Many protestants believe we are saved by faith alone (Solo Fide ) .It might surprise them to know that there is one place in the Bible that does have the words"Faith "and "Alone" appearing together. If you turn your Bibles to James chapter 2 verse 24 you will see that Solo Fide cannot exist ."See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone ."
Now that you have read James 2:24 lets get a little deeper here for a second .You find out alot about salvation from this group of verses . First off if you read James 2:19 you will see that believing is not enough "For even the Demons believe that and tremble ".We see encounters with Jesus and the demonic and they all tremble in the Gospel . James even goes so far as to call those who believe in faith alone ignoramuses James 2:20-22 "You want proof you ignoramus that faith without works is useless ?Was Abraham not justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?You see the faith was active along with his works and faith was completed by his works .Lets take a trip over to James 2:26 "For just as a body without a spirit is dead ,so also faith without works is dead ." This is pretty much the nail in the coffin .
The protestant view on this is that true faith cannot exist with out works already in it, meaning that faith without works in it is not true faith.Many of them claim this belief and they try to say that James did not actually mean what we believe it means, for we took it out of context .Read chapter 1 of James .In chapter one he expresses the importance of being doers of the word rather then just hearers of the word . "Be doers of the word not just hearers only deluding yourselves " James 1:22.
Martin Luther knew this book of James would contradict his theory of Solo Fide , so he had it removed from his translation for the Bible along with Hebrews , Revelations ,and Jude .Of course he also removed the 7 deuterocanonical books in the old testament (I have a blog on those books as well )He removed James for 3 years until he was given advise from his inner circle to reinsert the book of James . Luther also knew that no where in the Bible did it say that we were saved by faith alone .So he decided to add a word to Romans 3:28 "For we consider that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law " What Luther decided to do was add the word"alone " after the word "faith". (on a side note, works of the law means Jewish law )Luther himself knew that there was no proof in scripture that faith alone saved us so he invented proof .
If you read the gospel according to Matthew you will find a couple of key verses that confirms we are not saved by faith alone . Matt 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me Lord,Lord will enter the kingdom of Heaven but those who do the will of my father in Heaven ". Seems to go with James message in James 1 of being doers of the word ,it also fits with James message of "even the demons believe that and tremble ".Lets turn to Matt 25:31-46 Notice how Jesus separates the sheep from the goats. Both seem to have faith in him however one goes to Heaven.The sheep and why ? Because they helped their fellow man thats why.
Many have this misconception that Paul preaches alone . Remember I always like to quote from Paul in relation to the church with scripture. turn to Philippians chapter 2 verse 12 ."Work out your salvation with fear and trembling "Romans 2 has a few verses involving works .Romans 2:6 Paul says that GOd will repay everyone according to his works . He says in verse 10 that there will be glory ,honor and peace for everyone doing good . He says in verse 13 that those who just hear the law will not be justified but those who observe the law will be justified . Christian law Paul is talking of course . In Hebrews 10:24 Paul says that we must consider to rouse one another with good works .Now grant it is debated on whether or not Paul wrote Hebrews .But it is a question for the most part of whether he or one of his co-workers or students wrote it .Either way they would have had the same message .
There are many other books in the Bible promoting good works and faith being need for salvation .In Revelations chapter 20 verse 12 states that the dead were judged by according to their deeds in the scrolls .
Bottom line faith and works are both needed . You may get a protestant doing tap dances about faith alone however ,remember that no where in the Bible does it say we are saved by faith alone .Even the founding father of this theory of Solo Fide had to add a word and take books away .He had to invent evidence of a theory that just cannot be proven Remind them of that when being challenged .
God bless all of you and good night .