You are expousing the exact opposite of biblical doctrine when you use works as a basis for going to heaven....
Enough already. I've never said or used our works as a sole
basis for going to heaven. Not once, for I don't believe it.
St.James 2:14-19 explains it: "What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?
If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed, and filled, without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
But some will say, "you have faith and I have works" Show me your faith apart from your works and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe---and shudder."
Then you said I'm mixing the law with grace calling it legalism and gave this equation:
Faith + works = justification (legalism)
No, this isn't legalism; it's what St. Paul told the Galatians...as I'll point out below. Luther totally misunderstood the meaning of St.Paul and you're here looking at this through Luther's glasses.
Keeping His commandments is doing something...it's good works of charity (love). Not keeping the commandments or breaking them is doing something as well...it's sinning. Does serious, deliberate sinning threaten one's salvation even if one believes?
Yes, it's doing something...but IT'S NOT earning us a spot in heaven.
It's only belief that brings one to salvation Lula. Not works.
This is Luther's dogma and I know you sincerely believe it..problem is--it's not Christ's teaching that He gave to His Apostles.
I agree, it's perfectly true we are justified by faith, but not by faith "alone" as you keep asserting. St.Paul told the Galatians how we are justified which completely refutes Luther. "We are justified by a faith that worketh by charity
What I highlighted above and the quotes below show that's just what I've been saying. What is charity? It's love of God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength for His own sake and love of neighbor as ourself.
It is both true belief and love of God and neighbor. Love of God and neighbor is good works.
He that doth the will of My Father .... Love is doing the will of our Father in Heaven...."If you love me you will keep my commandments." True belief is a state of mind, heart and soul, True Love is doing from the mind, heart and soul.
I even repeated it:
We must not only believe in Him; we must love Him as well. Satan believed but he didn't love. Think about it.
It is both true belief and true love of God and neighbor. True Love of God and neighbor is good works.
"but he that doth the will of My Father" .... Love is doing the will of our Father in Heaven....Christ said, "If you love me you will keep my commandments." True belief is a state of mind, heart and soul, True Love is doing from the mind, heart and soul.
Just so you're clear what I mean by "works by charity" from here on I'll describe what I believe is the rule of life we must follow if we hope
to be saved.
We must follow the rule of life taught by Christ.
We must love God above ALL things and with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength.
We are bound always and everywhere to hate sin and to love God. We must hate sin above all other evils so as never to be resolved never to commit a willful sin.
We must learn to love God by begging Him to teach us to love Him.
The love of God will lead us to always seek to please Him.
We must also obey CHrist's command to love one another...that is all persons without exception, for His sake.
We are to love one another by wishing well one another, and praying for one another, and by never allowing ourselves any thought, word or deed to the injury of anyone.
We are also bound to love our enemies by not only forgiving them from our hearts, but also by wishing them well, and praying for them.
Christ gave us another rule in these words: "if a man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
We are to deny ourselves by giving up our own will and by going against our own inclinations (which are prone to evil) and passions. If these are not self-corrected by self denial, they will certainly carry us to Hell.
We take up our cross daily by submitting with patience to the labors and sufferings of this short life and by bearing them willingly for the love of God.
We are to follow our Lord by following in His footsteps and imitating His virtues which are meekness, humility, and obedience.
The enemies which we must fight against all the days of our life are the devil, the flesh and the world. By the flesh I mean our own corrupt inclinations and passions and by the world I mean the false maxims of society and those who love the vanities, riches and pleasures better than God.
We must watch, pray and fight against all their suggestions and temptations.
In this warfare against the devil, the world and the flesh, we must depend on God only for "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."