What saves, faith or works?


Should you ask which is most necessary to salvation, faith or works?
I beg leave to propose a similar question: Which is most essential to breathing, inspiration or expiration? If you reply, that “the moment either is absolutely at an end, so is the other; and therefore both are equally important :”
I return exactly the same answer. If humble faith receive the breath of spiritual life, obedient love gratefully returns it, and makes way for a fresh supply. When it does not, the Spirit is grieved: and if this want of cooperation is persisted in to the end of the day of salvation, the sin unto death is committed, the Spirit is quenched in his saving operation, the apostate dies the second death, and his corrupt soul is cast into the bottomless pit, as a putrid corpse into the noisome grave.

– John Fletcher, An Equal Check To Pharisaism and Antinomianism, circa 1773

Something to ponder upon…


5 thoughts on “What saves, faith or works?

  1. Hello,

    I would have to disagree that faith and works are equally important. Works are done out of gratitude for being saved, not to be saved.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

    Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

    John 6:28-29 “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”


  2. Guna

    Hello Bill, thanks for your comment.
    I agree with all the verses you shared, and hold them dear to heart.
    I think the ‘works’ meant here is not a ‘meritorious’ work that ‘earns’ salvation, it is a ‘work’ that responds to God grace with, as you said, gratefulness.
    I especially like that you quoted John 6, for it is in this chapter that Jesus gently teaches the multitudes that they can’t work (read merit) eternal life, but slowly moves them that the only ‘work’ involved in obtaining eternal is not what they do, but they believe in the One whom He has sent. Interestingly enough, the Lord Himself mentions in v27, “Work not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him the Father, even God, hath sealed” and then through the rest of the chapter, the idea of believing is mentioned at least 8 times.
    You may find yourself disagreeing with me, but i don’t find myself disagreeing with you. 🙂

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