Are we saved by works?

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Question:

There is a version of works salvation that people teach that when you come to Christ your past sins are forgiven and then from then on you can’t commit anymore sins and you have to be Perfect otherwise you lose your salvation. They quote 1 John 2:3-

Answer:

1 John 2     Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in HimHe who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Firstly, there is no such thing as “Salvation by works”. It is impossible for human beings to save themselves by keeping the law. The Bible says so in many places. Here is one.

Romans 3     20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

The 1 John 2 passage above does speak about keeping the commandments, but it is not saying that you are saved by keeping the commandments. God asks us to keep His command-ments if we love Him, as He has given them to us for our protection. We are saved by His grace, and because we are saved and love Him, we keep His commandments. The command-ments are not kept in order to be saved, but because we are saved already. There is a big difference, which you have to understand.

People want to get rid of the Ten Commandments, not because they have a problem with most of them, but because they have a problem with the Sabbath. All the other command-ments cause them no grief, but in order for them to get rid of the Sabbath, they say many things to try and tell us that the commandments are no longer valid, and if we keep them, we are trying to save ourselves by keeping them.

Look at the second commandment of the Ten Commandments below, and you will see that you can only keep them if you love God. I also add another one, which is the words of Jesus Himself.

Exodus 20     “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

John 14:15   If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

God wrote the Ten Commandments with His own hand on tablets of stone. They will stand forever, but we will never be saved by keeping them. We only keep them if we are saved, love God, and keep them because we love Him.

I trust that this makes sense to you. God bless!

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Romans 3:20

Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  

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