What does the Law define as "doing" its works?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Dr. Walter, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    What does the Law of God define as "doing" its works sufficiently in order to be justified "according to the works of the law"?

    Romans 10:13 is talking about the Law of God and DOING it rather than merely saying you do it in order to be justified by the law. So what does "doing" mean by the Law's requirment?

    Are the following phrases synonomous?

    "by patient continuance in well doing" - Rom. 2:7

    "or it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. - Gal. 3:10

    " For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." - James 2:10

    Is "doing" the works of the law synonymous with "shall keep" the law?

    Is "doing" the works of the law synonymous with "continueth...in all things...to do them"?
     
  2. billwald

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    I agree, but then either Jesus "kept/did/observed" the entire 613 statements for us or we should be Jews and do them for ourselves. The Heidelberg Catechism concludes that Jesus did the law keeping for us but we do our best to love God and neighbor in thanks to God/Jesus for bailing us out . . . sort of.
     
  3. Dr. Walter

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    What Jesus did for us accomplished one thing, while what we do for God accomplishes another thing altogether different.
     
  4. Anastasia

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    I just went to a Bible study that relates to this.

    God does not make mistakes and gentiles were meant to be gentiles and Jews, Jews. Acts 15 quotes Amos 9 speaking of Jews and gentiles called to the Lord. One of the things that was unique about Paul's message, though this is communicated also in the Gospels, is the inclusion of gentiles. The previous covenants were with Jews. The New Covenant was for Jews and Gentiles.

    Paul, who taught about how we are saved by grace, not under the condemnation of failure to fulfill Torah or the burden of the oral law, still was Torah observant even ministering to the gentiles (Acts 25:8 for example), believed everything in Temple (Acts 24:11) and did not go against Jewish people or their customs (Acts 28:17).

    However, I will also add the following, the first gentile believers were Messianic converts who met in synagogues. There were synagogues named after the groups people that met there, among these groups were Christians. In fact, this is where Christians were first called Christians, which was in a gentile synagogue. Mashiach was mentioned in another example of a synagogue name. The gentiles and the Jews worshiped together. One of the things that made Paul's

    I read in a Christian history book recently that the Christian sect did not separate from Judaism as a new religion until I want to say at least 150 AD, possible into the 220s AD, when persecution caused the two branches to diverge based on who followed the resurrected Messiah.

    Jesus did not come to abolish Torah but to fulfill it. (And BTW, the 613 did not all apply to every single person, but also specifics to priest and women and such.)

    The verse (forgive me, it is very late and I know you can find it) where Peter is told to "not call unclean what the Lord has made clean" in his dream has been mentioned in terms of being symbolic of people (gentiles) whom God said can be clean and therefore people among whom the disciples should start to minister rather than a statement of Biblical kosher laws no longer being applicable.

    Even back in the BC day, people were saved by grace through faith. One of the things they were called to was the remembrance of grace and not legalism. This is demonstrated where Jesus was accused of letting His disciples work on the sabbath when they picked grain from a field, which can be related to when David ate bread from the Temple.

    If Jesus kept Torah, and we want to be his disciples, then we should seek to follow his example. A disciple is to 1. memorize his teacher's words, 2. learn his teacher's traditions, 3. imitate his teacher's actions, and 4. raise up more disciples.

    Just some thoughts. Ok, wish me blessings resting. I may need them given the time.
     
  5. BobRyan

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    In the New Covenant the "Law of God" is written on the tablets of the human heart - by the Holy Spirit, and we are a "new Creation".

    As Christ said "IF you LOVE Me KEEP My Commandments" John 14:15 -

    Thus Paul can say "What matters is KEEPING the Commandments of God" 1Cor 7:19

    In Rev 14:12 "Here is the patience of the saints who KEEP the Commandments of God".

    In 1John 2 we are told that the one who claims to know Christ and does not "Keep His Commandments" is not being truthful.

    In Matt 6 Christ said that whoever teaches others to disregard the Law of God - is called least in the sight of heaven, in the kingdom of God.

    And "then of course" there is the matter of the 1050 NEW testament "commands".

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. Dr. Walter

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    You are avoiding my question. What is the definition of "doing" the works of the Law as demanded by the law in order to be justified by the works of the law?
     
  7. billwald

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    Jewish Christians worshipped in the synagogues until the Bar Kokhba rebellion in 132. Christians were banned for refusing to fight against Rome.

    >In the New Covenant the "Law of God" is written on the tablets of the human heart - by the Holy Spirit, and we are a "new Creation".

    I OBSERVE NO EVIDENCE of this claim unless the "Law of God" is to love God and try to be a good neighbor". Polls indicate that most Christians can't recite the ten commandments. I can't. (Einstein was quoted as saying there is no point to memorize stuff which can be looked up.) I see no evidence that Christians are more moral than the majority of the people in other religions. College students don't get classes on the multiplication table because it is or should be written on one's heart - or can be rapidly deduced. Why do people have to sit through sermons on the ten for 30 years if they are "written on our hearts?"
     
  8. BobRyan

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    You are missing the point of the scriptures given - keeping the commandments of God is the command given to the saints - you keep wanting to circle back to a discussion about lost people being told to keep the commandments of God if they Love Jesus - as if the Bible ever said that this was a means of salvation for the lost.

    Very curious.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Dr. Walter

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    No, I am talking about JUSTIFICATION BY KEEPING THE WORKS OF THE LAW. I am talking about what the law prescribes and defines as sufficient "DOING" in order to be JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW.

    You, on the other hand, are referring to the CONSEQUENCES of being JUSTIFIED BY FAITH.

    The Bible does not see JUSTIFICATION BY DOING THE DEEDS OF THE LAW to be equal to JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH.

    They are not the same, but you are trying to make them one and the same!
     
  10. billwald

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    The point of "grace" is that one doesn't do anything to obtain grace. Christians don't seem to know the difference between, gift, grant, and award.

    When one gives a gift, title passes.
     
  11. BobRyan

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    The consequence of being saved (i.e. justified by grace through faith apart from the works of the law) is that one is a "saint" - "having been justified by faith we HAVE peace with God".

    The saints are called to make the free will choice of choosing to walk by faith and "By the Spirit put to death the deeds of the flesh" Romans 8. Hence the "perseverance of the saints" mentioned in Rev 14:12. A key Bible doctrine that even 3 point and 5 point Calvinists seem to get right - to a point.

    Only saints can do this - and only the saints can "persevere in doing good" as we see in Romans 2:6 because only they are in a position where they need to "keep doing what they are doing".

    Obviously.

    Thus Paul says in Romans 11 that "you should fear ... for you stand only by your faith... if He did not spare them neither will He spare you".

    The call to persevere is in many places in the scripture.

    But as Christ points out - the good tree is known by its good fruit.(Matt 7) Here then is the context and definition for James 2 - "you see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone". James is speaking specifically of the Dan 7:22 and Rom 2:13-16 concept of Justification where "the judgment is passed in favor of the saints" (Dan 7:22) on the day when "according to my Gospel God will judge" Rom 2:16 for "We must ALL stand before the judgment seat of Christ".2Cor 5:10

    Hint: looking at the tree does not change the tree from bad to good.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #11 BobRyan, Jan 5, 2011
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  12. Anastasia

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    Where do you get the idea that anyone is ever justified by keeping the law? Is this a follow-up thread from another thread or conversation? Is there a scripture reference I am unaware of? Doing the works of the law was originally doing Torah, but even back in the day, Abraham was saved by faith.

    Abraham believed in the Lord' and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6

    Even with the Sinai covenant (don't know the rest off-hand), God knew that we (humans) would not keep them perfectly, but the Abrahamic covenant is a safety net, a promise that by our faith, we will have eternal life. There have been other instructions whose nature would include life, but this has always been there because without the faith leading to life which required justification, no one would have been saved. Source: Scripture, my Rabbi and his Conservative Jewish born/raised wife, and First Fruits of Zion's HaYesod student workbook.

    You have so many posts, I suspect you may have read this before. Are you looking for an exegesis of those verses you first posted?
     
  13. Dr. Walter

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    You probably have not been following the many threads in this argument. My position is that "NO FLESH" (saint or sinner) can be justified by the works of the law precisely because the law demands absolute sinlessness to be justified by its standards. James 2:10 and Galatians 3:10 make it clear that continuous well doing in ALL THINGS (everything) written in the law without failure in ANY POINT at ANY TIME is what the law defines as "DOING" the works of the law to be justified by the law.

    I am challenging anyone on this forum to prove the law has any other standard of righteousness, any other definition of "DOING" the works of the law to be justified.

    This whole debate is about the contextual meaning of Romans 2:1-29. The SDA advocates on this forum argue that this chapter is dealing with saved and lost in the day of judgment and that some are justified by the law (v. 13) "according to his works" (v. 6) on the basis of "by patient continuance in....doing" (v. 7). I am denying that interpretation and suggesting that Romans 2 is talking about the self-righteous sinner in the day of judgement who beleives he an escape the judgement of God (v. 3) because he believes he is better than others. That Romans 2:6-15 merely sets forth the just criteria and consequences for all who believe they are better than others and will escape judgement based upon their own works being justified by the law (v. 13).
     
    #13 Dr. Walter, Jan 6, 2011
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  14. BobRyan

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    Certainly it is true that no lost person becomes saved via "justification by keeping the law". Numerous NT texts make this case.

    However Walter is going after the idea of denying "perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments" as we find it in Rev 14:12 and in Rom 2:7 "those who by perseverance in doing good" because he considers it to be impossible fiction.

    There is a James 2 and Romans 2:13-16 context where perseverance is applied to future judgment for "We must all stand before the judgement seat of Christ" 2Cor 5:10.

    in Rom 2:13-16 we find this "the doers of the law will be justified...on the day when according to my Gospel God will judge the secrets of all mankind through Christ Jesus".

    In James 2 the point you make in your post above about Abraham is also applied to that future judgement saying "you seen then that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone".

    The special case of Justification being used in Romans 2 and James 2 is not speaking to justification past - where the lost becomes saved - but rather to the future judgment were as we see in Dan 7:22 "judgment is passed in favor of the saints".

    It is done on the Matt 7 principle "by their fruits you shall know them".

    Obviously "looking as the fruit" does not change the state of the tree in Matt 7 from bad tree to good tree - so this future judgment aspect of justification is not a means of getting saved. Only the Romans 5:1 context for past-tenst Justification transforms a lost person into a saved saint.

    Walter objects to this view and so each time the perseverance of the saints topic is mentioned and that future Romans 2:13-16 judgment is highlighted relative to Rom 2:13 justification - Walter objects.

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
    #14 BobRyan, Jan 6, 2011
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  15. Dr. Walter

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    Absolute Misinterpretation of my position!

    However, notice how he wiggles and weaves. He admits that my position is true in regard to the lost but then attempts to apply it to the saved as though God's law has a DOUBLE STANDARD and that standard is LESS THAN absolute sinlessness (James 2:10; Gal. 3:10). If he would admit that the reason that the lost man cannot be justified by the works of the law is because the law's standard for "DOING" works is ABSOLUTE SINLESSNESS (James 2:10; Gal. 3:10) then his position would be obviously exposed as heresy because saved persons are not enabled by the Spirit to be SINLESS.



    Perseverance of the saints has nothing to do with PASSING a final qualification to enter heaven or being JUSTIFIED by works to enter heaven. Perseverance of the saints has to do with what God begins and finishes within every child of God (Philip 1:6) - continuance in saving faith (heb. 12:2; 1 Jn. 2:19) and working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philip. 2:13) not for entrance into heaven but for present usefulness and future rewards (1 Cor. 3:11-15).

    We are created UNTO good works not for obtaining heaven but for glorifying God here and now. We obey God not out of fear for failing to enter heaven but out of love for security in Christ to obtain heaven.

    The works of Chrisitans have nothing to do with obtaining heaven, passing a final qualification or justifying entrance into heaven as that qualification and those works have been provide freely by Christ FOR US.
     
  16. BobRyan

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    "perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments" as we find it in Rev 14:12 and in Rom 2:7 "those who by perseverance in doing good" because he considers it to be impossible fiction.

    There is a James 2 and Romans 2:13-16 context where perseverance is applied to future judgment for "We must all stand before the judgement seat of Christ" 2Cor 5:10.

    in Rom 2:13-16 we find this "the doers of the law will be justified...on the day when according to my Gospel God will judge the secrets of all mankind through Christ Jesus".

    In James 2 the point you make in your post above about Abraham is also applied to that future judgement saying "you seen then that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone".

    The special case of Justification being used in Romans 2 and James 2 is not speaking to justification past - where the lost becomes saved - but rather to the future judgment were as we see in Dan 7:22 "judgment is passed in favor of the saints".

    It is done on the Matt 7 principle "by their fruits you shall know them" and "yes" Christ DOES relate this truth in Matt 7 to those who go to heaven.


    Rom 2
    7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
    8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.


    9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
    10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

    11 For there is no partiality with God.
    12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;

    13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

    14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
    15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
    16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.


    Daniel also points to success cass in Dan 7:22 "judgment passed in favor of the saints".

    The logic that says that they cannot know that success cases will be the result if judgment is future - does not fit the text of scripture.

    Paul sets the context for the "Gospel judgment" of Rom 2:16 saying in Rom 1:17 "the just shall live by faith" and in Rom 2:4 Paul speaks of the context of the goodness of God calling all mankind to repentance.

    Matt 10:22 but it is he who has endured until the end that will be saved.

    Heb 2:1-3
    1. For this reason we must pay close attention to what have heard lest we drift away from it
    Heb 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence
    and the boast of our hope firm until the end.
    Heb 3:12-14
    12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.
    13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ""Today,'' so that none of you will be hardened
    by the deceitfulness of sin.
    14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end,


    Heb 10:35-39
    35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
    36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
    37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.
    38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
    39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.

    1Cor 15:1-2
    1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received,
    in which also you stand,
    2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
    Rom 11:22
    20Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;
    21for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.
    22Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness,
    if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.
    23And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

    Col 1:21-23
    22 He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death in order to PRESENT you before Him
    Holy and Blameless and beyond reproach
    23 IF INDEED you CONTINUE in the faith FIRMLY established and STEADFAST and NOT MOVED AWAY
    from the HOPE of the Gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven
    and of which I Paul was made a minister.

    Walter - your argument is with the text.
     
    #16 BobRyan, Jan 6, 2011
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  17. Dr. Walter

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    Already dealt with these arguments conclusively. Already dealt with your false interpretations of these scriptures many times over. You are like a mocking bird. You think by mere repetition of scriptures with false interpretations that your point is proven.


     

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