I don't understand why we are saved by faith rather than by our works?
What is "salvation"? To me, salvation could mean a couple of things:
1. Being "free" from sin (no one is sinless, so I guess "free" here means that we are approaching sinlessnes)
2. Eternally striving for the Good, for self-improvement (less sin). A sort of eternal striving in the godward direction.
Is that correct? And if so, why is belief in Jesus the only way that we can be "saved"
God so loved you, not because of your works, because His own purpose and grace, which He gave you in Christ before the ages began, as we have heard in 2 Timothy 1:9
Dear one, I understand that you are concerned why we are saved by faith rather than by our works.
This is what we have heard:
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. -Isaiah 64:6
So dear one, you can consider the work of our lives aren’t righteous or even clean; our iniquities separated us from God.
Also, this is what we have heard:
Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, -Psalms 49:7
for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, -Psalms 49:8
So dear one, unrighteous lives can’t ransom or redeem people from their sins.
That is why we have heard this :
For our sake He ( God the Father ) made him ( Christ ) to be sin ( sin offering ) who knew no sin, so that in him ( Christ ) we might become the righteousness of God. -2 Corinthians 5:21
That is how great is God’s purpose and grace that He gave us in Christ Jesus.
So when Jesus who knew no sin gave Himself up at the cross, He offered Himself as sin offering to redeem from our sins so that we can be made right before God.
This is what has been said about our Lord Jesus Christ by God :
Therefore I ( God ) will divide him ( Christ ) a portion with the many, and he ( Christ ) shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he ( Christ ) poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he ( Christ )bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. -Isaiah 53:12
That is how great is the loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
are you still concerned about those who believe in Christ?
This is what we have heard :
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. -John 3:36
If you see the parentheses, you understand the sentence after the parentheses is used to explain what is said before the parentheses.
So those who are considered to believe in the Son — they are those who obey the Son ; Yes, they obey what they are taught in union with Christ, as we have heard in Ephesians 4:21.
So those who don’t obey are not considered to have believed in Christ; they shall not have eternal life but the wrath of God remain on them. Why ? Because they have not truly repented, and God makes them His enemy, as we have heard in Psalms 7:12-13.
So dear one, consider what God has testified through His apostle - that has been said :
If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that He has borne concerning his Son . -1 John 5:9
Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning His Son. -1 John 5:10
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son . -1 John 5:11
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. -1 John 5:12
So dear one, who has the Son ?
This is what we have heard:
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. -1 John 4:15
So those who confessed the Jesus Christ as Son of God are those who are considered who has the Son. Yes, those who have the Son have everlasting life according to the word.
So dear one, don’t turn away from Him who called you in the grace of Christ.