Four Simple Reasons why
the Answer is NO!
FOR CENTURIES there has been an on going debate as to how a person gets to
Heaven. But it may surprise you that the arguments fall into only two categories:
salvation is either by WORKS or by FAITH. In other words, a person either WORKS at
meriting their way into Heaven through their acts of righteousness, or they must admit that
they're a helpless sinner and put their FAITH in Jesus Christ as their only means of salvation.
Now, if you search the Bible, you'll find many verses that teach a person cannot earn their way
to Heaven. (Refer to the publication entitled: "101 Verses that Teach Salvation is NOT by
Works" also by Send the Light). One verse, for example, says: "For by grace are ye saved
through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9)Not of works,
lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9
Yet, in spite of verses such as the one we just read, many will insist that common sense
dictates salvation HAS TO BE by works, and not by faith alone. Their rationale is that:
"Salvation by 'faith alone'
is too simplistic. It would
easily become a 'license
to sin'; without the
necessity of having to
perform good works, there
would be nothing to keep
human nature from taking
the liberty of blatantly
IRONICALLY, THE EXACT
OPPOSITE IS TRUE!
For you see, it is the
that sends the wrong
message. It causes people to
behave in ways that are
sinful and contrary to what
God desires. In fact, on the
following two pages you will
The assumption that faith alone would become a license to
sin stems from, "not knowing the scriptures, nor the
power of God." (Mat. 22:29) The fact is, the person who is
truly saved by faith has experienced the new birth that Jesus
referred to: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be
born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3
The born again Christian has undergone a supernatural
transformation; they are a new creature: "if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17
As a new creature in Christ, the person has a repentant
attitude. He has a new desire. He is motivated by his love for
God, not just by the fear of God's judgment. He will NOT
WANT TO offend the God he loves by blatantly sinning:
"Whosoever is BORN OF GOD doth not commit [PRACTICE] sin;
for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot [GET AWAY WITH]
sin, because he is born of God." 1 John 3:9
Even if he wanted to practice sin, he wouldn't get away with it,
since God disciplines His children and keeps them in line. "For
whom the Lord loveth HE CHASTENETH, and scourgeth every
son whom he receiveth." Heb. 12:6
Four reasons why God would NEVER have devised a "works salvation"!
A "works salvation" fosters pride . . .
The Bible says: "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" (Eph. 2:8-9). Consider
what Heaven would be like if everyone made it there through their "righteous living." People
would be boasting as to how they stayed faithful, or how good they behaved, or that they
gave so much to charity, etc. No one would humbly admit they were helpless and needed a
Saviour. No one would brag on Christ as their ONLY means of salvation.
Human nature loves to earn its own way; doing so is a source of pride. That's why Verse 9
says: "Not of works, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST" (Eph. 2:9). But there's no room for
pride in God's plan of salvation. The Apostle Peter told Christians to: "Be clothed with humility:
for God RESISTETH THE PROUD, and giveth grace to the humble" (1 Pet. 5:5). God wouldn't
demand humility and then devise a plan of salvation that fosters pride. That's why His Word
says: "WHERE IS BOASTING THEN? It is excluded. By what law? OF WORKS? NAY: BUT BY
THE LAW OF FAITH. Therefore we conclude that a man is JUSTIFIED BY FAITH WITHOUT
THE DEEDS OF THE LAW." Rom. 3:27-28
A "works salvation" fuels self- righteousness . . .
The Apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said that Israel had, "A zeal
of God, BUT NOT ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGE. For they being ignorant of God's
righteousness, and going about to establish THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, have not submitted
themselves unto THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD." Rom. 10:2-3
The Jews tried to "Establish their own righteousness," through their good works, and
developed a self-righteous attitude. They were ignorant of the fact that, "There is none
righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10). They had forgotten that the prophet Isaiah, under the
inspiration of God, said: "But we are all as an unclean thing, and ALL OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSES
ARE AS FILTHY RAGS." Isa. 64:6
Our own righteousness won't save us. Only Christ's righteousness is perfect. Only His
righteousness is good enough [for] Heaven. And the Bible says that God will impute [place
on our account] Christ's righteousness, when we put our FAITH in Him as Saviour.
Take Abraham, for example. The Bible says he was JUSTIFIED BY FAITH, and not by his own
righteousness. He believed God when he was told that he was a sinner, incapable of saving
himself, and thus needed to trust the coming Messiah--Jesus Christ: "For what saith the
scripture? ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, and it was COUNTED UNTO HIM FOR
RIGHTEOUSNESS." Rom. 4:3
The Bible also says that Abraham, "was STRONG IN FAITH....And therefore it was
IMPUTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Rom. 4:20-22). And this doesn't apply to just
Abraham, "BUT FOR US ALSO, to whom IT SHALL BE IMPUTED [placed on their account], IF
WE BELIEVE ON HIM that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead." Rom. 4:24
People practicing a "works salvation" often develop a self-righteous attitude. They see no need
to have Christ's righteousness imputed upon them; they are trusting in their own acts of
righteousness. But the Bible says: "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness TO
EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH" (Rom. 10:4). (To learn more about "imputed righteousness"
refer to: Whose Righteousness are You Trusting In? by Send the Light)
A "works salvation" leads to self- justification of sin . . .
Human nature is sinful, and tends to pervert things. The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful
above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). A "works salvation"
placed in the hands of our sinful nature is quickly perverted into a point system--the more acts
of righteousness, the more points scored with God. Such a system practically becomes a
game, a matter of trying to balance the good points against the bad points (sin). Inevitability,
the points become interchangeable--people will trade them "tit for tat."
For example, many people planning to get drunk on a Saturday night will first attend an early
Saturday night mass. Their church teaches them that attending mass is a righteous act, while
their conscience tells them getting drunk is a sin (and according to God's Word it is!).
Therefore, in their minds, attending mass "makes up" for getting drunk--they've traded "tit
for tat." They have justified getting drunk because they first went to mass. This kind of thing
happens all the time! People sin and sin and sin and then go to confession, thinking that one
big righteous act makes-up for all those sins. Now, ask yourself, would God devise a works
salvation knowing that a deceitful heart will turn it into a "point system" that justifies sin?
A "works salvation" glorifies self instead of Christ . . .
The Bible states: "For IF ABRAHAM WERE JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, he hath WHEREOF TO
GLORY; but not before God" (Rom. 4:2). Abraham would have a lot to glory about if he had
made it to Heaven because of what he did while on earth. But Jesus said, right before His
death: "The hour is come, that the Son of man SHOULD BE GLORIFIED. Verily, verily, I say
unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and DIE, it abideth alone: but if it die, it
bringeth forth much fruit." John 12:23-24
Christ died for our sins, bringing forth the fruit of salvation. He did it ALL to save us. Thus,
He deserves all the glory. People relying on their own good works cannot possibly appreciate
what Christ has done. In their minds Christ hasn't done much. They don't view Christ as their
Saviour--they're busy trying to save THEMSELVES! Ask yourself: Would God devise a plan
of salvation that robs His Son of the glory He rightly deserves? "Worthy is the Lamb [Jesus
Christ] THAT WAS SLAIN TO RECEIVE power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and
honour, and GLORY, and blessing." Rev. 5:12
Friend, a works salvation is the last thing that God would ever devise. It would only feed our
self-centered sin nature. While faith alone in Jesus Christ's shed blood forces the sinner to
admit that he is helpless and there is nothing he can do to save himself.
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "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." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S
WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." (Rom. 5:8-9)
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." Romans 10:9
SEND THE LIGHT
P.O. Box 815 Fargo, ND 58107
[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]