When I was young I was raised under strict legalism. It wasn't like our family sat down and studied the merits of faith and works and decided what our options were and which we believed. It was only implied. "Be a good boy so you can go to Heaven." "Repent all your sins so you can be saved" "Everything you do is being written in God's record book, so be good because you want to go to Heaven." All these are true, but are based on the inferior judgment by works not the better way, the straight and narrow gate of faith. see Matthew 7:14
I was grown and married before studying for myself and being convinced of the better promise of righteousness by FAITH. It was like an oppressive burden lifted from me. A breath of fresh air, freedom from the burden of the law (different than freedom from the law).
To this day I am convinced of Salvation by faith, as a gift of grace. Yet, there are all those pesky verses about judgment based on WORKS. Are they to be ignored?
This study is my attempt to stop ignoring and to finally understand and deal with the well represented doctrines of both, faith and works. Faith and works are opposite and conflicting concepts. BOTH are taught in the scriptures so they must be harmonized. For centuries, Christians have discussed and argued the relative merits of works versus faith. Both sides point to many scriptures that truly support their belief.
At the beginning of this study, I will claim and later prove that both sides are correct. But how can opposite theories, totally at odds with each other, BOTH be right? Are they two different paths to the same place?
That is the work of this study.