as deeds, so much as a state of mind.

To quote Lehman Strauss, Litt.D., F.R.G.S
In answer to the disciples=92 question, =93Who then can be saved?=94 Jesu=
stated the doctrine of salvation in a nutshell. Salvation is
impossible with men but possible with God. What good works, law
observance, wealth and rank cannot effect God in grace has made
possible. If salvation depended upon one=92s religion and his own
efforts, it would be impossible for anyone to be saved, but =93salvation
is of the LORD" (Jonah 2:9). God Himself does all the saving from
start to finish. =93According to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5).
Salvation is the sovereign work of God through which He rescues and
delivers fully the believing sinner from the guilt and penalty of sin.
And He has only one way of saving men. All hope of man being saved
through his own efforts came to an end at Calvary when Divine love
completed the work of redemption through the death of Jesus Christ.

Rev. Jay P. Thomas, Ordained.
Jay Thomas (w)617-576-4832=09
Network Manager (b)617-546-2444=09
I think so, Brain, but where are we going to find a duck
and a hose at this hour?