Faith alone is an important way to describe the act of salvation. Ephesians 2 makes it abundantly clear that faith is what’s required. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
There’s a system of belief referred to “easy believism”- essentially the gospel, and salvation, are totally free of any works of mankind. When it comes to salvation, I fully affirm that truth; not only is it given freely as a gift, but I can’t work for it.
However, they take their system a little further to say that, even post conversion, to expect a Christian to act a certain way as proof of salvation is a works-based salvation. So, the question then becomes- are their certain things that we must do after salvation? Or, maybe to put it another way, does salvation produce anything in our lives?
There is overwhelming textual evidence that salvation comes to a person where they are, but it doesn’t leave them there:
Ephesians 2:10- “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
2 Peter 1:5-9- “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."
Titus 2:14- “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
James 2:17-18- “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
I could give more but this should suffice. Needless to say, it is absolutely biblical to expect Christians to live a certain way after their conversion. The Gospel is incredibly easy to believe- God couldn’t have made it easier. However, to suggest that it is able to be lived easily, or at least that it is acceptable to do so, is simply not found in the Word of God.
May we heed the instructions of 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” Faith alone accomplishes salvation- salvation accomplishes faith and works.