Is Justifying Faith of works or of Grace?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by The Biblicist, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    In Romans 4 and Ephesians 2 there are only two possible alternatives a the source of faith.

    Romans 4 contrasts grace versus works and concludes that justification is by grace and then says Abraham was justified by faith while denying he was justified by works and furthermore claiming justificaiton is by faith "without works."

    However, if justifying faith is "of works" then Paul is contradicting himself when says justification is "without works" when in fact it is by the work of faith. In Romans 4:16 he explicilty states the promise is obtained "of faith" that it might be (hina purpose clause) in according to (kata) grace as opposed to works.

    Ephesians 2:8 says we are saved by grace through faith and then he denies that works has any part of it as one first must be "created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works."

    So if it is admitted that saving or justifying faith is of grace then it must be admitted that the pronoun "It" and its clause "IT is a gift of God NOT of works lest any man should boast" means that faith must be included in "saved by grace".

    However, the real dilemma for those who deny that faith is a gift of grace is that they must either claim justifying faith is of works or of grace as it cannot be a mixture (Rom. 11:6) and there are no other contextual options given in scripture.

    Is faith the fruit of the Spirit or is it the fruit of the nature of fallen man? Jn 6:44 denies it is the fruit of the nature of fallen man. Is the "fruit of the Spirit" of grace or of works?

    If you are an Arminian, can you be honest enough to admit you believe faith is either of works or of grace? There are several passages that at least superficially appear to claim it is a gift of grace (Philip. 1:29; 2:13; Ephe. 2:8; Rom. 4:16) as Christ explicitly denies faith in Christ or coming to Christ in faith can originate with fallen man (Jn. 6:44 "no man CAN come to me") and that demands the source must be God.
     
    #1 The Biblicist, Aug 14, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  2. Yohanon

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    Let us not put the cart before the horse. Works is simply evidence of salvation, not the path to it. LOVE inspires us. Love Elohim, trust him, OBEY him, and the Ruach Ha Qodesh will handle the rest. At the Bema seat, OUR works will be the "wood, hay and stubble", HIS works through us will be the "gold, silver and precious stones"
     
  3. The Biblicist

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    Nice to make your acquaintance Yohanon. However, either you have not read what I said carefully, or you have misunderstood what I said. I believe works is the evidence of salvation rather than the path to it, as that is my primary point. My whole point for referencing Romans 4 and Ephesians 2 is that very thing. Ephesians 2:10 explicitly says we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus "UNTO" good works. Romans 4:5-11 prove that works follows rather than is involved in justification before God. Reread my post carefully. I think you might have to read my preceding posts to get the proper view of my last post as there are a series of posts leading up to that one.
     
  4. Yohanon

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    I cannot see where our positions conflict. Our finite human minds are incapable of comprehending the infinite intellect of our Creator. The best we can really do is the best we can and trust Elohim to handle the rest. He is capable. The key is to love. Without love, anything WE do, no matter how worthy it is in OUR eyes, is worthless.
     
  5. Van

    Van
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    Justified by Faith

    Almost all Christians would claim to believe we were justified by faith, and perhaps quote Romans 3:28, which says we are justified by faith and not by the works of the Law.

    If pressed, many Christians would define “works of the law” as the actions we take to conform to the requirements of the Law, rather than what the “law” actually accomplishes, which is to make us aware of our sin and lead us to Christ.

    So lets back up and ask the question, justified by whose faith? Does our faith justify us? If we took a poll, would not a large group, perhaps even a majority, say our faith justifies us? But that would be a works based salvation would it not. Ah but you say faith is not a work.

    Maybe we should back up again and consider “justified by whom?” Were we justified by what we did or by what Christ did on the cross? The free gift of justification to life was provided by Christ on the cross, Romans 5:18. So it was Christ’s faithfulness, even unto death on the cross, which provided the propitiation for the whole world. So then the question becomes, how did we “receive” that gift or have that gift applied to us individually?

    So it would seem, then that our faith in Christ provides access to Christ’s free gift of justification by the grace of God. But does that too miss the mark? I think so. Would not our faith in effect “save us” then and make us the actual architect of our salvation?

    So if our placing our faith in Christ does not automatically save us, then God must credit our faith as righteousness and spiritually place us “in Christ” which saves us because in Christ we receive the justification to life provided by Christ. Wow now that is a systematic theology that fits with all scripture.
     
  6. kyredneck

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    Evidence of the circumcised heart with the work of the law written upon it. You know, true Jews who are Jews inwardly, Israelites indeed, the Israel of God, doers of the law.
     
  7. The Biblicist

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    Love is good, but part of the Biblical definition of love is "charity....rejoiceth in truth" and part of the Biblical definition of true love for God is "This is the love of God that we keep his commandments."

    My point is that not all that is called "love" is true love but sloppy agape. We don't have to understand the "infinite" but only the revealed will of God (Deut. 29:29). There is no justification for any sinner before God by mixing grace with works and we can both easily see, understand and agree to that. As you said, works are the evidences not the means of salvation.
     
  8. Yohanon

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    Placing our faith in messiah is WHAT saves, or rather, justifies us. From that point on, for the rest of our mortal earthly lives, the indwelling Ruach Ha Qodesh sanctifies us, transforming us from the inside out into that which is pleasing (or more pleasing than before) in His sight. When we are called Home, He glorifies us. It is a process. First, separation from the penalty of sin, then separation from the power of sin, and finally separation from the presence of sin. What a gift! What Messiah paid for us is beyond our comprehension. He is worthy of all of our love and devotion and more. I cannot claim any wisdom of my own. I am a hapless fool. I know nothing that Elohim has not chosen to reveal to me, but I know that HE is wise, and I trust Him.
     
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  9. percho

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    My thoughts.

    Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Acts 7:52 ---- Here you have the Just One, I might add the only just one who ever lived having been born of woman, murdered, that is he died.

    For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:19 He was the, Just One, because he learned the obedience and was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, by which we can be made righteous, though the obedience was unto death.

    I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Gal 2:21 But God raised him from the dead: Acts 13:30

    And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. Acts 22:14 Here we have the Just One, the obedience of one, who died, yet lives, has been raised from the dead by God the Father. Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;

    Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. --- Who is the only just one who has ever lived and walked the earth?

    Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: ---- The obedience of one unto death.
    Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we have been given the Holy Spirit. John 16:7, Acts 2:32,33 Titus 3:6,5 Gal 3

    Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through (the) faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    I agree with you, by grace through the faith, we have been made righteous. Justified.

    IMHO
     
  10. Van

    Van
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    No, God crediting our faith as righteousness and then transferring us spiritually into Christ is what saves us. Recall Matthew 7 where folks were professing "Lord, Lord" yet Christ never knew them (referring to the fact they had never been put in Christ and indwelt with Christ. To be saved from the penalty of sin is to be placed into Christ where we undergo the circumcision of Christ.
     
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  11. Yeshua1

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    We are only able to believe due to God allowing for us to do just that!
     
  12. Van

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    No verse or passage says we must be altered by irresistible grace in order to believe. OTOH, Matthew 13 tells us 3 of the 4 soils were able to believe. Pay no attention to those who make unbiblical assertions that directly conflict with scripture.
     
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  13. Martin Marprelate

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    It is God Himself who saves us when He justifies us or declares us righteous (Romans 4:5; 1 Corinthians 6:11) and gives us New Birth (Ephesians 2:5; Titus 3:4-5; James 1:17-18;1 Peter 1:3-5), having chosen us in Christ from eternity (Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 1:2).
    It is the Lord Jesus Christ who saved us when He took away our sins on the cross (Romans 3:24-25; 5:6; Galatians 3:13 etc.)..
    It is the Holy Spirit who saves us when He seals us for the Day of Redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14).

    Faith is the means that God uses to effect our salvation (Acts 13:48; 16:14; Ephesians 2:8).
     
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  14. Van

    Van
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    Lets review:

    1) Are we saved and justified through works of the Law? By works of the Law no flesh is justified.
    2) Our faith in Christ provides our access to God's saving grace. (Romans 5:2)
    3) We are saved by grace through faith. Thus our faith precedes receiving the grace of salvation.

    Picture a room full of saving grace. It has no windows and only one door. In order to stand in that grace we must go through that door. What provides our access? God crediting our faith as righteousness, just as God credited Abraham's faith as righteousness. Everyone whose faith is credited as righteousness is "of the faith of Abraham."
     
  15. The Biblicist

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    Correct

    False! This text deals with those ALREADY justified by grace and faith itself is of Grace (Rom. 4:16) and it is not faith that justifies anyone as faith is nothing and empty unless it has a proper object and that is repeatedly defined from Romans 3:24-5:25 to be in the gospel promise of Christ as Savior. Note Romans 4:5 "believeth ON HIM" with regard to HIS GOSPEL PROMISE as spelled clearly out in no uncertain terms at the beginning of this discourse (Rom. 3:24-26) and at its end (Rom. 4:22-25).

    FALSE! We are saved by grace ALONE through faith ALONE in Christ ALONE without works.

    FALSE again! God does not "credit" our faith as righteousness, but he imputes/judicially declares us righteous based solely upon the OBJECT of our faith - Jesus Christ and his redemptive provision. Abraham "WAS" justified BEFORE he was circumcised and not just POTENTIALLY credited so that he might be justified 2000 years later. Yours is false gospel.
     
  16. Van

    Van
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    1 Our faith in Christ provides our access to God's saving grace. (Romans 5:2)
    Paul says our faith provides our access to the grace in which we stand. Thus to deny that faith provides our access to saving faith is to rewrite Romans 5:2.

    2) We are saved by grace through faith. Thus our faith precedes receiving the grace of salvation. To restate the obvious, to be saved through faith requires that faith is before salvation by grace.

    Picture a room full of saving grace. It has no windows and only one door. In order to stand in that grace we must go through that door. What provides our access? God crediting our faith as righteousness, just as God credited Abraham's faith as righteousness. Everyone whose faith is credited as righteousness is "of the faith of Abraham."

    Pay no attention to those who shout false, false when confronted with truth. Just read and study Romans 5:2 and Romans 4:4-5. When God credits our faith in Christ as righteousness, He puts us into Christ spiritually where we are justified. Pretty simple, really. :)
     
  17. The Biblicist

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    Romans 5 is a transition chapter from justification to sanctification (ch. 6). Romans 5:1-2 move the subject from the position of already justified by grace wherein the justified stand (perfect tense) unto the grace of sanctification. So faith is not producing grace but accessing grace already in place. Faith itself is of grace (Rom. 4:16) as faith is the product of grace in that God speaks into the heart of the lost elect the light of knowledge of God in the face or revelation of Christ (2 Cor. 4:6) which produces the substance of faith (Heb. 11:1) by the creative command of God (Rom. 11:17 "rhema"). And so "faith in Christ" is created by God in the heart when God empowers the gospel (1 thes. 1:4-5).

    No! If water (grace) travels "through" a pipe (faith) the water (grace) is concurrent with the pipe (faith) or else there is no water (grace) flowing through the pipe (faith) at all. Grace and faith are concurrent and inseparable in salvation that is why Paul uses the perfect tense showing it is a completed action that continues to stand complete. When the gospel is preached to the outward man of the elect it goes no further than his outward ears and mind. However, when God empowers the gospel in the heart it creates the "light of knowledge of God" as revealed in the Christ of that gospel, which is the substance as well as the hope of faith through which we EXPERIENCE grace rather than produce grace.

    False analogy as Romans 5:2 has the justified already standing in that room when he calls on them to simply to make it their EXPERIENCE by faith. Faith does not give them entrance into that room because they already are standing in it as their position. Faith gives them EXPERIENCE of their position. Likewise in initial salvation, Faith is the EXPERIENCe of God's creative power speaking light into the heart, the light of knowledge. Faith does not produce that light but is the EXPERIENCE of that light.

    False again! Paul said that Abraham was justified BEFORE he was circumcised (Rom. 4;9-10) and Paul previously defined what justification is in verses 6-8 (imputed righteousness and the nonimputation of sin). He called men who possessed the righteousness of God and remission of sins as "blessed" men. He said David was blessed and that this blessed state was received by Abraham before he was circumcised. He actually received it by faith, rather than potentially received it by faith as Van teaches. Van is using the term "credit" in the sense that one has no money in the bank presently at all (meaning no actual justification/righteousness/remission of sins) but God gives them a "credit" presently because the money will be added to their account thousands of years later at the cross. That is false and it is another gospel. God operated on the everlasting covenant and actually "saved" people from their sins at the moment they beleived the gospel long before the cross (Acts 10:43) and they possessed eternal life before the cross as all the promises of eternal life are present tense in Matthew 10:40 and John 3:16; 36; 5:24; 10:27-30; 11:26).


    Pay no attention to van, really. :)
     
  18. Van

    Van
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    Folks, pay no attention to the smoke screen.

    Did anyone say faith is producing grace? NOpe. Pay no attention to the constant disinformation spewed forth like a lire hose.

    Our faith in Christ provides our access to God's saving grace. (Romans 5:2)

    Does Romans 4:16 say "faith is of grace?" Nope The promise to Abraham and his descendants is in accordance with grace through the righteousness of faith. So more disinformation. Just read it folks.

    Next rationality is attacked, claiming when we are saved by grace through faith, faith occurs at the same time as grace. Talk about rewriting the text.

    Next we get the wholesale rewrite of Romans 5:2 where faith supposedly does not provide our access. Just read it folks.

    And finally we get repeated babble, where it is claimed God does not credit our faith as righteousness. Just Read Romans 4:4-5.

    Lets review:

    1) Are we saved and justified through works of the Law? By works of the Law no flesh is justified.
    2) Our faith in Christ provides our access to God's saving grace. (Romans 5:2)
    3) We are saved by grace through faith. Thus our faith precedes receiving the grace of salvation.
     

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