Question: Why does God not require works for salvation?
Because if I had to do x, y, and z to be saved, I could know for sure that as long as I did x, y, z, I was guaranteed salvation. Instead, because it’s by faith only, I have no idea if I 100% have the kind of faith that is true saving faith or if I have enough works accompanying my faith to show that I have true faith. Or because I am meant to repent, I have to know all the sins I commit everyday, I barely know most of the sins I commit that aren’t just obvious one (yelling at someone, not helping someone who needs it).
God does require works, it is only religious misunderstandings with false concepts that make it seem otherwise. For a picture of how man can attain salvation, I refer you to my essay below.
The idea of salvation through professing a belief in Jesus dying on the cross to take our sins is a comfortable idea, but a fatally wrong concept. Let us apply this principle elsewhere to examine its soundness:
*A student is failing class, so the teacher decides to just do all their homework so they pass the class and advance to the next grade level. In this case, all the teacher would achieve is the child taking their unsolved ignorance to the next level. Furthermore, it implies the other students who worked hard to pass the class would have been better off just doing nothing, instead of wasting their time working hard for a prize that is freely given to everyone regardless of effort.
*A worker has consistently been performing poorly at her job. The boss then decides to do all her work, excuse her poor performance, and even promotes her further in the company to a job with even greater responsibilities! In this case, all the boss would achieve is the worker taking their incompetence to the next higher job. Furthermore, it implies that other workers who were working hard for this promotion would have been better off doing nothing, instead of wasting their time working hard for a promotion that is freely given to everyone regardless of effort.
Applied to other areas of life, this idea fails and only produces lamentable results. Therefore, it is wrong.
When the human spirit examines the false idea of Jesus taking his sins on the cross and granting a cheap atonement in this light, surely this must make him a little uncomfortable and second-guess this misbegotten notion.
It is following the Will of God, as revealed by the Son of God, through the works of his spirit that grants salvation, i.e. deeds. Faith without works is dead. Therefore, it is works that make the faith and brings it to life, the same way it is the human soul within the body that brings it to life.
For this reason, only he who follows the Laws of God by demonstrating faith through works will eventually obtain salvation.
Response (by questioner):
So what do you believe these works need to be, and is there a certain level of works that people must accomplish in order to know they are saved?
“Applied to other areas of life, this idea fails and only produces lamentable results. Therefore, it is wrong.”
I can understand your analogy, however, I think it is rather dangerous to use an analogy to create doctrine. I think it can be used to explain doctrine, but I don’t think it is the best case for creating it.
Also, I totally agree with you that the Bible does say faith without works is dead.
The analogy was given to explain the unsoundness of certain concepts, and then illuminate a path forward. No one is creating any doctrines, for doctrines are often just crutches people rely on, in order to avoid the trouble of using their own healthy limbs. Everyone should be free in their examination to objectively seek clarification for themselves.
As for the works, I mean here the works of the spirit, which naturally has a corresponding effect on physical deeds. The works of seeking to integrate the teachings into our daily life, so all desires, thoughts, and actions align with and express them. But to apply something we must first understand it, and it is there the individual should begin.
I get what you mean about the analogy and I didn’t mean to make you think I was saying it was a bad analogy or anything. Do you think that the works we produce are progressive and that we shouldn’t look for some kind of goodness bar in order to say that a person’s good works have reached a certain point to say they truly are born again?
To attain a high elevation, a bird must vigorously flap its wings. To remain there or climb higher, it must flap its wings with even greater vigor. The moment it relaxes, it sinks. All along the bird’s gaze must be focused skyward, not downward or admiringly on its wings.
The same principle holds for man spiritually. Continuous exertion with his inner gaze focused upward.
~Ikenna Q. Ezealah