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Can I be saved by the things that I do?

The Bible is very clear that we are saved through “faith” or “belief” in Jesus Christ alone. John 3:16 says For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (NIV84). This eternal life is a gift which God gives to those who believe, and there is nothing that we can do to earn it.

This precious eternal life, this unbuyable and unearnable gift that we can never deserve, is freely given to us by God when we believe in His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The "faith" or "belief" that saves us from our sins and grants us eternal life, is surely a most remarkable thing! So it is clearly important that we understand exactly what this "faith" is, and how it is evident in our lives.

"Faith" or "Belief" that saves us from our sins must always begin in our heads as accepted truth. However, it is not something that remains only in our heads. A faith that stays only in our heads is not faith but only knowledge about God, and that knowledge cannot save us and grant us eternal life (the devil knows about God, but he is not saved - James 2:19). The faith that saves us from our sins in John 3:16 is a faith that starts in our heads, and then it transforms every part of our lives. Saving faith always works itself out in the life of the person within whom it dwells.

So, people with faith will naturally seek to flee from evil and live a holy life. They will want to serve those around them, to lift others up and put others first, and they will want to complete the ministry that God has given him to do. However, it is not these "things that we do" that save us from our sins. These things are the fruit of our faith, and the evidence that our faith is genuine (James 2:26).

Christians do good works and flee from evil because they have already been saved from sin to eternal life, not so that they can get saved to eternal life. The Bible makes it clear that we cannot earn our salvation through the things that we do.