Works salvation is a term the eternal security teachers like to use.
They have come up with an ingenious way – through a false accusation using that term – to try to convince people that their doctrine is correct and is associated with GRACE, while the opposition is a works salvation and therefore wrong. They teach one is either Once Saved Always Saved or believing in a blatant and obviously wrong works salvation. They say the NO eternal security people are:
● believing in a works salvation
● trying to earn their salvation or
● involved in legalism!
We can’t speak for everyone, but as for us at Evangelical Outreach, none of those labels apply to us, even though we do definitely HATE and reject eternal security as HERETICAL and DEMONIC. Please know our faith and trust is in JESUS 100% for our salvation. We believe we are saved by GRACE and not by works (Eph. 2:8,9). We also believe to have a saving faith in Jesus means we will also have good “works” with our profession of faith in Jesus, as James 2:14 and 2:17 state.
Most don’t know that the same Greek word translated “works” in Eph. 2:9 is also in James 2:14 and 2:17 referring to a true salvation. We see the same important truth resurface again in 1 Thess 1:3 where the same Greek word translated “works” in Eph. 2:9 is also found. It says “WORK of faith” (KJV) or “WORK produced by faith” (NIV). A true saving faith in Jesus has GOOD WORKS with it. Don’t allow the popular eternal security teachers to confuse or deceive you about this.
Going back to James for a minute, he also made another relevant point about faith. He taught about another type of faith – the faith of demons – in James 2:19. Demons know there is one God and shudder. But, folks, as you know, they don’t obey God! Don’t be deceived. Following Jesus or obeying God as his sheep do (Jn. 10:27) has ABSOLUTELY NO connection with a works salvation.
Obedience to God has WRONGLY been equated to a works salvation in our apostate day! Imagine that! Simple obedience to God, which is basic to Christianity, is downplayed and basically taught as being unattainable. They often infer or boldly teach that a Christian sins all the time and they even slander Paul as being the worst of sinners. The Bible is clear in Hebrew 5:9 that those who have eternal salvation OBEY Jesus.
To equate obedience to a works salvation is not only unscriptural, it is to attack what is needed for salvation and smear the holy image of a Christian! Jesus himself said his spiritual family are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice (Lk. 8:21). The Apostle John wrote:
Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil (1 John 3:7,8).
But that’s not all. The Bible teaches one must be holy to enter God’s holy presence after death. Mt. 5:8 speaks of that same salvation truth with these words – Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. Thus, Christians are told to keep themselves pure and are constantly warned throughout the New Testament that certain sins will send them to hell.
If one doesn’t inherit God’s kingdom, he will go to hell, and sins (such as listed in Eph. 5:5-7; Gal. 5:19-21; etc.) can cause that. Obeying God will prevent committing such sins and should be magnified and stressed, not attacked as being in legalism or a works salvation or outside of GRACE!
The truth is, the eternal security teachers have changed grace into a license to sin and are slandering their opposition with the term works salvation. Such teachers remain a major hindrance and lethal snare to Christians, and especially to new converts, as they twist Biblical terms to teach their distortions.
John was very clear when he gave us 1 John 2:3,4:
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
John was not teaching a works salvation when he:
● stressed simple obedience as a sign of salvation and
● boldly labeled a person a LIAR if he says he knows Jesus, but doesn’t do what God commands.
The same John also wrote the gospel of John and in chapter 3:36 it says:
He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36, NASB).
Believing on Jesus is equated with OBEYING him. Don’t be deceived about this subject. Simple obedience to God is NOT a works salvation. It is the essence of true saving faith. The Bible does NOT teach eternal security or once saved always saved. God bless you.
Dan Corner is a holiness preacher and evangelist.