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Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Eladar, Oct 18, 2002.
How can anyone just ignore this?
How can anyone just ignore this?</font>[/QUOTE]Who ignores it?
My pastor is going through James and taught on this verse. I have had other pastors who did as well. If I am not mistaken, John MacArthur has even written a book that reconciles Paul's writings with James. MacArthur is calvinist by the way.
Jesus Christ stated that two groups will stand before Him. One group ran around casting out demons etc and neglected the poor. The other group went to the poor and helped. The first group went to gnashing of teeth. The second group went to be with God.
We are saved on our faith. Works are a natural extension of faith. What genuinley born again Christian does not want to help people that are less fortunate. As Christians we die to self and allow Jesus To use our hands for His work. It is not hard to have works and faith together. It is a natural occurence when one is "Born Again".
If someone is going to have to write a book on 'reconciling' views on Paul's writings with James' writing, then there is definitely a problem. The Bible clearly reconciles it itself.
It is a simple fact. Those who claim to have faith in Jesus Christ, but don't bear out that fruit with works are not going to heaven.
[ October 19, 2002, 09:57 AM: Message edited by: Tuor ]
Now that I think about it, you are right Scott. I should ask the question:
How can people just explain this one away? It is cut and dry.
True saying Tuor. Those who profess faith in Christ but have no works, show that they have had no real faith. This is the correct interpretation of James. The problem lies,in the matter of salvation, in putting more importance in works than we do faith. It should be pointed out that the great Protestant reformer Martin Luther felt that the book of James should have been left out of the cannon, not because it was'nt true, but because of the terrible misunderstanding of the interpretation , ie. (saved by works.) I will use an example to explain my point. Suppose A doctor told one that he had the "AIDS virus". Well if he believed in his heart that the doctor's prognosis was correct, then he would live his life differently, as a result of his belief, that he had AIDS. Now if he never was told, or did'nt believe the doctors word, he would have "no works" as a result. It should also be pointed out that "saving faith", the kind that does produce works, is not only intellectual assent but it is faith that fully takes hold of the heart. Where one truly believes, from the heart, then he can do no other than to live his life with good works based on his heart belief in the grace of God shown to him through the death and ressurection of Jesus. Also, there is such works, that seem to be a following of God's commands, but do not please God, because they do not originate from a heart of faith. ie. Pharisee Romans 10:4-13 John7:38 Blessing, WP
So are you saying that works we do after accepting Jesus don't just have to do with our rewards? That the works we do are a reflection of the heart?
I agree that some will take the works aspect without love and try to work their way into heaven. Yet there are also those who go the other way(eg: The Just Jesus crowd). Should we remove the saved by our faith in Jesus aspect so that this mistake won't be made too?
It is dangerous to ignore any part of the God's word simply because some take it and mis-aply it.
Salvation and rewards are two different things, Tuor.
Salvation is by grace through faith, not by works -- Ephesians 2 among other passages.
And both works and words come from the heart. Therefore, when a man is born again -- when he is saved -- he is given a new heart by the Holy Spirit.
And from this heart come the good works that God has set up in advance for us to do. The works a man does are an expression of the heart he has.
Good works by an unsaved person mean nothing: Isaiah 64:6, Romans 8:8, etc. For although these works may be used by God to help others, they originate from a self-seeking and self-serving heart and therefore are worth nothing in God's eyes. After all, He doesn't NEED our works!
But once a person is saved, he is raised up to spiritual maturity by the Holy Spirit (Phil. 1:6, Romans 8:28-30, etc.). This can be a fast or slow process, depending on the amount of resistence the person puts up in regard to obedience to Christ. Those who are quick to obey and do as Christ has asked are doing the works and demonstrating their living faith -- this is then earning them rewards in heaven. These are the rewards we can work for and get or lose. They are based on works, pure and simple, but only when a person is saved.
Those who are more resistant to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives may do the works they want to do, but these may not be the works Christ would have them do, and thus they bear no fruit and deserve no rewards. The clue to which works are approved by God may be found in the word 'obedience' rather than the word 'activity.'
If one is still resisting God and holding on to their own self, then could such a one be apart of the elect?
I think we all have some resistence in us, Tuor. It gives way little by little. In addition, we all start from different points when we are first saved, and there are some who are starting from a point of having been an excellent organizer and direction-giver. It can be hard to give up the areas of one's strength to the Lord! It will happen, but it's not always easy.
But what if it doesn't happen?
According to James 2:14, a profession of faith is not enough.
If you are born again, it will. That is the whole promise of Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:28-30, the end of Romans 8, etc. God WILL finish the good work He began in each of us!
I agree. James agrees with you too, but what you are saying is not what the "just rewards" people preach.
It seemed to me like you were trying to defend the "just rewards" point of view.
Oh, sorry! We will get rewards for our actions "works" done in obedience. But one who is not saved cannot be obedient according to Paul in Romans 8:8-9...
Yes, those of the elect who do good works based on the wrong reasons will have their works go up in flames.
I don't believe the reprobates will have their works judged at all. They will be thrown into fire, "no pass go do not collect reward".
There are people who believe our works reveal absolutely nothing when it comes to salvation. It is those who must "work their way around" and "explain away" James.
Jmaes 2:14 teaches us the same message as the rest of the New Testament. One who has faith works. one who does not cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6. One who does not faithfully work will not receive the mansion prepared for him. Mat. 25:21,23,30. The misunderstanding for most is that always equate an active, working faith with merit. This is simply opposed to the following scriptures:
1. Works of the Law. Gal. 2:11
2. Works of Righteousness. Titus 3:5
3. Works of Faith. Romans 16:26
4. Works of the Devil John 8:41-48.
5. Works of Merit. Eph. 2:9.
One who has an obeident working faith is trusting the owrd and power of God to grant him that which he can never earn, but must receive by faith. John 1:12,13, Romans 1:16,17.
Scripture is very clear that we are to be judged according to our works and that EVEN justification itself is assigned based on works - when viewed in terms of that future judgment (Romans 2:13, 2Cor 5:10. The "reward" according to Romans 2 - for the "bad deeds" Romans 2:6 is "wrath and indignation, tribulaiton and distress" 2:8-9 as opposed to "eternal life" 2:7.
In the book of Romans - justification has two contexts. In chapter two it is the future judgment - by works "on the day When, God WILL judge the secrets of men". There the stakes are "eternal life" vs "wrath and indignation" as the chapter explicitly states.
In Romans 3 we see the immediate subjective context for Justification that addresses justification of the sinner now - apart from the future judgment. The sinner comes to Christ without any good works to recommend him. He is justified by faith "apart from works of the Law".
He is recieved by Christ as "a gift" - "by grace you have been saved through faith, and that NOT of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God - not of works lest any man should boast". Eph 2:8-9
Having been received on that basis we are found to be a "new Creation" "Created in Christ Jesus for Good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" Eph 2:10.
As Born again belivers our works testify to our faith such that Christ can affirm "NOT everyone who SAYS Lord Lord will ENTER the Kingdom of heaven, but he who DOES the will of My Father" Matt 7:21.
So is it "Jesus only" or "Jesus Plus Works"??
Paul says that "Jesus only" Includes Works "
Paul shows that the good works are not "as opposed to Christ" they are "because of Christ IN you".
[ October 19, 2002, 07:08 PM: Message edited by: BobRyan ]
It seems that everyone basically agrees on this one.
Wow so far!!!
It seems that everyone basically agrees on this one.
All except the chief protagonist of the Reformation. "Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ more strongly, who triumphed over sin, death, and the world; as long as we live here, we must sin." (Luther, writing to Melancthon in 1521)
The fairly problematic situation that must be dealt with is: How are we to explain the case of the fallen Protestant minister? He who gave the full assent of fiduciary faith in Christ whereby for the sake of Christ, God no longer imputed to this minister his sins, but rather considered and treated him as if he were really just and holy, although in his inner self, he remained the same sinner as before. Twenty years down the line (after a life of heroic virtue ministering to his flock), the minister reads Spinoza, Nietzche, and Sartre only to lose all faith in Christ. He then proceeds to commit himself to a life of debauchery including leaving his wife, committing the conjugal act with a prostitute, and experimenting with other men in homosexual relations. While embracing this life of immoral debasement, he dies.
Is the Minister saved?
If not, where is the place for the eternal security of the believer, namely yourself who rests in a faith and life of virtue so small compared to this man's twenty year ministry?
If so, how so?
No,the minister whi lives in rebellion against God will be eternally lost. One may lose or forfeit his salvation should he chose to return to sin. II Pet. 2:20-22.