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Justified By Faith Alone

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  • Justified By Faith Alone

    This was linked by CP in another thread:

    James 2:14–26, as a whole, and especially verse 24, has been the subject of some confused interpretations. The passage definitely seems to cause serious problems for the “salvation by faith alone” concept. First, we need to clear up a misconception, namely, that James means the same thing by “justified” in James 2:24 that Paul means in Romans 3:28. Paul is using the word justified to mean “declared righteous by God.” Paul is speaking of God’s legal declaration of us as righteous as Christ’s righteousness is applied to our account. James is using the word justified to mean “being demonstrated and proved.”

    https://www.gotquestions.org/faith-alone.html
    The claim is that James is not using justification the same as Paul - in the sense of being declared righteous by God (legal declaration). But I don't see how that works:

    22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

    It seems that God's legal declaration of Abraham's righteousness was based on works and faith.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

  • #2
    I'll come back to this after Church, and possibly after my Sunday afternoon visit to St Mattress Cathedral.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by seer View Post
      This was linked by CP in another thread:



      The claim is that James is not using justification the same as Paul - in the sense of being declared righteous by God (legal declaration). But I don't see how that works:

      22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

      It seems that God's legal declaration of Abraham's righteousness was based on works and faith.
      We tend to interpret the passage through v. 18, which shows that "works" are the necessary evidence of "faith." And the overall context shows that the kind of "works" that are in view are generally acts of love and kindness and equity. That does not seem totally divorced from Paul's teaching on "faith working through love" in Gal. 5:6.
      Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

      Beige Nationalist.

      "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

      Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah, we don't really have a conflict here.

        What James is saying is pretty much: If a person says he has faith, but he gives no outward evidence of that faith through righteous works, his faith will not justify him. Because it's not "real" faith.

        We are not saved by a profession of faith or by a claim to faith if the faith isn't genuine. You can’t just say you have faith. True faith will yield the fruits of obedience and the works of righteousness.

        James is saying, not that a man is justified before God by his works, but that his claim to faith is shown to be genuine as he demonstrates the evidence of that claim of faith through his works.

        And we do works because we have faith, they demonstrate our faith, they show our faith is genuine. We are saved by grace through faith, not of works.

        The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. When you find ONE verse that appears to be problematic, the key is to look at it in the overall light of the rest of Scripture.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          Yeah, we don't really have a conflict here.

          What James is saying is pretty much: If a person says he has faith, but he gives no outward evidence of that faith through righteous works, his faith will not justify him. Because it's not "real" faith.

          We are not saved by a profession of faith or by a claim to faith if the faith isn't genuine. You can’t just say you have faith. True faith will yield the fruits of obedience and the works of righteousness.

          James is saying, not that a man is justified before God by his works, but that his claim to faith is shown to be genuine as he demonstrates the evidence of that claim of faith through his works.

          And we do works because we have faith, they demonstrate our faith, they show our faith is genuine. We are saved by grace through faith, not of works.

          The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. When you find ONE verse that appears to be problematic, the key is to look at it in the overall light of the rest of Scripture.
          So CP how many righteous works must we do before we know we have genuine faith? The kind of faith that justifies? "The good that I want to do I don't do, the evil I don't want to do, that I do..."
          Last edited by seer; 10-14-2019, 08:00 AM.
          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

          Comment


          • #6
            I think we Protestants have a tendency to underemphasize the role that works play in it, insofar as many people come to an understanding that all that biblical faith is is believing that Jesus's resurrection happened. (There are some websites out there that promote this view of Christianity; I think this leads people to hell.) And of course, James addresses that - "even the demons believe". Faith is more than believing something happened - it also involves giving our affections to God. If we do that, then the works will follow.
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
              I think we Protestants have a tendency to underemphasize the role that works play in it, insofar as many people come to an understanding that all that biblical faith is is believing that Jesus's resurrection happened. (There are some websites out there that promote this view of Christianity; I think this leads people to hell.) And of course, James addresses that - "even the demons believe". Faith is more than believing something happened - it also involves giving our affections to God. If we do that, then the works will follow.
              That could be because some passages do read that way.

              John 6, for example, reads as if the only "work" one need do to obtain "eternal life" is to "believe in the one He sent."
              Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

              Beige Nationalist.

              "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

              Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                That could be because some passages do read that way.

                John 6, for example, reads as if the only "work" one need do to obtain "eternal life" is to "believe in the one He sent."
                Taking isolated passages out of context is not one of the better ways to exegete. Christianity should be approached as a full-course meal, not picking out the bits we like from the salad bar.
                Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                sigpic
                I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                  Taking isolated passages out of context is not one of the better ways to exegete. Christianity should be approached as a full-course meal, not picking out the bits we like from the salad bar.
                  So are works necessary for salvation?
                  Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges teach that since the word "only" in this verse is an adverb, it actually modifies "saved." So there isn't only salvation by faith. Instead, James is teaching that there are two types of salvation: Salvation by faith, and salvation by works. James is encouraging us to have both types. Salvation by works is referring to salvation from temporal judgment.

                    Note: The version that you cite says "alone" instead of "only," which is misleading.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Obsidian View Post
                      Bob Wilkin and Zane Hodges
                      The two biggest names I had in mind when mentioning the antinomian heresy.
                      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                        Taking isolated passages out of context is not one of the better ways to exegete. Christianity should be approached as a full-course meal, not picking out the bits we like from the salad bar.
                        So perhaps we should add up all the "we must do works to obtain salvation" passages, and all the "faith alone is sufficient to obtain salvation" passages, pick the winner, and white out the losers.
                        Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                        Beige Nationalist.

                        "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                        Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by seer View Post
                          So are works necessary for salvation?
                          See KG's post above.
                          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                          sigpic
                          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                            So perhaps we should add up all the "we must do works to obtain salvation" passages, and all the "faith alone is sufficient to obtain salvation" passages, pick the winner, and white out the losers.
                            ...or we could take the sum of the whole, and work out a position which satisfies everything. I like that approach better.
                            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                            sigpic
                            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              So are works necessary for salvation?
                              Put it this way, if there aren't any works, there is good reason to think there is no salvation (with obvious exceptions like the thief on the cross).

                              But the works aren't what save you.
                              Last edited by KingsGambit; 10-17-2019, 04:20 PM.
                              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                              Comment

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