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Faith and Works: The Relationship between Faith, Works, and Salvation in the NT

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  • Originally posted by Hornet View Post
    What do you believe is the basis upon which a person is declared righteous before God? Everyone must repent, but is repentance the basis upon which a person is declared righteous before God?
    A person is declared righteous on the basis of faith - salvation is not an outcome of faith alone - at the least, there must be confession with the mouth as well. See Rom 10:9-10

    Then of course, Luke claims that Paul did not preach a works-free salvation:

    Acts 26: 20 Instead, I first told the people in Damascus and Jerusalem, then all the people in Judea—and after that the gentiles—to repent, turn to God, and perform deeds that are consistent with such repentance.
    Last edited by tabibito; 06-16-2019, 10:43 PM.
    sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

    Comment


    • I'm troubled by both "sides" in this discussion. Both seem, in their own ways, graceless and merciless.

      For the Assurance / No Doubting side -- I get the impression that if someone showed doubt and littleness of faith, you would angrily snap, "Go ahead and sink, you failure!" -- rather in contrast to Matt. 14:31. I get the impression you would not respond kindly to the person who cried out, "Help my unbelief" or "My God, why have you forsaken me?"

      What say you? Would you have words of comfort and encouragement for such souls, or only harsh condemnation?


      For the Allegiance / Works side -- I'm sorry, but the more you talk, and despite you *somewhat* denying it, the more you sound like you're preaching legalism and salvation by works. How is your message News that is "Good" compared to the Obsolete Covenant? How are you not preaching, "Thank God the old Law is gone! Now we can replace it with a stricter one! Hooray!" How is yours a happy message for the weary and burdened, one that brings rest to the soul?
      Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

      Beige Nationalist.

      "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

      Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by NorrinRadd
        What say you? Would you have words of comfort and encouragement for such souls, or only harsh condemnation?
        Jesus's harshness or gentleness in Matthew 14 made no difference. Either way, Peter began to sink when he lost his assurance. The story illustrates that assurance is an essential part of faith.

        I will say, however, that if someone has faith and later loses it, the person remains saved from hell. But in order to resume living for God, the person needs to get his head on straight.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
          For the Allegiance / Works side -- I'm sorry, but the more you talk, and despite you *somewhat* denying it, the more you sound like you're preaching legalism and salvation by works. How is your message News that is "Good" compared to the Obsolete Covenant? How are you not preaching, "Thank God the old Law is gone! Now we can replace it with a stricter one! Hooray!" How is yours a happy message for the weary and burdened, one that brings rest to the soul?
          Ah - that's what the problem is.

          Drunkenness is a sin. The person who wants to overcome this sin, his alcoholism, goes to an AA meeting. The people at the AA meeting tell him that there's nothing he can do about his alcoholism, he will never be able to stop drinking, but he'll find acceptance. Where in that is the good news? Is it not better to show him that it is possible to overcome his sin, for all that he will never be free of the desire: that with perseverance he will not be subject to the sin that would otherwise destroy him: that he has found company with people who are also overcoming that sin?

          Is it any easier, or harder, to overcome alcoholism than any other sin? Not according to the Bible.

          Should the Church be adapting the procedures followed by AA and its variants for use as tools to produce a people who individually and collectively can overcome their sins? Or should the church be teaching people that they can do nothing to become holy, that they will always be no different from anyone outside the faith - and if the latter course is followed, what are they offering those who want to become better people?

          I ask again - Can we honestly claim to believe in Christ if we do not believe what he says? Does Christ set us free only from the penalty for sin, or from sin and the penalty for sin?
          Last edited by tabibito; 06-17-2019, 04:17 PM.
          sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

          Comment


          • Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
            I'm troubled by both "sides" in this discussion. Both seem, in their own ways, graceless and merciless.

            For the Assurance / No Doubting side — I get the impression that if someone showed doubt and littleness of faith, you would angrily snap, "Go ahead and sink, you failure!" — rather in contrast to Matt. 14:31. I get the impression you would not respond kindly to the person who cried out, "Help my unbelief" or "My God, why have you forsaken me?"

            What say you? Would you have words of comfort and encouragement for such souls, or only harsh condemnation?


            For the Allegiance / Works side — I'm sorry, but the more you talk, and despite you *somewhat* denying it, the more you sound like you're preaching legalism and salvation by works. How is your message News that is "Good" compared to the Obsolete Covenant? How are you not preaching, "Thank God the old Law is gone! Now we can replace it with a stricter one! Hooray!" How is yours a happy message for the weary and burdened, one that brings rest to the soul?
            A couple of points are in order here:
            • No one has, or ever will, be justified/declared righteous by observing a system of law: ‘[B]y works of law no flesh shall be justified before him; for by law [is] knowledge of sin’ (Rom. 3.20, Darby Translation; cp. Gal. 3.11). Even prior to the old-covenant era, faith in God and his promises was the condition for justification (see Rom. 4).
            • With respect to the journey of Christ-followers towards the fully actualised reign of God in the coming age, both the imagery of rest and strenuous labour are employed throughout the New Testament. The same Jesus who offers rest in him (Mt 11.28–30) also stresses the necessity of agonising to enter the kingdom (Lk 13.24), the difficulty of the way leading to eschatological life, and the fewness of those finding it (Mt 7.13–14).
            For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

            Comment


            • Originally posted by tabibito View Post
              I ask again - Can we honestly claim to believe in Christ if we do not believe what he says? Does Christ set us free only from the penalty for sin, or from sin and the penalty for sin? [par. 5]
              The so-called free-grace–lordship salvation debate may be reduced to the question of whether deliverance from the power and practice of sin is, in some sense, optional or extraneous to the attainment of personal salvation.
              For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

              Comment


              • No one has, or ever will, be justified/declared righteous by observing a system of law: ‘[B]y works of law no flesh shall be justified before him; for by law [is] knowledge of sin’ (Rom. 3.20, Darby Translation; cp. Gal. 3.11). Even prior to the old-covenant era, faith in God and his promises was the condition for justification (see Rom. 4).
                The Bible itself rephrases this one - and in doing so, points out why mere adherence to the law cannot save.
                Hebrews 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (The Koine Greek takes quite a bit of unpacking - but it seems on a cursory read that some of the nuance has suffered in translation).

                deliverance from the power and practice of sin
                Deliverance from the power of sin is a concomitant of faith, I think. Deliverance from the practice of sin - that is volitional (I don't think optional or extraneous really apply here). There also seems to be a radical difference between the outcomes of failing in an attempt and failing to attempt.
                sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                Comment


                • Originally posted by The Remonstrant View Post
                  In this thread, I would like to enquire of participants their understanding regarding the relationship between faith and works in the New Testament. Questions such as the following may be considered:
                  • How should the nature of faith be defined?
                  • Does Paul contradict James on the role of faith and works in justification/salvation? (If so, how? If not, how may the two be reconciled?
                  • Do you believe sola fide (faith alone) to be a doctrine that is faithful to the scriptures (or, at least, to the Pauline corpus)?
                  • Are the New Testament authors non-contradictory on the relationship between faith and works? (Are attempts at harmonisation possible, improbable, or forced?)
                  • On the whole, are good works in some sense necessary for salvation (particularly the attainment of final/eschatological salvation)?

                  2. The contradiction is verbal, not real. What James rejects, is not what St Paul proposes. James is a close echo of the Teaching of Christ, which St Paul adapts parts of, but does not betray.
                  3. Yes, definitely. Faith is the alone way by which we can come to God through Christ, because neither works done before justification without Christ, nor works done in Christ after justification, justify us before God. To come to God, we can come only as God enables us to do so, not as we might think fit.
                  4. There is no contradiction. IMO, harmonisation is needless, & a bad idea, because it ignores and artificially smooths out the distinctive witness of each writer - and that does wrong to the God-breathed message of each one. I really dislike harmonising Scripture.
                  5. Not so much “necessary”, as unavoidable. A soul in whom God is fruitfully present, cannot avoid bringing forth good fruit. It would be utterly unnatural and perverse for such a soul not to. Such a soul, because Christ is in some measure formed in it, will in that measure love and long for what is Christ’s, and will rejoice to do Christ’s works. Not because it is ordered to, but because it hungers and thirsts to do so. If Christ was on Earth not idle in well-doing, how can that soul be idle ?

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