Judged by Works

Sami Zaatari

 

Many Christians often argue against Islam based on their ignorant understanding of believing that Islam is all about works, acts, and not on belief.

So with that said it seems that I must therefore become Pastor Zaatari and teach these same Christians about what their own Bible has to say concerning this matter, is it faith alone, and do works and deeds play no part at all?

Jesus in the Gospel of John chapter five verses 28-29 clearly states that people will be saved by their actions, we read:

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29)

So as you can see, according to Jesus those who do good will have the resurrection of life, and those who do bad will have the resurrection of damnation which is basically the hell fire. Hence these verses make it crystal clear that Jesus and the Bible teach that a person's salvation does rely on his acts and deeds.

This is not the only place in the Bible where it clearly teaches that people will be saved by their actions, we also read in Matthew 16:27 the following:

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27)

So again we see Jesus clearly teaching that people will be rewarded according to their WORKS.

Finally, the strongest teaching from the Bible concerning works comes from the book of James chapter 2 verse 14 which reads:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (James 2:14)

So notice how James the brother of Jesus teaches that what good is it to have faith without any works and even goes as far as asking can faith alone save the person? James was clearly of the opinion that faith alone was not good enough, and that a person must have works alongside faith.

James goes even much further when he writes the following:

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (James 2:17-24)

Notice how clear and explicit James is, he says that faith without works is DEAD, and it is of no use. He even uses a very strong analogy saying even the devils believe in God, but what good is that!

It is clear that James is being so explicit because the anti-Christ Paul was going around teaching that faith alone was good enough, James obviously had a problem with such a doctrine which is why he emphasized the importance of works accompanying faith.

In fact these teachings of James were very problematic for many Christians, including Martin Luther, a Christian who heavily influenced what is known as reformed theology, a school of thought that is heavily followed by many Christians, most specifically the anti-Islamic evangelicals who preach justification by faith alone.

Hence in conclusion we have seen that the Jesus and his brother James clearly taught that faith alone is not good enough, and that people will be judged by their works. The doctrine of justification by faith alone which is held by many anti-Islamic Christians is a false teaching, and has no basis. Jesus and his brother James taught what Islam teaches, that a person is saved by his deeds AND belief.

And Allah Knows Best!

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