8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I included verse 10 just because . Where we don’t want to build a doctrine off of one verse, this verse is one of the most obvious of the doctrine of sola fide, faith alone. Being saved by faith alone is one of the most controversial doctrines around. The reason it is so controversial is because there are quite a few verses when taken without a context seem to maintain you must work your way to Heaven. Two I think of right away are the statements made in 2 judgments in Scripture. The first is the Bema seat judgment described in 2 Corinthians 5:6-10. The second is the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. Both of these appear to be predicated on “what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2Cor 5:10) and “and they were judged according to what they had done.”(Rev 20:12, 13) This is where context is so important. If you look closer at the verses you’ll notice everyone in the Bema seat judgment is being judged in Heaven. Being judged for what…rewards. Paul’s point in context is this earthly tent is being defined in what it means to be a new creation so whether we are away (here on earth) or with Him (in Heaven) we make it our ambition to please him. This judgment is in Heaven. This is not a judgment where those who fail go to Hell. The failure is a lack of rewards, not hell. The Great White throne judgment in Revelation however is a preliminary however of all who will go to Hell. The judgment just reveals God’s justice, that it’s not like He hasn’t been fair. All at the White throne judgment will deserve Hell because of what they have done. Namely, deny the Messiah (Matt 10:32) who paid the satisfaction (propitiation 1 Jn 2:2) for their sins.
So this begs the question, are you counting on anything other than what Jesus has satisfied on the Cross? There is only one right answer. If you were asked 2 questions: If you died tonight where would you go? And, Why? If the why is anything other than Jesus has satisfied your debt on the cross and you are trusting Him and Him alone for your salvation, don’t be shocked if you end up at the Great White throne. That may sound harsh but if you’ve been deceived into thinking there is plan a)Heaven, plan b) Hell and plan c)?, you’ve been deceived.