Salvation: By Grace Alone, Not Faith Alone or Works

Salvation: By Grace Alone, Not Faith Alone or Works May 13, 2019

[from my 2013 book, pictured above (see purchase & general information); available in Spanish and French as well), except that I have provided all the passages in RSV (the book was mostly KJV)]


Salvation is Ultimately by Grace Alone

Where does it state that we are saved by grace alone?

2 Timothy 1:9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, 

Are we justified by grace?

Romans 3:24 they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,

Are we called by grace?

Galatians 1:15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, 

Does justification come through grace rather than law?

Galatians 2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose. 

Salvation is Not by Faith Alone

Where is the Protestant notion of faith alone (sola fide) denied?

James 2:22, 24 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works,… [24] You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

Are works, in conjunction with faith, said to be necessary for salvation?

Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 

Is faith alone described as insufficient for salvation?

James 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?

Do we actually “work out” our salvation?

Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; [13] for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 

Can we deny God and our faith in Him, by our deeds?

Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed. 

Do we have to obey Jesus, as well as have faith in Him, to be saved?

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.

Is something more required for salvation than believing in and calling on Jesus’ name?

Matthew 7:21 Not every one who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Can we deceive ourselves by hearing the gospel message of salvation only, and not being “doers” of it?

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Is obedience to Jesus directly tied to salvation (even without mentioning faith)?

Hebrews 5:9 and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 

Salvation is Not by Works Alone (Pelagianism)

Where is it expressly stated that our works cannot save us?

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God — [9] not because of works, lest any man should boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (cf. 2 Tim 1:9 above)

Is grace shown to be in contradistinction to works, in terms of salvation?

Romans 11:5-6 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. [6] But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. 

Grace + Faith + Works + Obedience = Salvation

Are grace, faith, and obedience ever linked together in one passage?

Romans 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

Is obedience to the gospel important, as well as belief in the gospel?

Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel; . . . 

Are faith and obedience aligned?

Romans 16:26 but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith — 

Is there such a thing as a “work of faith”?

1 Thessalonians 1:3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 


(originally from 2013)


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