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Are we Justified by Good Deeds or Faith in Jesus?

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In Christianity, the theme of the wrath of God features heavily and is very much related to the orthodox Christian idea of free will. Humans are seen as sinners who, by their sinning, make God angry. This then provides the opportunity for Jesus Christ to step in and provide a solution to the problem of sin for the fortunate minority — the elect of God who receive salvation through their faith in Jesus.

But is God really angry? And are we really making God angry when we ‘sin’? Well, I think we have to consider whether God is truly perfect in Himself, and whether the idea of God’s perfection is compatible with the idea that God is angry. My personal perspective is that it’s much more likely that God is complete within Himself. Rather than God’s punishment being the result of any real anger, it is more about justice, and there is a difference. Justice is about balance, I think. It’s about God putting right things that have been wrong, and bringing fairness where there has been injustice.

Both Christianity and Islam teach that the dead will be resurrected to face judgement. What we all must do is study the Scriptures and ask God for guidance about how we can be justified in His sight. For many Protestant Christians, justification is through faith in Jesus, though many Catholics believe in the importance of good works for salvation. In Islam, justification is purely about one’s deeds; whether God judges that we have been good or evil (we will be admitted into either paradise or hell depending on how He judges we have lived).

I believe God is merciful to those who truly repent. Repentance can only happen by the grace of God. God chooses to harden the hearts of some, and soften the hearts of others. Christians and Muslims would generally agree about this. But the very fact that you are reading this post means that God is offering you an opportunity, as we all must do, to examine yourself.

Am I ready to face God on the day of judgement? Do I feel sure that I have peace with God? Have I fully repented for my sins? Have I asked God for guidance in relation to those issues where religions disagree?

I believe it’s wise to ask oneself these questions and act accordingly.