How do I show my coworker that it is not faith alone that saves?

Question:

Hello,

I am in discussion of the Bible with a man that I work with. He is Lutheran and I go to a church of Christ. His beliefs are that faith saves and continues to recite the verse from Ephesians 2:8-9. I'm sure you're very familiar with that verse. I have shared with him many other verses from James 2:24 to Acts 2:38; Acts 8:38-40; Matthew 16:18 and so on, but he continues to return to Ephesians. I don't want to give up on him because he believes, but he won't listen to what the rest of the Word is telling him.

Note: he said he was baptized when he was a baby, and that's all he needs, but it's his faith and God's grace has saved him.

What more can I do?


Answer:

First, remember that Jesus was not able to convince everyone of the truth. If God can't, then I won't have a perfect track record either.

Regarding Ephesians 2:8-9, I point people to the context. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (Ephesians 2:5-10). We agree that the reason we have been saved is due to God's grace, but consider how were we made alive together with Christ?

"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin" (Romans 6:3-7). It is through baptism that we were made alive together with Christ.

If this peaks his interest, then I would recommend a study of all the things that are connected with salvation. Faith and God's grace are two elements, but there is so much more need. For example, ask him if someone can be saved while remaining in his sins. I would hope his answer is, "Of course not." And if so, then he has just argued that repentance is necessary for salvation. See: What Saves a Person?