James 1:8: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Countless people who profess faith in Christ alone for eternal life, insist that while turning from sin and performing other works of righteousness are not required to receive eternal life, that one who has received eternal life will inevitably demonstrate a positive life change that evidences, or proves, that he has received eternal life.
This is not Biblical, but is instead based on the false Calvinist tenet of “perseverance of the saints.” It is just another strain of Lordship “salvation,” or “LS.”
LS is the unsupportable and unbiblical belief that the PERFORMANCE of good works, the PROMISE of good works, or the EVIDENCE of good works MUST accompany faith in Christ in order to establish, or provide evidence, that such faith has resulted in eternal life.
Following are some examples:
- I have never taught that some presalvation works are necessary to or part of salvation. (sic) But I do believe without apology that real salvation cannot, and will not, fail to produce works of righteousness in the life of a true believer – John MacArthur
- … I would ask them if their present posture is one of submission to Christ’s Lordship and trust in his finished work. If so, they are saved, even if they don’t remember the prayer or the moment they got into that posture. Second, I would ask them to consider whether the signs of eternal life are present in them. As John explains so thoroughly in 1 John, conversion does not bring sinless perfection, but it does begin to make fundamental changes in the human heart. – J.D. Greear
- Fruit / good works and saving faith go hand-in-hand. Quit trying to make it out that others are adding salvation requirements … especially when these same people over and over specifically teach against a works-based soteriology. All these preachers I have listed above have made it emphatically clear that good works are an evidence of salvation and I have NEVER heard them state good works are a requirement of salvation. – Commenter, ExPreacherMan
Others think that LS is merely “putting the cart before the horse.” But, the Bible does not say anywhere that the cart (good works and life change) will automatically follow someone believing in Christ. To insist on a “cart,” before, after, or at all, changes the message of the gospel.
Trying to distinguish between good works being required for salvation and good works automatically resulting from salvation is not logically possible.
If good works WILL accompany eternal life, than good works MUST accompany eternal life.
The Bible is clear that we receive eternal life by grace through faith in Christ, not through any works of righteousness that we have done:
Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
The Bible is also clear that some Christians will have little, to nothing, to show for their lives as Christians.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15:
 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Some may errantly read verse 15 to mean that people whose work is burned are barely saved. The reality is that all people who have received eternal life are saved by Christ’s righteousness, and not their own. Therefore, every Christian’s salvation is just as sure as any other’s.
Is it God’s will that we live holy lives and do good works? Absolutely!
Titus 3:8: This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Following is an excerpt from an excellent article by Jim Floyd entitled “Bible Basics: Do Good Works Prove Salvation?”:
Good works are profitable to others and well pleasing to God as they glorify Him. Good works are a good testimony and enhance our opportunity for witness. Our works do not prove salvation because salvation is not based on works. It is based on the object of our faith – Christ.
And, while good works are profitable to others, glorify God, and enhance our opportunity to witness, our witness must be the gospel itself.
Please do not get drawn into the trap of believing that one is saved by grace, without works, but that works provide evidence of salvation, or prove salvation.
This duplicitous belief undermines the gospel message and may cause lost people to mistakenly believe that eternal life is received by allowing Jesus to change their lives, instead of by believing that Jesus paid the full price for their sins.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. Salvation cannot be by grace, yet require works.
If you would like to know the truth about how to have eternal life, please click here: The Gospel