James 2 versus Romans 4

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by The Biblicist, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    The root of all false doctrine is interpretations that ignore contextual data and thus misrepresent the context. This is the case with the dispute between James 2 and Romans 3-4.

    CONTEXTUAL FACTS:

    1. Romans 4 is concerning "the ungodly" - Rom. 4:5
    2. James 2 is concerning the professed church member - James 2:1-7


    1. Romans 4 is "before God" - Rom. 4:1
    2. James 2 is before believers "shew me...shew you" - James 2:14


    1. Romans 4 is presenting justification as a doctrine
    2. James 2 is presenting justification pragmatically


    1. Romans 4 isolates justification as a doctrine from regeneration in its
    consideration - Romans 3-4 versus Romans 6-8
    2. James considers justification jointly with regeneration as a professed believing church member (James 1:18-2:9)


    Here is the real crux of the difference. Justification before God is "without works" but not without regeneration which produces works (James 1:18-22) as works are the "fruit" of regeneration (Eph. 2:10). Hence, James is veiwing justification by faith in its relationship with regeneration (James 1:18-22) whereas Paul is considering the doctrine of justification by faith apart from regeneration as a doctrine in Romans 3:24-5:2. Thus Paul makes a doctrinal distinction between justification and regeneration and as such it is "without works" in application to the "ungodly" whereas James is not looking at the "ungodly" but the professed born again baptized church member where "works" is and must be inseparable from that profession.

    In Romans 6-8 when Paul considers justification WITH regeneration in SAVED people, rather than the "ungodly" he too demands "works" as the inseparable fruit of regeneration.

    CONCLUSION: Justification is not regeneration and they must be distinguished when considering them as doctrines. A person is justified by faith "without works" but that does not mean a person can be justified without regeneration and "good works" are the fruits of regeneration.
     

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