Belief and Behavior Inseparable

I think the Bible is pretty clear that faith and works are inseparable, though I’m enough a creature of the … Continued

I think the Bible is pretty clear that faith and works are inseparable, though I’m enough a creature of the Reformation to hold that good works do not earn salvation. Martin Luther (following St. Paul) believed that good works would issue spontaneously out of the life of the believer, but they were not the catalyst for salvation.

And it must be an arid spirituality indeed that makes protestations of faith, but those commitments find scant expression in how one lives from day to day.

  • BGone

    We need clearer definitions of terms like ‘good works.’There was a man who always showed up at the public place with hat out taking up a collection for a “burned out” family. He never gave them any of what suckers put in his hat. That became widely known.Jesus said, “sell all your earthly posessions and give to the poor.” It’s agreed that’s a ridiculous idea but isn’t that all about doing good works, Jesus imitator style? Doesn’t that open the door of putting one’s self between the beneficiary and the benefactor, like the fellow doing good works taking up collections for fire victims. He wasn’t really a crook. Once he got the money in his hands his attitude changed. There are all kinds of excuses, middle men have expenses, 100% in his case.How much of the 4+ billion dollars the ministry was given by the Bush gang for Katrina victims relief actually reached them?

  • Thomas Baum

    Faith is a gift that no man should boast remember that. Works without faith do find favor in God’s eyes because it is important what you do and why you do it. People that do not even believe in God but do the right thing because it is the right thing to do most definitely do find favor in God’s eyes. The bible says faith without works is dead, you cannot earn your way to the “good place” that is true, but to think that God is such an egomaniac that knowing His Name is more important than being a decent person to your brothers and sisters, which happen to be humanity, is absolutely absurd. Jesus said, “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except thru Me”, If you let that sink in you will notice that there could be untold number of ways to get to Jesus, who happens to be the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Some people that call themselves christians need to get off of their self-righteous, holier than thou attitudes and maybe actually become christian. Knowing God’s Name is not the ticket so to speak, what do you do then? God has a Plan and it is for all of His children. Sometimes God gives a person a very simple job like telling the whole planet that God wins, satan loses and a tie is totally unacceptable and that person happens to be me. As God says I will send the simple to confound the wise. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Cerulean

    But is not faith as much of an act as any work? Do the faithful not at some point decide to believe? Is that “act” of faith then not the “catalyst for salvation”? What separates an act of faith from an act of love? I would argue, nothing.

  • Pam

    What about faith coupled with *bad* works? What about the very devout and pious Crusaders who murdered thousands of innocents because they couldn’t spare the people to guard them? What about the equally devout and pious inquisitors who tortured people and burned them at the stake?Is believing in Jesus all it takes?

  • yo-yo

    A Statement Against the Church and a Personal God by Albert Einstein—W. Hermanns, Einstein and the Poet—In Search of the Cosmic Man (Branden Press, Brookline Village, Mass., 1983), p.132, quoted in Jammer, p.123.

  • yo-yo

    Thomas Baum

  • Spin doctor’s exposed

    Best response I’ve read yet. Good Job Balmer

  • Viejita del oeste

    All the examples here just demonstrate how much the too are indeed inseparable. What I don’t like about making faith a precondition is that many people really can not control what they believe. What is comfortable and credible to one person is a fairy tale to the next. The latter person might want to believe, but it’s not something most of us can force.

  • Mark

    Who cares? Do good works because they are good and ditch the supernatural BS.

  • Gaby

    Why do we need a bible to know faith and good deeds?We are born of the spirit itself, we all know right from wrong without needing some so-called holy scripture to tell us good versus evil.The “(un)holy scriptures” do nothing but convolute the morals inbred in us.IT just asks us to honor all IT created and to do our utmost to keep IT’s works alive.That is all we need to do!

  • Garyd

    Good morals are not inbred in us save to the extent we are taught them what is inbred in us is pure unadulterated selfishness.

  • Gaby

    “Garyd: Sorry, I respectfully disagree. Young children do not behave violently unless they have a mental disorder. They turn to each other with smiles and like to play and feel and touch.You can put children (prior to religious indoctrination) whith each other and there will no harm be done. They see each other as fellow human beings, albeit small ones, and have genuine caring for each other.Adults are the ones that are selfish for whatever reason.

  • Garyd

    Selfishness need have nothing to do with violence.I’ve yet to see a baby that cared one whit whether you were in the middle of important phone call or not if it wanted food or needed a fresh diaper.

  • Gaby

    “Garyd: I’ve yet to see a baby that cared one whit whether you were in the middle of important phone call or not if it wanted food or needed a fresh diaper”TOUCHE!!!!! HAHAHHAH!

  • garyd

    By the way you don’t seem to have spent much time with kids below the age of 5.My daughter works in child care and will cheerfully point out that in her experience your belifs about 2-4 year olds is hopelessly naive.

  • ghostbuster

    I think children are most certainly born “sinners”. As someone mentioned earlier, we are all born inherently self absorbed.I appreciate how honest small children are. I’ll never forget how one time I specifically told a bright, happy three year old to bring me one of his toys. He looked me in the eyes and threw it on the floor.Rather than a reprimand I brought him over and asked him, “Why did you do that?”He looked at me straight face and said “Because I want to do what I want to do.”

  • GAryd

    There is ladies and gentlemen a difference between Sanctification and salvation. The Book of life was written before the Foundation of the world – before God ever said let there be light – therefore whether or not God chooses to rescue you from your fallen state was determined before you were born. Thus if you have been saved you will always be saved. Snactification however is the conforming of one’s heart to the spirit of God and that is a process that will never be complete this side of heaven.

  • CECIL

    If salvation is a wonderful eternal after life condition given at the discretion of some spiritual being called God, then it certainly seems wise to do whatever it takes to get it RIGHT NOW.Concerning little children: They are not born sinners as some Christians claim. Rather they are born neutral, and while heredity plays a role, we are to a very high degree what we learn. So somebody needs to teach the children well.

  • PriveR

    My job involves working with children under age three. There is a certain level of empathy that is shown by children. One of the things we look for is an awareness that another child or a parent is upset and they often will try to do what they can to make them feel better. This has been found in some children as young as 12 months, but tends to be more prevalent in slightly older ones, somewhere between two and three.There is also a lot of selfishness. Both of these are in a sort of tug of war at all times. Just like adults. The difference with children is that adults are around to correct any misbehavior and model what should be done, but there really isn’t anyone around these days to model real compassion for the adults in the same way. For so many adults it’s about revenge. ‘they did x to me first!’ It’s amazing how childish adults sometimes get.If there was someone to lead the way, all the religious extremists would have their toys taken away and be in time out. :)

  • Winston Churchill ON Khazars

    WINSTON CHURCHILL 20th c. British politician. In 1920, he wrote a long newspaper article on the recent Bolshevik seizure of Russia. After praising what he called the “national Jews” of Russia, he said : “There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews. It is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. . . In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astounding… The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.” (”Zionism Versus Bolshevism: A Struggle for the Soul of the Jewish People.” Illustrated Sunday Herald, London, February 8, 1920).

  • Thomas Baum

    To Yo-Yo: Welcome to the book of revelation, you haven’t seen nothing yet, it will even appear that satan wins but he doesn’t. The True,Living, Triune, Triumphant God will win Total Victory and despite what you or anyone else may think, God is nothing like what a lot of people who call themselves christians say. We all have free will and what we do with it is what we will be judged on, the victory for all of humanity has already been sealed, my job is to proclaim the “Good News”. Pretty simple job for a pretty simple person, is anyone listening, did anyone listen to the Old Testament Moses. Whether people believe that satan is real or not is immaterial because he is real and he is not nice at all. God is actually Love, a Being of Love, I would say that could be kind of hard to believe considering all the putrid hatred being spouted out by a lot of people that do know His Name and that seems to be about all that some people know about God, His Name. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Adam

    Thomas Baum,I like what you said. I would like to add on to that. The Bible says that faith without works is dead. Imagine having a car and the key to the car. If you never take the key and put it in the ignition you will never be able to start the engine and drive the car. If you have faith but no good works, you have not put your faith into action. It is dorment.The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. Consider this: God’s Word instructs believers to be disciples for Jesus Christ–meaning to witness. Our witness begins with our lifestyle. If we allow sin to get in the way of our Christian walk then our witness becomes null and void. Faith without works is dead: we are not working out our faith. If we are not working out our faith God cannot use us. The ultimate punishment is death. That means though you are saved, God will end your earthly life because you are not fulfilling your purpose. If you are not fulfilling your purpose on earth, then He obviously cannot use you here.It is only faith through grace which is Jesus Christ that has saving power. Remember, the thief on the cross did not have an opportunity to do good works. But because he believed in Christ, Jesus remembered him and said that he would be with Him in heaven.One last thing: Do not be quick to judge someone as being saved or not. Many seemingly spiritual people will go to Hell straight from the church, while seemingly “worldly” people will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only God knows the hearts of His people. You just make sure you know where YOU are going!

Read More Articles

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.