Q. A teacher used Romans 11:22 defending the statement that to remain saved we must follow the commandments or be cut off. He also cites James 2:14and 24-26 to back this up. And if we commit “Deadly Sins” our souls are dead and a person is not saved anymore. I understand John 3:16 but there seems to be (in my mind) a contradiction. This topic really bothered me when I read it, and I almost feel like it is going to come down my individual interpretation.
A. I don’t know who you’re referencing, but he sure got Romans 11:22 wrong. In fact it means the exact opposite of what you wrote. God’s kindness is not found in giving us impossible commandments to keep, it’s His Grace, and we have to continue in His grace to be saved. Once we begin working for it, we show that we never believed in salvation by grace, and that means we were never saved.
In James 2:14 we’re told that true faith will produce works of gratitude. In the examples of Abraham and Rahab in verses 24-26 , James was showing that very point. Their works were the result of their faith, not its cause. If that’s not true then James was disputing Paul, who used the same quote to support salvation by faith alone. (Romans 4:1-5) The Holy Spirit, who inspired both writers, cannot contradict himself.
And I guess it goes without saying that all sins are deadly. (James 2:10)