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Joanne

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Faith Without Works is Dead
« on: October 24, 2004, 05:53:53 AM »
If we are saved by Grace alone, what does it mean that faith without works is dead?

 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" James 20-21

Doesn't this say Abraham was justified by works?


judykanova

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2004, 06:07:37 PM »
If we are saved by Grace alone, what does it mean that faith without works is dead?

 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" James 20-21

Doesn't this say Abraham was justified by works?

joanne,

This is a good question.  It appears that James and Paul taught opposing doctrines of 'works' versus 'Grace'.  However, the key to understanding Scripture is to find harmony in ALL the teachings of the Bible, since the Bible is ALL from God. 

So when we compare Scripture with Scripture as we are commanded to do, we often find passages that help us reconcile seeming contradictions.  Examples of such passages in this case, I believe are these:

Rom 9:13-24

13  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Gal 2:16

16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.


Please note, the true translation from the original Greek says faith OF Christ, not IN Christ.   Christ is the faithful one, and it's His righteousness that is imputed to those He saves. 

Rev 19:11  
 
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war
.


So then, we can't take the credit for good works, for they reflect the 'workings' of Christ in us, 'to will and to do' HIS good pleasure.

Phi 2:13

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Gal 6:14-16

14  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
16  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.



It boils down to cause and effect, with some trying to put the cart before the horse.

Rom 8:29-30

29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Rom 11:5-6

5  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.


It also sometimes boils down to where God places the most 'weight', which is clearly on the side of Grace.  I sometimes think that God included the book of James in the Bible as a test -- namely a separation of the 'wheat' from the 'tares', for some of the things James says are not easily reconciled.

Hope this helps.

judy
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

Tony Warren

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2004, 06:13:05 PM »
>>>
If we are saved by Grace alone, what does it mean that faith without works is dead?
<<<


The "faith of Christ" is living faith. Thus any faith without Christ is dead and cannot have the evidence of the work of salvation. Living faith is "evidenced" in our works. Therefore, if faith has no works evidencing Christ, it is a dead faith. A faith such as that which WWII Kamkazi pilots had is dead faith. That is to say, faith without works.  Or the faith that some false prophets and teachers have. It is a dead faith because it is not faith based on Christ's work, who makes it living faith. Hence it is a "faith" that brings forth no fruit or works, because faith is dead without Christ.

Matthew 7:20-21
  • "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
  • Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."

Works are not the reason for salvation or rewards, it is the evidence of salvation. All sons of God who are "really" regenerated will produce "fruit." But not of themselves, it is the works of God through the Spirit that works within them to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13; Hebrews 13:21).

The scripture cannot mean that our own works justify us (that would make the word contradict itself), rather it is illustrating that the work of Christ justifies us. The Biblical principle is that if Christians must do some work of themselves in order to obtain something, then their works have become a requirement. i.e., it becomes a gospel based upon our own works. Likewise, if Christians are rewarded depending upon what they  have done on earth, again it's not the reward of Grace, it's a debt God owes them. Clearly, God declares such a gospel not of Christ.

Romans 4:4
  • "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace  but of debt."

If we acquire by works, it simply cannot be the gospel of the faith of Christ, which is of Grace. Therefore anyone that works for salvation, does not have a gospel of the faithfulness of Christ, or of Grace. But if Christ has accomplished the works for us, then by faith He works in us to will and to do.

The point being, God owes us nothing as reward for our work or walk in this world (debt), for He is the one who is working within us so that we are not as desperately wicked as the next guy. That's Grace! That's what this verse is teaching. Our reward is of Grace, not of work that God would be indebted to us to pay for. Christ explained unambiguously in the parable of the Kingdom (debunking the Premillennial error) that no matter how long we work, how hard we work, or what burdens we bear while working, we all receive the "exact" same reward. That can only be "because" the reward is of Grace. Selah.

Matthew 20:1-16
  • "For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
  • And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day  he sent<BR>them into his vineyard.
  • And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.
  • And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
  • Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
  • And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle  and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
  • They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
  • So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
  • And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour  they received every man a penny.
  • But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
  • And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house
  • Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
  • But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
  • Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
  • Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
  • So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called but few chosen."

So while some believe that the hard workers, the long workers, or the burdened workers shall receive more rewards, God has declared just the opposite. The word of God says that Christ is the one working in us (Christians) "both" to will, and to do. And that word translated "do" is thesame word translated work.

Philippians 2:13
  • "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
Hebrews 13:21
  • "Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
1st Corinthians 15:10
  • "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I  but the grace of God which was with me."

So many theologians today retort as if God is wrong and it "was" of them, or that they shall receive some greater rewards for their well doing. But the faithful Christians of old understood that it was "NOT I," but God who is the cause of all our faithful works. Therefore, all Glory goes to Him.


Quote
>>>
"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" James 20-21

Doesn't this say Abraham was justified by works?
<<<

Yes, Abraham was justified by works, but who's works? His, or the work of Christ in Him? His faith, or the faithfulness of Christ in him?  I submit that Abraham was justified by the work of Christ in Him "both" to will and to do. God has given Christians work to do, and yet it is Christ moving in us that causes us to walk and not faint, yea even to run and not be weary. Without the Spirit of Christ, would Abraham have offered up his Son in righteousness? No. That would be antithetical to human nature because of sin. He offered up Isaac on the Altar because of the faith of Christ in him.

Ephesians 2:10
  • "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

Abraham didn't offer up Isaac because he was of himself a righteous man, but because of the Grace of God that was upon him. What Glory of rewards should any of us expect for something which God Himself, through Grace, is responsible for? Did we justify ourselves, or were we justified by Christ in us? As said the scriptures, if a reward is reckoned of works, then it is no more Grace, it is a debt God owes us.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Scot

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2004, 10:20:24 PM »
Quote
some of the things James says are not easily reconciled.

Luther struggled with the book of James. Thankfully, he later came to an understanding.

Excellent answers Judy & Tony.

Joanne

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2004, 03:10:51 AM »
Please bear with me and thanks all for your responses. They are helping me to get a grasp of this doctrine that is so perplexing. I am still somewhat unclear of how someone can have faith, and yet be unsaved. Isn't faith being saved?

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" James 20-21

This seems to say Abraham was justified by works. I understand what you are saying, but if he is justified by works, then doesn't that mean that what we do will be rewarded? A justification by what we do?

Tony Warren

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2004, 07:21:08 AM »
>>>
Please bear with me and thanks all for your responses. They are helping me to get a grasp of this doctrine that is so perplexing. I am still somewhat unclear of how someone can have faith, and yet be unsaved. Isn't faith being saved?

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?" James 20-21

This seems to say Abraham was justified by works. I understand what you are saying, but if he is justified by works, then doesn't that mean that what we do will be rewarded? A justification by what we do?
<<<

There are several principles here to be considered.

  1. Those who have done good will be rewarded.
  2. But, there is "none" good, all our righteousness is as filthy rags.
  3. Those in Christ will do good because of Christ quickened in them.

In other words, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were justified by works. But not their own, which would be antithetical to God's Word. Any strict Obedience to the Law will justify no man, because no man can keep the law perfectly, which is required. So of necessity, in Christ must "all men" be justified who are justified. There is none other name whereby men can be saved. There is not one who can be justified any other way than through Christ. So any understanding that does not include these facts are clearly in error.

Isaiah 45:24-25
  • "Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.
  • In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory."
Acts 13:39
  • "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

As this scripture says, "in the Lord" shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory in that. The same thing we read in Romans of Abraham.

Romans 4:2
  • "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God."

In the justification of the Lord, we glory. Not of ourselves. If Abraham "were" justified by his own works, he could glory in his own works, but not in the Lord. In true Christianity, it cannot be that any man is justified by his own works of obedience. Thus to believe Abraham was justified by "his" work of obedience in offering up Isaac, of Himself, is unbiblical. For of himself, he would be no better than any other man.

So in careful study of the second chapter of James, we see that God is putting forth the principle truth that those who are truly saved "will show forth works," because they are servants of God living the life and doing the works of Christ. It is the "evidence" of their having the "faith of Christ" in them. So that any faith that has no works, is a dead faith without that life, and which cannot justify anyone. Again, a terrorist, a false prophet, or a Kamikaze pilot may have faith, but without Christ (life), it is dead, and cannot produce the fruits of the Spirit. That Kamikaze pilot that puts his plane into a dive, killing himself in the process, and has faith that he'll go to the great happy-land beyond, that's faith without the work of Christ to back it up. Yes, it's "real" faith alright, but it is humanistic dead faith, not being justified by the work of Christ in him. A suicide bomber in the Middle East who loads himself up with explosives and blows himself up and believes that Allah will bless Him has real faith. But it is a dead faith, not being justified by the life of Christ. Christ makes faith alive. That's why we read faith "of Christ, rather than our own faith in Christ. Because without it (his, not ours), it is dead.

Colossians 2:12-13
  • "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
  • And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;"

Without Christ's work, our faith is dead faith because without Christ, man has not been quickened or made-alive. Without His faith, it is faith still dead in trespass and sins. So every true believer has faith and has works following him, but it is "evidence" (not the reason) of His salvation.

Luke 6:44
  • "For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes."

The works that we do illustrate whether we are doing the works of Christ or of man. In other words, our fruit, which is our works, is the evidence of a good tree or a bad tree. If a tree breaks forth like thorns in the flesh, it's evidence that it's not a good tree. Likewise, if it springs forth with good fruit, good works, then its evidence that it is a good tree.

James 2:17-18
  • "Even so faith  if it hath not works  is dead  being alone.
  • Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

In other words, our faith is seen in our works, in our fruit. If we do the will of God, obey the Word of God and do not ignore the authority of the Word of God, then our works show that we have the faith of Christ. By the same token, a man who says he has faith (He is saved) and yet has no works of obedience nor is under the authority of the Word faithfully, that is evidence of his faith being without works. Without the works of Christ that evidence it. Dead faith without the Christ truly living in him.

James 2:19
  • "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

Again, God is demonstrating the principle that not everyone who says "I believe in Christ," is a true believer who has had his sins washed away. Because even the devils believe, but the true test is that their works or fruits are evil, and not of Christ. It is belief or faith that is dead, not living, because it is not of the living Christ. Those who do not have this faith are the children of disobedience who trample God's word under foot, while declaring they believe.

Those theologians who believe in the untenable doctrine of free will attempt to use this second chapter of James to put forth the idea that Abraham was justified by "his own" works. But that is a Biblically untenable position. It was the works being done in him through Christ that justified Abraham. His works were the evidence of this justification. And Christ's justification is the only justification of faith. For God's word authoritatively declares that our own works justifies no flesh. And the most basic law of sound Biblical hermeneutics is that scripture cannot contradict itself. We simply cannot say Abraham's own works justified him, while saying no flesh can be justified by his own works. It makes no sense. The confused theologians today do this, but the scriptures are quite clear on the matter. And this was put to rest earlier in Romans.

Romans 4:1-5
  • "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
  • For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
  • For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
  • Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
  • But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

His faith/belief was counted as righteousness, therefore it could only be the faith of Christ. Here again God clearly tells us that whosoever receives a reward for his own works, it "CANNOT" be of the Grace of Christ. It's a debt God owed him, not Grace. Thus Abraham was not justified by his own works making it a debt God owed him, and wherein he could glory. God's Grace justified him. Therefore he had the Works of Christ, and therefore the works he did were "counted" to him as RIGHTEOUS WORKS. Only in Christ will his works be righteous and justify him. He didn't work for his reward (debt), but righteous works in him was counted to Him because of Christ (Grace). That's why that last verse of Romans says He who "worketh not," but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted unto him for righteousness. You see, when He believed, then his justification was complete in Christ where the works of Christ followed.

Jesus declared that many would say unto the Lord on that Great day, "Lord Lord," protesting that they are Christians and that they had done many good works. But the Lord will say, "depart from Me ye who work iniquity, I never knew you." Why? Because though they had works, it was works without the faith of Christ that quickeneth, which is dead. These people are those in the Churches who have faith without works. They distribute text, but they don't evangelize. They claimed the name of Christ, but denied Him by denying the authority of His holy word. They talk of love, but don't really know what love truly is. They knew the Church, but they never truly "knew" Christ. Because we show that we truly know Christ by our fruits, not by our empty words or lovely platitudes. If we by the Spirit of God are honest about ourselves, humble before God, and faithful to scripture, then it's a good bet that we truly know Christ. If we are dishonest with ourselves, always rationalizing, kidding ourselves, unfaithful to scripture, then we can show forth all the humanistic good works to men that we want. But we do not truly know God. We have a faith without the works of Christ, which is dead. Hope that helps.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Dan

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2004, 09:26:45 AM »
Tony. The way you talk about grace you make an excuse for sin. God wants good works. And God does not judge man's work in the same way as men do. The woman who gave the penny did more WORK than the rich man who gave a hundred dollars. Jesus said to be careful not to do your WORKS before men to be seen of them, but rather not to let your left hand know what your right hand does. We all know that it is by grace of God that we are saved, but lets not turn this grace into a license to sin. The bible WARNS us NOT to do this? Read Romans 6 and 8 and James 2 and tell me how you do not understand those scriptures. And you might also explain the parable of the cities in Luke 19:12-27. In Jesus's Name.

Tony Warren

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2004, 03:08:46 AM »
>>>
Tony. The way you talk about grace you make an excuse for sin.
<<<

On the contrary, I've never made any excuses for sin. And I've always said that man must try or test himself to make sure that he has the evidence of salvation present in his life.

2nd Peter 1:8-10
  • "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
  • Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

No, there are no excuses for sin, but where we part company is when you believe that the statement that Abraham was justified by works, means that we are justified by our own works. And that declaring that we are not, but justified by the work of Christ, means we're giving people an excuse for sin.

Quote
>>>
God wants good works.
<<<

True. But when He looked down upon earth and saw men, how many did he see that were putting forth the good works that God wanted?

Romans 3:10-12
  • "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
  • There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
  • They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."

There is NONE that doeth good, means that there were none that did the good works God wanted. For there is none good but God. Even the Pharisees recognized that. So then, in order for God to have a people that doeth good, they would have to have Christ die for their sins, and dwell within them "both" to will and to do. Therein does God's people "do good works." Knowing this is not a license to sin, rather those who do good are a "New Creation" wherein they have an earnest desire not to sin, but to do the will of God. i.e., Philippians 2:13.


Quote
>>>
And God does not judge man's work in the same way as men do. The woman who gave the penny did more WORK than the rich man who gave a hundred dollars.
<<<

The question before us is not how much she gave (we know how much she gave), but "would her penny be worth anything good without the faithfulness of Christ?" And the answer is no. Many people have very little and give very little (as this woman) and yet are still dead in trespass and sin. So what makes this woman different? The point was not her work, but her heart filled with agape. For the others of their abundance cast money into the offerings of God, but this woman of her poverty cast in all she had, showing her heart was not upon the things of this world, but on God. Her poverty is a spiritual (humble) condition, and likewise her charity a spiritual condition. This parable has noting to do with her being justified by her work of giving a penny to charity, but is rather illustrating the condition of her heart, and her giving as she was given. And this is contrasted with the condition of the rich in spirit, those who rely on self and will not give up everything to charity for the Lord. For the believer is bought with a price, knows God will provide, and thus will humbly give bountifully, surrendering all to the Lord.

2nd Corinthians 9:6-8
  • "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
  • Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
  • And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:"

That's why you have professed Christians who do nothing but go to work and come home, go to work and come home. They have no desire to work for the Lord, only to have the Lord work for them. And you have Christians who are filled with the Spirit to do the good work in spreading Christian charity in evangelizing. As this verse says, we have no fear of giving cheerfully because we trust God that He gives to His people sufficiently that they many abound to every good work. There is a Spiritual picture being painted here. As Christ said, "Feed My Sheep!" Unfortunately today, most professed Christians are only interested in making a living, enjoying this life, being men of renowned,  popular, men of humanistic love. The point being, "work" being the good works of Christ, are defined by God, not men. And who gives more is defined by the heart, not the penury of the pocketbook.


Quote
>>>
Jesus said to be careful not to do your WORKS before men to be seen of them, but rather not to let your left hand know what your right hand does.
<<<

And why are we to do our works in secret? Because the glory belongs to God, not us. There are those who have been given the heart to give charitably what they have to the poor in spirit. They aren't the hearers only, but the doers. And they "will" and "do" not because they are better people than the next group. But because they are humbled and indwelled by Christ.

Philippians 2:13
  • "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

The question is, how many times do we have to read it before we realize that it is true? And they will and do "Not" because they are good, or that they may be seen of men, but because charity never fails, as it is the essence of true Christianity. Love of the brethren "is" the love of God in us.


Quote
>>>
We all know that it is by grace of God that we are saved, but lets not turn this grace into a license to sin. The bible WARNS us NOT to do this?
<<<

That's a "Straw Man" argument. Because who is doing this? You certainly didn't read anything like this in any post I made. So where is this idea coming from? You are retorting against a doctrine that I neither hold, nor countenance. Allowing God's word to be the authority over this and believing faithfully what God says is hardly making Grace into a license to sin. As I've already said many times, those who have the grace of God are new creatures who walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

1st Peter 2:15-16
  • "For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
  • As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."
Romans 6:1-4
  • "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
  • God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
  • Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
  • Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Galatians 5:13-14
  • "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
  • For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

No, we don't use Grace as a cloak or cover for sin, we don't sin because we know Grace abounds, and we don't use Grace as an excuse or occasion for sins. Being born from above means that we are not the old man who would do such. Good works follow because of Christ in us.

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

Joanne

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2004, 02:08:26 PM »
Thank you, I am still learning.

bloodstone

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2004, 04:41:54 AM »
Thank you, I am still learning.

Joanne,
  This is one of those difficult to understand parts of scripture that will eventually be brought to light. Faith without works is dead, but works without faith is dead also. So "faith" is the operative word. And all you need to know is that christ supplies the faith, which moves us to work.

Those who claim we have to work in order to have faith have it all backwards. We have to have faith in order to have works. At least the kind of works that God will reward.

 1 Cor. 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

Our works are built upon Christ, not Christ's work built upon us.

Wonder

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2004, 10:49:56 AM »
Many people see the works of Jesus as healing etc. which is true. But the other works he did include keeping His Father's laws. He was born under law. He kept His Father's laws perfect. If we are to do the works of Jesus, wouldn't it mean that He would be doing His Father's laws in us? Shouldn't those in whom He dwells be doing as He did? Abraham bound "his" son. The flesh, was presented to God as a living sacrifice by binding the flesh. All Abraham's descendants will bind the flesh as such a sacrifice, for no law has been done away with, "abolished", only changed, in the priesthood. If all sacrifices are to stop forever, how are we to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God?
The flesh and the spirit, wheat and tares, war against each other. It is only by binding the flesh that the spirit can rule. The work that Jesus is doing is He is beginning to bind the flesh of those in whom He dwells. The work he is doing in us, caused the binding of the flesh, wearing the Word of God as in the Law.
Those of us in the law are considered working for our salvation. Not so. For He first loved us, it is His work. One cannot earn their salvation, we have read and we know this. We are not trying to earn anything. We do what we do because He first loved us.
Example:
Man meets woman, date a few months. They dwell separately. They do very little if anything for each other except spend time together. He asks her to marry Him. Did she earn his love? No. He loves her so she is willing to do as he asks. She then will wash his clothes, cook for him etc. Not earning love, only because of the love. Not because of law, but love.
What we do is because He first loved us. Not the fact we had any law telling us to do anything.
We do the works He did because it is His work in us. He binds the flesh because He loves us. Our best only comes out when He dwells within.
God is great, the law was made for man, the sinner, they go to the letter of the law that kills. It will kill the man, his will, his ways etc. The Spirit is quickened and made alive. We die, yet we live in Him. What a master plan. One only God could conceive or fulfill.
I hope this brings light on those of us who are bound in Him. We are judged harshly. People seem to judge us by what they see. As many that has condemned me, no one yet ask me why I follow God's laws? They assume I think I can earn my own salvation. We are called pagans, god wannabees, Jew wannabees etc. The list could go forever. If they would only ask us why we do what we do, we would simply say, because He first loved us. I will wear tassels, bind His word, wear His belt of truth, wear oil or do anything else He asks of me, because I also love Him.
He gave me His armor, He gives and gives to no end. What little I do, is only because He ask it of me. Only by His Spirit can I make my flesh obey, the flesh profits nothing.
Whatever is in the heart will be made manifest. If the Word is in the heart, it is the Word which hangs on us as fruit. If it is money, then it is gold one will wear. After many years of labor in the world, one is given a gold watch at retirement. When you reach full age with God, you are given His armor. The fruit is then seen by the world.
I don't really see that it is what we do, but why we do what we do.
Jesus came to us, died for us, to reconcile us back to God. If we don't return to God, would we have Him die in vain?  If you believe in Christ, his works should follow your belief. To believe is to act on it.
In His Love

Dan

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2010, 08:45:47 AM »
(23) …”Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness” [Genesis 15:6] … (24) You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 So then, how can anyone continue to put forth the teaching that it is by faith "alone?"  As many of you are wont to say, that is a contradiction.  So when you say I must deal with scripture, so must you.


Stephanie

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2010, 12:55:18 PM »
(23) …”Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness” [Genesis 15:6] … (24) You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 So then, how can anyone continue to put forth the teaching that it is by faith "alone?"  As many of you are wont to say, that is a contradiction.  So when you say I must deal with scripture, so must you.



 Well, I don't know. But maybe it means that you can't just sit back and depend on faith, you have to get up and work. At least that seems to be the gist of it. That the case of Abraham proves that the justifying faith is by our works?


Granny

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2010, 06:57:13 PM »

 Well, I don't know. But maybe it means that you can't just sit back and depend on faith, you have to get up and work. At least that seems to be the gist of it. That the case of Abraham proves that the justifying faith is by our works?


 That's not right. You do sit back and depend on faith, because there is nothing that you can do to get saved. It all has to be done by Christ.  Look at the context.

 James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The body without the spirit is equated to faith without works. The Spirit is of works, not the body.


Fred

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Re: Faith Without Works is Dead
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2010, 07:33:54 AM »
Why can't reformed people just accept the plain literal rendering of the text when it doesn't say what they want. Clearly the text says in verse 24,

James 2:24
"You see that a man's righteousness is judged by his works and not by his faith only."
-BIBE

You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. So this denial of works is not biblical, it is a reformed destroying of the words written there.



 


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