Is faith a work?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by JSM17, May 28, 2009.

  1. JSM17

    JSM17
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    John 6:28-30

    28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"

    29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

    30 Therefore they said to Him,"What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?
    NKJV

    Is faith a work?
     
  2. Jedi Knight

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    John 6:40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who BEHOLDS the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." Moses lifted up the bronze serpent on a pole and were told to SIMPLY LOOK to it and would be healed. Faith won't save you...its the object of our faith that saves us. I hear faith saves us......nope.... Jesus the object of our faith saves us. Faith is the vehicle!
     
  3. Darron Steele

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    Hi JSM17.

    Let me pre-empt where you are probably going by asking you this: is the Bible always to be believed -- everywhere?

    If you use one passage is used to negate the teaching of another passage, you will be positing that Scripture is not to be trusted.
     
    #3 Darron Steele, May 28, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2009
  4. Allan

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    If you will notice Jesus was doing a play on their words. They, as Jews, had come to believe that through various works one can 'earn' their way into heaven. They asked Jesus what work they could do, and Jesus basically stated the only thing you can 'do'/'work' is to believe. NOT that believing is an actual work but that believing or faith is the only way to enter heaven.

    We have scripture that bears witness to this and establishes that faith in fact is not a work. Two of them are Rom 4:4-6 and Eph 2:8-9
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Faith involves a voluntary act of the will. In this sense it is indeed a work, but not a meritorious work, but rather a condition of salvation. It is always thought of in the sense of 'not without which' NOT 'that for the sake of,' just as all conditions commanded and demanded by God for man to fulfill.
     
  6. Darron Steele

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    Here is what JSM17's script has. I have plenty of history with it.

    S/he is going to misuse John 6:28-9 to try to get us to concede that faith is a work in the Ephesians 2:8-10 sense. Then, if successful, s/he will try to get us to toss out the teaching of Ephesians 2:8-10 where it expressly says "not of works" (KJV). S/he will still expect us to trust the Bible. After we have tossed out the teaching of Ephesians 2:8-10, s/he will attempt to convince us that unless specific additional works are completed beyond faith, no one is saved.

    First, however, s/he must convince us to reject what Ephesians 2:8-10 teaches, and s/he hopes to use a part of another passage to get it done. It would be a misuse, as that passage also refutes JSM17's intended point.

    John 6:28-9
    “The people asked Jesus, `What are the works God wants us to do?’ Jesus answered `The work God wants you to do is this: to believe |on him whom he hath sent” (ICB|ASV underline mine)​
    The people sought plural “works” and Jesus corrected that. This is a refutation to any idea that there are works beyond faith that must be completed for salvation.

    There is no conflict with Ephesians 2:8-10
    “for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may |boast himselfe. For |in Christ Jesus, God made us new people| unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (ESV| GenB| ICB| KJV).​
    Even if we grant that faith is a work, the passage says "saved through faith" and "not a result of" plural "works" -- a plurality of "works" cannot be the cause of salvation.

    The order is clear: we are saved by faith which here is contrasted with works. After salvation, we become "new people" in order to do "good works" which God has "ordained" for us.

    It really is this simple. Acts 10:43 says of Jesus Christ "every one that believeth on him |receives| remission of sins” (ASV|ESV|ASV).
     
    #6 Darron Steele, May 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2009
  7. Scarlett O.

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    Faith is not a work. Jesus was not teaching that is was. He was speaking to a group of spiritually immature people who were asking sincere, but "baby" questions. And they never accepted his teaching.


    Please go back to the beginning of that passage to answer your own question.






    • VERSES 14-15 ........ Jesus had just miraculously fed thousands. The men who were there and were fed said, "Surely this is the Prophet we were expecting." Then they wanted to physically take Him by force and make Him their king. He escaped into the mountains and his disciples to to their boat.
    • VERSES 16-21 ........ Jesus walks on water to his very frightened disciples
    • VERSE 22-24 ........ The next day, some of those people who were miraculously fed went looking for Jesus. They could not find him and realized He and his disciples were now on the other side of the water. So, they got in boats, themselves and sailed to Capernaum, looking for Him.
    Now, here's where you have to look carefully.


    Verse 25 says that they found Him, called Him "Rabbi", and asked Him why did He leave them and sail away. They have already assumed Him to only a mere Prophet. They have no clue that He is the Son of God.

    Verses 26-27 say that Jesus told them, "You aren't even looking for Me because of miraculous signs. You are looking for Me because I filled your hungry bellies! You only want someone to provide for you. Stop working so hard to find meat that rots and decays and search for meat that leads to eternal life that the Son of man will give you that God has already sealed for you."

    That's when these sincere, but misguided people say, "What can we do so that we can work the works of God?" They still don't get it. They are still thinking with their stomachs. They only want provision - either from Jesus or, by their request, of their own accord.

    Jesus tells them, "The only thing that you need to "do" is to believe on the One who God has sent." He wasn't giving them a recipe to follow. In fact, just the opposite. He was telling them that a spiritual "to-do" or "to-be" list was not the answer.

    So, do they heed Him? NO!!

    Verses 30 and 31 say that they ask Him, "Well, what kind of sign can you give us so that we will believe what you are saying (as if the sign from the day before wasn't enough :BangHead:). Our ancestors got manna to eat (more food issues!!). What are you going to give us?"

    He begins to tell them about the true bread of God and they interrupt Him and cry out in verse 34, "Give us that bread!! Give us that bread!!"

    He informs them in verse 35, "I AM the bread of life."

    Jesus continues to give them a beautiful and miraculous revelation about Who He is in verses 39-40.

    Do they listen? NO!

    In verse 41-42, they begin to gripe and whine and mumble under their breath. Why? Because Jesus said "I AM the bread of life" and because they didn't believe him to be credible because they knew his family.

    He repeats his beautiful and supernatural revelation in verses 44-51 explaining that the bread is His flesh for which He will sacrificially give.

    They respond in verse 52 by saying, "How can this guy feed us with his flesh?!?!?!?"

    Jesus seriously explains in verses 53-58 that unless they "eat" His flesh and "drink" His blood that they will not have eternal life. At that point the people were beginning to get angry. They said, "This is ridiculous. We don't even know what He's talking about."

    And many of them turned away.......some who had even called themselve "disciples" of Christ turned away. Verse 64 says that Jesus already knew which ones would walk away and which ones would believe. He asked the twelve if they were leaving Him, too. (He knew that they weren't). Peter said, "Lord, where would we go? You have the words of eternal life and we believe that you are the Son of God."

    Peter got it. He knew that faith or belief was NOT a work. In asking, "where would we go", he was proclaiming that there was nothing to be done by the effort of man to save himself and that salvation lay entirely in the hands of the Bread of Life.


     
    #7 Scarlett O., May 29, 2009
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JSM17
    John 6:28-30

    28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"

    29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

    30 Therefore they said to Him,"What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?
    NKJV

    Is faith a work?




    HP: I have to wonder if those ‘spiritually immature’ individuals at least believed the words of Jesus at face value? Would to God some spiritually mature would as well. :thumbs:
     
  9. JSM17

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    “This is the work of God (i.e., from God – a genitive of source), that you believe on him whom he has sent” (6:29).

    If faith is not a work, then does God believe for you, then is it really faith?

    When does faith save us? If it is not work then what is it?
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Excellent questions. It boils down to one of two things. Either it is all of God or man is involved. If it is all of God you have not only clear predestination driven by necessity, but the predestination of the damned as well and that by necessity. God is necessitated as the author of all evil as well as all good if necessity rules.

    If man is involved in any way that would offset necessity, man must be the first cause of his moral intents, and the first cause of saving faith. One simply has to decide whether it is deterministic fatalism that drives faith or if in fact mans will must be involved in a voluntary committal of the will in agreement with a measure of faith granted to all men in order for faith to come to saving fruition in our lives.

    There is no doubt where I stand. If necessity rules, morality including all notions of it such as love, hate, blameworthiness or praiseworthiness are all chimeras and punishment or rewards are nothing more than the working of an arbitrary God appeasing His own necessitated ends. It would be absurd to level any blame for being created to an end, as wicked as it might seem, if no other end was possible other than the end God necessitated for you. How can a system of complete necessity be anything other than a wicked blight upon the character of a Holy and Just God?
     
  11. billwald

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    Could you all pass a lie detector test about "believing on Jesus?"
     
  12. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Lie detector tests are not always accurate. We can believe Scripture though, and we know without a doubt that some believe, and tremble. Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
     

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