Q. I have a question about Christians who claimed to be saved by faith, but then say that other things are required. I’m talking about things like signs of repentance, proof of good works, etc. If they add things, any things, does that mean they don’t really believe they’re saved by Faith alone even though they say they do? Are they saved at all?
A. That’s a hard question to answer because it depends on things we can’t know for sure about anyone else. Those who have faith in the sufficiency of the cross will find that it prompts them to do good works, but the motive for those works will be gratitude for the free gift they’ve been given.
Those who don’t have faith in the sufficiency of the cross will add their own works in an effort to complete what they believe the Lord only began in their life. The motive behind their works is fear of not measuring up.
Observing another person, we can’t tell which motive is driving their good works. Is it gratitude or fear? This is why Paul said we shouldn’t try to make such judgments but wait until the Lord comes because only He can judge the motives of men’s hearts (1 Cor. 4:5).