Both Faith and Good Works Are Necessary for Salvation!

Saint James vs. Saint Paul

Good works are not necessary for salvation told to me by a protestant brother. I don't know why I entertained him... anyway it was a wonderful experience. I hope you can read this as I was unable to provide you bible verses to prove my point that good works are necessary. It's not my thing!

"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." (James 2:24 RSVCE)

Here's my take as a Catholic layman.

Do You Believe in God?

Answer: Yes!

This is what we believe as a Catholic:

Nicene Creed

We believe in one God, 
the Father, the Almighty,
Maker of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Are You Saved?

Answer: I’m doing what the apostle Paul tells us to do in the Bible: I’m ‘working out’ my salvation day by day (read Philippians 2:12 below):

Obedience and Service in the World

"So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12 (NAB-RE))

"Salvation in the fullest sense is an ongoing process that won’t be complete until after we die. And in the meantime, it’s still possible to turn away again from God."

Working Out My Salvation: For It Is Not Those Who Hear the Law Who Are Just in the Sight of God; Rather, Those Who Observe the Law Will Be Justified.

Believing in God as our savior and not doing good works is futile! You have to do good works! Read Romans 2:5-13 below for the complete context, which provides more "good works" arguments:

God’s Just Judgment

"By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works:

eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness.

Yes, affliction and distress will come upon every human being who does evil, Jew first and then Greek. But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does good, Jew first and then Greek. There is no partiality with God.

All who sin outside the law will also perish without reference to it, and all who sin under the law will be judged in accordance with it.

For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified." (Romans 2:5-13 NAB-RE)

If Good Works Are Not Necessary for Salvation, Then a Large Proportion of Bible Verses Are Totally Useless

"If good works are not necessary for salvation, then a large proportion of Bible verses are totally useless. For instance, St. Peter’s admonition to "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast [sic] in the faith…" If one does not have to resist the devil to be saved, then such an admonition on St. Peter’s part is useless; and not only useless but cruel, since he is unnecessarily putting a difficult responsibility on his followers. The same would apply to any passage in the Bible that enjoins watchfulness, perseverance, fortitude, avoidance of sin, praying to be delivered from temptation, and many others like virtues and actions. Protestants often remind us that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16) Since all of it is profitable, then there can be no useless verses."

In short, FAITH and GOOD WORKS go together. Both FAITH and GOOD WORKS Are Necessary for Salvation!

We have to do our part in doing good works (So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. -James 2:17):

  1. Allow God to work on us through prayer (Ephesians 3:17-19; Psalm 119:164)
  2. Train ourselves to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7)
  3. Train ourselves for a holy life (1 Peter 1:16; Matthew 5:48; Leviticus 19:1-3)
  4. Study the Word of God (John 17:17)
  5. We must be obedient to God by following His Commandments (John 14:23) as Jesus said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21 NET).
  6. etc.

"Human beings are responsible to do the possible part – God will not do our part for us – but he will take care of the impossible part. He picks up where our ability ends."


  1. Thigpen, P. (2020, September 1). Are you saved? [Blog post]. Retrieved from
  2. Marie, A. (2009, March 18). Faith and Good Works - [Blog post]. Retrieved from
  3. One For Israel. (2016, May 30). How do faith and works go together? [Blog post]. Retrieved from

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