Justification by Faith and Justification by Works

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by James_Newman, Jul 7, 2006.

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  1. James_Newman

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    Romans 3:23-28
    23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
    27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    Romans 4:2-7
    2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    3 For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

    It should be clear that Paul is saying that a man is justified by faith without works. He uses Abraham as an example of justification by faith without works.

    James 2:14-24
    14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
    15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
    16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
    17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
    18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
    19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
    20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
    21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
    23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
    24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    It should be clear that James is saying that a man is justified by works and faith. He uses Abraham as an example of justification by works and faith.

    Before I go any further, I would like to establish for the record that these two men, filled with the Holy Spirit as they write scripture, are not saying the same thing. In case it is not clear, Paul is saying a man is justified by faith without works, and James is saying that a man is justified not by faith alone but by works added to faith. And what James is saying is different from what Paul is saying.
     
  2. James_Newman

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    There are several ways that people attempt to make Paul and James appear to say the same thing. They may say, 'well since faith without works is dead, then if a man has no works he has dead faith which didn't really justify him in the first place.' This doesn't agree with what the scripture says.

    James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

    James argues that faith without works is dead because it is alone, not that it is alone because it is dead. If faith has to be 'alive' (with works) to be real faith that would justify according to Paul, then how could he say that a man is justified by faith without works? Doesn't Paul know that faith without works is dead and dead faith won't save you? Better yet, doesn't the Holy Spirit know that faith without works is dead? I would argue that yes the Holy Spirit knows this. So Paul is concluding that a man is justified by 'dead' faith, or faith that is alone, having no works.

    Others seem to be trying to imply that faith itself is a work, and that to believe requires an act of the will and therefore is a work and that somehow opens a loophole to allow other works to be required for justification in Romans 2 and 3, even though Paul has explicitly excluded works from justifying a man, and also shows us that believing is not a work, contrary to some who would say otherwise. So this idea doesn't agree with scripture either.
    Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

    There are other variations on these methods, ways to redefine words to try to make them appear to be teaching the same thing, but they seem to all fall into these two category's. Faith and works is the same thing, or dead faith won't save you. And I can't force either of these teachings from both Paul and James. There are only two options that I can see for resolving this apparent contradiction.

    One way, and it is a popular view today, is to say that there are errors in the bible. One of these passages is wrong, and that is why Paul appears to be teaching justification by faith alone when really Paul was a good Roman Catholic.

    Or the other way, which is the way I believe is correct, is to recognize that things that are different are not the same, and that Paul and James are speaking of two different justifications. One is by faith alone, apart from works. One is by works added to faith.
     
  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Is it not possible that some thought of faith in the wrong sense, as if though it was just an assent to knowledge, without involving an act of the will as true faith does, and James was not saying it is 'faith with works 'added' at all, but was rather trying to get us to understand that true faith involves our willful participation in choosing to form intents consistent with the knowledge we are in possession of?
     
    #3 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jul 7, 2006
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  4. James_Newman

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    Sure, as long as that someone is Paul.

    But still, all these things are not works.
    I can't see any of that, James says he will 'show' his faith by his works.
     
    #4 James_Newman, Jul 7, 2006
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  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I do not follow you here. Can you elaborate?
     
  6. James_Newman

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    If your contention is that true faith, which involves our willful participation in choosing to form intents consistent with the knowledge, will automatically produce works, then how can someone who is not working have faith? Paul says a man is justified 'who worketh not'. That means he doesn't work.
     
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Sometimes when we address Calvinist on OSAS, we might tend to sound Arminian, and when we address Arminians on the security of the believer, we might sound to some as a bit Calvinistic.

    I believe it is the same with Paul and James. Paul was addressing the problem of Jewish believers trying to establish the rite of circumcision as necessary for salvation, and Paul was trying to get them to see that it is not faith plus circumcision and ceremonial law, for the ceremonial law had been fulfilled in Christ. Paul was not trying to eliminate the role of man’s will in forming intents consistent with the conditions God had mandated for salvation of belief and faith, and repentance, nor was he addressing the issue from that perspective.

    The issue that James was addressing was simply not that which Paul was addressing. Sure, in a sense they were both addressing faith and works, but in different contexts and applicatons and in response to differing false ideas as to both issues in the context of the differing ideas and beliefs of their perspective audiences.
     
  8. BobRyan

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    Paul is in "perfect" agreement with James in Romans 2 (James 2 and Romans 2 in perfect harmony).

    Paul says "IT is not the hearers of the Law that are JUST before God but the DOERS of the law WILL BE JUSTIFIED" Rom 2:11-13.

    James says "You see then that man is justified by works and NOT by faith ALONE" James 2

    They are speaking of "future justification" as Paul says "WILL BE Justified"

    But in Romans AND in Romans 5 Paul switches to the issue of "Justification PAST".

    "HAVING BEEN Justified by faith we HAVE peace with God" Romans 5:1-2.

    The Justification that is past is always by faith alone and is always apart from judgment.

    The Justification that is FUTURE is always the "faith THAT works" with judgment based on deeds "FOR we MUST ALL stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of deeds done in the body with GOOD or EVIL" 2Cor 5:10

    At that future justufication "Judgment is passed IN FAVOR of the saints" as Daniel notes in Dan 7.

    Future justification is the result of judgment. It is corporate, objective and evidenciary. It "reveals" the state of man - whether he is already saved or lost but does not "Change" the state of man.

    Past Justification is not based on judgment, is individual instead of a corporate act of judgment, is subjective and is by faith alone. It changes the state of the sinner from lost to saved.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Oh that more Arminians would take a bold stand against the error of OSAS.

    I agree that with Arminians the "Calvinist" corrective is in pointing out the depravity of man and the fact that it is God that supernaturally "draws all mankind to Him" that enables the choice for salvation in the first place.

    It is also important to emphasize the importance of the "new creation" the "new Birth" with the Arminians.



    Good point.

    In fact Paul is trying to deal with a kind of OSAS that claims "God is stuck with me no matter what - but he is not stuck with those stinking gentiles".

    (Kinda reminds me of 4 point Calvinism)

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. James_Newman

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    There you go, two justifications. One past, one future. Now we just have to realize that the first is not dependent upon the second, but rather it is the other way around. We must be justified by faith before we can be justified by faith and works.
     
  11. BobRyan

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    Agreed.

    The future justification is like the "test" for cancer that SHOWS if you have terminal cancer or not. It does not change the fact that you do or do not have it.
     
  12. Darron Steele

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    There are some passages I think we can be interested in that Paul wrote.

    Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith working through love” (ASV).

    Paul seems to be agreeing with James here: any salvation is going to go to work. Paul also wrote Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (KJV) -- note “unto.” II Corinthians 5:17a says “Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature” (ASV); only after we are saved by the faith “not of works” described in Ephesians 2:8-9 can we do the “good works” which are “ordained” by God” because of the faith that saves us.

    Finally, I bring our attention to Philippians 2:12b "ocupaos en vuestra salvación con temor y temblor" (RVR 1909/1960/1995, LBLA, RVA) = "you-busy-you in your salvation with fear and tremble." Our salvation by faith needs to go to work.

    Paul and James are in agreement. James is just emphasizing that intellectual belief is not enough -- it better be a faith of action.

    Of course, it needs to be noted that James referred to Abraham's sacrifice as an example of faith at work. However, the sacrifice was never completed because God stopped it. Hence, faith needs to be action-oriented, but completed works of obedience are not necessary to make faith into biblical faith -- the believer just needs to be acting on faith in order for it to be faith.
     
  13. Darron Steele

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    [-----------]
     
    #13 Darron Steele, Jul 7, 2006
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  14. James_Newman

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    No, brother. Paul says we all have terminal cancer.

    Romans 3:9-12
    9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
    10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
     
  15. BobRyan

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    You are running away with the illustration.

    In the end some will be born again and inherit "LIFE" and others will go to the second "DEATH".

    If at the future point of judgment - you are found to be doomed to "Death" - the second death, you can not THEN "get saved". That future judgment shows what has HAPPENED. If you were saved it will show it. If you are not - it will show it.

    It does not change your state.

    Job is a good illustration of that. God "declares" Job to be righteous in Job 1 and then that declaration is challenged. But in Job 2 God says "SEE I told you".

    The "evidenciary" review did not "change the state" of Job.

    But in that future judgment it is not so much that they conduct an interactive test with the person being judged - as they "open the books of record" as we see in Daniel 7 with the result that "the judgment was passed in favor of the saints"

    By "contrast" the Justification that is "past" DOES change your "state". One who is justified (who HAS BEEN justified) has gone from lost to BEING saved. When that same one comes up in that future judgment (justification future) "Judgment will be passed in favor of the saints" by the rule of Christ in Matt 7 "By their fruits you SHALL know them".

    As in the case of Job - this is not God "figuring something out" it is the Court of Daniel 7 establishing via objective facts and review that a given person is a born again Christian "still".
     
    #15 BobRyan, Jul 7, 2006
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  16. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Exactly. You bring new hope to these discussions!



    HP: Very well stated. “Action oriented” to me is just saying that the will has chosen intent and means to carry out the intent. All morality at that point is a given whether or not the action ever comes to fruition or not. Morality lies in the decision of the will in the formation of the intent. You cannot have true faith or belief apart from a choice of the will in the form of the formation of an ultimate end or intent. Faith must be action oriented as you say.
     
  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: It might appear that they did have a better than thou attitude, for those gentiles were not even circumcised! Paul was saying, “Doesn’t matter! Doesn’t matter! Doesn’t matter!” (Have I been watching too many phone commercials lately?

    Ga 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
     
  18. James_Newman

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    What then did the first justification accomplish? It would seem that being freely justified by faith without the deeds of the law is not worth a whole lot if you still have to keep the law to stay saved.

    BobRyan said
    HP, do you agree with Bob when he says we must work to keep our salvation?
     
  19. BobRyan

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    Romans 2 makes this point in triplicate as it agrees with JAmes 2 --


    N
    otice the contrast between those that repent and persevere in doing good, and those that cause God's name to be blasphemed! It is a contrast based on what they “practice” relative to the Ten Commandments from which Paul quotes.


    This is not a chapter claiming that all Jews cause God to be blasphemed. It is not a chapter declaring that all Jews have not repented. (Paul and the Apostles are Jews) It is not a chapter declaring that no Jews are saved in the judgment.

    Rather it points to both the rebellion blasphemer on the one hand and the persevering and repentant on the other.

     
  20. James_Newman

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    I didn't see an offer of repentence in Romans 2, could you show that verse?
     
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