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Pickwick Publications Did Jesus Teach Salvation by Works?: The Role of Works in Salvation in the Synoptic Gospels

Jesus teaches that regardless of one's profession, if one does not demonstrate a changed life produced by God, one will not enter into heaven. Such a judgment will be made when Jesus returns and judges every person according to his or her "works." While this may seem contradictory to some more well-known passages ruling out the role of works in salvation (e.g., Rom 3:21-4:25; Gal 2:16-21; Eph 2:8-9), there is every good reason to understand that Jesus' teachings complement such passages. The works that admit one into heaven are not works produced by the flesh before conversion but works produced by God after conversion. They will fundamentally be characterized by a life of discipleship, love for others, and endurance in faith and obedience, and will therefore serve to confirm that one indeed did have a relationship with God during one's life.
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