Do paul and james Address same issue ?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Yeshua1, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    many seem to imply they are at odds with each other, but isn't paul referring to sinners become saved, while james adresses how saintsought to be found living after saved by God?
     
  2. Doubting Thomas

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    I generally agree with this, but would add a couple of comments:

    Paul is mainly addressing the Judaizers who claimed Gentile converts had to basically become Jews (keep the works of the LAW, such as circumcision, Sabbath observance, food laws etc) to be come Christians. Paul pointed out the Law's main purpose was to show how we ALL fall short of God's holy standard, that Christ fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law and died in our place, and how we (Jew or Gentile) could be justified (reckoned righteous) by faith in Christ apart from the deeds of the Law (Romans 3:28). Justification is God reckoning us righteous based on the merit of Christ which we apprehend by a living faith and not by any merit of our own.

    James is concerned with those who have an intellectual faith (in correct doctrine) but who have no works of love in their life, and he teaches that such faith is dead and profitless for salvation. One must have works to 'make perfect'/complete one's 'faith' (intellectual assent to the Gospel) in order for one's faith to be living and not dead. This is really no different than Paul saying it is a 'faith working through love' which avails for anything in Christ (Gal 5:6)--in otherwords, a lively faith. Justification here is God reckoning us (judging us) righteous according to the evidence (works) of a lively faith in Christ. Merit is not in view here.

    Of course both agree with Jesus who stated that branches that abide (by faith) in Him will bear fruit (John 15).

    So both Paul and James speak of justification in regards to salvation but from two different angles.
    --Paul is concerned with the meritorious ground for justification which is Christ's work alone and apprehended by faith apart from any merit of our own. (Thus the believer is justified in this sense as soon as he is in Christ, and for as long as he abides in Christ)
    --James is concerned about the character of our faith, which is shown to be truly 'alive' (and thus actually profitable for salvation*) according to the evidence of works of love in our lives.
    (*again, see Gal 5:6)

    To sum up, justification in both senses belong to those who are genuinely attached to the Vine. Those who are IN CHRIST have HIS perfect righteousness imputed to them, and they are proved to be truly in HIM by the fruit in their lives.
     
    #2 Doubting Thomas, Jul 25, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 25, 2012
  3. The Biblicist

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    This restrictive view of the "works of the law" is simply not true. In Romans 2 the ten commandments are included along with circumcision in "the law" the Jews were keeping. In Romans 7 the tenth commanment is included within "the law" Paul had been speaking about and in between Romans 2 and Romans 7 there is nothing to indicate anything different especially in Romans 3:19-20 where "all the world" and "every mouth" and "no flesh" is excluded from the consideration of those "under sin" - Rom. 3:9-18.

    Certainly the "works of the law" include the ceremonial laws and the idea of becoming a Jew by circumcision in order to be saved but it cannot be restricted to that but is comprehensive of "works" in every form as proven by a careful evaluation of Romans 4.

    1. Works previous to the Mosaic law and circumcision - Rom. 4:1-12
    2. Works of the Mosaic law - Rom. 4:13-15
    3. Every possible work excluded originating from or participated in by man - Romans 4:16-21

    His point is that NO WORKS that either originate from man or which men participate in has any place in justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
     
  4. Doubting Thomas

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    Of course, you cut off your quote of my post to leave out this statement of mine:
    " Paul pointed out the Law's main purpose was to show how we ALL fall short of God's holy standard, that Christ fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law and died in our place, and how we (Jew or Gentile) could be justified (reckoned righteous) by faith in Christ apart from the deeds of the Law"

    God's Holy standard of course including the moral precepts of the Law and not just the ceremonial.

    It should also have been pretty clear (if you bothered to read my entire post) that I stated that Paul teaches we are justified by the work of Christ alone apart from any merit of ours (which includes obedience to the moral law in attempt to earn our salvation):

    "Paul is concerned with the meritorious ground for justification which is Christ's work alone and apprehended by faith apart from any merit of our own. "

    "Justification is God reckoning us righteous based on the merit of Christ which we apprehend by a living faith and not by any merit of our own."

    But, hey, thanks for selectively quoting me in your effort to knock down a straw man. :thumbs:
     
  5. billwald

    billwald
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    The Jerusalem Synod in Acts clearly teaches salvation with limited temporal benefits without temple worship but full temporal fellowship requires Temple worship. Paul agrees by going to the Temple to pay for Temple sacrifices and getting himself arrested.
     
  6. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
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    Which would have ended in AD 70 anyways, as Titus tore down the temple!
     

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