Law Keeper quotes Mark 16:16 suggesting that “faith alone” is insufficient for salvation. Is this true?
First, the last chapter of Mark is not considered inspired text and you’ll find a bracket around these words noting that point but if you desire to use Mark 16:16 as a text for the heresy of a works salvation, let’s do that; what does the text say; unfortunately, you only quoted the portion that under girds your false doctrine.
“16 The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned.” Mark 16:16 (NASB)
Part “a” of Mark 16:16 clearly states that “the one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved.” IT DOES NOT SAY that the one who is “baptized” will be saved; you’re reading into the text something that is not there. The key to salvation is “belief” and not baptism as underscored by overwhelming Scripture relevant to salvation in the New Covenant.Part “b” of Mark 16:16 states “but the one who has not believed will be condemned.” It is true that the one who “believes” and is baptized will be saved but it is also true in accordance with OVERWHELMING evidence from Scripture that the one who “believes” will be saved without any form of baptism just as the one who does not believe is condemned void any form of baptism.
You run afoul of God’s grace when you believe that self-righteousness has anything to do with your salvation and you run afoul of God’s omnipotence when you suggest that you must somehow supplement the work of Jesus on the Cross to pay for your own sin – this is blasphemy. Adam attempted this very thing by covering his sin and shame with fig leaves but Elohim rejected Adam’s work and shed innocent blood to clothe Adam and Eve in a robe of imputed righteousness…God HIMSELF did the work (Genesis 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:21) In like manner, Jesus Christ is wholly SUFFICIENT in and of Himself to pay for your sin by “FAITH” in HIM alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). You insult the Gospel of Jesus Christ when you think human effort plays a role in supplementing the suffering and blood shed of Jesus Christ for your atonement.
Are works important?
Are works important in the Christian’s life? YES, it is the obedience, love, faithfulness, to the indwelling Holy Spirit during sanctification, the Spirit having been given the faithful SUBSEQUENT to having established covenant relationship with the Father, that validates one’s saving faith as authentic. It is the behavior, the NEW CREATION in Jesus SUBSEQUENT to salvation that verifies one’s faith as SAVING FAITH but works, including the work of baptism, can NEVER supplant faith or make you “more” saved than what simple and pure faith in Jesus as Lord believing that Jesus died for you will provide. Also, YES, every believer in Jesus Christ should be baptized as commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).