Salvation by Grace Through Faith ALONE!

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by nate, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. nate

    nate
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    I'm wondering how we excuse the Justification by Grace through Faith alone with this verse

    "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone" James 2:24 ISV
    and

    "In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?" James 2:25 ISV

    Verse 25 clearly states Rahab was justified by her works.
     
  2. nate

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    I believe we are justified by Faith alone but how do we justify that belief with these verses in James?
     
  3. Chemnitz

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    A big clue is give in verse 20

    We are justfied by faith and an active faith will produce goods works. Rahab and others who believe will give evidence to their faith in their actions. James is rebuking those who claim to have faith but give no evidence of that faith in their lives hence his stating

    James also explains what he means by telling us how Abraham gave demonstration to his faith in God by following God's command to leave his homeland
     
  4. Living_stone

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    "Faith without works is dead" writes James in his "epistle of Straw." Luther called it that because it contradicted his "sola fide" teachings - the same reason he added the word "alone" to St. Paul's writing in Romans so that it read "We are saved by faith alone.

    Saying you have faith is one thing. But faith isn't just a treasure you possess. It's a seed you plant and it grows and bears fruit. It is your responsibility to grow and nurture that seed to the best of your ability. If your ability is cut short - like the thief on the cross - God bears that in mind at judgement.

    If you do nothing with the talent you have been given, even what you have will be taken from you.

    "Not everyone who says "lord lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven", but Jesus will say "come faithful steward, for I was naked and you clothed me...". Works normativly play a huge part both in our salvation itself, and our reward in heaven.
     
  5. Chemnitz

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    This not quite true, people tend to overlook the fact Luther recanted later concerning James. It was never his favorite letter but he never questioned its canonicity afterwards. Also Luther did not write "alone" in the passage, he wrote as margin note.
     
  6. mman

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    There's only one time "faith only" or "faith alone" is used and it is found in James 2:24, "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone."

    I submit that a person is not saved by anything alone.

    If it were by grace alone, then all men would be saved (Titus 2:11-12).

    If it were by belief alone, then the demons (Jas 2:19) would be saved along with those in John 12:42.

    Faith is doing what God said. Heb 11 makes that perfectly clear. Faith without action (belief alone) is dead and useless, unable to to justify anyone (Jas 2). However, those actions associated with belief can never earn anyone salvation, because salvation is a gift from God.

    By faith the walls of Jericho fell (Heb 11:30). Jericho was a gift that God had alread given them (Josh 6:2). The walls fell after they were obedient, but they fell by faith. That is not a contradiction.

    Here are two definitions of faith.

    1) belief only (no action)
    2) believing enough to obey all instructions

    Now, go to Heb 11 and see which definition fits.

    Even baptism is an act of faith, "for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." - Gal 3:26-27

    If you truly believe one is justified by belief alone, then confession and repentance and baptism are all unnecessary for salvation.

    It is possible to believe without confession, or repentance, or baptism (John 12:42, Jas 2:19).
     
  7. J. Jump

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    James is very easily understood if we understand the context in which he is writing. He is right regarding the salvation of the soul, which is a salvation based on obedience and works. Those works eminate out of faith.

    This has nothing to do with salvation by grace through faith, which saves the spirit. We must be saved spiritually, before the salvation of the soul even comes into play.

    Man has nothing to do with salvation by grace through faith. Man must cooperate with the Holy Spirit in order for their soul to be saved.

    Salvation by grace through faith is no reversable. Once a person is saved they are saved. However one can possess salvation for the soul and then lose it.

    If we rightly divide the Word then some of these passages that don't make a lot of sense when trying to plug them into salvation by grace through faith will all of a sudden be crystal clear.

    We must remember there is a salvation for the dead man and then there is a salvation for the spiritually alive person. If we will keep these separate as they are inteneded then the Bible should start to make a lot more sense.
     
  8. SpiritualMadMan

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    Faith is more an Action Verb than a Passive Noun...

    By Faith Abraham offered his son...

    If you truly have Faith it will result in actions that portray that Faith...

    Salvation is not of works... This is clearly stated time and again...

    But, Faith, without which it is impossible to please God, goes hand in hand with Good Works...

    After the issue of Salvation is settled...

    Then my Works can bolster my Faith...

    That is, by faithfully doing the right things it increases my confidence in God and increases my Faith and Trust...

    As my Faith grows I will be emboldened to do more works. Works that I probably would have avoided or shrunk back from without the increased Faith...

    I am pretty sure I am not as clear as I'd like to be. :D

    But, I know this, if I am having a down period and don't feel particularly "In Love" with my wife. If I'll do the 'work' of doing some loving act... My own attitude changes and I find that I have fallen back "In Love"...

    Of course, if I feel that I am "In Love", I'll do the loving things because I am "In Love"...

    If that makes any sense?

    Mike Sr.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    This is the ONLY text in all of scripture that employs the exact phrase "by faith alone".

    It seems to go with Romans 2:11-13 that is specific to the Gospel Paul was preaching in Romans (see Romans 2:11-16 where Paul links this to the Gospel he preached).

    But to be fair - we also have Romans 3 where Paul avoids the "by faith alone" phrase - YET tells us specifically about "faith APART from the works of the LAW" (in this chapter he employs the term "works of the law" to mean "works apart faith" as in "Works alone".)

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. Matt Black

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    Yes, but does Paul here (and in Eph 2:8-9) mean 'good works' generally or just the observance of the Jewish Law?

    Nate, for me the whole issue is best encapsulated (and I don't think Chemnitz will like this but here goes!) the JOINT DECLARATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION subscribed to by (most) Lutherans and all Catholics
     
  11. pinoybaptist

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    Salvation of the spirit ? salvation of the soul ?
    separate ? salvation for the dead man ? as in physically dead ? or spiritually dead.

    Wow.

    And some here think Primitive Baptists are weird.

    This board is getting weirder and weirder.
     
  12. mman

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    Wow, that requires more mental gymnastics than even most baptist are willing to perform [​IMG]

    So you really think a person can have a saved spirit and a lost soul at the same time?

    What about a saved soul and a lost spirit?

    What happens to a person with a saved spirit and lost soul and where are you getting this misinformation, because I know you didn't come up with it on your own?
     
  13. Eliyahu

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    If there is no works or no fruits, the person didn't have the faith and was not truly saved by faith.

    Many people who were not saved truly but have religious life by attending churches have no fruits are not the believers who were truly saved and can be identified in the debate too.
     
  14. Chemnitz

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    AAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!! That evil, foul biproduct of the AntiChrist and the Great Whore and her Daughters!!!! Hey this is starting to sound kinda familiar. [​IMG]


    Justification and Rome by Robert Preus is a better examination of the differences. All JDDJ proves is that it is possible to use the same terminology and phrasing and mean completely different things.
     
  15. BobRyan

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    I don't know that James ever uses a phrase like "Jewish Law".

    In James 2 -- (the same chapter) we see him saying this ...

    He never attributes God's Law to "Jews".

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. J. Jump

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    Gentiles and Jews now are spiritually dead in trespasses and sin. They must be made a live spiritually (saved by grace through faith) in order to understand anything spiritually. Paul tells us that we must be walking in the Spirit before we can understand spiritually discerned things.

    Therefore one must be made alive spiritually before they are capable of walking in the Spirit. When someone accepts Jesus as Savior by grace through faith (no works involved at all - prior to or after) they are made alive spiritually.

    When that takes place the spirit and soul are separated as per Hebrews 4:12 and Genesis 1:3. God separates the light from the darkness. Your spirit is now in the light, but the soul remains in darkness (as does the body/flesh).

    Now once you have been made alive spiritually you are in a position to realize the salvation of your soul. If you lose your life (same word used for soul) now you will find it in the coming age (Matthew 10:39, Mark 8:35-38, Luke 9:24, 17:33).

    Christians are in a position to accept the offer that Israel rejected through John the Baptist, Christ, the disciples, the 70, the 120-plus. The church has lost touch with that message for many centuries now. Most churches teach that the message that Israel rejected was the message of salvation by grace through faith. But that is incorrect. The rejected the kingdom. They were expecting a physical kingdom and Christ was offering the spiritual aspect of the kingdom (Matthew refers to it as the kingdom of the heavens - it's the sphere that Satan and his demons currently rule from). Christ was offering an opportunity for Israel to reign with Him from this area. That's what they rejected.

    That offer has now gone to the Gentiles. But the Gentiles need to be made alive spiritually so that they can understand what was rejected by Israel, because it is spiritual in nature. Once they are made alive spiritually they are in a position to accept or reject the same offer that was given to Israel.

    pinyobaptist this message only sounds weird because the church has moved away from the true teaching of the Scriptures. There's a lot of reasons for that, but the fact still remains that the vast majority of Christendom is missing the mark.

    The message is so skewed now that people have to ask the question like in the OP because there are parts of the Bible that just don't seem to mesh if it's all about savlation by grace through faith. And that's the kicker it's not. And if we would get back to the original understanding things would make much more sense.

    But instead we try to cram all Scripture into salvation by grace through faith and come up with the idea that if a Christian isn't producing works then they must not be saved at all. That's a works salvation. Now everyone that believes that will not admit to that, becuase they know that Ephesians says salvation is not by works, but by grace through faith.

    But if works are mixed in with grace at ANY point along the way it is no longer grace. Grace and works do not mix - period - when talking about the initial salvation of the spirit (grace through faith).

    Maybe an easire way to look at this is equating salvation of the soul (which is talked about in the book of James in the opening chapter. It is talked about in I Peter 1:9 and is talked about in Hebrews (the author of Hebrews calls it so great salvation).

    Quite the contrary. It takes far more mental gymnastics to believe that works are involved in the saving of the spirit as you portray, because there are Scripture that are plain and clear that must be twisted and skewed in order to be fit into that view.

    That's what the Scripture says so I believe it.

    Not possible. The spirit must be saved before the salvation of the soul can even come into play. A spiritually dead person is incapable of discerning spiritual matters.

    The answer to that can be found in a good number of the parables (talents, pounds, wedding feast, virgins) and it can also be seen in the OT in the picture of Abraham and Lot, it can be seen in Esau in regard to the birthright and blessings and it can be seen in the children of Israel when they get to Kadesh-barnea in regard to the 12 spies.

    This Scriptural teaching is coming from the Bible. Just sounds like misinformation to you becuase you don't understand it and you have no desire to even find out if it is true as per your posts from another thread.
     
  17. Matt Black

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    I don't know that James ever uses a phrase like "Jewish Law".

    In James 2 -- (the same chapter) we see him saying this ...

    He never attributes God's Law to "Jews".

    In Christ,

    Bob
    </font>[/QUOTE]I was talking about Paul's usage of the term, but never mind.
     
  18. mman

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    Quite the contrary. It takes far more mental gymnastics to believe that works are involved in the saving of the spirit as you portray, because there are Scripture that are plain and clear that must be twisted and skewed in order to be fit into that view.</font>[/QUOTE]Obviously, you don't understand. Neither I nor the bible teach that works earn us any part of our salvation. Salvation is a gift that cannot be earned. Is everyone saved? No, in fact, most men are lost(Matt 7). Therefore, man does play a part, or man has responsibility. You and me differ as to what that responsibility is.

    That's what the Scripture says so I believe it.</font>[/QUOTE]I guess I missed that verse. Where is it?

    When Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" do you think he was talking spirit or soul?
     
  19. J. Jump

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    mman you clearly teach a works salvation, because you constantly bring in baptism to the equation of salvation by grace. Anything that is added to grace by faith is a work and therefore must be excluded.

    I gave you the verses that teach the separation of the spirit and the soul (Hebrews 4:12 and Genesis 1:3).

    It is clear that He is speaking of the soul. Why is it clear? Becuase man doing something is involved. Salvation by grace through faith is outside of man doing anything other than believing.

    If man doing anything is involved in the equation then it is speaking to the salvation of the soul, which is based on a cooperation of the Holy Spirit and man dying to self and following in obedience.

    That's how we can be sure we are keeping things in proper context. If anything that man is doing is involved it can not be salvation by grace. Salvation by grace is only based on the work of Jesus and no one else.

    If man is involved in doing anything it is speaking to the salvation of the soul.

    If we can learn to keep these things separate then we will have a much easier time regarding Scripture.
     
  20. Hope of Glory

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    1 Peter 1:9: Receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls.

    James 1:21: Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

    Works are involved.

    Here's a good sermon on the salvation of the soul: Salvation of the Soul

    You can click on it and download it in pdf format and even download the mp3.
     

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