Abraham and "the deeds of the law"

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by The Biblicist, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207
    Paul gives Abraham as His illustration to prove that "justification by faith without the works of the law" (Rom. 3:27-28) provides no grounds for boasting. Romans 4:1-3 makes it clear this is precisely the reason Paul introduces Abraham at this juncture:

    1 ¶ What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.


    The word "to glory" in verse 2 is a translation of the very exact same Greek term that introduces this thought in Romans 3:27 translated "boasting":

    27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


    1. Since Abraham lived 430 years prior to the Mosaic Law then the term "works" in Romans 4:2 cannot possibly refer to the Mosaic Law or Jewishness but must refer to the "deeds" performed by Abraham. Furthermore, it must refer to his good deeds because who would "glory" in sinful deeds before God?

    2. After introducing this general introduction of Abraham in verses 1-3, then the abstract doctrinal explanation given by Paul in verses 4-6 must also refer to simple GOOD DEEDS in contrast with justification by faith because Paul is arguing from a PRE-Mosaic illustration that is completely void of any kind of JEWISHNESS or MOSAIC LAW context.

    3. Hence, the contrast "worketh not BUT believeth" is a contrast between "good deeds" performed by Abraham or any other human being in contrast to "believeth" proving that justification by faith is "without works" or "good deeds" performed by the believer.

    4. The fact that the person exercising faith "without works" is characterized according to his PERSONAL CONDITION at the point of faith to be "ungodly" proves that justification by faith must be "without" GOOD "works."

    NOTE: The grammar demands the term "ungodly" is the PRESENT STATE of the person AT THE TIME of believing as Paul uses the PRESENT TENSE for all three verbs (believeth, imputeth, justifieth) showing simeltaneous action and all modifying "the ungodly." Hence, the imputing, justifying does not alter his PERSONAL condition only his LEGAL POSITION before God. His PERSONAL condition is altered by regeneration which is contemporary in action as Paul later proves in Romans 6. The point here is that justification by faith does not alter the PERSONAL CONDITION of the believer at the point of faith. That condition of "ungodly" is altered by another act of God separate from justification by faith.

    Furthermore, Romans 4:9-15 demonstrate that justification by faith is not contemporary with obedience to either circumcision/divine ordinances or obedience to the Law of God. Romans 4:16-21 demonstrate that justification by faith excludes all personal contributions by the one being justified. Abraham and Sarah could not make any personal contributions to the birth of Isaac as their faculties that would permit personal contribution/participation were "dead" and thus thus justifying faith is contextually defined in the following words:

    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    This text restricts the definition of justifying faith to be PASSIVE in regard to obtaining the promise as the promise is obtained by the POWER of God. It defines it as merely RECEIVING the promise and RESTING in God's ability to provide what was promised. Thus Paul defines justifiying faith to be "without works" of any kind, just as previously repeatedly stated in Romans 3:28; 4:5,6 demonstrating that "works" cannot be of grace (Rom. 4:4) and yet "faith" is "by grace" (Rom. 4:16).
     
  2. Chowmah

    Chowmah
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    1
    So was honest Abe keeping Gods 10 commandments Biblicist?

    GENESIS 26 [3] Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, AND UNTO THY SEED, I will give all these countries, and I WILL PERFORM THE OATH WHICH I SWARE UNTO ABRAHAM thy father; [4] And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; [5] BECAUSE THAT ABRAHAM OBEYED MY VOICE, and kept my charge, MY COMMANDMENTS, my statutes, and MY LAWS.

    Yup, Abe heard Gods "voice" and so he kept His commandments
     
  3. Chowmah

    Chowmah
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    1
    JOHN 10 [27] MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, and I know them, and they follow me: [28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    Just like Abe Gods sheep hear His “voice”.

    DEUT. 27 [8] And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly. [9] And Moses and the priests the Levites spake unto all Israel, saying, Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the Lord thy God. [10] Thou shalt therefore OBEY THE VOICE of the Lord thy God, and DO HIS COMMANDMENTS and his statutes, which I command thee this day.

    DEUT. 4 [12] And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard THE VOICE of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. [13] And he declared unto you his covenant, which HE COMMANDED YOU TO PERFORM, EVEN TEN COMMANDMENTS; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

    Cant do a song and dance around above scripture. It is truly Gods 10 commandments.
     
  4. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207
    Chowman, pleeeeeeease first read what I said and attempt to not only understand what I said but see if you can overthrow a single statement I said in the context I am saying it INSTEAD OF playing the cultic game of RJP! Instead of RUNING away from the context I am dealing with and JUMPING to another text inorder to PIT Genesis 26:3 against Romans 3:37-4:21 (hence RJP) try to deal with the scriptures in a contextual manner for one time in your life.

    No one is denying the ten commandments. What I am denying is that the role of keeping the Ten commandments is for justification before God and is inclusive of being "justified by faith."

    PLEEEEEEEEASE read the OP again and PLEEEEEEEEASE attempt to try to understand what you read and PLEEEEEEEASE try to attempt to deal with it IN THE CONTEXT it is placed and PLEEEEEASE stop trying to derail this thread.
     
  5. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207
    If you cannot deal with the OP and its context, please go somehwere else and stop trying to derail this thread.
     
  6. Chowmah

    Chowmah
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    1
    OK. Ill stay away. In your OP you implied Abe wasnt keeping Gods 10 commandments. Scripture says that aint so and i pointed that out. But ill do as you ask and stay away from your thread henceforth.
     
  7. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207
    Again, the point of the OP is to show that the phrases "the works of the law" and "the deeds of the law" in the context of Romans 3:27-5:2 cannot possibly be defined or restricted to JEWISHNESS or MOSAIC LAW.

    This is no attack on the Ten Commandments. This is merely the demontration that the Ten Commandments were NEVER given by God to justify anyone before God because by the works of the law NO FLESH SHALL BE JUSTIFIED - Rom. 3:9-20.

     
  8. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207
    Roman Catholics attempt to argue that "deeds of the law" and "works of the law" refer to some kind of JEWISHISM in Romans 3:24-5:2 rather than attempts by either the unregenerated or regenerated man to keep the commandments and ordinances of God.

    We have proved that theory is utterly corrupt and wrong in our OP.



     
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,026
    Likes Received:
    47
    its just as john calvin was to have stated...

    while its true that faith alone saves us, the faith that is real and genuine will not be alone, but showing fruits as evidence of a changed life in Christ!
     
  10. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Abraham was bound by the Noahic Covenant.
     
  11. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207
    "Noah found GRACE in the eyes of the Lord"
     
  12. TrevorL

    TrevorL
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    515
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greetings The Biblicist,

    I agree that Abraham was not justified by the works of the Law. But seeing you specifically refer to Abraham, and the Scriptures set Abraham as a prime example on the subject of justification, how do you understand the following:

    James 2:20-24 (KJV): 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    Genesis 22:15-18 (KJV): 15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.


    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  13. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207


    The difference between Paul and James is the difference between systematic theology and pragmatic theology.

    1. James is dealing with "one of you" (v. 16) - one that has professed ("if a man say") to have been born again (James 1:18) and who has been baptized and a member of the assembly (James 2:1-9) thus "one of you" (v. 16) but his profession is completely without works ("faith WITHOUT works") as in the case of demons and as in the illustration he gives of someone needing basics of life and yet that person provides nothing. Hence, James is dealing with the type of man that professes not only to be justified by faith but regenerated as well (James 1:18). Abraham was not merely a justified man at the point in his history (Gen. 22) James refers to but he was a regenerated man as well. There is no such thing as a justifiied man without works who is not a regenerated man producing good works. This is precisely Paul's point in Romans 6-8. Justification by faith does not occur without regeneration. Even though one is justified by faith without works (Rom. 3:24-5:2) they are not justified without regeneration which is manifested by good works. Hence, where there is true justification by faith there will be good works as well.

    2. Paul provides the systematic approach showing that justification and regeneration are two distinct works of God even though one does not exist without the other. Justification is without works (Rom. 3:24-5:19) but it is not without regeneration by the Spirit of God (Rom. 6-8). It is regeneration (Eph. 2:1,5,8,10 from whence "good works" originate not justification - "created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works."

    However, James is looking at Abraham from a pragmatic point of view in his horizontal relationships not his vertical relationship with God. How people react to people in need reveals their state of salvation but does not define its essential aspects. Paul defines its essential aspects from a vertical view.
     
  14. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,026
    Likes Received:
    47
    Wouldn't he be under the Covenant of His namesake, as we are today under New one under Christ?
     
  15. TrevorL

    TrevorL
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    515
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greetings again The Biblicist,
    I appreciate your response but find the full post and your OP difficult. I believe that Abraham was justified by faith as per Genesis 15:6, and in the process of time this faith grew, and that same faith is revealed in Genesis 22, but by this time it has taken hold of him so that he responds to God in a full way, even believing through the promises that God would raise up Isaac from the dead. Thus Abraham in Genesis 22 reveals his faith.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  16. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207
    In regard to justification faith simply receives and rests upon the power of God to perform what he promises as Romans 4:21 explicitly states. In regard to progressive sanctification, regenerative faith manifests itself in "good" works because faith worketh by love which is a fruit of the Spirit of God imparted in the new creation in Christ as Ephesians 2:10 explicitly states. In regard to jusiftication faith receives and rests. In regard to sanctification faith worketh by love and that love manifests itself toward God and man in "good works."
     
    #16 The Biblicist, Jun 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2012
  17. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    >>Abraham was bound by the Noahic Covenant.


    >Wouldn't he be under the Covenant of His namesake, as we are today under New one under Christ?


    I think the added covenants are cumulative and not replacements. Jews and Christians think time is always progressing forward. Other people have other concepts such as time is circular or seasonal.

    The covenants were written before God created the universe - so say the Jews.

    Dispensational Christians seem to think that God invents new covenants - makes new deals - in response to how events have unfolded.

    No one was ever "saved" by law keeping. Regeneration has always been by God's grace - unmerited favor. That is why salvation is irreversible and one can't get "unsaved."

    I HAVE a friend who was a Baptist preacher for 20 years and became agnostic (changed sides). He is still my friend because I am confident that God will not dump him. God is like a Mafia Don. One doesn't resign from God's mob.
     
  18. TrevorL

    TrevorL
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Messages:
    515
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greetings billwald,
    I believe that the promise to Eve, the promises to Abraham, the promise to David are all part of the one covenant, sometimes called the new covenant. It is called new because it has been ratified or confirmed by the death and resurrection of Christ. The Mosaic covenant, sometimes called the old covenant was designed to be temporary, and has been fulfilled in Christ. The book of Galatians was written to reject the idea that Gentiles believers of the gospel, should also come under the Mosaic Law. Paul strenuously rejects the need for the believing Gentiles to come under the Law of Moses.
    Galatians 3:15-29 (KJV): 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
    The Scriptures teach that we must endure to the end in order to be saved.
    Matthew 24:12-13 (KJV): 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
    Many passages in the book of Hebrews could be quoted, when the above circumstances approaching AD70 were bringing much pressure on the early believers, especially the Jewish believers. It could be said that one of the main purposes of this book is to encourage them to be faithful, to endure unto the end. The whole of the well known Hebrews chapter 11 could be placed in this category, and the introduction at the end of the previous chapter teaches the need to endure to the end:
    Hebrews 10:35-39 (KJV):35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  19. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207
    You have misunderstood Paul's point. The Mosaic Law is the most complete and detailed WRITTEN revelation of God's Righteousness ever given to man. The "works of the Law" refers to the comprehensive Jewish attempt to conform to that standard of righteousness by everything they think, say and do.

    When Paul rejects/repudiates the works of the Law of God as a means for justification before God he is repudiating any and all lessor attempts by man for justification before God by whatever they think, say and do. In rejecting the "works of the Law" Paul is repudiating ANYTHING and EVERYTHING possible that any sinner can think, say or do that might justify him before God as there is no more comprehensive standard of righteousness ever given among men. To fail "the works of the law" is to fail any lessor attempt by "good works" among men for justification before God.





    First, you are taking a text out of a context of PHYSICAL tribulation that has nothing to do with SPIRITUAL salvation. The term "saved" does not always refer to spiritual salvation but can refer to the salvation of the PHYSICAL life.

    Second, there is no conditional clause in this text. This is an assertion not a condition. There is no "in order to be" in this text. He simply asserts that a person who endures to the end is the person who shall be saved.


    And I am quite sure they would be quoted out of context again. The Bible does not teach conditional security of the believer. It teaches that true believers endure but they do not endure in saving faith to be true believers.


    No it cannot be. There is no conditional security taught in Hebrews 11 or Hebrews 10.

    Note carefully what he said - "WE ARE NOT OF THEM who draw back to peridition" as they are FALSE PROFESSORS.

    but "WE ARE.....OF THEM that believe to the saving of the soul"
     
  20. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,138
    Likes Received:
    207
    The pivotal verse by Paul in regard to this matter of justification by works is Romans 3:27 where Paul uses the term "law" to describe both "works" and "faith" as contrasting principles in regard to justification.

    The "law of works" is set in direct contrast to the "law...of faith" as opposing PRINCIPLES in regard to justification.

    Paul's design by the common description of "law" to both "the works of the law" and "faith" is that they are irreconcilably opposed to each other by what they are by nature. Paul tells us this clearly in Galatians 3:12 when speaking of the "works of the law" he says "the law is NOT OF FAITH." He makes this same contrast in Romans 4:4 where he denies that "works" can be "of grace" whereas justificaton is "of faith" so that it may be "by grace" (Rom. 4:16). This is the complete incompatibility expressed in Romans 11:6 and the context of every single one of these texts of contrast between works and faith is that aspect of salvation called justification or aspects which are outside the subjective experience of the believer.
     

Share This Page

Loading...