Faith + Works = Bondage

Those who teach works must be added to faith as a condition for salvation can never tell you when you have done enough. This fact alone exposes the reason why you will never find assurance of salvation in their systems. The problems with believing our right standing before God is a result of Christ’s work plus our merit are innumerable and damning, but the inability of its proponents to answer the question, “How much work is enough?” exposes its corrupting effect on the hearts of those that adhere to it.

The reason why I refer to it as a corrupting effect is that there are only two possible responses to imbibing this theology and neither are edifying. The first is bondage to pride. Someone who is blind to their sinfulness will begin to rejoice in their goodness. After all, they are contributing some merit to their salvation. Jesus has not done it all, so there is room for boasting. To do this, they must either under-estimate their sinfulness or lower God’s righteous standard. The second response is bondage to constant anxiety. Anyone awake to his or her corruption will tend in this direction. They will strive and struggle but will never find themselves able to rest in Christ because, as long as they live, Christ’s work will never be sufficient, and their work will never be complete.

Works do play a role in salvation, but they are the result of our salvation in Jesus, not the cause of it. When we stand before the Lord, there is only one to whom we will point for our acceptance before God, and that is Jesus Christ. He fulfilled the law that we could not, he paid our debt on the cross, and he credits his righteousness to us. We will never point to ourselves. Remember, even the Pharisee gave God the credit for his assumed righteousness and all the works he did, yet he walked away unjustified (Luke 18-9-14). When we point to ourselves in any way, we point to our own condemnation. It is only when we beat our breast like the tax collector and look outside of ourselves to Jesus Christ that we find the righteousness we need.

There is no “It is finished” in faith plus works theological systems, and because of that, there is only bondage. If we want to be free in Christ, we must reject the notion that our righteousness is anything other than Christ’s perfect righteousness accounted as ours. We are justified by faith apart from works of the law (Romans 3:28). Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28).”

-D. Eaton

2 thoughts on “Faith + Works = Bondage

  1. https://fightoffaithblog.com/2020/08/07/faith-works-bondage/

    Those who teach works must be added to faith as a condition for salvation can never tell you when you have done enough….but the inability of its proponents to answer the question, “How much work is enough?” exposes its corrupting effect on the hearts of those that adhere to it.”

    I agree with your view that the position of connecting faith works confound and compromise the salvation offered by Jesus as per Rom10:9. The reason why this is the case is the false premise that the “faith” in the faith works is the same faith that believes unto salvation.

    This confusion arises, because of the inability to differentiate between the salvation of the soul and salvation of the spirit. Rom10:9 offers salvation of the spirit where the dead spirit is born again by the God the Holy Spirit (John3:6) and by the power of God the Father who raised Jesus from the dead (1Pet1:3).

    The soul remains unsaved and needs the faith walk process (sanctification) as clarified in 1Pet1:9 to save the soul so as produce eternal weight of glory (2Co4:16-18). The body persists in sinful flesh that decays (2Co4:16), dies and thereafter the soul/spirit inherits the spiritual body (1Co15:44) preserved in heaven (1Pet1:5).

    The bondage occurs when the believing faith in the spiritual salvation offered by God is attempted to be secured or perfected by the faith works of the soul.

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