QUESTION: Does works or doing good works have or play any part in the salvation of a soul?
Romans 4:1-8 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Romans 5:12-21 Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
The sufficiency of the work of Christ is taught in Romans 5:12-21. In commenting on these verses, Dr. Ironside quotes an epitaph on a tombstone of four children in Scotland:
«Bold infidelity, turn pale and die.
Beneath this sod four infants lie.
Say, are they lost or saved?
If death is by sin, they’ve sinned,
For they are here.
If heaven is by works,
Then in heaven they can’t appear.
Reason, how depraved!
Turn to the Bible’s holy page.
And there the knot’s untied.
They died for Adam’s sin.
They live, for Jesus died.»
Although children are born in a state of sin, it is commonly believed that they are sheltered by the blood of Christ. If they die before they reach the age of accountability, that means that they have never had the opportunity to accept or reject the Saviour. Although they might know nothing about the work of the Lord Jesus, God knows about it, and He reckons the value of that work to them.
The bodies of four infants lie dead.
Where did they go and why?
If sin causes death then they were sinners for there they lie.
If heaven is gained by doing good works then they can’t go because they have no good works.
They have done nothing to earn it.
This reasoning is totally depraved!
I Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
They died because of Adam’s sin.
They live because Jesus Died.
The infants are dead because they came from Adam.
Their blood was bad therefore they had to die because Adam died.
It was Adam’s fault and not the infants, they had no option.
If they can die through no fault of their own, then they can go to heaven without receiving Christ as Saviour.
The Lord made that decision for them.
Christ’s blood maked provision for them.
I Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.