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Paul and James Reconciled

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Kenneth Roberson View Post
    Justification

    Why is justification linked to trust? In other words, why does justification mean God declares a person righteous because he believes God can be trusted?

    Because this is how the writers of the New Testament understood the intent of the writers of the entire Bible.


    Consider.

    For what was Abraham tested?

    For trust, that God would save Isaac, give his son back to him from the dead.

    Hebrews 11:19</a>He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.

    Why was Abraham's trust tested?

    Because he had claimed he trusted God to always rescue.

    Genesis 15:6</a>Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
    Why was his trust in God's promise to always rescue?

    Because God told him that this was how His lost sheep would recognise His voice and return to Him.

    Genesis 12:3I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you; and all the families of the earth will be blessed through you."
    How did God tell Abraham that this was the Way to bring back His lost sheep?

    By telling him he would be a blessing to the world and then placing him in dangerous situations like putting him at risk in King Abhimelech's palace and then rescuing him. Abraham connected the two and realised that God's lost sheep would see him being rescued from danger, and understand that their inability to do good works, because these works put them in danger, could be solved by God's help, so they could not just do good works and help people physically, but also turn people to God, which helped people spiritually, and which was even better.


    The Way

    God created problems and ignorance in advance, so that in solving these situations His helping hand would be revealed.

    Isaiah 45:77I form the light and create the darkness;
    I bring prosperity and create calamity.
    I, the LORD, do all these things.
    John 9:1</a>Now as Jesus was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth, 2and His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

    3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God would be displayed in him.
    ...

    He did this so that His sheep, lost because of the Fall, would find Him and return:

    John 3:1</a>Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with him.”


    Joshua 2:8</a>Before the spies lay down for the night, Rahab went up on the roof 9and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that the fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who dwell in the land are melting in fear of you. 10For we have heard how the LORD dried up the waters of the Red Seab before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites across the Jordan, whom you devoted to destruction.c 11When we heard this, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in the heavens above and on the earth below.
    ...



    In summary, justification happens when God asks you if you trust Him to rescue you, when you attempt to attract the attention of people by attempting to do difficult things, like helping people or explaining difficult teachings, and you say you do trust this promise. Your justification is confirmed when you receive trust strengthening revelations:

    1 Cor 10:1I</a> do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud, and that they all passed through the sea. 2They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3They all ate the same spiritual food 4and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.


    Acts 19:1</a>While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the interiora and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”

    “No,” they answered, “we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

    3“Into what, then, were you baptized?” Paul asked.

    “The baptism of John,” they replied.

    4Paul explained: “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the One coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

    5On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.



    Sanctification happens when God tests you to see if your trust is real and you pass the test. It is confirmed when you are able to do great works through God:

    Numbers 14:24</a>But because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and has followed Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he has entered, and his descendants will inherit it.
    John 3:3</a>Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.

    John 5:30</a>"I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
    Last edited by footwasher; 12-03-2020, 01:28 AM.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by SaludoVencedores View Post
      You say that James gave up the doctrines presented in his epistle as they were transitional.
      "James also agreed that his doctrines on justification and the role of the law in the life of the Jewish Christian as taught in James’s epistle were transitional (like the law itself (Gal. 3:24-25)), and were no longer to be taught after the agreement of the right hands of fellowship. This is true even though James’s doctrines on those issues were and are inspired Scripture (like the law) and were correct at the time that he taught them in his epistle."

      With all respect, I think you're confused about this, as are many, many others today who perceive James and Paul to be teaching different Gospels. They are not. Some of this is revealed in the New Perspective expositions, many by Wright. But for some of it, you simply have to do the thankless job of exegeting the text.
      The paper in the link attempts to summarize key exegetical analyses involving a good portion of the Apostolic authors on the subject of faith.
      The Obedience of Faith – A Pilgrim's Search (saludovencedores.com)
      Hi Doug Martin, welcome to TWeb, I'm Anthony Goh from the N T Wright discussion Group!

      Comment


      • #18
        Hi footwasher. Thank you for the good discussion!

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by SaludoVencedores View Post
          You say that James gave up the doctrines presented in his epistle as they were transitional.
          "James also agreed that his doctrines on justification and the role of the law in the life of the Jewish Christian as taught in James’s epistle were transitional (like the law itself (Gal. 3:24-25)), and were no longer to be taught after the agreement of the right hands of fellowship. This is true even though James’s doctrines on those issues were and are inspired Scripture (like the law) and were correct at the time that he taught them in his epistle."

          With all respect, I think you're confused about this, as are many, many others today who perceive James and Paul to be teaching different Gospels. They are not. Some of this is revealed in the New Perspective expositions, many by Wright. But for some of it, you simply have to do the thankless job of exegeting the text.
          The paper in the link attempts to summarize key exegetical analyses involving a good portion of the Apostolic authors on the subject of faith.
          The Obedience of Faith – A Pilgrim's Search (saludovencedores.com)
          Hi SaludoVencedores! Thank you for your comments. However, they suggest you may have misunderstood what I have said. You comment, "You say that James gave up the doctrines presented in his epistle as they were transitional." (First and second italics added.) What I have said is more limited. As you later correctly quote me, what I have said is: "James also agreed that his doctrines on justification and the role of the law in the life of the Jewish Christian as taught in James’s epistle were transitional . . . ." (Italics added.) (And this may have been what you meant.)

          I will read your paper. God bless you for taking the time to write it.

          Comment


          • #20
            The essay I have been referring to is entitled, “PAUL AND JAMES RECONCILED: THE RIGHT HANDS OF FELLOWSHIP” and is subtitled, “How Paul Led James To Abandon James’s Transitional Doctrine Of Justification By Works And To Accept Paul’s Revelation Of Justification By Faith (Or Why It Is Error To Teach Christians Today That “Faith Without Works Is Dead”).” The essay is available at christianitywithoutcompromise.com under the “Essay” section of the website. Summaries of the essay are available under the website’s “Summaries” section.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Kenneth Roberson View Post
              The essay I have been referring to is entitled, “PAUL AND JAMES RECONCILED: THE RIGHT HANDS OF FELLOWSHIP” and is subtitled, “How Paul Led James To Abandon James’s Transitional Doctrine Of Justification By Works And To Accept Paul’s Revelation Of Justification By Faith (Or Why It Is Error To Teach Christians Today That “Faith Without Works Is Dead”).” The essay is available at christianitywithoutcompromise.com under the “Essay” section of the website. Summaries of the essay are available under the website’s “Summaries” section.
              You say that James states that the first kind of faith does not save.
              Quote
              Paul’s “faith” saves. James’s first kind does not.
              Pg 81

              https://www.christianitywithoutcompromise.com/


              Actually, the first kind of James's faith does save:


              Romans 4:3For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”


              The New Testament passages on faith and justification applies a form of concatenation to all references of these words in the Old Testament and summarises it to mean "trust" and "considered as a saving response". This will be confirmed if you transpose these meanings to all those references in the context linked to them in the NT.

              Abraham trusted God and it was considered as a saving response.

              Abraham trusted God's promise of him having descendants as true, but it only adds to other responses of trust, such as leaving his father's house while trusting God's promise of a better alternative (Heb 11:8)

              All these responses reflected his general trust in God, and all of them saved. What James referred to was the inability of the individual responses to save completely.

              This is best illustrated with a linking of the principles being taught to live data:


              If I made you an offer in which I stated that you could
              1. live a life which was not futile (in the sense of not resulting in assets that perished),
              2. provided you led people to God, by doing acts that demonstrated His ability to save from danger, like picking up crosses and being raised up,
              3. this offer being put into effect by an oral agreement,

              would you agree that that agreement could be considered as
              1. "trust"
              2. and (in the sense of operationalising the offer) "considered a saving response"?
              Last edited by footwasher; 12-03-2020, 08:42 PM.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by footwasher View Post

                You say that James states that the first kind of faith does not save.


                Pg 81

                https://www.christianitywithoutcompromise.com/


                Actually, the first kind of James's faith does save:


                Romans 4:3For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”


                The New Testament passages on faith and justification applies a form of concatenation to all references of these words in the Old Testament and summarises it to mean "trust" and "considered as a saving response". This will be confirmed if you transpose these meanings to all those references in the context linked to them in the NT.

                Abraham trusted God and it was considered as a saving response.

                Abraham trusted God's promise of him having descendants as true, but it only adds to other responses of trust, such as leaving his father's house while trusting God's promise of a better alternative (Heb 11:8)

                All these responses reflected his general trust in God, and all of them saved. What James referred to was the inability of the individual responses to save completely.

                This is best illustrated with a linking of the principles being taught to live data:


                If I made you an offer in which I stated that you could
                1. live a life which was not futile (in the sense of not resulting in assets that perished),
                2. provided you led people to God, by doing acts that demonstrated His ability to save from danger, like picking up crosses and being raised up,
                3. this offer being put into effect by an oral agreement,

                would you agree that that agreement could be considered as
                1. "trust"
                2. and (in the sense of operationalising the offer) "considered a saving response"?
                Hi footwasher. Thank you for your question; it is a good one. I will address it when I address SaludoVencedores's paper.

                Comment


                • #23
                  I was thinking about this today. STM that St Paul and St James are talking about different aspects of faith:

                  1, James emphasises that saving faith must bear good fruit - if it bears no such fruit, it is mere meaningless words. He is rebuking the possibility of a kind of “easy believism”.

                  2, Paul is upholding the primacy of God’s grace over all works of man, evil, good, and those that might be relied on as causing or helping to cause salvation. His main subject in Romans is righteousness: its presence, its absence, God’s, man’s, Everything in Romans can be read in the light of God’s Righteousness, and this Righteousness is at work in Election and Reprobation, and reveals the unfathomable Wisdom of God,

                  1. For James, faith is inextricable from the result it ought to have; it must be active, or not be at all.

                  2. For Paul, faith is the root of salvation, so as to exclude all possibility of works that come from man’s initiative being this root. Because faith is a response to the unearnable favour of God in Christ, not something undertaken on man’s initiative.

                  STM the two Apostles are saying things that are different, complimentary, harmonious, and much-needed.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Rushing Jaws View Post
                    I was thinking about this today. STM that St Paul and St James are talking about different aspects of faith:

                    1, James emphasises that saving faith must bear good fruit - if it bears no such fruit, it is mere meaningless words. He is rebuking the possibility of a kind of “easy believism”.

                    2, Paul is upholding the primacy of God’s grace over all works of man, evil, good, and those that might be relied on as causing or helping to cause salvation. His main subject in Romans is righteousness: its presence, its absence, God’s, man’s, Everything in Romans can be read in the light of God’s Righteousness, and this Righteousness is at work in Election and Reprobation, and reveals the unfathomable Wisdom of God,

                    1. For James, faith is inextricable from the result it ought to have; it must be active, or not be at all.

                    2. For Paul, faith is the root of salvation, so as to exclude all possibility of works that come from man’s initiative being this root. Because faith is a response to the unearnable favour of God in Christ, not something undertaken on man’s initiative.

                    STM the two Apostles are saying things that are different, complimentary, harmonious, and much-needed.
                    That they were both teaching the same thing but from nearly opposite angles is pretty much what I was taught.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization thatís not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by SaludoVencedores View Post
                      You say that James gave up the doctrines presented in his epistle as they were transitional.
                      "James also agreed that his doctrines on justification and the role of the law in the life of the Jewish Christian as taught in James’s epistle were transitional (like the law itself (Gal. 3:24-25)), and were no longer to be taught after the agreement of the right hands of fellowship. This is true even though James’s doctrines on those issues were and are inspired Scripture (like the law) and were correct at the time that he taught them in his epistle."

                      With all respect, I think you're confused about this, as are many, many others today who perceive James and Paul to be teaching different Gospels. They are not. Some of this is revealed in the New Perspective expositions, many by Wright. But for some of it, you simply have to do the thankless job of exegeting the text.
                      The paper in the link attempts to summarize key exegetical analyses involving a good portion of the Apostolic authors on the subject of faith.
                      The Obedience of Faith – A Pilgrim's Search (saludovencedores.com)
                      Hi SaludoVencedores--

                      I have read your paper; thank you for writing it. I would like to ask you a few questions about it if I may. As to Paul's phrase "obedience of faith" in Rom. 1:5:

                      1. What is the definition of "faith" itself as Paul uses it in that phrase?
                      2. By that definition:
                      a. Is "faith" itself inside a person to any extent?
                      b. Is "faith" itself outward conduct to any extent?
                      3. What is the definition of "obedience" itself as Paul uses it in that phrase?
                      4. By that definition:
                      a. Is "obedience" itself inside a person to any extent?
                      b. Is "obedience" itself outward conduct to any extent?

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by SaludoVencedores View Post
                        You say that James gave up the doctrines presented in his epistle as they were transitional.
                        "James also agreed that his doctrines on justification and the role of the law in the life of the Jewish Christian as taught in James’s epistle were transitional (like the law itself (Gal. 3:24-25)), and were no longer to be taught after the agreement of the right hands of fellowship. This is true even though James’s doctrines on those issues were and are inspired Scripture (like the law) and were correct at the time that he taught them in his epistle."

                        With all respect, I think you're confused about this, as are many, many others today who perceive James and Paul to be teaching different Gospels. They are not. Some of this is revealed in the New Perspective expositions, many by Wright. But for some of it, you simply have to do the thankless job of exegeting the text.
                        The paper in the link attempts to summarize key exegetical analyses involving a good portion of the Apostolic authors on the subject of faith.
                        The Obedience of Faith – A Pilgrim's Search (saludovencedores.com)
                        Thank you for your reply. As mentioned, I have read your paper and I appreciate the time and care you took in writing it, and your attention to citation to the Scriptures. I discuss below various portions of the essay. Unless otherwise noted, Scriptural references are to the KJV.

                        1. Obedience of faith. Your paper refers to Rom. 1:1-5, emphasizing the phrase “obedience of faith” in verse 5. Your paper later comments that Paul similarly closes Romans at Rom. 16:25-26, and verse 26 too contains the phrase “obedience of faith.”

                        The phrase “obedience of faith” at Rom. 1:5 and 16:26 is a translation of the Greek phrase “ὑπακοὴν πίστεως,” i.e., “ὑπακοὴν [obedience] πίστεως [of faith].” But how should “obedience of faith” be understood?

                        The word πίστεως at Rom. 1:5 and 16:26 is in the genitive case. (Barbara and Timothy Friberg, Analytical Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981), pp. 470, 510.) But there are numerous kinds of genitives and therefore numerous ways they can be understood. (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), p. 72.) For example, one of the many genitives is the “genitive of apposition.” (Id. at p. 95.) With the genitive of apposition, “[t]he substantive in the genitive case refers to the same thing as the substantive to which it is related.” (Ibid.) Moreover, “[t]o test whether the genitive in question is a genitive of apposition, replace the word of with the paraphrase which is or that is, namely, . . . If it does not make the same sense, a genitive of apposition is unlikely; if it does make the same sense, a genitive of apposition is likely. [Fn. omitted.]” (Ibid.) The omitted footnote reads, “The next step, of course, is to analyze this and other possibilities by way of sound exegesis.” (Ibid.)

                        Thus, in the phrase “ὑπακοὴν πίστεως,” the word “πίστεως” may be viewed as a genitive of apposition. Viewed this way, the substantive in the genitive case is “πίστεως.” And “πίστεως” refers to the same thing as the substantive—“ὑπακοὴν”—to which it [“πίστεως”] is related. Viewed from this perspective, “ὑπακοὴν πίστεως” can be understood to mean “obedience which is faith” or “obedience that is, namely, faith.”

                        In your paper you refer to the Apostle Paul and “the equivalence the Apostle understood between “faith” and “believe” and the response of obedient doing.” (Italics added.) There are problems with this, however. First, as a matter of reason, things cannot be equivalent if one is a response to the other. For example, if “the response of obedient doing” is a response to “faith” and/or “believe,” then such a response is, by definition, an event subsequent to “faith” and/or “believe.” That is, “faith” and/or “believe” must exist before “the response of obedient doing.” If so, “faith,” “believe,” and “the response of obedient doing” cannot be equivalent.

                        Second, as previously discussed, for Paul “faith” is on the inside of the Christian. As my essay states:
                        “Of course, a person believes with the mind; this is an inner event. [∂] Moreover, at 2 Tim. 1:4-5, Paul told Timothy that Paul was: [∂] ‘filled with joy; when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother, Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.’ [∂] (Italics added.)”

                        Further, at Rom. 10:9, Paul declared, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Italics added.) This belief is inside.

                        Thus, for Paul, “faith” is not outward conduct (although it can motivate outward conduct). Therefore, it is erroneous to refer to “faith” as equivalent to “the response of obedient doing” (italics added), that is, it is error to refer to “faith” as “doing,” if by “doing” one means outward conduct.

                        Third and finally, if “πίστεως” in the phrase “ὑπακοὴν πίστεως” is a genitive of apposition, then “ὑπακοὴν πίστεως” is simply referring to, e.g., “obedience which is faith” or “obedience that is, namely, faith.” And as mentioned, Paul’s “faith” is on the inside. Thus the “obedience” is on the inside and is not outward conduct. I am not arguing that “ὑπακοὴν πίστεως” is or is not a genitive of apposition. The point is that genitives are often ambiguous and anyone asserting “[t]he equivalence the Apostle understood between “faith” and “believe” and the response of obedient doing” (italics added) must prove that “ὑπακοὴν πίστεως” is not a genitive of apposition.

                        Indeed, Wallace identifies 33 categories of uses of genitives. (Wallace, p. 72.) A number of them could apply with the result being inconsistent with your view about “[t]he equivalence the Apostle understood between “faith” and “believe” and the response of obedient doing” (italics added). This is not to say that none of the categories could support your view. For example, translating “ὑπακοὴν πίστεως” with the “genitive of production/producer” (id. at p. 104) could imply “obedience produced by faith,” a translation consistent with your view. The problem is that the matter is not free from debate, and one asserting “[t]he equivalence the Apostle understood between “faith” and “believe” and the response of obedient doing” (italics added) must prove that none of the plausible genitive constructions that negate that assertion in fact apply.

                        2. Rom. 2:7 is hypothetical. Your paper quotes Rom. 2:6-8 (ESV), which says:
                        “6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”

                        (Italics added.)

                        Discussing Rom. 2:6-8 and Rom. 3:28 (ESV) (“For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law”), you later ask, “what is Paul teaching us?” and you later state that “we have to . . . conclude that,” among other things:
                        “Faith” (v 3:28) = patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality (v2:7) = “obey” (v2:8).”

                        (Italics added.) However, first, again, for Paul “faith” is on the inside of the Christian. Thus, “faith” is not “well-doing” if by “well-doing” you mean outward conduct.

                        Second, you are clearly implying that when Paul says “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” at Rom. 2:7 (ESV), Paul is teaching that “those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality” are Christians and God will give these Christians eternal life.

                        However, I respectfully submit that this is not what Paul is teaching at Rom. 2:7. Rom. 2:7 in context is part of Rom. 1:18 through 3:20, in which Paul proves that unbelievers, Jewish and Gentile, are guilty before God. He says at Rom. 2:6 (ESV), for example, that God “will render to each one according to his works” (italics added), and the verse does not refer to “faith.” Similarly, Rom. 2:7 (ESV) says “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life,” but the verse does not refer to “faith.” Likewise, Paul declares at Rom. 2:10 (ESV) “glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek” (italics added), but the verse says nothing about “faith.”

                        When Paul says, “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (italics added) and “glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek” (italics added), this is hypothetical only. It is only hypothetical because Paul declares at Rom. 3:9-11 (ESV) concerning unbelievers:
                        9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.”

                        (Italics added.) He also says at Rom. 3:12 (ESV): “no one does good, not even one” (italics added) and at Rom. 3:19 (ESV), “Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to [KJV: “guilty before”] God.”

                        If “no one does good, not even one” (Rom. 3:12 (ESV), italics added), and if there are “none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11 (ESV), italics added), then there are none “who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality” (Rom. 2:7 (ESV), italics added), and therefore none to whom, on that basis, God “will give eternal life.” (Rom. 2:7 (ESV).)

                        Likewise, if “no one does good, not even one” (Rom. 3:12 (ESV), italics added), then “glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good” (Rom. 2:10 (ESV), italics added) will never be a reality and is hypothetical only.

                        When Rom. 3:10 (ESV) says that “none are righteous” and Rom. 3:12 (ESV) says that “no one does good,” Paul is referring to unbelievers. Christians are righteous. They are righteous by “faith.” (Rom. 1:17; 3:22; 4:5.) And as discussed below, Christians are to do good works. (Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 2:5-8, 3:8.)

                        Rom. 2:10 (ESV) says, “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (italics added), but the context is a discussion pertaining to unbelievers and showing that (1) their efforts to receive eternal life this way will be unsuccessful and (2) receiving eternal life this way is only hypothetical. Paul does not in Rom. 1:18 through 3:20 refer to “faith.” (However, the good news begins at Rom. 3:21!)

                        When Paul writes about “those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality,” he is not referring to Christians engaged in such well-doing with the result that God will give Christians eternal life.

                        3. Rom. 2:7 and the day of wrath. There is still another evidence from the context that when Paul writes at Rom. 2:7 (ESV), “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life,” Paul is not referring to Christians engaged in such well-doing and receiving eternal life from God. In particular, it is important to note when, according to Paul, God will give eternal life to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality.

                        Paul writes at Rom. 2:5-11 (ESV):
                        5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.”

                        (Italics added.)

                        Your view is that when Paul writes at Rom. 2:7 (ESV), “to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life,” he is referring to Christians engaged in this well-doing and God giving such Christians eternal life. The problem is that this view does not focus on the particular period of time when these rewards would be given. For Paul says at Rom. 2:5 (ESV) that “because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath[.]” (Italics added.) He says at Rom. 2:6 (ESV) that God “will”—in the future—render to each one according to his works.

                        Zephaniah 1:14-15 record:
                        14 The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness[.]”​

                        (Italics added.) Accordingly, Isaiah prophesied, “the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger[.]” (Italics added.)

                        But at Rom. 5:9, Paul taught Christians, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Italics added.) At 1 Thess. 1:10, Paul emphasized concerning Christians that Jesus “delivered us from the wrath to come.” (Italics added.) At 1 Thess. 5:9, Paul, referring to Christians, stated, “For God hath not appointed us [NASB: “destined us”] to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ[.]” (Italics added.) And at 2 Thess. 2:2, Paul taught Christians not to believe that “the day of the Lord” (NASB and NIV) had come. In other words, as long as Christians are here, the “day of the Lord,” the “day of wrath” is not here.

                        Thus, the verses in the above paragraph are teaching not only that God’s wrath is not for Christians but that Christians will not be in the time period of the “day of wrath.” But according to Rom. 2:5-11, it is in the “day of wrath” that God would give rewards for “well doing” (Rom. 2:7, ESV) and “do[ing] good” (Rom. 2:10, ESV). Your view presents the problem that Christians are receiving rewards during the “day of wrath,” and Scriptures teach that Christians will not be in the “day of wrath.”

                        4. “Works,” Jews and Jewish Christians, and the Mosaic Covenant. Your paper states,
                        “‘works’ to Paul were those practices followed by Jews and early Jewish Christians that had the effect of maintaining their identity with the ethnic nation of Israel under their Mosaic Covenant, and so, in their mind, continually in God’s favor, as His chosen nation.”

                        (Italics added.) I would respectfully submit that this statement is too narrow. Thus, at Rom. 4:1-4, Paul wrote:
                        “1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.”

                        (Italics added.) As my essay discusses, the word “works” in this context means outward conduct done with the expectation of receiving righteousness from God in return as payment of a debt owed by Him. And Paul teaches that Abraham was not “justified by works” as Paul uses that phrase (Rom. 4:2).

                        Accordingly, in this regard I note the following. First, Abraham was the father of Isaac and Ishmael. Thus, Abraham was the father of the Jews, but it may be plausibly argued that he himself was not a Jew. And although Abraham was saved, he certainly could not as a matter of timing be referred to as a “Jewish Christian.” Similarly, the nation of Israel (“Israel” being the name of Jacob) sprang from Abraham, but did not exist at the time of Abraham.

                        When Paul teaches that Abraham was not “justified by works,” Paul is teaching that Abraham was not justified by any “works” that he committed at that time. Instead, he was justified by the “faith” that he had at that time. That is why Paul says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness,” a reference to Gen. 15:6. Paul is focusing on events at the time of Abraham, not events involving later Jews or Jewish Christians, or the later nation of Israel. For these reasons, therefore, it is error to maintain that for Paul, “works” is limited to “those practices followed by Jews and early Jewish Christians” and relating to the nation of Israel.

                        Second, it is inaccurate to suggest that “works” to Paul were equivalent to “those practices followed by Jews and early Jewish Christians that had the effect of maintaining their identity with the ethnic nation of Israel under their Mosaic Covenant[.]” (Italics added.) Abraham lived hundreds of years before Moses and therefore before the Mosaic covenant. Paul’s meaning of “works” in connection with Abraham at Rom. 4:2 is broader than works under the Mosaic covenant or works of the law. Accordingly, at Rom. 4:2, Paul uses the phrase “justified by works,” not “justified by works of the law.”

                        5. Deut. 30:14 and Rom. 10:8-9. Your essay cites Deut. 30:14 (ESV), which says:
                        “But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.”

                        (Italics yours.) You later observe that Paul, adapting Deut. 30:14, wrote at Rom. 10:8-9 (ESV):
                        “8 But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

                        (Italics and emphasis yours.)

                        You then write,
                        “Paul leaves behind the idea of ‘doing’ –or does he? As a Pharisaic Rabbi, Paul knew perfectly well what Moses’ words said – the conditional covenant of ‘life and good, death and evil’ (v30:15) by loving God and walking in His ways, or if the Israelites did not, what their punishment would be. ‘Do’ing Moses’ words was a hallmark of his exhortations in Deuteronomy. I think this tells us a great deal about the equivalence the Apostle understood between “faith” and “believe” and the response of obedient doing.”

                        (Italics added.) By writing, “Paul leaves behind the idea of ‘doing’ –or does he?” you are clearly implying that one interpretation of Rom. 10:8-9 is that they leave behind the idea of doing. After all, first, unlike Deut. 30:14, Rom. 10:8-9 do not contain the word “doing.”

                        Second, you have stated elsewhere in your paper that “the Greek word translated ‘believe’ is closely related to the Greek word translated faith – pisteuō and pistis. In fact, they are sometimes translated interchangeably.” It is noteworthy then that Rom. 10:9 (ESV) says, “believe in your heart.” This makes the believing inside a person. This believing is not therefore “doing” in the sense of outward conduct. And to the extent that “faith” and “believe” are interchangeable, “faith” therefore is not “doing” in the sense of outward conduct.

                        I would respectfully submit that the interpretation of Rom. 10:8-9 that “Paul leaves behind the idea of ‘doing’” in those verses is correct. His omission of the word “doing” in those verses, his insertion of the words “faith” and “believe,” the believing occurring inside the person, and any interchangeable nature of “faith” and “believe,” all point to an intentional effort on his part to leave behind the idea of “doing” or outward conduct in those verses. Indeed, I agree with you that “Paul knew perfectly well what Moses’ words said.” This supports a conclusion that Paul knew how to use the words “do” or “doing” when he wanted to do so, and the fact that he did not in Rom. 10:8-9 indicates the omission was intentional. Reading into Rom. 10:8-9 what Paul omitted effectively rewrites those verses. Accordingly, I would respectfully submit that Deut. 30:14 and Rom. 10:8-9 do not teach “about the equivalence the Apostle understood between “faith” and “believe” and “the response of obedient doing.”

                        6. Christians and good works. As discussed in my essay, Paul clearly teaches in Eph. 2:8-10 that Christians are “created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (italics added). Titus 2:5-8 teach that Christians are to show “a pattern of good works.” (Italics added.) At Titus 3:8, Paul declared, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.” (Italics added.)

                        However, a recurring theme of your paper is that “belief” and “obedience” are the same, and likewise that “faith” and “obedience” are the same. Thus, you say that John 3:36 can “help us understand the equivalence between belief and obedience.” You similarly state, “It is impossible to miss that to Paul, the Romans’ faith was their obedience, and vice-versa.”

                        To the extent “belief” and “faith” are something on the inside, this presents no problem. And it is clear from Scripture that God wants Christians to do good works. The problem arises from your suggestions, that I respectfully submit are not yet proven, that, for Paul,“belief,” “believing” and/or “faith” are the same as “obedience,” where “obedience” involves “doing,” i.e., outward conduct.

                        7. James and Paul. In your discussion of James 2:17-20, you suggest a connection between Paul’s “obedience of faith” and James’s protest against “faith without works” at Jas. 2:20. In other words, you suggest that James’s “works” and “faith” at that verse are equivalent to Paul’s “obedience” and “faith,” respectively, at Rom. 1:5.

                        The position of my essay is that James’s teaching on justification at Jas. 2 was transitional, and that Paul and James have different essential meanings for the word “faith.” But even if James’s justification teaching were not transitional and Paul and James meant the same thing by “faith,” even James distinguishes between, on the one hand, “faith”/“believe” and, on the other, “works.” They are not equivalent to James.

                        For James “faith” is on the inside. At Jas. 2:18, James pens, “I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (Italics added.) James’s “faith without works” has no “works” to show that “faith.” That “faith” is therefore an unshown “faith” and something inner. On the other hand, James “works” show the otherwise unshown, inner “faith.”

                        Moreover, James says that Abraham’s “faith was working with his works.” (Jas. 2:22.) James expressly distinguishes “faith” and “works”; this “faith” is obviously something other than the “works” with which the “faith” is working.

                        Faith” and “works” are thus not equivalent for James. Even if, therefore, as you suggest, James’s “works” (outward conduct) at Jas. 2:20 and Paul’s “obedience” at Rom. 1:5 are equivalent, (and even if James and Paul mean the same thing by “faith”), then Paul’s “obedience” (outward conduct) is not “faith,” because “faith” is something inner.

                        Your brother,

                        Kenneth E. Roberson

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by footwasher View Post

                          You say that James states that the first kind of faith does not save.


                          Pg 81

                          https://www.christianitywithoutcompromise.com/


                          Actually, the first kind of James's faith does save:


                          Romans 4:3For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”


                          The New Testament passages on faith and justification applies a form of concatenation to all references of these words in the Old Testament and summarises it to mean "trust" and "considered as a saving response". This will be confirmed if you transpose these meanings to all those references in the context linked to them in the NT.

                          Abraham trusted God and it was considered as a saving response.

                          Abraham trusted God's promise of him having descendants as true, but it only adds to other responses of trust, such as leaving his father's house while trusting God's promise of a better alternative (Heb 11:8)

                          All these responses reflected his general trust in God, and all of them saved. What James referred to was the inability of the individual responses to save completely.

                          This is best illustrated with a linking of the principles being taught to live data:


                          If I made you an offer in which I stated that you could
                          1. live a life which was not futile (in the sense of not resulting in assets that perished),
                          2. provided you led people to God, by doing acts that demonstrated His ability to save from danger, like picking up crosses and being raised up,
                          3. this offer being put into effect by an oral agreement,

                          would you agree that that agreement could be considered as
                          1. "trust"
                          2. and (in the sense of operationalising the offer) "considered a saving response"?
                          Thank you for your comments and question. My thoughts are below. Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptural references are to the KJV.
                          As background, I repeat below what I mentioned in my 11-25-2020, 3:24 p.m. post to NorrinRadd in this thread:

                          “Take Paul and James on the meaning of “faith.” When Paul says we are “justified by faith,” his essential meaning of “faith” is that part of the fruit of the Spirit which is the belief inside the Christian, and with the heart, that what God says is true. I say this because Paul says that “faith” is: (1) part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22); belief (Rom. 4:3, 9); inside a person (2 Tim. 1:5); that of a Christian (“your” faith; Rom. 1:8; 2 Th. 1:3); and “with the heart” (Rom. 10:10); that what God says is true (Gen. 15:5-6; Rom. 4:3). In this sense, “faith” is a spiritual, technical term for Paul.

                          Like Paul, for James, in Jas. 2:14-26, “faith” involves belief that what God says is true. But a major key to understanding what “faith” is for James is to recognize that he teaches that just as a body without a spirit is dead, so “faith without works” is dead. (Jas. 2:26.) James’s body metaphor implies that just as a body with a spirit is living, so “faith with works” (my shorthand for “faith . . . wrought with . . . works” (Jas. 2:22)) is living; otherwise “faith with works” is dead too and there is no point in James distinguishing between “faith without works” and “faith with works.” That means that, for James, just as a body can be dead or living and in that sense there are two kinds of bodies—a dead body and a living body—“faith” can be dead or living and in that sense there are two kinds of “faith” for James—dead “faith” and living “faith.” I will refer to James’s “faith without works” as his first kind of “faith” and his “faith with works” as his second kind of “faith.”

                          In fact, duality concerning “faith” is implicit throughout Jas. 2:14-26. James’s first kind of “faith”—“faith without works”—does not save (Jas. 2:14), and it is profitless (2:14), dead (2:17), alone (2:17), unshown (2:18), the kind that a demon has (2:19), and the “faith” of a vain or foolish man (2:20). Further, James’s discussion of Abraham shows that James’s first kind of “faith” does not work with “works” (2:22), is not perfected by works (2:22), does not fulfill Gen. 15:6 and is not counted for righteousness (2:23), is not the “faith” of a friend of God (2:23), and therefore is not the “faith” of a Christian. On the other hand, James’s second kind of “faith”—“faith with works”—saves and is profitable, living, not alone, and shown, and it is not the kind that a demon has and is not the “faith” of a vain or foolish man. Moreover, James’s discussion of Abraham shows that James’s second kind of “faith” works with “works,” is perfected, fulfills Gen. 15:6 and is counted for righteousness, and is the “faith” of a friend of God and therefore the “faith” of a Christian. (Nonetheless, James never says that this second kind of “faith” is part of the “fruit of the Spirit” or “belief with the heart.”)

                          James thus leaves us to deduce his essential meaning of “faith” from his two kinds. His essential meaning of “faith” (in the context of humans, not demons) is: belief inside a person that what God says is true. (And unlike Paul, James never teaches that “faith” in its essential meaning is part of the “fruit of the Spirit” or belief “with the heart.”) The essential meaning of “faith” for James is spiritually neutral and there are only two possibilities for such “faith”; it is either (1) the first kind and not the “faith” of a Christian or (2) the second kind, the “faith” of a Christian. “Faith” in its essential meaning for James does not tell you which kind it is. Which kind it is depends on an additional fact: whether the “faith” is without “works” or whether the “faith” is with “works.” When “faith” is without “works,” that “faith” is James’s first kind. When “faith” is with “works,” that “faith” is his second kind. In the context of justification, “faith” in its essential meaning for James is thus not the technical term that “faith” is in its essential meaning for Paul.

                          It is important to remember that sometimes the same words have different meanings in the New Testament. Sometimes they have an ordinary meaning and other times a spiritual or technical meaning. For example,
                          Luke 18:18-19 record that a ruler once asked Jesus, “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Italics added.) Jesus replied, “Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.” (Italics added.) The ruler was using the word “good” with its ordinary meaning among the Jews; Jesus was using it with a technical meaning making “good” an exclusive attribute of Deity. Jesus was trying to teach the ruler not to call Him good unless he acknowledged, correctly, that He was God. When James refers to “faith” with its essential meaning, he is using the term with its ordinary meaning among the Jews, while Paul invests the term with a spiritual, technical meaning.”

                          I note the following.
                          A. You say,
                          “Actually, the first kind of James's faith does save:

                          Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

                          1. First, the problem is your premise that James’s first kind of “faith” (“faith without works”) is essentially equivalent to Paul’s “believed God.” In other words, you suggest that the apostles have the same essential meaning for the word “faith.” This is error. James’s first kind of “faith” is dead (2:17), the kind a demon has (2:19), and the “faith” of a vain or foolish man (2:20). It does not save. After referring to the man who says that he has “faith” but does not have works, James asks, “Can faith save him?” (Jas. 2:14.) The clear implication of his rhetorical question is that the answer is no: this “faith” does not save.

                          2. Second, if one does not appreciate that the essential meanings of “faith” for Paul and James are different, the result can be confusing. For example, in my 11-25-2020, 3:19 p.m. post to you, I wrote: “My question is, is James presenting two alternatives: either (1) a person ‘says’ that the person has ‘faith’ but has no ‘works,’ which is not ‘faith’ at all or (2) a person ‘says’ that the person has ‘faith’ and it is working with works, and that ‘faith’ is real ‘faith’? In your 11-26-2020, 6:29 p.m. post, you replied, “Yes.” The two alternatives were therefore no faith at all versus a real faith.

                          However, in your above 12-03-2020, 6:31 p.m. post, you mention that “Actually, the first kind of James’s faith does save.” So on the one hand, your 11-26-20 post suggests that James’s first kind of “faith” is no faith at all, while your above 12-03-20 post says that James’s first kind of “faith” saves. Alternatively, perhaps you are suggesting that James refers to “faith” in three contexts: (1) the man who “says” he has “faith” but has no “works” (i.e., he says he has James’s first kind of “faith”) which is not “faith” at all, (2) the man who has “faith without works,” which is a “faith” that saves (do you mean “partially saves”?; see below), and (3) a man who has “faith with works,” and that “faith” saves (“completely saves?”; see below). This highlights the need to appreciate that the essential meanings of “faith” for Paul and James differ.

                          B. You also write:

                          “The New Testament passages on faith and justification applies a form of concatenation to all references of these words in the Old Testament and summarises it to mean ‘trust’ and ‘considered as a saving response’. This will be confirmed if you transpose these meanings to all those references in the context linked to them in the NT.”

                          1. First, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16); therefore, it behooves one to “compare Scripture with Scripture” when considering Biblical doctrinal issues. But it is also true that a careful word study can reveal that sometimes different New Testament speakers or writers use the same terms with different meanings. In other words, one cannot assume that every time a particular word is used in the Bible, the word has the same meaning. I have already given the example of Luke 18:18-19, where the ruler asked Jesus, “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (italics added) and Jesus replied, “Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.” See also Luke 6:32 and Gal. 5:22. At Lk. 6:32, Jesus said, “sinners also love those that love them.” (Italics added.) At Gal. 5:22, Paul said that “love” is part of the “fruit of the Spirit.” (The Greek verb translated “love” at Lk. 6:32 (“agapao”) and the Greek word translated “love” at Gal. 5:22 (“agape”) are cognate words.) If “love” essentially means the same thing in both verses, then sinners have the “fruit of the Spirit.” But “love” does not mean the same thing in both verses. At Lk. 6:32, Jesus was using “love” with its ordinary meaning among the Jews. At Gal. 5:22, Paul invested “love” with a technical meaning indicating it was part of the fruit of the Third Person of the Trinity. Similarly, a careful examination of how Paul and James use the terms, e.g., “faith,” “works,” and “justified by works”; and how Paul uses the phrase “justified by faith” and James uses the phrase “justified . . . by faith only” reveals that these apostles sometimes use the same or similar terms but with different meanings.

                          2. Your view is that in “the New Testament passages,” (1) “faith” means “trust,” and (2) “justification” means “considered as a saving response.” I would respectfully note that James never uses the word “trust” in his epistle. And Paul never uses it in the context of justification. Moreover, as you know, justification and salvation are related but distinct concepts, which in part is why my essay focuses upon, among other things, the views of Paul and James on “faith” and justification.

                          3. Again, your view is that in “the New Testament passages,” “faith” means “trust,” and “This will be confirmed if you transpose these meanings to all those references in the context linked to them in the NT.” I would respectfully submit that this is incorrect, as shown below.

                          James says at Jas. 2:19-20:

                          “19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils [NASB: demons] also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

                          James is teaching in these verses that even demons believe, i.e., even demons have a kind of “faith.” But it is always, of course, a “faith without works.” If demons have a kind of “faith,” and “faith” means “trust,” wouldn’t that mean that demons “trust” God? And if “trust” is “considered as a saving response,” wouldn’t that mean that demons are producing a saving response? And if “faith” means “trust,” and Paul says that “faith” is part of the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22), wouldn’t this mean that demons’ “faith” is part of the “fruit of the Spirit”? These are some of the difficulties presented when it is not recognized that Paul and James have different essential meanings for the term “faith.”

                          C. You further write:
                          “Abraham trusted God's promise of him having descendants as true, but it only adds to other responses of trust, such as leaving his father's house while trusting God's promise of a better alternative (Heb 11:8)

                          All these responses reflected his general trust in God, and all of them saved. What James referred to was the inability of the individual responses to save completely.

                          (Italics added except last.) You maintain here that (1) Abraham’s “individual responses” (italics added) of trust do not save “completely” but (2) “all these responses” (italics added) reflect his general trust and “all of them saved.” You thus appear to introduce the ideas of (1) “partial salvation,” i.e., individual responses of trust are responses that only partially save, and (2) “collective salvation,” i.e., all of the responses together save completely.

                          1. First, James never expressly refers to “faith” as partially saving. As discussed, his essential meaning of “faith” is : belief inside a person that what God says is true. And you cannot know from his essential meaning whether the person is or is not saved; you have to know more, i.e., whether the person does or does not have “works.”

                          2. Second, James’s first kind of “faith”—“faith without works”—does not save. James likens this “faith” to the kind of “faith” a demon has. James asks at Jas. 2:14 concerning this “faith”: “Can faith save him?” This rhetorical question calls for the answer: “no.” It does not call for the answer: “partially.” If “faith without works” can save partially, wouldn’t that mean that the demon is partially saved because it believes God?

                          3. Third, James implies that his second kind of “faith”—“faith with works”—saves. And James never expressly says that such “faith” saves “completely”; he never states that salvation is other than complete.

                          4. Fourth, James never states that “faith without works” is an individual response. In fact, he indicates the contrary. At Jas. 2:19-20, James likens a demon’s belief to “faith without works.” A demon continually has “faith” without (good) “works”; i.e., a demon never has (good) “works” with “faith.”

                          It should be noted that when James says at Jas. 2:14, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have notworks?” (italics added), and when James uses the phrase at Jas. 2:17, “faith, if it hath not works” (italics added), the words “have” and “hath” are translations of words in the Greek present tense. “The fundamental significance of the Greek present tense is the idea of progress. It is the linear tense.” (E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (New York: MacMillan Company, 1955), p. 181.) Without extensive discussion of this point, I would simply note that the use of the Greek present tense is consistent with a continual “faith without works,” and not merely a single individual response of “faith without works.”

                          5. Fifth, if James’s “faith without works” does not focus on an individual response, James’s second kind of “faith,” “faith with works” does not require consideration of multiple individual responses, i.e., “all these responses.” (Italics added.) Thus, at Jas. 2:21, James gives as an example of Abraham’s “faith” working with his “works” his single act of offering Isaac.

                          6. Sixth, if James is teaching a “collective salvation,” i.e., “All these responses reflected his general trust in God, and all of them saved” (italics added), while the “individual responses” do not save completely, this means that a Christian cannot know whether he or she is saved unless and until all of the Christian’s responses, throughout his or her life, have occurred.

                          7. Seventh, Paul, like James, presents “New Testament passages” on “faith.” If the meaning of “faith” for both apostles is the same and means “trust,” where does Paul teach about “the inability of individual responses” of “faith” “to save completely”?

                          D. Finally, you say:

                          “If I made you an offer in which I stated that you could

                          1. live a life which was not futile (in the sense of not resulting in assets that perished),
                          2. provided you led people to God, by doing acts that demonstrated His ability to save from danger, like picking up crosses and being raised up,
                          3. this offer being put into effect by an oral agreement,

                          would you agree that that agreement could be considered as

                          1. ‘trust’
                          2. and (in the sense of operationalising the offer) ‘considered a saving response’?”

                          For the reasons discussed below, I would respectfully answer: no. As background, I note that when Paul refers to being “justified by faith,” this “faith” is on the inside. As my essay states:

                          “Of course, a person believes with the mind; this is an inner event. [∂] Moreover, at 2 Tim. 1:4-5, Paul told Timothy that Paul was: [∂] ‘filled with joy; when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother, Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.’ [∂] (Italics added.)”

                          Further, at Rom. 10:9, Paul declared, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Italics added.) This belief is inside. Thus, for Paul, “faith” is not outward conduct (although it can motivate outward conduct). Thus Paul says at Titus 3:8: “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.” “Faith” for Paul is not “works,” if “works” involve outward conduct.

                          Similarly, for James, “faith” is on the inside. At Jas. 2:18, James pens, “I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (Italics added.) James’s “faith without works” has no “works” to show that “faith.” That “faith” is therefore an unshown “faith” and something inner. On the other hand, James’s “works” show the otherwise unshown, inner “faith.” Moreover, James says that Abraham’s “faith was working with his works.” (Jas. 2:22.) James expressly distinguishes “faith” and “works”; this “faith” is obviously something other than the “works” with which the “faith” is working. “Faith” for James is not “works,” if “works” involve outward conduct.

                          Your hypothetical offer includes my “doing acts.” Moreover, in your hypothetical, I orally agree to that offer.

                          That agreement could not be considered as “trust.” Your view is that “New Testament passages” on “faith” mean “trust.” Paul and James wrote New Testament passages on “faith”; therefore, your view is that when they use the word “faith,” it means “trust.” However, for Paul and James (and even assuming James’s teaching on “faith” in his epistle is not transitional), “faith” is on the inside; “works” (including “good works”) involve outward conduct, and thus “works” are not part of a definition of “faith” for Paul or James. Even James distinguished between “faith” and “works.” However, you make “doing acts” part of your definition of “faith.” That is, you make “works” in the sense of outward conduct part of your very definition of “faith” itself (even James did not do this). Therefore, a definition of “faith” that includes outward conduct (“doing acts”) is not a definition of “faith” for Paul or James. And because you equate “faith” and “trust,” this definition of “trust” includes outward conduct and is not a definition of “trust” for Paul or James. It follows that neither apostle would consider such “faith” or “trust” as a saving response.

                          Your brother,

                          Kenneth E. Roberson

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Kenneth Roberson View Post


                            Thank you for your comments and question. My thoughts are below. Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptural references are to the KJV.

                            As background, I repeat below what I mentioned in my 11-25-2020, 3:24 p.m. post to NorrinRadd in this thread:


                            “Take Paul and James on the meaning of “faith.” When Paul says we are “justified by faith,” his essential meaning of “faith” is that part of the fruit of the Spirit which is the belief inside the Christian, and with the heart, that what God says is true. I say this because Paul says that “faith” is: (1) part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22); belief (Rom. 4:3, 9); inside a person (2 Tim. 1:5); that of a Christian (“your” faith; Rom. 1:8; 2 Th. 1:3); and “with the heart” (Rom. 10:10); that what God says is true (Gen. 15:5-6; Rom. 4:3). In this sense, “faith” is a spiritual, technical term for Paul.


                            Like Paul, for James, in Jas. 2:14-26, “faith” involves belief that what God says is true. But a major key to understanding what “faith” is for James is to recognize that he teaches that just as a body without a spirit is dead, so “faith without works” is dead. (Jas. 2:26.) James’s body metaphor implies that just as a body with a spirit is living, so “faith with works” (my shorthand for “faith . . . wrought with . . . works” (Jas. 2:22)) is living; otherwise “faith with works” is dead too and there is no point in James distinguishing between “faith without works” and “faith with works.” That means that, for James, just as a body can be dead or living and in that sense there are two kinds of bodies—a dead body and a living body—“faith” can be dead or living and in that sense there are two kinds of “faith” for James—dead “faith” and living “faith.” I will refer to James’s “faith without works” as his first kind of “faith” and his “faith with works” as his second kind of “faith.”


                            In fact, duality concerning “faith” is implicit throughout Jas. 2:14-26. James’s first kind of “faith”—“faith without works”—does not save (Jas. 2:14), and it is profitless (2:14), dead (2:17), alone (2:17), unshown (2:18), the kind that a demon has (2:19), and the “faith” of a vain or foolish man (2:20). Further, James’s discussion of Abraham shows that James’s first kind of “faith” does not work with “works” (2:22), is not perfected by works (2:22), does not fulfill Gen. 15:6 and is not counted for righteousness (2:23), is not the “faith” of a friend of God (2:23), and therefore is not the “faith” of a Christian. On the other hand, James’s second kind of “faith”—“faith with works”—saves and is profitable, living, not alone, and shown, and it is not the kind that a demon has and is not the “faith” of a vain or foolish man. Moreover, James’s discussion of Abraham shows that James’s second kind of “faith” works with “works,” is perfected, fulfills Gen. 15:6 and is counted for righteousness, and is the “faith” of a friend of God and therefore the “faith” of a Christian. (Nonetheless, James never says that this second kind of “faith” is part of the “fruit of the Spirit” or “belief with the heart.”)


                            James thus leaves us to deduce his essential meaning of “faith” from his two kinds. His essential meaning of “faith” (in the context of humans, not demons) is: belief inside a person that what God says is true. (And unlike Paul, James never teaches that “faith” in its essential meaning is part of the “fruit of the Spirit” or belief “with the heart.”) The essential meaning of “faith” for James is spiritually neutral and there are only two possibilities for such “faith”; it is either (1) the first kind and not the “faith” of a Christian or (2) the second kind, the “faith” of a Christian. “Faith” in its essential meaning for James does not tell you which kind it is. Which kind it is depends on an additional fact: whether the “faith” is without “works” or whether the “faith” is with “works.” When “faith” is without “works,” that “faith” is James’s first kind. When “faith” is with “works,” that “faith” is his second kind. In the context of justification, “faith” in its essential meaning for James is thus not the technical term that “faith” is in its essential meaning for Paul.


                            It is important to remember that sometimes the same words have different meanings in the New Testament. Sometimes they have an ordinary meaning and other times a spiritual or technical meaning. For example, Luke 18:18-19 record that a ruler once asked Jesus, “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Italics added.) Jesus replied, “Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.” (Italics added.) The ruler was using the word “good” with its ordinary meaning among the Jews; Jesus was using it with a technical meaning making “good” an exclusive attribute of Deity. Jesus was trying to teach the ruler not to call Him good unless he acknowledged, correctly, that He was God. When James refers to “faith” with its essential meaning, he is using the term with its ordinary meaning among the Jews, while Paul invests the term with a spiritual, technical meaning.”


                            I note the following.

                            A. You say,

                            “Actually, the first kind of James's faith does save:


                            Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”


                            1. First, the problem is your premise that James’s first kind of “faith” (“faith without works”) is essentially equivalent to Paul’s “believed God.” In other words, you suggest that the apostles have the same essential meaning for the word “faith.” This is error. James’s first kind of “faith” is dead (2:17), the kind a demon has (2:19), and the “faith” of a vain or foolish man (2:20). It does not save. After referring to the man who says that he has “faith” but does not have works, James asks, “Can faith save him?” (Jas. 2:14.) The clear implication of his rhetorical question is that the answer is no: this “faith” does not save.

                            Sure, that faith is dead in the sense that it cannot make Abraham alive, unite him with God. To do so, Abraham must perfect that faith. Let’s put concrete terms in these abstract statements. Abraham believes God can bring him into being a blessing to the world. God explains that Abraham will have to believe He is God, able to do anything. This is important because becoming a blessing to the world involves picking up crosses everyday, placing ourselves in dangerous situations and expecting God to rescue us, thereby drawing the world to God.


                            Now Abraham says with his lips that this rescuing ability is true, God will always save, but we cannot know he believes it, until he demonstrates that belief, in his case by obeying God’s command to sacrifice Isaac!


                            To sum up, Abraham’s mental assent to the statement, God’s claim is true, is a dead faith. Alone it will not allow him to enter Rest, the state where he can step into dangerous situations and be raised up: that will happen only with a visible demonstration of that belief. So that second act of faith saves, while the first will not.


                            2. Second, if one does not appreciate that the essential meanings of “faith” for Paul and James are different, the result can be confusing. For example, in my 11-25-2020, 3:19 p.m. post to you, I wrote: “My question is, is James presenting two alternatives: either (1) a person ‘says’ that the person has ‘faith’ but has no ‘works,’ which is not ‘faith’ at all or (2) a person ‘says’ that the person has ‘faith’ and it is working with works, and that ‘faith’ is real ‘faith’? In your 11-26-2020, 6:29 p.m. post, you replied, “Yes.” The two alternatives were therefore no faith at all versus a real faith.


                            However, in your above 12-03-2020, 6:31 p.m. post, you mention that “Actually, the first kind of James’s faith does save.” So on the one hand, your 11-26-20 post suggests that James’s first kind of “faith” is no faith at all, while your above 12-03-20 post says that James’s first kind of “faith” saves. Alternatively, perhaps you are suggesting that James refers to “faith” in three contexts: (1) the man who “says” he has “faith” but has no “works” (i.e., he says he has James’s first kind of “faith”) which is not “faith” at all, (2) the man who has “faith without works,” which is a “faith” that saves (do you mean “partially saves”?; see below), and (3) a man who has “faith with works,” and that “faith” saves (“completely saves?”; see below). This highlights the need to appreciate that the essential meanings of “faith” for Paul and James differ.

                            Again “Yes”. The confusion lies in whether James and Paul see two stages of faith. The first stage is where a person believes God is the God who can do anything, and the second is where the person demonstrates his belief is real, that he believes God can do anything.


                            James says that there are people who say God is God, and can do anything.


                            James 2:19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.


                            Paul says there are people who say that God is God, and can do anything.


                            Gal 3:2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?


                            Both expect these believers to perfect their faith, demonstrate with action that their belief is real.


                            Gal 3:Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?


                            James 2:22You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;


                            When the Holy Spirit created calamity in the wilderness, making food scarce, Caleb believed God could do anything, and God provided food miraculously. This resulted in the Holy Spirit creating another calamity, in the form of the approaching Amorite army. Caleb proved his belief was real by going out to face that army. The change from not knowing God would save always to believing it, is called having a different spirit, meta noia, change of thinking, wrongly translated as repent. It was this being born again act which allowed him to enter the Promised Land:


                            Numbers 14:24But because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and has followed Me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he has entered, and his descendants will inherit it.


                            John 3:3Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again



                            B. You also write:

                            “The New Testament passages on faith and justification applies a form of concatenation to all references of these words in the Old Testament and summarises it to mean ‘trust’ and ‘considered as a saving response’. This will be confirmed if you transpose these meanings to all those references in the context linked to them in the NT.”


                            1. First, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16); therefore, it behooves one to “compare Scripture with Scripture” when considering Biblical doctrinal issues. But it is also true that a careful word study can reveal that sometimes different New Testament speakers or writers use the same terms with different meanings. In other words, one cannot assume that every time a particular word is used in the Bible, the word has the same meaning. I have already given the example of Luke 18:18-19, where the ruler asked Jesus, “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (italics added) and Jesus replied, “Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.” See also Luke 6:32 and Gal. 5:22. At Lk. 6:32, Jesus said, “sinners also love those that love them.” (Italics added.) At Gal. 5:22, Paul said that “love” is part of the “fruit of the Spirit.” (The Greek verb translated “love” at Lk. 6:32 (“agapao”) and the Greek word translated “love” at Gal. 5:22 (“agape”) are cognate words.) If “love” essentially means the same thing in both verses, then sinners have the “fruit of the Spirit.” But “love” does not mean the same thing in both verses. At Lk. 6:32, Jesus was using “love” with its ordinary meaning among the Jews. At Gal. 5:22, Paul invested “love” with a technical meaning indicating it was part of the fruit of the Third Person of the Trinity. Similarly, a careful examination of how Paul and James use the terms, e.g., “faith,” “works,” and “justified by works”; and how Paul uses the phrase “justified by faith” and James uses the phrase “justified . . . by faith only” reveals that these apostles sometimes use the same or similar terms but with different meanings.

                            True.


                            2. Your view is that in “the New Testament passages,” (1) “faith” means “trust,” and (2) “justification” means “considered as a saving response.” I would respectfully note that James never uses the word “trust” in his epistle. And Paul never uses it in the context of justification. Moreover, as you know, justification and salvation are related but distinct concepts, which in part is why my essay focuses upon, among other things, the views of Paul and James on “faith” and justification.

                            What is the cognitive content of:


                            James 2:16If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that?


                            The content is that when a brother asks for some of your resources, dodging his request is tantamount to saying you are dependent on resources and not on God, contradicting your belief that God can give you the Kingdom of God, as well as add survival resources that would otherwise escape those who abandon depending on Mammon.


                            So James IS discussing trust, explaining what real trust in God looks like.




                            3. Again, your view is that in “the New Testament passages,” “faith” means “trust,” and “This will be confirmed if you transpose these meanings to all those references in the context linked to them in the NT.” I would respectfully submit that this is incorrect, as shown below.


                            James says at Jas. 2:19-20:


                            “19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils [NASB: demons] also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”


                            James is teaching in these verses that even demons believe, i.e., even demons have a kind of “faith.” But it is always, of course, a “faith without works.” If demons have a kind of “faith,” and “faith” means “trust,” wouldn’t that mean that demons “trust” God? And if “trust” is “considered as a saving response,” wouldn’t that mean that demons are producing a saving response? And if “faith” means “trust,” and Paul says that “faith” is part of the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22), wouldn’t this mean that demons’ “faith” is part of the “fruit of the Spirit”? These are some of the difficulties presented when it is not recognized that Paul and James have different essential meanings for the term “faith.”

                            Hearing with faith means listening and believing. Humans who listen and believe that God is God, and can be trusted to save from danger, will receive the Holy Spirit. This starts the process of salvation. So we can conclude that hearing with faith is a saving act, saves. However, it requires no commitment, no sacrifice. Even demons can see the truth of the statement, will admit God’s words are truth, that admission albeit a grudging one. Maybe even the hearing and confessing of some people are similarly done grudgingly. However, to be admitted into the Kingdom requires demonstration of the belief that God can save, of faith, loyalty. Not only must you state the truth, that God can save, but must stake your life on it. A low grade agreement, admission of the truth of the claim, like that of the demons, is not sufficient. God required that high grade demonstration from Abraham, and the Israelite ex-slaves. As for whether the belief of demons is a saving response, how can demons be brought to repentance? They have passed the state where it can happen. Similarly, apply this impossibility to the question of their being able to produce fruit.


                            C. You further write:

                            “Abraham trusted God's promise of him having descendants as true, but it only adds to other responses of trust, such as leaving his father's house while trusting God's promise of a better alternative (Heb 11:8)


                            All these responses reflected his general trust in God, and all of them saved. What James referred to was the inability of the individual responses to save completely.”


                            (Italics added except last.) You maintain here that (1) Abraham’s “individual responses” (italics added) of trust do not save “completely” but (2) “all these responses” (italics added) reflect his general trust and “all of them saved.” You thus appear to introduce the ideas of (1) “partial salvation,” i.e., individual responses of trust are responses that only partially save, and (2) “collective salvation,” i.e., all of the responses together save completely.


                            1. First, James never expressly refers to “faith” as partially saving. As discussed, his essential meaning of “faith” is : belief inside a person that what God says is true. And you cannot know from his essential meaning whether the person is or is not saved; you have to know more, i.e., whether the person does or does not have “works.”

                            When Scripture uses the words to perfect, it means to complete. The fact that James needs Abraham to complete his demonstration of loyalty to God, shows that he teaches partial salvation.


                            2. Second, James’s first kind of “faith”—“faith without works”—does not save. James likens this “faith” to the kind of “faith” a demon has. James asks at Jas. 2:14 concerning this “faith”: “Can faith save him?” This rhetorical question calls for the answer: “no.” It does not call for the answer: “partially.” If “faith without works” can save partially, wouldn’t that mean that the demon is partially saved because it believes God?

                            Well Scripture teaches that those who hear with belief received the Holy Spirit (Gal 3:2, Acts 19:4, 5). Salvation began in those people.


                            3. Third, James implies that his second kind of “faith”—“faith with works”—saves. And James never expressly says that such “faith” saves “completely”; he never states that salvation is other than complete.

                            James does say that faith with works, completed faith, does save.


                            James 2:23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” e and he was called God’s friend.


                            4. Fourth, James never states that “faith without works” is an individual response. In fact, he indicates the contrary. At Jas. 2:19-20, James likens a demon’s belief to “faith without works.” A demon continually has “faith” without (good) “works”; i.e., a demon never has (good) “works” with “faith.”
                            The point is that faith must be perfected, completed, progress from lip service to action. James says that lip service have the same value as the admission of truth of God’s claims by demons. They know its true, but they never are required to stake their lives on it. They are no longer eligible for salvation.


                            It should be noted that when James says at Jas. 2:14, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have notworks?” (italics added), and when James uses the phrase at Jas. 2:17, “faith, if it hath not works” (italics added), the words “have” and “hath” are translations of words in the Greek present tense. “The fundamental significance of the Greek present tense is the idea of progress. It is the linear tense.” (E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (New York: MacMillan Company, 1955), p. 181.) Without extensive discussion of this point, I would simply note that the use of the Greek present tense is consistent with a continual “faith without works,” and not merely a single individual response of “faith without works.”

                            Not necessarily. The encouragement is for the believer to CHANGE his EXISTING state. He has faith which has no works. He must change it to having faith which has works.


                            5. Fifth, if James’s “faith without works” does not focus on an individual response, James’s second kind of “faith,” “faith with works” does not require consideration of multiple individual responses, i.e., “all these responses.” (Italics added.) Thus, at Jas. 2:21, James gives as an example of Abraham’s “faith” working with his “works” his single act of offering Isaac.

                            Sure. If Abraham had failed to obey God, he would not have been given the opportunity to prove his faith once again. He had “tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come” when God rescued him miraculously from the hands of Pharoah. Now, “it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame”. We see that this was exactly what happened to Israel.


                            Psalms 106:“21They forgot God their Savior,

                            Who had done great things in Egypt,

                            22Wonders in the land of Ham

                            And awesome things by the Red Sea.




                            Resulting in:

                            Hebrews 3:18And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.



                            6. Sixth, if James is teaching a “collective salvation,” i.e., “All these responses reflected his general trust in God, and all of them saved” (italics added), while the “individual responses” do not save completely, this means that a Christian cannot know whether he or she is saved unless and until all of the Christian’s responses, throughout his or her life, have occurred.

                            Not really. God’s words when sown on receptive soil will lead to a realization of a need to commit, to show loyalty with deeds and not just words.


                            Hebrews 3:7Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,

                            “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,

                            8DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME,

                            AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,

                            9WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me,

                            AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS.

                            10“THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION,

                            AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,

                            AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;

                            11AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,

                            ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’”



                            7. Seventh, Paul, like James, presents “New Testament passages” on “faith.” If the meaning of “faith” for both apostles is the same and means “trust,” where does Paul teach about “the inability of individual responses” of “faith” “to save completely”?

                            As I stated above, Paul requires believers to perfect their faith.


                            D. Finally, you say:


                            “If I made you an offer in which I stated that you could


                            1. live a life which was not futile (in the sense of not resulting in assets that perished),

                            2. provided you led people to God, by doing acts that demonstrated His ability to save from danger, like picking up crosses and being raised up,

                            3. this offer being put into effect by an oral agreement,


                            would you agree that that agreement could be considered as


                            1. ‘trust’

                            2. and (in the sense of operationalising the offer) ‘considered a saving response’?”


                            For the reasons discussed below, I would respectfully answer: no. As background, I note that when Paul refers to being “justified by faith,” this “faith” is on the inside. As my essay states:


                            “Of course, a person believes with the mind; this is an inner event. [∂] Moreover, at 2 Tim. 1:4-5, Paul told Timothy that Paul was: [∂] ‘filled with joy; when I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother, Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.’ [∂] (Italics added.)”


                            Further, at Rom. 10:9, Paul declared, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Italics added.) This belief is inside. Thus, for Paul, “faith” is not outward conduct (although it can motivate outward conduct). Thus Paul says at Titus 3:8: “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works.” “Faith” for Paul is not “works,” if “works” involve outward conduct.


                            Similarly, for James, “faith” is on the inside. At Jas. 2:18, James pens, “I will shew thee my faith by my works.” (Italics added.) James’s “faith without works” has no “works” to show that “faith.” That “faith” is therefore an unshown “faith” and something inner. On the other hand, James’s “works” show the otherwise unshown, inner “faith.” Moreover, James says that Abraham’s “faith was working with his works.” (Jas. 2:22.) James expressly distinguishes “faith” and “works”; this “faith” is obviously something other than the “works” with which the “faith” is working. “Faith” for James is not “works,” if “works” involve outward conduct.


                            Your hypothetical offer includes my “doing acts.” Moreover, in your hypothetical, I orally agree to that offer.


                            That agreement could not be considered as “trust.” Your view is that “New Testament passages” on “faith” mean “trust.” Paul and James wrote New Testament passages on “faith”; therefore, your view is that when they use the word “faith,” it means “trust.” However, for Paul and James (and even assuming James’s teaching on “faith” in his epistle is not transitional), “faith” is on the inside; “works” (including “good works”) involve outward conduct, and thus “works” are not part of a definition of “faith” for Paul or James. Even James distinguished between “faith” and “works.” However, you make “doing acts” part of your definition of “faith.” That is, you make “works” in the sense of outward conduct part of your very definition of “faith” itself (even James did not do this). Therefore, a definition of “faith” that includes outward conduct (“doing acts”) is not a definition of “faith” for Paul or James. And because you equate “faith” and “trust,” this definition of “trust” includes outward conduct and is not a definition of “trust” for Paul or James. It follows that neither apostle would consider such “faith” or “trust” as a saving response.

                            Nevertheless, when Abraham or Caleb heard with faith, they were given the Holy Spirit. The Spirit created calamities and rescued them from Pharoah and from food shortage in the desert. They remembered God’s great works which helped them to pass the final tests of their faith.


                            The fact that they were given this “bread from heaven”, to strengthen their faith, shows that the process of salvation had begun. In that sense, they were being saved.


                            Your brother,


                            footwasher.
                            Last edited by footwasher; 12-21-2020, 09:21 AM.

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