What is the "law" of Faith?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Dr. Walter, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    Romans 3:27 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.

    Whatever answer you suggest has to fit the follow contextual criteria

    1. It must be in regard to the kind of justification that was just previously introduced in verse 24-26 and found in the conclusion drawn that follows in Rom. 3:28-5:1.

    2. It must exclude any grounds for boasting in regard to that kind of justification - v. 28

    3. It must be in contrast to the "law of faith" as a "law" of works rather than a synergism with the "law of faith." Thus you must define what is the "law" of works and faith. -v. 27

    4. It must be defined to be "without works" rather than a synergism with works - v. 28b

    5. It must be a contrast defined by the immedate context of the doctrine of justification in Romans 3:24-5:2
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

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    Does "Faith" automatically entail no "works" of any kind...

    Notice that the excluded works are those that are Law-Keeping...

    Also,
    Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    -and-

    Jas 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

    -and-

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

    Yet,
    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    I believe that Paul is talking about Works of the Law...

    Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

    Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
    We are not told how Enoch pleased God, except that he Walked with God.

    Heb 11:7 By 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.

    I think that you will find that every one of those listed in The Hall of Faith Acted on their Faith.

    My point being that a work done in response to faith is not a Work of the Law...

    So then The Law of Faith is that, Faith initiates action which then Recieves the Promise...

    Heb 11:6 But 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.

    There are other Scriptures that come to mind... But, when momma calls for supper... :D


     
  3. Dr. Walter

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    I think any answer must first define the use of the term "law" in verse 27 as it is equally used to describe both "works" and "faith" but in a context of contrast.

    The term "law" conveys the idea of what something IS by essence according to characteristic constants, fundemental principles, and/or according to abritrary rational decision.

    For example, the law "of gravity" versus the law "of man" would not be defined the same way. The former (of gravity) is defined by impersonal characteristic constants or fundemental principles rather mere abritrary rational decision. The latter (of man) is a combination of characteristic constants or fundemental principles defined by arbritary rational decision.

    Therefore, the law of "gravity" would be those those characteristic constants, and fundemental principles and/or boundaries that determine and define what "gravity" IS.

    In contrast, the Law of "Moses" or "God" or "man" would be those characteristic constants, fundementals principles and/or boundaries that Moses, God or man arbritrarily determine and define it to be.

    Since, both "works" and "faith" are non-rational, impersonal entities then the "law" of faith and works is not determined by arbritary rational decision but rather conveys those characteristic constants, and fundemental principles that determine and define what they are.

    APPLICATION TO OUR TEXT:

    Therefore, the law of "works" would be those characteristic constants, fundemental principles, and boundaries that determine and define what is the essence of "works" in contrast to those characteristic constants, fundemental principles and boundaries that determine and define what IS the essence of "faith".

    This is not a contrast of the law of "Moses" and "faith" nor is it a contrast between the law of "God" and "faith" but it is a constrast between what is defined as the essence of "works" and "faith."

    Moreover, this is not merely a contrast between what is by essence "works" with what is by essence "faith" but a constrast in regard to justification by what characterizes the essence of works versus what characterizes the essence of faith.

    In addition, this is a contrast that is further specified in regard to "boasting." It is a rhetorical question with an immediate response. Justification by "the law" of works cannot exclude boasting because boasting is inclusive of works according to its very characteristic essence and nature. By nature it promotes boasting and therefore any justification "by" or "according to" works cannot be defined by or according to "the law" of faith.
     
  4. Dr. Walter

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    Your trying to read into this context things found outside this context.

    However, in response to your question my answer is yes and no! In this context, the kind of justification being defended and defined by Paul is "before God" (Rom. 4:1) rather than before men (James 2:14-26).

    In this context, justifying faith before God INCLUDES the works of Jesus Christ as the promised provision of God in the Person and works of Jesus Christ that is the OBJECT of this faith. Note the repetition of the preposition "en" or "in" with "faith" and "believeth" in Romans 3:24,25. This kind of justification by faith INCLUDES all of Christ works IN OUR BEHALF while EXCLUDING all of our works simply because only His works passes the judgment of God without ANY CONDEMNATION and NONE of our works will.

    This kind of justification by faith is illustrated in Romans 4:16-21 in the case of the birth of Isaac. God waited until Abraham and Sarah reproductive assistance was "dead" so that neither Abraham or Sarah could DO ANYTHING to assist God in obtaining the promise. This is where Paul defines the nature of justifying faith in regard to gospel justification in these words:

    Rom. 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
    23 ¶ Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
    1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    In regard to hebrews 11. Hebrews 11:1 defines what faith IS in regard to its INTERNAL nature. It IS confidence in God's Word as its only substance or foundation of hope. This aspect of faith is what justifies man before God by embracing the finished works of Jesus Christ in the gospel.

    Hebrews 11:2 speaks of the EXTERNAL consequences of this kind of faith. The Greek term translated "report" means "witness."

    Hebrews 11:3 further defines its INTERNAL nature. It IS faith that embraces what God's word declares without EXTERNAL visible evidence or EXTERNAL personal eye witness and or EXTERNAL assisted participation (Heb. 11:3). This definition of faith is consistent with Romans 4:21.

    Hebrews 11:4 speaks of the EXTERNAL consequences or WITNESS of this kind of faith by the actions of Abel.

    It is the internal nature of Faith in connection with the Word of God that justifies a man before God and is the cause of man believing in God WITHOUT EXTERNAL PROOFS and embracing the Word of God WITHOUT EXTERNAL PROOFS - Heb. 11:6.

    Hebrews 11:5-40 speaks of the EXTERNAL consequences of this internal marriage between God's Word and faith as it is "by" such faith that FAITHFULNESS is produced. The former is the cause while the latter is the consequences. The former justifies us before God while the latter provides a "good report" before men. The former has God's Word for its object while the latter is its response to the Word it has embraced. This is the difference between faith and faithfulness. Faith is nonexistent apart from an object it embraces whereas faithfulness is always the response to the object it has already embraced. What we do "by" faith witnesses to what we already have embrace as the object of faith. It is the object of faith that justifies us before God because the object is the Person and sinless works of Jesus Christ as presented in the gospel and that is the only works of righteousness that God can justify.
     
    #4 Dr. Walter, Jan 28, 2011
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  5. percho

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    Dr Walter would it be boasting to say I believe therefore I am saved.
     
  6. percho

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    The law of faith?

    the just shall live by his faith.


    Now all we need to do is decide who the word his applies to.

    James B, Coffman's commentary is interesting on Hab. 2:4 however I think he is wrong in that I believe that the faith/faithfulness the just shall live by is found here: Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; which comes about by the faith/faithfulness of the death and resurrection of Jesus see Romans 3:24,25
     
  7. Dr. Walter

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    More importantly it would lying! Faith does not save anyone any more than faithfulness saves anyone! It is the proper Biblical object of faith that saves and there can be no boasting when that object is defined as it includes only Jesus Christ and His works while excluding all your works.
     
  8. percho

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    I know that I am happy that God was faithful to his promise to send his son to
    pay for my sin and give me life.

    Would you say the just shall life by faith is the law of faith?
     
    #8 percho, Jan 29, 2011
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  9. Dr. Walter

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    This text is quoted by Paul in Romans 1:17 and in Galatians 3:11 which put it in its proper perspective:


    Gal. 3:11 for 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. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
    12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.


    Here Paul places it in direct contrast to "justified" or justification by the law which is an ongoing process that demands sinless perfection or else one is cursed/condemned. So its import of this contrast is as follows:

    "The man considered just in the sight of God obtained life through faith" alone rather than through progessive living or doing the works of the law.


    Rom. 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from (ek) faith to (eis) faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    The Greek text literally reads "out of faith into faith" thus confining the revelation of God's righteousness within the sphere of faith alone. It originates out of (ek) faith and terminates into (eis) faith. Thus "the man regarded as just in God's sight obtains life through faith alone.

    This is the Law of Faith in regard to justification in Romans 3:27 as verse 28 states the conclusion:

    Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    To exclude "the deeds" or the "law, of works" is to declare justification in the sight of God to be by faith alone.

    If you choose to read it the other way - "The Justified man shall live his life by faith" then it means just as we are justified by faith alone we are also sanctified by faith alone (Col. 2:6) as explained in my next post.
     
    #9 Dr. Walter, Jan 29, 2011
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  10. Dr. Walter

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    The difference between justification by faith and faithfulness is the former is all about God's faithfulness for you in the person and work of Jesus Christ and the latter is all about your faithfulness for God.

    The Gospel reveals His faithfulness for you, as your substitute in satisfaction to all the righteous demands of God so that the Law's penalty as well as its standard has been fulfilled in your behalf to all who repent and receive it by faith. That is the good news and proper object of faith (Rom. 3:24-26). That is what is received (Rom. 5:17) through faith and that (Christ's righteous faithfulness for you) is what justifies the "ungodly" (Rom. 4:5) WITHOUT ANY OF YOUR WORKS (Rom. 4:6).

    Justification by faith INCLUDES ONLY HIS WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS while EXCLUDING all your works of righteousness (Tit. 3:5) as there is nothing of your works found in the gospel at all.

    The justified man by faith alone is also sanctified by faith alone. No man can be sanctified by his works as proven by the experience conveyed in Romans 7:14-25. Paul says the same thing in a positive way in Colossians 2:6 that as we received Jesus Christ so walk in him. We received him by faith alone and so we walk by faith alone. It is the works of Christ alone that justified us in the sight of God and it is the works of the Spirit of Christ alone that sanctifies us. The former was imputed to us while the latter is imparted through us. The former was the works of Christ alone for us while the latter is the works of the Spirit of Christ in and through us. The former is a provision OUTSIDE our person while the latter is worked IN and through our Person. The former justifies us in the sight of God while the latter justifies us in the sight of men. The former obtain entrance into heaven while the latter obtains usefulness, experiential salvation here and now and rewards in heaven. The former excludes our external participation in God's provision for justification while the latter includes our external participation in God's provision for sanctification. The former is causal while the latter is consequential. The former is faith in Christ while the latter is faithfulness to Christ.
     
  11. percho

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    DW

    I know no Greek. What if any is the difference between believing in/on Jesus and having faith in/on Jesus?

    I ask this say like in John 3:16 believes could that also be translated has faith? If so what determines how it is translated.
     
  12. Dr. Walter

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    Let me attempt to make something simple that is difficult to explain. Take the phrase "he that beleiveth in me" versus the phrase "By faith Noah built an ark." The former is the transitive use of the verb ("built") while latter is intransitive ("believeth").

    A transitive verb carries or transfers the action from the verb to the complimentary object or direct or indirect object of the sentence.

    An intransitive verb does not carry the action of verb forward to an object because there is no object in the main sentence. The prepositional phrase "in me" is not part of main sentence.

    The sentences where faith is not the verb but used with transitive verbs and where the prepositional phrase "by faith" defines the basis of the transitive ver action then these are sentences that deal with FAITHFULNESS rather than faith.

    The sentences where faith is used as an intransitive verb without any direct or indirect object are sentences that deal with the quality and character of faith as in Hebrews 11:1 in opposition to faithfulness.

    However, in sentences where faith is found as a intranstive verb completed by prepositional phrases ("in me" or "in Christ" or "in His Word" or etc.) then the prepositional phrase defines the object being embraced by faith or that which is the recipient of faith. This kind of sentence is what distinguishes justification by faith from faithfulness.
    When the prepositional phrase "in" or "on" occurs some object defines the basis upon which that faith terminates.
     
    #12 Dr. Walter, Jan 29, 2011
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  13. percho

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    So we are told that the blood through the death of Jesus and his resurrection from the dead is what saves us, however that is null and void unless we believe that to be the truth. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (If we believe what we hear).
     
  14. Dr. Walter

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    Your missing the point! Faith has for its object that truth and that is what justifies.
     
  15. SpiritualMadMan

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    Lots to chew on...

    But, looks real goo at first scan...

    Bit "off" today and will reapproach later...
     
  16. Dr. Walter

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    Well, chew on it real good!

    The "law" of justification by faith or the "principle" that characterizes it excludes boasting. That prinicple is spelled out in Romans 3:24-26.

    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.



    1. It is justification "freely by grace" not earned by works - no grounds for
    boasting here

    2. The redemption is "in Christ" not in us our works - no grounds for boasting
    here

    3. Propitiation/satisfaction of all of God's demands against us are
    received "through faith" not through our works - no grounds for boasting

    4. God is justified for justifying all who "believe in Christ" not because of our works or faithfulness - no grounds for boasting here.


    The essence of the "law" of justification by faith is that believers in Christ cannot boast for what God provided and Christ obtained for them.

    1. Hence, it is the same basis for justification for the Gentile as it is for the Jew without grounds for boasting by either:

    29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
    30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.


    2. This essence of "justified freely by grace....through faith in His blood" " is the only possible way that the Law can be satisfied in our regard and thus validated because faith embraces the good news that Jesus satisfied all of its demands FOR US and IN OUR PLACE:

    31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
     
  17. percho

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    Give me a lesson on by and through in verse 30. Is there a difference and what is it?
     
  18. Dr. Walter

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    I have already demonstrated that the same Greek preposition is translated both "by" and "through" in regard to "faith."

    However, I will be glad to show why Paul uses two different prepositions in regard to faith in verse 30:

    30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by (Greek preposition EK) faith, and uncircumcision through (Greek preposition DIA) faith.

    In the immediate preceding context Paul is denying that justification is by the principle or rule of works (vv. 27-28).

    Both the Jew and the Gentile operated by the priniciple of works in regard to justification. However, they did not agree concerning which works or what kind of works justified them. For the Jew the external SOURCE of justification by works was found in the Law (Rom. 2:18 "ek" of law). However, the gentile did not claim any external SOURCE for justification by works but rather claimed works that were approved through the agency of conscience (Rom. 2:14-15) as sufficient for justification. Conscience was the only MEANS that the Gentile had to approve and disapprove or determine good from evil.

    Romans 3:30 repudiates both ideas of works justification. Paul uses the Greek preposition "ek" with faith in connection with the Jew because the Greek preposition "ek" has the idea of SOURCE. By use of this preposition Paul repudiates the Law of Moses as the SOURCE (ek) of justification but claims that faith alone is the SOURCE (ek).

    Paul uses the Greek preposition "dia" with faith in connection with the Gentile because "dia" conveys the idea of "agency" or "means" through which something is obtained or sought. Unlike the Jew, the Gentile never claimed the law as its SOURCE (ek) of justification but rather claimed justification was sought by MEANS or THROUGH THE AGENCY ("dia") of what conscience approved (Rom.2:14-15). By the use of the Greek preposition "dia" Paul repudiates the conscience as the MEANS or the AGENCY of conscience through which gentiles can be justified before God simply because none have lived up to their conscience any more than any Jew has lived up to the Law. Hence, the gentile must be justified "dia" faith or "THROUGH" faith alone.
     
  19. percho

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    Can you simplify it further for me.

    Just what is the faith spoken of here? Justified how other than saying faith what can we say the faith is that justifies us?
     
  20. Dr. Walter

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    I honestly do not think you are looking for simplication as I have made it pretty simple thus far. I think you are looking for someway to save face and reassert your argument.

    However, justifying faith is faith "in" what God has promised and presented in the gospel and provided for the sinner by the Person and works of Jesus Christ as full propitation/satisfaction of all of God's righteous demands "FREELY BY GRACE." Justifying faith does nothing but RECEIVES what has been done "FREELY BY GRACE" - Rom. 3:24-26 The principle or "law" of faith is GRACE (Rom. 4:16; Eph. 2:8; Rom. 11:6).

    It is faith "IN" God's promise that Christ has proved FOR THE ONE BELEVING IN CHRIST full redemption, full propitation (Rom. 3:25) "FREELY BY GRACE" an WITHOUT YOUR WORKS (Rom. 3:28).
     

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