Q. I have a question about faith versus works. I am very much a “by faith alone, in Christ alone” believer (who also believes in OSAS). But, to be perfectly honest, I find myself wondering if faith itself isn’t a form of works. Believing is something you have to do to be saved. In other words, if you don’t “work” it by believing and receiving you won’t be saved. Isn’t that works?
A. Then they asked Him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent” (John 6:28-29).
In the Greek language believe and faith come from the same word. Therefore if faith is a “work” it is the only one that God requires.
In Romans 4:5 Paul said, “To the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited to him as righteousness.”
And in Ephesians 2:8-9 he said we’re saved by grace through faith and not by works. In both these places He differentiated between faith, which is required, and works, which are not.
Therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude that having faith (believing) is the only thing we can do that’s not counted as work, and in fact if faith wasn’t required, then everyone would automatically be saved.