However you can see the theif on the cross and know he didn't have works. [/b]
Whatever do you mean the theif on the cross did not have works??
Do you believe speaking the truth in defence of someone a work of faith and justice or not?
Do you believe speaking in defence of someone who is condemned to die and you also being at the mercy of those that are killing you who could inflict more pain to you for your open defence of the condemned man and accusation of their injustice an even more act of bravery , love, honor, and faith?
how about comforting someone when someone insults him or mocks him at the time where no one spoke up for him? is it work or not?
How about confessing your sin? didnt he confess his sin? repented and asked for forgiveness? is that not a work of faith?
Now tell me again how is it that we can have faith and no work and be like the demons with such a dead-faith, and still be saved? what does christ ask when he comes in his Kingdom?
Confessing Christ is the son of God and confessing we are sinners is really by definition what faith is. If that's your point we have no disagreement and we're probably disagreeing on semantics. If you want to say the Thief did a few good deeds after he came to Faith I won't disagree and next time I will try to speak clearer on what I meant.
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
The Thief says “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
What is the 1st Commandment?
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
The Thief says "Do you not even fear God"
The thief also states: "for we receive the due reward of our deeds"
The Thief was not saved by any works he did he was saved by his Faith. To me the Thief on the cross is a great example of even if we do not live a holy life with good deeds if we truly repent and believe that Jesus is the Son of God we can be saved.
I think you have a misunderstanding of what Lutherans consider Justification by Faith alone. It's much different than your alter call - charismatic - non-denomination type. The Augsburg Confession could probably explain it better than I. I would agree, if you say you believe and go to church once a week 30 times a year and live a wordly life otherwise that is not true Faith. James 2 says "I will show you my faith by my works" and I would agree. Your works don't save you though they are an example of your faith. I believe the Lutheran position is the Biblical position (Eph 2:8-9) (Titus 3:5) (John 3-16) (Romans 10 9-10) and many more but it was also the position of the early church fathers:
Clement (80-140 A.D.): So all of them received honor and greatness, not through themselves or their own deeds or the right things they did, but through his will. And we, therefore, who by his will have been called in Jesus Christ, are not justified of ourselves or by our wisdom or insight of religious devotion or the holy deeds we have done from the heart, but by that faith by which almighty God has justified all men from the very beginning. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Clement, Clement's First Letter, 32.3-4)
Justin Martyr (100-65 A.D.): No longer by the blood of goats and of sheep, or by the ashes of a heifer . . . are sins purged, but by faith, through the blood of Christ and his death, who died on this very account.
Polycarp (69-156 AD) "Many desire to enter into this joy, knowing that 'by grace you are saved, not of works,' but by the will of God through Jesus Christ." (Polycarp Philippians chap. 1)
Saint Chrysostom (349-407): For Scripture says that faith has saved us. Put better: Since God willed it, faith has saved us. Now in what case, tell me, does faith save without itself doing anything at all? Faith’s workings themselves are a gift of God, lest anyone should boast. What then is Paul saying? Not that God has forbidden works but that he has forbidden us to be justified by works. No one, Paul says, is justified by works, precisely in order that the grace and benevolence of God may become apparent