The Apostle Paul proclaimed we are saved, by Grace, through faith (Eph 2:8), but it was James who explained that same saving faith, without good deeds, is dead:
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? . . . How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds . . . You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? James 2:14-20 (NLT).
A disturbing pattern seems to be increasing in these latter days: Many lost people feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, come to believe in Christ, maybe even get baptized, and stop there at justification – where God sets their soul right with Him. However, as the scripture above says, it is “good” to believe… even demons believe, and feel the emotions to “tremble” … but our walk with God is just beginning at this point. We must now allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify us. According to GotQuestions.org:
Sanctification is God’s will for us (1 Thess 4:3). The word sanctification is related to the word saint; both words have to do with holiness. To “sanctify” something is to set it apart for special use; to “sanctify” a person is to make him holy.
If the demons believe and feel emotional about it, as we do, why are they not saved? Because the difference between our faith and the demons’ faith is that demons do not turn from sin, and turn to God. They choose to continue in sin.
Good works, like walking in the ways of God, are a result of saving faith. Sanctification MUST follow justification if one is to see glorification (that sinless immortal state)!
The following excerpt was taken from the commentary of Sarine Thomas, of The Gospel Daily (March 15, 2016):
For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it. Proverbs 2:21-22.
It is so easy to compromise on the Word of God and call it tolerance and inclusion . . . The argument for tolerance is that Jesus was tolerant of all sinners – and that is correct. However, don’t forget Jesus freely accepted, loved and hung out with sinners; He never tolerated their sin. Whether He was speaking to the religious hypocrites, the genuine truth-seeker or the general populace, His message was always, “Repent,” and, “Go and sin no more,” He makes no bones about the fact that sin cannot exist with God (Mat 13:41-42.). We must be very careful to guard the Word of God and speak its truth without compromise. Don’t gloss over it with lies about tolerance of sin. Only through Christ can anyone be saved. All who are without Him are doomed to pay. There is no in-between.