Iv been reading notes on Luther.
It is faith by grace that saves you and not good works, because good works can only come after being saved by faith in Jesus Christ..
Does this mean that people who have never heard of Christ or have heard but did not have faith, yet, let a good life on earth will be deprived of salvation?
And also because of being saved simply thru faith by grace, Catholics and Orthodox are said to be doing a lot of "useless" things..
Can anyone give me insight on this?
I have been waiting for someone better acquainted with the Scriptures than myself to reply this question. It is addressed in the Scriptures and Holy Fathers have also addressed it. I am not able at the moment to give references nor point out which passage in the Bible is. I do know though that those who have never heard of Christ, will not be judged in the same way as those who have. Someone who does not know the law cannot possibly consciously break it, but there still people who, having never heard of Christ, still carry the God´s law in their heart - thus acting charitably etc. I understand that there are degrees of heaven and hell - please forgive me if I put it crudely, I read something on the subject still in my teens and that was long ago. The people who did not have a chance to hear of Christ will be judged on the basis of how much good they did and how much harm they avoided doing or so I understand. Those of us who have heard and believed, we´ll be more strictly judged and judged according to our faith too, for more has been given to us, therefore more shall be asked. Still, those with the true faith and good standing regarding this faith, will be further rewarded than those who did not have the faith but still acted righteously.
That was a rough summary, put roughly too and I´ll be gladly humbled into correction by those who know best.Meanwhile I´ll try to find the passages in the Bible.
Right, to update, I just had a quick look on the Net, for the verses in question:
Luke: 12, 48
"But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."
Romans: 2, 11-16
"For there is no partiality with God. 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus."
The translations are from different sites - non Orthodox - but the point is made.