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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Saved by Faith not by Works (Josh 6:22)

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

Have you ever looked at all the "rules" in the Bible and thought to yourself, "I'll never be good enough for God?"

We are programmed to think our salvation is dependent on our works.

In fact, every "religion" except Christianity believes that it is works that earn the way to God. But Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus and trusting in His work on the cross in our place. In fact, if we could earn salvation by works, then Jesus wouldn't have had to die on that cross, would He?

Ephesians 2:8-9 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.

But did you know that even in the Old Testament we are told the Old Testament saints were saved by faith, not by works?

In Joshua 6:22, Joshua tells the two men who had spied out the land of Jericho to go get Rahab and her family to safety before they destroyed all of Jericho.

From that, it would be easy to conclude that Rahab was saved by works when she hid the spies and kept her promise to them. But it wasn't "the work" that saved Rahab. The work just demonstrated that her faith was real. It was her faith in God that saved her which she proclaimed to the spies:

Joshua 2:11 The Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

Our works have no part in our salvation before God. That's why Paul said

Romans 3:20 "by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight"

Actually even in the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah shared the same message:

Isaiah 64:6 "our righteous deeds are like filthy rags"

So Rahab's work of hiding the spies did not save her. Her faith in God saved her:

Hebrews 11:31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did no perish

Rahab, like all the other Old Testament saints and like everyone in our time today is saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone. In the Old Testament times they were looking ahead and trusting that by God's grace, He would provide a way to cleanse them from their sins. They just didn't know at that time that "the Way" was Jesus, God Himself. But in our time today, we know Jesus is the only way to God, not by our works:

John 14:6 Jesus said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus is God Himself, who stepped down out of heaven, took on human flesh, and died on the cross in our place and then as He took His last breath said, "It is finished" indicating that He paid the price for all sin, past, present, and future for all who choose to trust in His love, salvation, and grace.

So as we do our good works, it's important to understand, just as in Rahab's case, our works merely demonstrate our salvation; only God's work on the cross, saves us.

What about you? Have you trusted in the free gift of salvation through Jesus' sacrifice in your place?

We would love to hear your story about when you chose to trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Share it in the comments below or email us at

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