Can You Work Your Way To Heaven? by Ronnie Floyd

JAMES 2:14-26
JULY 8, 1990
INTRODUCTION: Why do so many religious denominations exist
today? It seems that with one Bible and intellectual persons
surely we could all understand truth together. What is the
If there is one tension in Scripture that contributes to the
multiple kinds of churches in our day it is the tension in
Scripture I want to share with you today. One of the most
difficult areas of Scripture to understand is the relation-
ship between faith and works.
The biblical word for faith is "pistis". The word means to
have conviction, trust, confidence, a firm persuasion, or to
The biblical word for works is "erga11. The word means to
have works, good works, to manifest, to prove. (Carnal and
spiritual works)
There are two important questions to ask:
(1) Is faith alone enough?
(2) Are works alone enough?
*The answer to both of these questions is no!
Permit me to clarify the relationship between faith and
works: (Ephesians 2:8-10) It is the grace of God that
gives salvation in heaven. Can you work your way to hea-
ven? No! You cannot work hard enough to ever gain heaven.
But, as you obey God people will know you are going to hea-
ven because of your works.
T.S.: I would like to take apart this text for you today
and divide it into three divisions. Look with me to God's
Word and I believe without question before you go today
the tension between faith and works in salvation can be
solved for each person here today:
Exp: You can proclaim faith, but not have it.(v. 14)
You can intellectually be aware of the needs of
others, but yet not have faith.(vs. 15-16)
Page 2
You can intellectually believe, but have dead
faith.(v. 17)
Ill: Churches are full of people with the intellectual
capacity to understand what is right. You can
quote the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and
still not have biblical, believing fa ...

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