to work or not to work?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Jarlaxle, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. Jarlaxle

    Jarlaxle
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    I assume that all would agree that Paul classified Abraham's circumcision as a work (ref book of Romans). Some people hold to the idea that baptism is not a work. However, even though circumcision and baptism are two separate and different methods of "signing the contract" of two separate and diffrent covenants, they each have similar attributes.

    For example, both were commandments from God.

    What particular attribute does circumcision have that puts it into the works category whereby baptism does not have a similar attribute that would likewise put it into the same category?
     
  2. CatholicConvert

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    That is a heck of a good question. I will be interesting in the answers and following along with this thread.

    Brother Ed
     
  3. Frank

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    Jaraxle:
    Circumcision and baptism are examples of an active working faith. It is the Biblical faith required of all men to be saved.
    Abraham received the blessings of God through his active obedient faith. In Hebrews 11:6-9, the Bible says," 6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
    Paul writes in Gal. 3:7-9, "7Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

    WHAT kind of faith did Abraham have that we should have in like fashion?

    James 2:21-24 says,"21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23And 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. 24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. It was an obedient working faith.

    When is one justified by faith today?

    The Bible says in Gal. 3:26-29,"26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    What is the connection between baptism and circumcision?

    The Bible says in Col. 2:11,12,"11In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
    Circumcision removed the flesh of man in agreement with God's covenant conditions . Gen. 12:1-5;22:1-17;17:1-10. Baptism is the spirtual circumcision that removes sin from man.vs. 11. The New covenant requires the circumcison of the heart of faith. God removes sin from man through his operation (work) which is baptism. The power of God's operation is in the resurrected Christ.vs. 12. Just as Abraham had a working active faith in God to bless him so must we as he too, looked for a city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews 11:10.

    How are men the children of Abraham and God?

    Jesus said in John 8:39,40. "39They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham." Jesus said in John 6:27-29, "27Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
    28Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."
    Circumcision and baptism are connected by a working active faith. Each was a response to the covenant conditions of God. Circumcision being a type of the spiritual circumcision of faith found in the faithful obedience of baptism. Col. 2:11,12, Acts 10:48, Hebrews 5:8,9,Mk. 16:16. The power of which is GOD'S. The grace given was God's through Christ and his redemptive work. Eph. 1:7, Rev,1:5, Eph. 3:12, I Pet. 1:17,18.
     
  4. DHK

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    First, faith is trust, confidence; not a work.
    Circumcision was a work commanded by the Lord as a sign of the covenant with the Jewish nation.
    Baptism, like circumcision, is also a work. It is done by men, and received by men. Water does nothing but gets one wet. It is purely a symbolic act or work of obedience done because Christ commanded it.
    It symbolizes our death to our old life, and our resurrection to our new life in Christ.
    Both circumcision and baptism are works.
    DHK
     
  5. Ben W

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    Jesus said if we confess Him befor men, He will remember us before the Father. Baptism is a public confession of your faith and the "work" of confessing Christ before men is required.

    Circumcision is not a part of Salvation and it is not required for the church because Paul stated that it was not neccesary.
     
  6. trying2understand

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    Could you give the Scriptural proof for this?

    1) Faith is trust/confidence

    2) Faith trust/confidence is not a work

    Ron
     
  7. Dualhunter

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    Could you give the Scriptural proof for this?

    1) Faith is trust/confidence

    2) Faith trust/confidence is not a work

    Ron
    </font>[/QUOTE]4 Now to the one who (1) works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
    5 But to the one who does not work, but (2) believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, - Romans 4:4-5 NASB
     
  8. Dan Stiles

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    Dualhunter,

    ...and so we are to ignore James? Or perhaps we should, as BOTH Paul and James did (if you read the full context), realize that what we're really talking about is a living faith - the life of faith - faith that begins in the heart and flows outward - that love of God (inward holiness) that necessarily shows itself in the love of neighbor (outward holiness).

    The thief on the cross (to whom Jesus said. "Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." Luke 23:43), did he do any works? I submit that his public confession of Christ was a work - or rather, an ACT of FAITH, difficult to divide one from the other.

    What say ye?
     
  9. Dualhunter

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    Paul wrote Romans, so stop ignoring Romans 4:4-5 and pretending that you consider "all of scripture". If you carefully examine the context of James you will see that works are evidence of faith, not a part of nor a cause of faith. For example:

    18 (30) But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your (31) faith without the works, and I will (32) show you my faith (33) by my works." - James 2:18 NASB

    James' works showed his faith to be genuine, they did not save him.

    Care to deal with Jarlaxle's question:

    What particular attribute does circumcision have that puts it into the works category whereby baptism does not have a similar attribute that would likewise put it into the same category?
     
  10. trying2understand

    trying2understand
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    Could you give the Scriptural proof for this?

    1) Faith is trust/confidence

    2) Faith trust/confidence is not a work

    Ron
    </font>[/QUOTE]4 Now to the one who (1) works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
    5 But to the one who does not work, but (2) believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness, - Romans 4:4-5 NASB
    </font>[/QUOTE]This does not say that "faith" is trust or confidence.

    This does not say that faith is not a work. It says "not work, but believe".

    It does not say that "belief" is "faith".

    Ron
     
  11. Frank

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    DHK:
    Jesus said faith is a work. John 6:28,29. When asked the question what must we do to work the works of God? Jesus replied, " this is the work of God that YOU believe on him whom he hath sent. Belief is the action verb of faith.
    Jesus said it is a work of God that WE MUST DO! This is a divine imperative according to the original language. It is impossible to please God or to be saved without a working active faith. Hebrews 11:6, John 6:27.
    One cannot be a child of God without an active working faith. Gal. 3:26-29. Eternal salvation requires one be active through faith. Hebrews 5:8,9.
     
  12. trying2understand

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    Dualhunter, if faith without works is dead, does a dead faith save?

    If a dead faith does not save, then works are necessary for salvation.

    So the question is, does a dead faith save?

    Ron

    [ November 13, 2002, 10:30 AM: Message edited by: trying2understand ]
     
  13. Frank

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    Dual:
    I have posted Romans 4:1-5 many times. Paul writes by inspiration that one must be active in faith to receive blessings. However, one is not owed salvation by God. This would be works of MERIT!. Salvation is not given by merit or as if God owes us anything. Grace is received by an active faith in Christ Jesus. Eph. 3:12, II Tim. 2:10. Abraham received a promise made to him by his obedient active faith in God's power to give his seed an inheritance as well as personal future in heaven. Hebrews 11:6-10. Mat. says many shall come from the east and west and sit down in the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It would appear Abraham knew he must have an active a faith to get to heaven! He understood the concept even if you do not!

    Try a sound hermeneutical approach to the Bible for a change... EXAMINE ALL THE EVIDENCE AND HARMONIZE IT!!
     
  14. jasonW*

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    Ron,

    This argument is actually two types of logical fallacies: false dilemma/bifurcation and hasty generalization.

    FD because you only present two types of faith, when there could be more.

    Examples: Intellectual faith, dead faith, living faith, ignorant faith, experiential faith.

    HG because you try and conclude that works are necessary if dead faith does not save. How can you conclude this? What about intellectual faith? Could a dead faith not save because of something else? What if you have dead faith AND works? See the problem?

    Also, just noting that you call it dead faith. Could 'faith without works is dead' simply mean that it is no longer faith? Another for the bifurcation.

    All the best,
    jason
     
  15. DHK

    DHK
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    Could you give the Scriptural proof for this?

    1) Faith is trust/confidence

    2) Faith trust/confidence is not a work

    Ron
    </font>[/QUOTE]1John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
    15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

    Mat.21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

    Rom.4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
    20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

    Consider these Scriptures first. Johns says concerning prayer that "this is the confidence that we have in him" He is equating faith with confidence in this verse. Jesus, in Mat.21, says you must have faith to have your prayers answered. Abraham was a friend of God and a great example of a man of faith. In Rom.4:20 it says that he was "strong in faith," and in verse 21 it uses the phrase "being fully persuaded." Abraham was fully persuaded that what God had promised God was going to do. That is faith; that is confidence; that is completely trusting God. What Abraham did (putting his confidence or faith in God) is not considered a work: not in the Biblical definition of the term or otherwise. However, the outcome of his trust in God: leaving Ur of the Chaldees, willing to sacrifice his son, the rescue of Lot, etc., these were all works. The works are all an outcome or a result of the faith that Abraham had in God.

    Eph.2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
    10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    We are saved through faith--not of works. If is of faith; it is not of works. Faith is not a work. That much is evident from this passage alone. After one is saved (vs.10), Christ has created us unto good works. God has ordained that we should walk in them. We are saved by grace through faith. The works follow afterward.

    Isa.64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
    --This is what God thinks of your works, your righteousness, your baptism (as a part of salvation)-- they are as filthy rags. All our works before salvation are as filthy rags to God. What use is a filthy rag, but to be thrown out in the trash and burned. That is what God thinks of good works before salvation. And that includes baptism, unless the baptism follows salvation.
    DHK
     
  16. trying2understand

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    Jason, word it however you wish. If faith without works is "something else", does that "something else" still save?

    Ron
     
  17. DHK

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    James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    Look at the comparison that James is making. The body without the spirit is dead. It ceases to give life. The life has gone out of it. It is no longer of any use to this world in a practical way. The body is now just a corpse. Without the spirit, it has no life and remains useless.

    Faith is the same way James says. Without resulting works to show evidence of one having believed, the faith is not real. Faith without the works ceases to be faith. Faith has an object. The object is Jesus Christ and his redeeming blood. Faith in that sacrifice will change a person. If there is no resulting change after faith, then the so-called faith is dead. It never was. It is useless. Faith without is dead, because faith in Jesus Christ changes a person (2CCor.5:17).
    DHK

    [ November 13, 2002, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: DHK ]
     
  18. trying2understand

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    You seem to be contradicting yourself.

    "Faith without the works ceases to be faith."

    "If there is no resulting change after faith, then the so-called faith is dead. It never was."

    Ok, so what is the state of a person who seemed to be saved and exhibited "good works" as a result of faith, but then after a couple of years, ceases in them.

    Did he have faith and it ceased when the works ceased?

    Did he never have faith to begin with?

    Is he still saved?

    Was he ever saved?

    Ron
     
  19. DHK

    DHK
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  20. trying2understand

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    How do you interpret these verses in light of my questions?

    Could you answer my questions in your own words?

    [ November 14, 2002, 08:36 AM: Message edited by: trying2understand ]
     

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