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Our Church teaches and believes that when religion and work are both found in a Christian life, they bring forth salvation. However, faith comes before work.

The great father of the Church St. John Chrysostom said "Faith is the basis, the rest are building and walls." Elucidating this point further, "as the foundation bears the building; faith also embraces deeds," i.e. as a building cannot stand nor be seen if it is without foundation, a Christian cannot become a Christian without good deed. (Homily of John Chrysostom 9)

Faith gives assertion to the things we hope for and explains the things that we cannot see. This was the testimony that was given to the fathers. (Reb. 11:1-2). Faith can attest to and explain those things that cannot be seen as concrete when it can be demonstrated in action and deed. In 1 Cor 13: 13 it is written "and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love".

The Apostle St. James emphasizing the fact that faith and work should go together says "What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." He illustrates this with the examples of Abraham and Rehab." (Jas. 2,14-26).

Hence, all good work is the fruit or result of faith. One who has a true faith does good deeds. (1 Cor, 13:2). Our Lord Jesus Christ says that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Mt. 7: 19). Again it is written that, "Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in Heaven. (Mt. 7:21; Lk. 3:8). This shows that to be worthy of the kingdom of Heaven what one does should be rooted and manifested in faith.

On the Day of Judgment, one will be judged on what he did in faith and not on the basis of his faith devoid of good work. (Mt. 25:41-45). What is written is that “He will reward each person according to what he has done." (Mt. 16:27; In. 5:28-29; 2Cor. 5:10; Rev. 14:13,20:21,22:12).

On this basis therefore the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church believes and teaches that faith should be practiced along with deeds and that faith as such by itself would not count for much.

 

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