Faith Plus Works vs. Faith Alone and Works as Evidence of Faith: Is it Just Semantics?
Visitor: Faith + Works [heresy?] = Faith + Sanctification [works is essential !] = Justification, Sanctification, Glorification = Salvation?
To me, it just points to why so much division is in Christianity. No sooner than a work is done, someone will claim heresy. Another will claim it as their testimony of faith.
Response: Salvation by Christ alone vs. salvation by Christ plus works are two entirely different visions of Christianity, not just a simple division over whether we should have red or green carpet in our local church building. To think that "Christ alone" does not matter or is not important enough to fight for is more worrisome to me. Indifference or thinking that church unity is somehow more important than preaching Christ alone ... i.e.. that we can (at least partly) maintain our own just standing before God -- is not a matter simple division among otherwise well-meaning brothers... this is critical as to whether we are honoring God or dishonoring Him (Gal 3:3; Phil 3:3). This is where the rubber meets the road.
Visitor: You're kidding, right? The "Christ alone" view keeps insisting that it includes works that is evidence ..
but the works gets interpreted as heresy vs. evidence of faith in "Christ alone".
Response: are you, then, affirming, that Jesus Christ is not sufficient to save you? That you yourself must MAINTAIN your just standing before God? That Jesus isn't enough? I am talking about your justification here - your right standing before God. To believe that your flesh contributes one bit of righteousness to your standing before God is the heresy Paul refers to in Galatians 3:3.