Monday, February 05, 2007

Is There Such a Thing as a Believer Who Never Does Anything as a Result of His Faith?

Transcribed from the question and answer session that followed the lecture, Once Again James 2, delivered by Zane Hodges at the 2005 Grace Evangelical Society annual conference. The lecture dealt with the concept of “justification by works” as found in James 2:21-26.

Question from the Audience: Are you saying that faith will at least be manifested externally at some point in the life. I know you haven’t specifically addressed that question [in your lecture], but here’s the question: Would you say that faith is externally manifested at least at some point in every believer’s life?

Professor Hodges: No.

Followup question: Would you like to elaborate on that? [laughter from the audience].

Professor Hodges: No…[laughter from the audience]…, however, I will [laughter from the audience]. This is closely related to the long-running question: Is there such a thing as a believer who never ever does anything as a result of his faith? My answer to that, what I have gone into print as saying, is I don’t think there is any such thing as a believer who never ever does anything at all as a result of their faith, but I cannot prove it from Scripture, so it cannot be a fundamental doctrine.

But even if a person does one or two things as a result of their faith, that is certainly not grounds for assurance of salvation. And the really important issue is that works are not indispensable to an assurance of eternal life. What is indispensable to that is the promise of God and our conviction that that promise is true.