Faith and works are often intertwined with the common Christian principles that are grounded in the biblical teachings of a number of scholars. For the most part, faith stems from the beliefs that there are Laws that are set aside for human behavior (Faith and Works in Paul, Ephesians, and James, n.d). These Laws have no limits or boundaries to the ethical principles that governs the lives of persons, but in order to be a Christian and a follower of Christ one must be cognizant of the ethical principles that govern the behavior and attitudes of persons in the society.
Paul, in his writings regarding the Mosaic Law suggests that faith does not require the person to practice specified actions of the law. In essence, Paul argues that “a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ” (Faith and Works in Paul, Ephesians, and James, n.d). Additionally, Paul suggests that persons believe in Christ and therefore are able to justify their actions and works based on their faith in Christ and not in the law and the works.
But, Paul teachings on works and faith add a new dimension to the arguments and not put an end to the debate that existed in the early church. In Paul’s arguments, it is clear that Paul believes firmly in the principles that a person can justify their actions based on their faith and not by the laws of that govern the behavior of persons. Similarly, James believes that works are done in faith and not apart from faith. In other words, persons act according to their faith in Christ as faith is the foundation for a Christian life.
Arguably, one does not have to be a Christian in order to have faith in the goals of a Christian life. Based on the James letters to the Romans, one could easily agree with these arguments that the faith of a person and the good actions of the person can lead to a prosperous life in the hereafter. One’s faith can lead to good deeds and yet one does not have to follow the Mosaic Laws. But, Christians in particular must have faith in their works and believe that Christ Jesus is the foundation to the good deeds that they carry out. Birge suggests that “God’s generosity is without measure” (Birge, n.d) and this belief reinforces James arguments that no one can be of two minds or serve God and serve the Mammon (Birge, n.d).
The truth is that it is difficult for persons to serve God and serve the worldly possessions of life. One cannot hope to follow the teachings of the Bible and still embrace the sins of the world. Nonetheless, by faith persons can still practice good deeds despite their sinful ways. The bible teaches love for others and the belief in the works of Christ Jesus. To a great extent, many persons follow the basic principles of the Bible, yet they fall short of being holistically committed to the teachings of the Bible. But, through God’s grace and forgiveness, there is a clear path to inherit heaven only if there is some amount of faith that Christ forgives those who sin. One cannot truly separate faith and good deeds as both work together to create the ultimate good in the society.
Birge, M., ( n.d) The Letter of Jams – Introduction.
Faith and Works in Paul, Ephesians, and James, (n.d)