Catholics Believe The Book Of James Teaches That Works Is Necessary For Salvation

A Catholic says,

“BFHU: Where has Sola Scriptura always existed? It did not exist until Martin Luther invented it. Did you know that because of his adherence to Sola Scriptura Luther had the audacity to delete 7 books from the NT that conflicted with his doctrines.
For instance, he taught that we are saved by faith alone. Sola Fide. But, in James we find these words;
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”


I will concentrate on this statement “For instance, he taught that we are saved by faith alone. Sola Fide. But, in James we find these words;
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

I strongly disagree. All false religion have one thing in common and I mean ALL. They reject the Bible as the only authoritative Book and claim to have some extra-Biblical sources that were revealed later. The thing is that at least and this is for the Catholics, we can agree that the Bible is God’s Word, right? If someone comes and tells you that this material is also inspired then test it with what you already know to be God’s Word to see if it agrees with the revelation of holy scripture. Don’t let yourself be blindsided because it sounds good or because you grew up in it but test it with what is 100% reliable, God’s everlasting Word, the Bible. To understand the Bible we cannot come to it with a preconceived notion or with a made up mind on any particular verse. To know what James meant, we must look at the whole context in regards to faith and works to allow the scripture to tell us what it means.

As for James 2:24 which says, “24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

I will start with verse 14 which says, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him?

If a person claims to have faith in Jesus Christ, how can he prove that he is saved? He proves it by producing works according to the scripture.

And in verses 15-17 which says, “15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.”

One of the ways that saving faith can be seen is through helping fellow believers with everyday basic necessities and also with nonbelievers as well. If a professing believer in Jesus never shows any love by helping them, it reveals that the Holy Spirit hasn’t transformed his heart because he is still without saving faith. In Philippians 2:13 it says, “13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.

To have good works one must first be saved and have the Holy Spirit in you to have the desire to do God’s will.

Faith means that a person trusts in Jesus with his whole life and desires to imitate Him so that we may please Him.

Continuing with verse 18 which says, “18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works.

This verse is one of the clearest to understand what James is trying to convey. How can you show someone saving faith? Only through works, meaning that faith precedes works. To have good works indicate that you have faith already, so faith alone in Jesus Christ is required to receive the Holy Spirit who enables you to have good works.

Now, James uses Abraham as an example in verses 20-23 which says, “20 Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? 21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. 23 So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.”

A Christian that doesn’t want to preach or tell people about Jesus, read the Bible or have love for people through helping them with their basic needs when given the opportunity has useless faith. A useless faith simply means that their faith is dead. A dead faith cannot bring glory to Christ, only one who has saving faith can the Spirit of God move through that person to fulfill God’s will.

James like Paul (Romans 4) quoted the passage in Genesis 15:6 which has nothing to do with works but Abraham just believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

We must understand that before Abraham showed any good works or better yet before he was tested by God to see if he would sacrifice his son, God declared him righteous, based only by believing in Him.

James is saying with Abraham that perfect faith has to be seen so that it may bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ.

When verse 24 says that “man is justified by works and not by faith alone,” In light of James using Abraham as an example we can conclude that good works in a person shows that he has been declared (past tense) righteous. Works is a byproduct of saving faith

40 Replies to “Catholics Believe The Book Of James Teaches That Works Is Necessary For Salvation”

    1. Catholic Answers

      Full Question

      Why does the Roman Catholic Church teach the doctrine of “works righteousness,” that through good works one can earn salvation?


      The Catholic Church has never taught such a doctrine and, in fact, has constantly condemned the notion that men can earn or merit salvation. Catholic soteriology (salvation theology) is rooted in apostolic Tradition and Scripture and says that it is only by God’s grace–completely unmerited by works–that one is saved.

      The above statement from the Catholic is a complete lie because they do believe in works salvation. I will show you in the Catholic Catechism. You Catholics are always contradicting your own materials.

      ARTICLE 2

      1987 The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ” and through Baptism:34

      1992 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life:40

      1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:48

      The Catholic Church does teach that you are made right with God through baptism and the Sacrament of faith.

      Basically, to receive the free gift of Jesus’ sacrifice is through works. Look how contradictory the false Catholic Church truly is.

      1. Your ability not to read what is written tells me all I need to know about the spirit in you.

          1. You must be joking? You clearly can’t read as that is not what the catechism says. How sad that whatever spirit occupies you is from the father of lies.

          2. That’s what the Catechism says, that you receive Jesus’ grace through works. It is plain. If you want to continue in your deception that’s your choice but it is clear

          3. Grace is not salvation. I do wish you would acquire the rudiments of an education. Most of the errors you make are because of your poor education. I am sorry no one educated you properly, but it is no excuse for getting something this elementary wrong.

          4. Grace is a blessing, it is not salvation- oddly that is why they are two separate words. It would help you to read up on such terms. I am quite happy to provide you with some sources which would help you.

          5. Why do you ask again – I quote your own quotation:
            1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:48

            Gratuitous means ‘free’ – no works cannot gain salvation – that is what the Church teaches. Can you now stop telling lies? It isn’t very Christian.

          6. You are the idiot claiming it means salvation- so you show me where that is.

          7. Okay Chalcedon, I have never called you an idiot or maligned you in anyway. I have strongly disagreed with you and in what you believed but never attacked you personally. I would suggest that you cool off and have a nice weekend. You claim to believe in Jesus yet you action speak louder than your words.

          8. Chalcedon, you have a very hateful heart and that language is not allow in my blog for me or anyone else for that matter. You surely are no Christian. I will not allow anymore of your comments.

  1. From my experience as a Catholic (which I no longer am), everything a person practices are traditions mingled with superstition that is passed along from generation to generation. For centuries they have succeeded in making their adherents believe laypeople are not equipped to read it without being guided by priests and seminarians and anyone who listens to them automatically inherits their biases and who knows what other misinterpretation they may have. That’s called blind faith. We forget that God used mostly laypeople, who did not write it in a scholarly fashion but in a language that God in His sovereignty knows will be understood by many. It is not esoteric in nature. It does however require a humble spirit for a person not to insist on their own interpretation on what the text says should their comprehension lead them to one that deviates from its original context.

    On the basis of Jesus as being the only savior, the Catholics may pay lip service to acknowledge Christ but the obligatory adherence to the seven sacraments (in order to be a good Catholic) negate the efficacy of Christ’s finished work.

    God can only give someone so many chances to truly choose the truth. The Catholic church may appear to have internal consistency but don’t let appearances fool you. The evidence is overwhelming that the church has long deviated from the teachings of Jesus Christ but in order to really see that, one has to deliberately choose to be objective. Basically, give up everything you think you know and ask God to show you.

    1. Thanks for the insight, they seem so engrossed in their man-made tradition that they like the idea to bow down to worthless idols. When you read the Bible one might think that how can someone bow down to a lifeless idol and when one comes to realize that it is still happening. Even though the Bible warns you and reveals to you that it is demonic, they still bypass all that and does it anyways…wow

      1. Yeah. I used to kiss the feet of statues and believed I was pleasing God. Only He can open a person’s eyes – I was blind but now I see.

          1. That is good news! I was going to post about my garden yesterday, I even took pictures but had to answer someone here.

          2. Lol. No worries honestly. I really wanted to take some time off WP. What’s weird is the moment I get close to not participating in WP, people out of nowhere reblog and ping my stuff which is quite rare for me. Not intent to win anything but only that some readers do get to intake Scripture. We never know which passage God will use to convict someone. I remember which one God used to convict me about Catholicism. It was 1 Timothy 4:1-4. Have a pleasant day.

          3. I’m still here 🙂 and if WP is the place I need to be on, so be it, maybe a little less frequent but like you said, “as the Lord leads.” Thank you for the encouragement. I truly appreciate it.

  2. Spaniardviii, I too was blind but now I see! I remember when the Lord opened my eyes to see the Kingdom of God and become aware that there are those who believe and are alive but that all around us are people unaware and unsaved.

    God bless you, brother!

    1. Hello Maria, yes we are blessed to see the truth. Too me personally it’s so hard to reach a Catholic. They are so much into their tradition that they don’t see that they have rejected holy Scripture by making tradition their standard.

      1. Yes, they are hard to reach, Spaniardviii. They believe they have all they need, after all they are part of the “One True Church.” So sad! It is an incredible counterfeit. Their dogma is that Scripture + Tradition = God’s Word, but when there is a conflict between the two, they choose Tradition, for example, in the teachings about the finished work of Christ – that He died “once for all” – and the continual sacrifice of the Mass. You know all this as well as I do.

  3. Alex, about Patrick and Chalcedon451,

    Mark 10:27 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

    We have to be poor and they are too rich in this world:

    Matthew 5:3
    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    1. Their pride is keeping them away from scripture. You know that they say that those who believe in the Bible alone are deceived, that has blown my mind. Catholics have such hatred for the Bible without realizing it. Not all may I had.

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