Faith and Works

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    The relationship of faith and works is involved in many discussions. This issue lies at the heart of truth. Works has been defined as something man must do in order to accomplish something. Many desire to exclude faith from works. Is this proper?

    The question we must answer is does faith require that I do something? I say absolutely, as does belief and repentance. The will MUST formulate and end. It must choose a course of action to be pursued, without which faith, repentance or belief are simply not birthed within the heart of man.

    Mans will MUST be active in faith. Man must indeed do something in order to have faith. There is a ‘work’ the will must create, an end to be chosen along with the means to carry it out. Faith at its very core is in fact a work, i.e. man must be active in the creation of the choice, without which the word faith is meaningless and dead.
     
  2. Brother Bob

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    I personally think when the Scripture says "not of works lest any man should boast" it is talking about the works of the "LAW".

    It was a time of transition and it was hard to convince the Jews that they were no longer under the works of the Law.
     
  3. 2BHizown

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    We do not achieve salvation by works. 'Works' is doing something.

    Faith is a gift from God! When received the presence of this gift is demonstrated by works. As James said "I'll show you my faith BY my works" The works are the out pouring evidence of the faith!
     
  4. billwald

    billwald
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    "I personally think when the Scripture says "not of works lest any man should boast" it is talking about the works of the "LAW"."

    Agree 100% Why? Because the Mosiac Contract was God's social contract for fellowship in Israel and had nothing to do with salvation in the next life. People were never "saved" by works in any dispensation.
     
  5. LeBuick

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    I like to say we work because we are saved and not in order to be saved.
     
  6. BobRyan

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    The FIRST "work of the Law" is Love for God (Deut 6:5 ) and then Love for our fellow man "Lev 19:18".

    If the sinner can turn his back on this - and "Be saved anyway" - if they can reject this and "be saved anyway" then it is a "different Gospel".

    "BY THIS shall all know that you ARE my disciples...".

    However I would argue that when the sinner comes to Christ it is the ACT of "Belief" (as we see in Romans 10) and the act of REPENTANCE (as we see in Acts 2) that accompanies faith.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  7. Brother Bob

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    Bob Ryan;
    I meant the works of sacrifice and circumcism not the Commandments. You know what I believe on the commandments.
     
  8. LeBuick

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    I think the operative here is we love because we are saved and do not love as a condition to be saved.
     
  9. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: There is nothing we can do as sinners to place any obligation upon God to provide salvation. That is to say that nothing we do towards our salvation that is meritorious in nature. Nor is there anything we can do that in any way affects or has affected the plan of salvation God designed. We did not provide for salvation, plan for salvation, or effect God in any way as to the conditions He established to allow us the opportunity for salvation. We cannot just ‘will’ our salvation, for our wills have no power in and of themselves to save anyone period.

    That does not mean that man is passive in salvation, or that mans ‘will’ does not in fact play a part. There are only two possible options. One, that God is the Author of everything, including faith repentance and belief, and man is totally passive, unable to do anything until God supernaturally bestows the abilities to respond upon us, or man already posses the powers to respond, and we must exercise our wills voluntarily to the influences of grace that God gives to man.

    The first option leads nowhere but to sheer fatalism. It must of necessity gender total and unrestrained predestination, not only of the saved but of the damned as well.

    The second option involves freedom of the will. It suggests that God has granted all men the requisite abilities to respond appropriately in repentance and faith when the offer of salvation is given, and it is up to the individual to yield their will in voluntary compliance to the conditions of repentance, faith and belief. This option demands that an offer be granted and understood, yet in no way forced or coerced upon the individual. The individual must take the knowledge of the offer, and formulate in the will a ultimate end to either accept the offer of salvation by the compliance to the conditions God has established, or reject the offer. Man must cooperate voluntarily apart from any coercion or force by choosing to accept the offer along with its conditions, and by an act of the will in first believing the offer and its conditions are true and acceptable and then by voluntarily repenting of all sins that are past. One must yield their will to the influence of the Holy Spirit, and exercise faith by formulating intents by voluntarily directing the wills ultimate intentions in a way consistent with the conditions of salvation and a holy walk before the Lord.

    Just as Abraham voluntarily choose to believe God and act obedient to His commands to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord, we too must yield our wills voluntarily in repentance and faith in order to receive salvation. Man is not passive in repentance or faith. Our wills are the means by which God has chosen to channel His grace through, demanding that we exercise our wills in voluntary obedience to His commands, without which no salvation can be achieved.

    Just as in the prison illustration the prisoner could not do anything to merit his pardon, just the same his pardon could not be made effective apart from his voluntary formulation of intents consistent with repentance, faith in the ability of the governor to facilitate the pardon, and voluntary acceptance of the pardon offered.
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I believe you are on track as well in this issue. Paul was clearly addressing the abuse of Jewish believers, trying to mandate that the gentiles conform to old ceremonial law, in particular to partake in circumcision, in order to be accepted in the church as believer.

    I agree that people were never saved by works as you state. The heart had to be right and faith had to be invoked. That is an astute observation on your part.
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Let me ask you then. Is the will active or passive in repentance and faith? Is there anything the man ‘must do’ to have faith or repent, or is it all of God? Define what you mean by a ‘work.
     
  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: You are suggesting then that man is totally passive in salvation are you not? Are you prepared to accept the logical consequents of such a notion as well?
     
  13. BobRyan

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    That has always been true.

    #1. both OT and NT mankind was "depraved" as in the sense of Romans 3.
    #2. Both OT and NT required that man come to God "AS IS" by faith accepting the "DRAWING" of God.
    #3. Justification and the new Birth were always based on a "by faith" condition. But you had to first be convicted, and then you had to "decide to repent". Romans 10 says that you have to CHOOSE to believe and the "result" is salvation.

    the WORKs of the Law of Moses "Love for God" Deut 6:5 and "Love for man" Lev 19:18 that people are so anxious to get out of -- were always the "FRUIT" of salvation in both OT and NT. Christ said "IF you LOVE Me KEEP my Commandments" (Pre-Cross).

    So it is certainly agreed - as you say - that our coming to Christ and choosing to believe is not our FIRST loving God - it is our FIRST getting convicted and choosing to repent and turn from our sins.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. BobRyan

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    In somce Calvinist models sinful lost man "wakes up" one day to "discover" that he is "already saved". Having "discoverd" that fact, he then decides to go ahead and "Believe" and "repent" since he is already saved - might as well join in.

    In that model it does not matter what you believed beforehand, or who talked to you, or what you know -- getting "zapped" to be saved was totally not your decision NOR the result of anyone elses actions. God simply arbitrarily 'zapped you that day'.

    However that "zap" form of evangelism "should not" be limited by the presence of sinful erring human preachers - God "should" be able to "zap" as He chooses without needing missionaries.
     
  15. BobRyan

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    Quote:
    Le Buick: I like to say we work because we are saved and not in order to be saved.



    Romans 12 "To each one is GIVEN a measure of faith".

    John 16 God "convicts the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgment"

    John 12:32 "I draw ALL mankind unto Me"

    The work of God "comes first".

    Then as we seen in Romans 10 - man must choose to believe. Chrsit calls that "The Work of God " the WORK that God calls us to do -- is to choose to BELIEVE in the Son of God.

    Having chosen belief we then are born again, the new creation must then "choose" to "WALK according to the Spirit" as Paul says in Romans 8.

    1John 2 - the apostle says that those who do not WALK as Christ WALKED and yet CLAIM to know Christ - are liars.

    Works do not save us - but they SHOW that we ARE saved.

    "It is NOT the hearers of the Law that are just but the DOERS of the Law WILL BE JUSTIFIED" Romans 2:11-12

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. BobRyan

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  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP:Is this a true representation of the scripture?



    HP: I would agree with this statement. Belief is not just head knowledge. Belief ia an act of the will, and as such something we must do in order to be saved, therefore rightly denoted as a work. Right?



    HP: I assume you are including repentance in that belief, are you not? After we do those works of faith and belief and repentance, we indeed must continue to choose by continued intents of the will in the direction of obedience.


    HP: That should be a clarion call to every one of us to examine ourselves, to see if in fact we are of the faith. Deception is a real possibility fro any of us.



    HP: If belief, repentance and faith are works, in that they all represent things we must do in order to have salvation (although not thought of as meritorious in any way, but rather thought of in the sense of ‘not without which)’ I would disagree slightly anyway. We exercise the conditions of salvation, NOT because we have been saved, but rather in order to become saved. I disagree with Le Buick on this point, and I thought you did as well. Nothing we do is the grounds of salvation, but the conditions God mandates are indeed works for us to do. I see anything that God commands us to do, that must be initiated by an act of the will, a work.




    HP: Amen. Hearing is not enough. Head knowledge is not enough. It takes an act of our will in agreement with the conditions God has set forth to enter into a hope of eternal life. There is something we must do to be saved, and that is not ‘working’ for our salvation either. It is simply fulfilling the conditions God has set forth.
     
  18. BobRyan

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    Only when using the definition of works that INCLUDES "faith, belief, choosing to repent" can we include works in justification but even then God does not say "because you have chosen to repent you EARNED the new birth" nor does He say "because you choose to repent you EARNED the blood of Christ to justify you".

    As the sovereign God in charge of the Gospel HE has said "Behold I stand at the door and knock if anyone hears my voice AND OPENS the door I WILL COME IN" - that is God "drawing ALL mankind" - it is that drawing that ENABLES all mankind to OPEN the door.

    But all mankind must CHOOSE to open the door - Christ does not say "I stand at the door and after a bit of knocking I just knock it down and come in on the FEW among mankind that I arbitrarily select out to love".

    (I think some here actually believe something to that effect).

    But I agree with the statement that "justification is APART from Works" (as we see in Romans 3) speaking of past justification AND excluding the required ACT of true faith, true repentance, true belief, as something to be included in "works". Once we exlude them from the term - then fine - justification is APART from works because works does not include those actions in that context.
     
  19. BobRyan

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    In John 1 Christ is the "light of the world that coming into the world enlightens EVERY MAN".

    In John 16 The Holy Spirit "convicts the WORLD of sin and righteousness and judgement"

    1 John 4:10-14 God sends Christ to be the Saviour of the World

    In 2Pet 3 "God is not willing for any to perish but for ALL to come to repentance"

    In John 12:32 Christ says He DRAWS ALL (the unqualified ALL) to Himself.
     
  20. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Read it again.
     

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