Jehovah`s Witness/Romans 4:5


hai Derrick

what does Romans 4:5 means?

Actions really doesn't count for God?

Meaning, Once saved always save teaching is not a myth?

Looking forward


Good evening, Dave, how are you?  Thank you for writing.

You ask....."what does Romans 4:5 means?

Actions really doesn't count for God?

Meaning, Once saved always save teaching is not a myth?"

REPLY:  Romans 4:5 reads this way...

"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

Quite simply, Romans 4:5 is illustrating the wonderful truth that our salvation does not rest in our own good works or merits, but in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  When His shed blood is applied to our sin, we are made "righteous", even though we are actually unrighteous by nature.

In the mind of man, we think there is something we can "do", in order to save ourselves.  There isn't...the work has already been done by Christ on the cross, when He allowed them to nail Him there, and He took our sins upon Himself.  

Isaiah 53:11 is a beautiful verse, that describes what I just said....

"He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."

God's justice cannot be satisfied by any works that we offer.  Our works are as "filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6), but the work of Christ fully satisfied the justice of God as the payment for our sins.  That is why our salvation rests in Christ alone.

Now, you asked..."Actions really doesn't count for God?"

REPLY:  No, that doesn't mean our actions don't count for anything.  It simply means our actions cannot save us, and give us righteous standing with God.  We are certainly to perform good works, but realizing that our good works do not save us.  They are a product of BEING saved, not an attempt to earn salvation by performing them.  

Interestingly, there are 2 very powerful verses in the New Testament (in addition to the one you asked me about), which show quite clearly that salvation is NOT by works, but by grace, through faith alone.  However, it is also noteworthy that those verses BOTH say that we are not saved by works, but BOTH contexts go on to stress the importance of good works.  

Let's look at them.  The first one is Ephesians 2:8-9.........

"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."

You see, that is plain...we are saved by grace, through faith, and NOT OF WORKS.  So, does this mean that good works are unimportant?  Not at all, for if we read the very next verse (verse 10), we see that....

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

So, while we see that our salvation is not due to our works, it is still important that we HAVE good works, for they are an outward indication to men, of our inward faith (James 2:17-18).  True saving faith, inevitably produces good works and good fruit.

Now, let's look at the other verse.  It is Titus 3:5....

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"

Once again, we see clearly that salvation is not by works of righteousness which we perform.  But again, we see the same thing that we saw in Ephesians...That although works do not save us, we are still supposed to have them, BECAUSE we are saved.  Let's read verse 8....

"[This is] a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."

Notice how, once again, we are told that we aren't saved by works, but that they are important to us, because of our testimony in front of men.  A man cannot see the faith in your heart, so if you merely tell him its there but have nothing in your life that evidences it, then it is empty.  

Now, you also asked...."Meaning, Once saved always save teaching is not a myth?"

REPLY:  Actually, I do not think Romans 4:5 plays into the eternal security discussion one way or the other.  That is another whole discussion in and of itself.  The Bible contains many wonderful promises of the security of the believer, and many warnings of turning away, as well.  My position on this issue is that we had best take BOTH sets of Scriptures seriously.  Some Christian groups believe that once salvation is given, it can never be forfeited for any reason.  Other Christians hold that salvation is a free gift given by faith, and is dependant on continuing in faith.  My position is not typical of the Pentecostal groups, or the normal Baptist groups, for that matter.  I believe there are promises of security, and also warnings to be heeded, as well.

But I don't think that discussion plays into Romans 4:5, because the point of that verse is that we are not saved by works, but by faith.  And all born again Christians agree with that.

Thanks for writing, Dave.  Please let me know if I can be of any further help.  

Take care, and have a great evening.


Jehovah`s Witness

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Derrick Holland


I was raised in the religion known as Jehovah`s Witnesses for 13 years. Since becoming a born-again Christian, I have researched extensively this religion, especially their doctrines and their history. I can answer questions about their doctrines from the perspective of Biblical Christianity. To be clear: Jehovahs Witnesses is the religion of my upbringing, though I myself was never baptized into the religion, nor have I ever been considered as a Jehovahs Witness.


29 years of Biblical research into the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, and how they differ from the teachings of the Watchtower.

I would advise each questioner to this forum, to carefully READ the profiles of the various volunteers. There are several such as myself, who are not practicing JWs, but will provide you with an accurate and honest answer, regarding JW teaching. If we don't know the answer, we will try to research and get it for you. There are also some excellent practicing JWs here, who also endeavor to give you a factual and honest answer, based on their point of view. I believe by getting both points of view, the questioner can weigh the evidence for themselves, and make an informed decision. Unfortunately, there are also 3 here who claim to be JWs, but do NOT give honest, or well-researched answers. They will tell you only what they want you to believe, and they often hide facts about the history of their religion, as well as print untruths about other people's beliefs. This is done in an attempt to deceive the unsuspecting reader. It can be easily seen who these 3 are, simply by reading the public posts and "answers" which they write. Their posts will normally be filled with personal attacks, and if you question them about some teaching or aspect of the Watchtower that makes them uncomfortable, they will often reject your question, question your motives for asking it, tell you that you have been reading "apostate" sites, or turn the conversation into an attack on another expert. These ones are better avoided, as there is nothing to be gained by way of positive discussion, as they are not interested in intelligent conversation, or honest dialogue. If after reading the forum, you still have any questions as to who they are, just ask me, and I will be happy to tell you. And I can also provide documentation of their willful dishonesty. One thing is for a forum where people from both sides claim to be "Christians", there should never be any willful lying. Such ones only create a distraction in the forum, and provide nothing of any real value.

High School, some college. Studies of God's Word, the Bible, and how it compares to JW theology. I have found my own personal study and experiences to be far more valuable than any formal education or training. The Bible message is clear...Salvation is ONLY through and by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and no religious organization has a thing to do with it. While attendance at a Bible-preaching, Bible-believing church is a must for spiritual growth and fellowship, no church can grant salvation to its members. Nor is joining a particular group a prerequisite for being saved.

©2017 All rights reserved.