One way to consider the relationship between faith and good works is to try and construct a maths equation.
SUPPOSE YOU ARE GIVEN THE FOLLOWING NINE CARDS TO USE…
Each card can be used to construct the formula.
S stands for Salvation
F stands for Faith
GW stands for Good Works
MANY OF US WOULD NATURALLY CONSTRUCT THE FORMULA LIKE THIS…
FAITH plus GOOD WORKS leads to SALVATION.
The problem with this equation is that the Bible explicitly states that we are saved by faith alone: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph 2:8-9).
AS A RESULT, WE NEED TO ELIMINATE ‘GOOD WORKS’ FROM OUR EQUATION, AND BE LEFT WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS…
FAITH (ALONE) leads to SALVATION
Although this is correct, it doesn’t really give the full story. The Bible goes onto say that once we are saved, we will find that we have a desire to do good works: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10).
SO PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER, WE ARE NOT SAVED BY GOOD WORKS, BUT ONCE WE ARE SAVED, WE WILL HAVE A DESIRE TO DO GOOD WORKS. OUR EQUATION SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS…
FAITH (ALONE) leads to SALVATION which leads to GOOD WORKS