James 2:24 vs. Eph 2:8-9

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Eladar, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. Eladar

    Eladar
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    James 2:24

    You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

    Eph 2:8-9

    For by grace you have been saved,through faith,and that not of yourselves,it is the gift of God,NOT OF WORKS,lest anyone should boast.

    Do these verses contradict each other, or is there a way to bring these two verses into harmony.

    ***I know there is a thread that is dealing with this over all issue, but I thought this deserved its own thread***
     
  2. Don

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    No contradiction.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 talks about how we are saved by God; James 2 talks about justification before men.
     
  3. Eladar

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    Oh brother!

    Where in the Bible does it ever say we need to be justified before man?
     
  4. Briguy

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    Hey Tuor! Hope you are well!!

    Check out this definition of justify:
    Main Entry: jus·ti·fy
    Pronunciation: 'j&s-t&-"fI
    Function: verb
    Inflected Form(s): -fied; -fy·ing
    Etymology: Middle English justifien, from Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French justifier, from Late Latin justificare, from Latin justus
    Date: 14th century
    transitive senses
    1 a : to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable b (1) : to show to have had a sufficient legal reason (2) : to qualify (oneself) as a surety by taking oath to the ownership of sufficient property

    If you think about it we are in this world to show others our faith, to prove to them we are right, just, and reasonable. God already knows what we are, we have nothing to "prove" to him. Hope this helps, it really cleared it up for me when I looked at this definition.

    In Love and Truth,
    Brian
     
  5. Eladar

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    Even by that understanding, according to James, no good works, no salvation. But according to Paul, good works aren't needed.

    So tell me, who is right?

    By the way, Jesus said that being justified before men means absolutely nothing, it is only important to be justified before God. Luke 16:15

    [ March 27, 2002, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: Tuor ]
     
  6. Briguy

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    Tuor, maybe this whole thing for you is just a confusion in words and the wording used in Scripture. You are right when it comes to salvation who cares what men think of me it is what God knows of me that counts. I am automatically justified to God when I trust the price Christ paid for my Sin, there is no proving it needed. What men see is different. They see the "outside" not the "inside", so naturally I must give them "works" as a reflection of the "inside", which only God can see. It really all does work together and the verses in Eph.,James, and Luke do not conflict when read in the proper perspective. I hope that made sense as I had a longer answer in mind but the one I wrote is what came out of my brain and hands :D

    Keep searching, What a mighty God we serve!!
    Brian
     
  7. Briguy

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    Tuor, Also Luke 16:15 is being siad to Pharisees not believers.

    "16:14: And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
    16:15: And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God"

    So really there is no conflict and your point in previous post doesn't pertain to the discussion here.

    In Christ,
    Brian
     
  8. jasonW*

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    I thought we had gone over this before?

    Well, I found a good link explaining it...

    http://www.justforcatholics.org/a85.htm

    In Christ,
    jason
     
  9. Eladar

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    Brian,

    So you believe that the warnings given to Pharisees don't count when it comes to Christians?

    What Jesus says is true for one group doesn't apply to another?

    I couldn't disagree with you more!

    Was Jesus talking to just the Pharisees or was He talking to us when He said:

    But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

    Matthew 12:36-37

    It seems to me that Jesus uses the word 'justified' for salvation.

    [ March 27, 2002, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: Tuor ]
     
  10. Mike G

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    I think what Paul writes in Romans 10:8-10 is relevant here:

    But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

    A few verses prior to the verses that you quoted in Matthew 12 Jesus says: You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34

    I would say it's a heart issue. Our words reveal our heart.
     
  11. Barry Heathcote

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    It says in James "how can such faith SAVE him"

    Also Jesus himself said that "the work of God is this:to believe in the one he has sent" NIV -- John 6:29

    So even believing and having faith is considered a work.

    Also throughout the Bible God made promises to man on several occasions which still required the works of man to gain the object of the promise.

    This is just my personal opinion on the relation of faith ,grace, and works:

    Man sinned and stood condemned for his sin by God. God loves us and really did not want to condemn man so he sent Jesus to die on the cross. This is grace or undeserved mercy,love, kindness, ect.

    God created his plan of salvation though his grace. In this plan created by grace (plan=the new covenant) God is willing to forgive our sin if we believe(trust, have faith) in the one he sent.
    In his plan of Grace the believer will have his sins pardoned through faith in Jesus. Jesus is willing to intervene and intercede on our behalf in front of God as long as we trust in him and glorify him for doing so. Trusting/having faith him includes doing what he says to do as best we can.

    God in addittion to belief specified that we are to serve him as best we can. God understands that we will still mess up, but Christ will take care of us there. This is the difference between New Testament works and the Old Law. The New Testament requires works but still understands we will sin, and so provides for this occurrence. The Old Law gave commands as well, but provided no relief when we failed. God saves us through his grace through our faith but as part of the deal Christ will not intervene on behalf of our short comings if we do not at least try to serve him according to his will. This is where works come in.

    It is like I am trying to help a man get out of a burning two story house. I have grace (mercy, love, ect.)for the man and so am willing to help.
    The man has faith (believes me, trusts) I want to help him. But when I send the ladder up to him he will not come down. He refuses to do the "work" and so be saved from the fire. Another man may get on the ladder and "work" his way down.He may wobble and slip up on the way down and this is where I hold the ladder for him or break his fall(intervene for short comings).

    Well, here it is guys, go ahead and massacre it!
     
  12. Carson Weber

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    Hi B.L.H.,

    Welcome to this section of the board. I had a couple of friends from Texas A&M, when I was there, who were from Corsicana (I'm from Boerne - just north of San Antonio), and I served as a sponsor for a young man at the university who converted from the Church of Christ to Catholicism. I can remember how upset his parents were, but, by the grace of God, everything turned out okay.

    We're justified by works because faith works. It's as simple as that. Faith (in the larger sense) is composed of three parts:

    1. Faith - intellectual assent to God's truth & radical openness to his work in your life
    2. Hope - constant, unfailing trust in God and his promises.
    3. Love - the giving of self to God, and, consequently, to God in his image, which resides within all of humanity (this is the part of faith that "works" to be more specific)

    All of these virtues: Faith, Hope, and Love - are not our own; they are given to us freely by God in baptism, wherein one is endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit to live the new life in Christ. Our own natural faith, natural hope, and natural love cannot save us because we're fallen. We can't merit anything naturally, much less save ourselves. Only Jesus Christ can do that and it is by the grace he merited for us on the cross in Satisfaction for our sin that requires infinite reparation that we are saved.

    God bless,

    Carson
     
  13. Barry Heathcote

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    Carson, you are right about love. If we love we will serve. I think you and I are both saying the same thing, but just coming at it from a different angle.
     
  14. swaimj

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    Both Paul and James quote Genesis 15:6. Paul in Rom 4:3 and James in 2:23. However, James' illustration of Abraham's faith (the willingness to sacrifice Isaac) does not occur in Gen 15, it occurs years later in Gen 22. Paul is teaching that Abraham was justified solely on the basis of faith in God's promise. The statement of Abraham's justification occurs prior to any work by Abraham. James uses Gen 22, the account of the great test by God to see if Abraham's faith was genuine (cf. 22:1), which occured YEARS after Gen 15 to say that Abraham's faith in Gen 15 was genuine because, in the end, his faith produced an unmistakable work of righteousness.

    To simplify, a person receives salvation initially based solely and exclusively upon faith (Paul). The person who receives this salvation will ultimately bear fruit that demonstrates the fact that they are saved (James). There is no contradiction , the truths complement one another perfectly.
     
  15. Carson Weber

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    Hi everyone,

    This is what Martin Luther had to say concerning the issue at hand:

    "But this James does nothing more than drive to the Law and to its works . . . in direct opposition to St. Paul and all the rest of the bible, it ascribes justification to works . . . This defect proves that the epistle is not of Apostolic provenance . . . In sum he [James] wished to guard against those who depended on faith without going to works, but he had neither the spirit nor the thought nor the eloquence equal to the task. He does violence to scripture and so contradicts Paul and all of scripture. He tries to accomplish by emphasizing law what the Apostles bring about by attracting men to love. I therefore refuse him a place among the writers of the true canon of my Bible." (Martin Luther, quoted in John Dillenberger, John Calvin: Selections from His Writings, {Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor, 1971}, 36.)

    Luther correctly concluded that James contradicted his new sola fide doctrine, but rather than concluding that his doctrine was defective or imposing his belief upon James by misinterpreting the text, he concluded that the God-breathed book of James was defective.

    God bless,

    Carson
     
  16. Carson Weber

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    Hi Clint,

    Psalm 106:28-31 says,

    "They joined themselves also to Baal-peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead. Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds; and a plague broke out among them. Then Phinehas stood up and interposed; and so the plague was stayed. And it was reckoned to him for righteousness, to all generations forever."

    Just as Abraham's faith was "reckoned to him for righteousness," so also Phinehas's deeds were "reckoned to him for righteousness." The Hebrew (and in the Greek LXX) grammatical structure in Psalm 106:31 is exactly the same as that in Gen. 15:6.

    In both Testaments, justification is by faith and works, and "not by faith alone" (Jas. 2:24). As James said, our faith works with our works, and as a result of the works, our faith is perfected (Jas. 2:22).

    In other words, faith works; they cannot be separated no matter how sharp your knife is.

    God bless,

    Carson
     
  17. Carson Weber

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    Hi everyone,

    Our good works are not something we do apart from grace to add to the work of Christ, they are the work of Christ; they are completely motivated, enabled, and completed by God’s grace working in us. As the Bible says, "It is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Phil. 2:13). Both our faith and our works are gifts of God’s grace, by which He conforms us to the image of His Son.

    When, enabled by God’s grace, we first turn to Him, He gives us the gift of faith, and He saves us gratuitously. There is nothing we can give Him, no deeds we can do to earn His favor.

    Through Christ, He gives us freely what we could otherwise never attain. Then, having saved us in this initial sense, He works in us to will and to act, in order to conform us to the image of His Son. As we practice righteousness, we become like Him. All of this, both faith and works, is by grace.

    It is God who sustains us in the Christian life. So, let us "pursue . . . the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14).

    God bless,

    Carson
     
  18. Barry Heathcote

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    The relationship between grace, faith, and works has always been a thorn in the Church of Christ's side. Back in the 1930's a man named K.C. Moser wrote a book to try to solve the problem once and for all. Basically Moser's conclusion was that we are indeed saved by faith , but similar to the second post above this one it was a faith that was intertwined to works. A lot of CoC ministers blacklisted Moser (calling him "The Baptist" :eek: ) but not all, and he continued defending his beliefs to his death as a Coc member. Moser stated that one is informally saved when one believes but formally so when he is baptized. He saw that the Bible stressed baptism as an important rite and in ever case it is mentioned at conversion the convert was promptly and immediately baptised as soon as possible. Moser said that there was no way to deny this fact and that he doubted anyone with true faith would deny himself/herself baptism or sloff it off to later date. He said baptism was an act of faith working as love like other deeds but it was the first and formal deed the Christian should do if possible. He concluded this because baptism was an expression of the converts true faith and desire to please Christ as well as let witnesses know of that person's conversion.

    [ March 28, 2002, 02:19 AM: Message edited by: B.L.H. ]
     
  19. Barry Heathcote

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    Carson and other friends,

    What is your opinion about the verses that state:

    1. Baptism is for the forgivenss of sin. The phrase "for the forgiveness of sin" is the same as found in the Lord's Supper passages in Matthew and Mark "This is my blood of the covenant....for the forgiveness of sin." I think it is incorrect when some Baptist ministers say it really means
    "because of." And I say some for a few ministers of your faith do indeed teach it means 'for the."

    2. Verses that state we are "baptized into Christ"
    This is really my big concern. To be in Christ you have to get "into him" somehow. The only place I read where one gets "into" him is to be baptized into him. I met a man who was either Assembly of God or Baptist and he argued the phrase "into Christ" was to differentiate that baptism from John's and possibly other religious teacher's baptisms but he offered no scriptural proof for his opinion. What do you guys think?
     
  20. Barry Heathcote

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    For someone who is a member of the "one true church, inc." [​IMG] I have not bitten anyone yet have I? ;)
     

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