Rebutting a theological error concerning a works salvation:“In reading Matthew 25 v 41-46 l cannot see anything other that ‘works’ getting a person into the Kingdom. And, in fact, ‘lack of works’ seems to guarantee eternal punishment. It does not even say you have to have ‘Faith’.”
If you could “work” your way into relationship with the Father, Jesus would not have needed to suffer and die (Galatians 2:21). From Genesis 3:21 forward, God’s plan for redemption has always mandated that God HIMSELF would be the Redeemer, the Propitiation, the Lamb of sacrifice, for our sin apart from works or any form of human effort (Ephesians 2:8-9; Genesis 22:8).
God tells you that even on your best day, your works are as a bloody menstrual rag in His nose (Isaiah 64:6). Without faith, you cannot approach God the Father and without faith, God will not lend you a listening ear (Isaiah 66:2). Your works, philanthropy, good deeds, all become relevant SUBSEQUENT to your confession of Jesus as Lord and Mediator for your sin and subsequent to receiving the Holy Spirit as your Seal and Guarantor of relationship.
It is your good behavior – obedience – loving your neighbor as yourself, that verifies, authenticates, validates, your confession as being from the heart in sincerity and the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit in your life actively walking you through the process of sanctification. First, you must be “justified” before the Father by grace thorough faith in Jesus, alone – then – that faith becomes a verb and produces good works as you are led by the Spirit of God in sanctification.