Want Some Answers ???
Nice of you to reply,
>>When browsing your web site I picked up, rightly or wrongly, that you believed that faith was all that was needed to obtain eternal life.<<
Maybe I said it wrong. We are not saved by our 'faith' but by God's grace. Here's the idea - "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." [Eph.2:8-10]. I take it from this that 'good works' [ie Bible reading/study church, prayer, charity, alms giving, etc] result from those who have true faith - not in order to gain 'eternal life'. You wrote,
>>I consider this idea to be inconsistent with Bible teaching because it ignores clear teachings of the scripture as follows: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends IF YE DO WHATSOEVER I COMMAND YOU." John 15:13-14 This clearly specifies a condition.<<
Jesus doesn't say, "You shall obtain eternal life if ye do whatsoever I command you". And what is His "command"? John 15:12 - "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." So, we are His "friends" by keeping His command to love one another. But in order to become His "friends" we first need to be 'born again' [Jn.3:6 1 Pe.1:3]. So 'eternal life' remains "the gift of God" [Rom.6:23] and obedience flows from a heart of love, not in order to earn 'eternal life'. The GIFT is what Christianity is all about. God provided salvation. The world thinks Christianity is all about working for the PRIZE of salvation [it's the other way around].
Some have 'a condition' list for God's pardon. Ie, they work for salvation. But good works cannot be the whole, or even part of righteousness before God. Because, the righteousness, which can be approved of before the tribunal of God, must be absolutely perfect and in all respects conformable to the divine law. Our best works in life are all imperfect and defiled with sin. So 'forgiveness' means that God, for the sake of Christ's satisfaction will no more remember my sin. Nor my corrupt nature against which I have to struggle all my life long. But He will graciously impute to me the righteousness of Christ; that I may never be condemned before the tribunal of God. You wrote,
>>"Faith without works is dead." "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and NOT by faith ONLY." James 2:20 &24. This also clearly shows that faith alone is not enough. James Refers to those who claim to have faith but do not because their faith is dead because it is not accompanied with works.<<
The "faith" James describes is a fake faith. Many claim they are Christians with no evidence in their life and actions. Note 1:26 "If any man among you seem to be religious..." Their 'faith' is not real. Jas.2:14 "though a man say he hath faith". James is a book written not merely to believers but also to those who profess to believe. They were "brethren" after the flesh [Cp.Rom.9:3-4]. They needed to be saved. Many today claim to believe in God [but are not genuine]. Many observe ritual, the law, diet, religion, customs, yet they need to be saved. James is saying, "I will show thee my faith by my works" [2:18].
So James does not conflict with Paul, he uses words differently. For example -
For Paul - "works" - these cannot earn salvation.
For James - "works" - these flow from genuine faith.
For Paul - "faith" - trust in Christ's atonement.
For James - "faith" - one who claims to have faith.
For Paul - "justified" - not by good works.
For James - "justified" - to do good works.
>>P.S.Regarding your comment concerning Luke 18:30, Here it states that mankind receive everlasting life In the world to come, not now.<<
Then would that contradict John 3:36, 1 John 5:11-13? Surely not. Peter had reminded the Lord that they had left their homes and families to follow Him. Jesus replied that such a life of sacrifice is rewarded liberally in this life, and will be further rewarded in the eternal state. The later part of verse 30 ["and in the age to come eternal life" RV] does not mean that eternal life is gained by forsaking all; but it refers to increased capacity for enjoying the glories of heaven, and "the full realization of the life that had been received at the time of conversion".
If salvation is insecure, how could Jesus say about those to whom He gives eternally life, "they shall never perish" [Jn.10:28] ? If a person receives eternal life then forfeits it through sin or apostasy, will they not perish? And by doing so, do they not make Jesus words a lie? You wrote,
>>(or is ever lasting life different from eternal life?)<<
One scholar of NT Greek writes, "In the Greek the two words are exactly the same - zoen aionion. The KJV translates them "eternal life" and "everlasting life" [R.Earle Word Meanings in the NT. Baker Book House 1988 p.84].