Faith and works

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by AdoptedDaughter, May 11, 2004.

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Do you need 'good works' to have a faith that is alive?

  1. Yes, Faith and works go hand in hand

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  2. No, it doesn't matter either way

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  1. AdoptedDaughter

    AdoptedDaughter
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    In order for your faith to remain alive, must you participate in 'good works', or doesn't it matter either way?
     
  2. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    According to James the evidence that one has a genuine faith is good works. "faith without works is dead"... Good works do not produce faith, they are the proof of it. A lost person cannot do anything that is acceptable to God. Only Christ in us and working through us brings forth the works that are acceptable to God. Biblical faith is always seen in good works, because Jesus is a work in the lives of His children.

    Bro Tony
     
  3. AdoptedDaughter

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    Using that same verse, though, Bro. Tony, it says that
    . It doesn't say that works is the proof of your faith.

    How can you connect something that clearly isn't there?
     
  4. Bro Tony

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    James answers that question---"I will show you my faith by my works". James was teaching that the evidence of his faith was the works that were produced. An empty faith, or dead faith, is a faith that has no works by which you can see it. But the works did not produce the faith, it is the faith that produced the works.

    What is biblical faith? My answer is--"Our response to God's intiative". God is always the first to move. He calls us to Himself and we must respond by faith. Once the faith relationship has been established, then He produces His work in us. His work is the only work that is eternal and are acceptable by Him.

    Bro Tony
     
  5. gb93433

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    If you look at the context of the book of James you will see that James is comparing a genuine saving faith to a faith that is simply a creed--a statement of faith.

    Real faith is written in the hearts of believers. A pseudofaith is written only a statement. It is only a statement and not lived out.

    James does prove that a real genuine saving faith is accompanied by works consisitent with being born again. (James 2:22-26)

    Works do not produce faith. But faith produces works. A genuine saving faith produces works consistent with the Christian faith in accordance with scripture.

    In Mt. 28:19,20 Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples. If we are His disciples we will follow His commands. Making disciples is good works.
     
  6. AdoptedDaughter

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    Works do not produce faith. But faith produces works. A genuine saving faith produces works consistent with the Christian faith in accordance with scripture.

    I must disagree. If works were needed to keep a faith alive, then those works must be a factor in producing faith...or keeping it alive.

    What keeps us in favor with God? An active faith? A faith that is alive. Looking straight at scripture, James confirms that the only thing that keeps faith alive is by good works.

    We can't have faith without works, because a dead faith is no faith at all.
     
  7. Debby in Philly

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    I have always took the James passage to mean that faith without works is of no value to anyone else but the one who has it. It's useless for doing anyone else any good. Rather selfish.
     
  8. SpiritualMadMan

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    Yes & No... :D

    In Revelations Jesus told those that had lost their first love to go back and do the First Works again.
    Revelation 2:4-5
    This seems to indicate to me that while works are not a direct generator of Faith...

    They can affect the emotions which kindle Faith into action...

    Kind'ave like if I don't feel particularly 'in Love' with my wife... If I go out and buy her something or take her on a date... Not only does it encourage her heart... But, I find myself falling back into Love, as it were.

    Also, during 'dead times' it is not always 'going through the motions'... You keep going to church because it's the right thing to do and you believe, have faith, that sooner or later God will again meet you there.

    It's when you do nothing at all that is identifiable as an 'Act of Faith' (or Faithfulness) that you are in real danger.


    I agree that the mere recital of a creed is not faith...

    But, faith, does come by Hearing, and the majority of Christian Creeds contain The Word...

    Something to think about?
     
  9. gb93433

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    This seems to indicate to me that while works are not a direct generator of Faith...

    They can affect the emotions which kindle Faith into action...

    Kind'ave like if I don't feel particularly 'in Love' with my wife... If I go out and buy her something or take her on a date... Not only does it encourage her heart... But, I find myself falling back into Love, as it were.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Their works were consistent with their faith, but not consistent with a faith from God.
     
  10. AdoptedDaughter

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    Who's works are we talking about?
     
  11. gb93433

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    Works never produce faith. Faith produces works but works mature or perfect the faith. It’s much like an acorn. An acorn by itself is still an acorn but with heat, light and water it will be perfected into a tree. Faith is the acorn but the other things like heat, light and water is like works.

    If you look at the entire context of the book of James he is talking about a genuine saving faith and comparing it to a statement of faith which the Jews had called the Shema. The Shema by itself is useless.

    Works do not keep faith alive. It is a relationship with God that keeps faith alive. The works that are produced from that faith in Jesus Christ are the kind that stem from a genuine saving faith. Abraham believed God.

    Take a look at James 2:23.
    James 2:22,23, “ You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," and he was called the friend of God.”

    In James 2:22,23 we see that faith was perfected by works. It is the Jewish idea of perfection not ours. Jewish perfection is the idea of maturity. You cannot separate faith from works. But faith always precedes works. We do works which stem from our faith, good or bad. But a genuine saving faith produces good works that are not works from a dead faith but rather from faith in Jesus. Abraham believed God not from a dead faith but a living faith. He trusted the living God. He did not trust a statement of faith. A statement of faith does not get one to heaven.

    Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

    The same parallel might be today in having a statement of faith called the Apostles Creed. Just because you say you believe the apostles creed does not mean you are a believer. Believers produce works consistent with real salvation not just a statement of faith. Non-believers produce works from a dead faith. They may be good works but not works from a living faith. But rather form a dead faith that is not a saving faith.

    The key to interpreting the book of James is not to take a few verses and isolate them. The consistent theme is the faith of the Jews and comparing it with the faith of true believers who have a genuine saving faith written in their hearts not tablets or paper. In James 1:14-17 the idea being that a statement of faith is not a saving faith but a genuine faith will not be by itself. Good works will accompany a genuine saving faith. The only kind of faith that stands alone is a dead faith or a statement of faith by itself. That kind of faith is dead.
     
  12. AdoptedDaughter

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    You're right! So...why then have you done that?
     
  13. Bro Tony

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    In order to deal with this all must come to a definition of what biblical works are. If one looks at works at to what they do are offer to God, then the glory goes to that person. Biblical faith produces biblical works, they are the works that the Lord does through us. He accomplishes these through His submitted children and all glory goes to Him. Paul teaches us that "we can do nothing without Christ". The works that a Christian does is not to their credit or glory, but all glory goes to the one accomplishing them through the believer.

    What does God need from me? Nothing. What can I do for Him that He needs me to do? Nothing. It is not Him or His work that needs me--It is me who needs Him. One way of looking at works is man-centered (anti-biblical), the other is Christ-centered (biblical).

    Any work that is done in the flesh rather than Christ doing it through us will be burned as the wood, hay & stubble at the judgment seat of Christ.

    Bro Tony
     
  14. gb93433

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    You're right! So...why then have you done that? </font>[/QUOTE]Give me an example.
     
  15. AdoptedDaughter

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    Nay...He needs from us complete and total dedication and loyalty. Or, He desires this.
     
  16. AdoptedDaughter

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    Example One:

    Quote Two:

     
  17. Doubting Thomas

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    In Titus 3:8, Paul says that "those who believe might be careful to maintain good works". If works automatically flow from the one who has faith, then why this admonition to maintain good works?
     
  18. gb93433

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    AdoptedDaughter:

    I guess I still don't understand your point.

    If one looks at James it is not totally about works and faith. There is also application. The book of James is comprised of several short sermons. If the BB topic were a treatise on the book of James then I would have not expounded on just a few verses that pertain to just faith and works. To understand faith and works one must understand the larger context of a genuine saving faith versus the Jews understanding of the Shema.

    Verse one tell who the book is adressed to and the culture they understand. The greeting is a Greek greeting and not the typical Jewish greeting for a Jew.
     
  19. gb93433

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    2 Timothy 3:16, 17 tells us about the value of scripture.

    2 Timothy 3:16, 17 “ All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

    I don't see how anybody can claim automatic obedience. There are commands in scripture to remind us of things we need to do. There are people who will claim good works are not necessary. There are those who would claim Christianity is about doing good works. It is about both. Christianity is not just about faith and it is not just about works. James gives an excellent example in James 2:14-17, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. “

    True faith produces works that are consistent with godliness. True faith is not just a statement. It is a living faith that saves.

    2 Cor. 13:5, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?"

    James compares the faith of the Jews who claimed they were God’s people and thought they were guaranteed salvation to the genuine saving faith of the true believer. The faith of the Jews was contained in a statement called the Shema. The faith of the true believer is contained in their life. It is a lived out faith that is real and genuine. It is a faith written in their hearts.

    If one were to study what the Jews called their faith at that time and compare it to the faith of Moses or Abraham and especially Jesus they would notice a distinct difference. One is living and the other is dead. One is real and the other is not. One is real and the other is not. One is a statement and the other is lived out.
     
  20. AdoptedDaughter

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    My point:


    You tend to like to take one verse, and then fit it to what you have come to believe, whether it is correct or not.

    You say that works do not keep the faith alive, which is in direct contridiction to what James says. He says clearly, that faith without works is dead.

    So...looking at the book of James, and he is quite consistent, you would see, without twisting words to fit what you want it to fit, that it is those 'good works' (spritual works) that keeps your faith alive, and not vice versa.
     

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