Ever run into an uber-Christian, in church? You know that Christian who quickly tells folks what they can and cannot do; that Christian who seems more concerned with following the rules of the word, than saving souls? We’ve met the Christian who knows the word backwards and forwards, but is swift to gossip about the couple sitting in the back row, quietly keeping to themselves.
Some Christians fall into the trap of believing their golden ticket to heaven rests in their human ability to “do good” in the name of Jesus. But the truth is, no amount of good works guarantees safe passage into eternity with the Lord. In fact, Paul makes it clear that justification comes by faith in Christ alone. You can’t add works to it, to achievesalvation. Galatians 2:16 (ESV) says, “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Jesus Christ, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”
But wait, because works do have a place. James 2:24 (ESV) says, “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Faith in Christ grants salvation, and the works that are produced genuinely through faith, are a byproduct of that faith. You simply can’t work your way into heaven. But a true belief in Christ Jesus makes you want to do good works for Him. It all comes down to this: good works through faith in the Lord; not faith in the Lord through good works. The two are very different.