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VerticalReality
Sep 9th 2008, 07:00 PM
How can a person be justified by works and not justified by works at the same time?

You hear many folks talk about how salvation is by faith alone and not works. However, the Word of God declares that we are both not justified by works and also justified by works.

And for those thinking it . . . this is not a contradiction.

Thoughts?

IPet2_9
Sep 9th 2008, 07:13 PM
And for those thinking it . . . this is not a contradiction.I used to think we as Christians had to reason our way down to zero contradictions in the Bible, but now I don't. After reading "The Case for Christ" (by Lee Stroebel), I think it's okay to just admit that the Bible has contradictions. That is not the same as having errors, though--the Bible DOES have zero errors.

We see contradictions even in nature. Take the simple Law of Gravity--everything must go down. Then what about birds? Do they not go up? And what about Quantum Physics--do they not contradict Newtonian Physics? Or Ohm's Law: I=V/R. Ah, but not for semiconductors--then V changes the R. Nature is full of contradictions. I'm okay with admitting that. But that doesn't mean nature is wrong; after all, how could nature possibly be wrong?? It just is what it is.


All that is to say: yes, we are saved through faith alone; and yes, we are saved by at least one work--accepting Christ. Okay, it's a contradiction. No, it is not an error.

itsokimadocter
Sep 9th 2008, 07:15 PM
we aren't justified by works...

the bible explains it perfect in James 2:14-26

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

When it says Rahab was justified by her woks, it means that her works were a testimony of her faith.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him

in His love,
Todd

John146
Sep 9th 2008, 07:17 PM
How can a person be justified by works and not justified by works at the same time?

You hear many folks talk about how salvation is by faith alone and not works. However, the Word of God declares that we are both not justified by works and also justified by works.

And for those thinking it . . . this is not a contradiction.

Thoughts?We're not justified by works of the law (Acts 13:39, Rom 3:20,28), but we are justified by faith and good works (James 2:24). Works of the law would include things like ceremonial washings and animal sacrifices and those kinds of things. Good works would include things like feeding the hungry, helping orphans and widows, and visiting the sick.

The reason we are partly justified by good works is because faith without works is dead (James 2:20,26). James said we should show our faith by our works. If we have true faith, then our works should reflect that. Not that these works are done entirely of ourselves. As Jesus said, "for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). We are required to have faith, but we can't do the work God wants us to do without being led by the Spirit. Even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19). That kind of faith is not enough in order to be justified. It has to be the kind of faith where you are willing to do whatever God tells you to do, as in the case of Abraham when he went to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar. James said Abraham was justified by his works (James 2:21). How or why? Because it reflected that he had true faith rather than having the kind of faith that even the demons have.

VerticalReality
Sep 9th 2008, 07:18 PM
we aren't justified by works...

the bible explains it perfect in James 2:14-26

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

When it says Rahab was justified by her woks, it means that her works were a testimony of her faith.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him

in His love,
Todd

The passage says they were justified by their works. Therefore, we are justified by our works also.

VerticalReality
Sep 9th 2008, 07:21 PM
We're not justified by works of the law (Acts 13:39, Rom 3:20,28), but we are justified by faith and good works (James 2:24).

DING DING DING!!! We have a winner right off the bat! Thank you for your contribution to the thread, John146!

When it is said that we are not justified by works it is meant that we are not justified by works OF THE LAW. However, we are justified by good works of righteousness.

John146
Sep 9th 2008, 07:21 PM
I used to think we as Christians had to reason our way down to zero contradictions in the Bible, but now I don't. After reading "The Case for Christ" (by Lee Stroebel), I think it's okay to just admit that the Bible has contradictions. That is not the same as having errors, though--the Bible DOES have zero errors.No, no, no, no, no, no, no. That is what Satan would like us to say. Please do not cave in to the pressure. There are NO contradictions in scripture. Look closely and see that it says we are not justified by works of the law, which are not the same as the works James is speaking about in James 2.


All that is to say: yes, we are saved through faith alone; and yes, we are saved by at least one work--accepting Christ. Okay, it's a contradiction. No, it is not an error.It's not a contradiction. There are none in scripture. You say accepting Christ is a work. But where does scripture say that?

HisLeast
Sep 9th 2008, 07:28 PM
Ugh... back to being paranoid about if what I've done is enough.

John146
Sep 9th 2008, 07:30 PM
DING DING DING!!! We have a winner right off the bat! Thank you for your contribution to the thread, John146!

When it is said that we are not justified by works it is meant that we are not justified by works OF THE LAW. However, we are justified by good works of righteousness.Unfortunately, this seems to be a common mistake. Maybe it's from people reading Romans 4 without also reading Romans 3 so that they understand the context. See how easy it is to find supposed contradictions in scripture if we don't read it in the right context?

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

A clear contradiction above, right? Sure, if you don't take context into account. This illustrates how important reading scripture in context really is. A few verses before Romans 4:2, Paul said this in Romans 3:28, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.". That is the context of the kind of works Paul is talking about. Works (deeds) of the law. He doesn't change the topic in Romans 4.

IPet2_9
Sep 9th 2008, 07:34 PM
It's not a contradiction. There are none in scripture. You say accepting Christ is a work. But where does scripture say that?

Matthew 7:21 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=47&chapter=7&verse=21&version=31&context=verse)
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 10:32 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=47&chapter=10&verse=32&version=31&context=verse)
"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.

VerticalReality
Sep 9th 2008, 07:37 PM
Ugh... back to being paranoid about if what I've done is enough.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling . . .

Being paranoid about whether you have done "enough" is really not the right way to go about it, IMO. However, examining ourselves to be sure we are in the faith and loving others is definitely not just a recommendation. It's a command.

John146
Sep 9th 2008, 07:38 PM
Ugh... back to being paranoid about if what I've done is enough.It isn't really about us doing enough, it's about whether we have the kind of faith that Abraham had. If we do, we will do similar things to what he did because it means we have the Spirit of God within us and leading us to do good works.

This is what Jesus told the Pharisees and other religious Jews:

John 8
37I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. 38I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
39They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

They were natural descendants of Abraham but not spiritual descendants because they didn't have true faith like Abraham had. If they did they would have done the kinds of works that Abraham did. Jesus said you will know them by their fruit. We are known by our fruit. If the Spirit is in us, we will do good works and bear good fruit. The Spirit works through us. If we have nothing to show but bad fruit then that is evidence that we don't have true faith and the Spirit is not in us.

IPet2_9
Sep 9th 2008, 07:47 PM
I'm not saying these two Scriptures are a contradiction. I am answering your question as to where in Scripture does it say that accepting Christ is a work. Jesus made it chillingly clear that it's not like you can just think good thoughts and that will get you to Heaven.

Emanate
Sep 9th 2008, 07:58 PM
Romans 10:9 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.

That looks like two actions to me.

Choose ye this day whom you will serve.

Maybe an action is required on our part?

HisLeast
Sep 9th 2008, 08:04 PM
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling . . .
My motto


Being paranoid about whether you have done "enough" is really not the right way to go about it, IMO. However, examining ourselves to be sure we are in the faith and loving others is definitely not just a recommendation. It's a command.
One can't help being paranoid with all the endless division on practically every issue presented to the faith. With every click of New Post there's a veritable catalog of "salvation essential" doctrines to worry about. But specific to this discussion...

what's the difference between a "work of faith" and a "work of the law". Is not a work of the law something done in faithfulness to the Lord who gave it?

mrsparks
Sep 9th 2008, 08:08 PM
Romans 10:9 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.

That looks like two actions to me.

Choose ye this day whom you will serve.

Maybe an action is required on our part?

I think "works" refers to actions which serve others. Eph. 4:11-13 refers to works of service.

John146
Sep 9th 2008, 08:10 PM
I'm not saying these two Scriptures are a contradiction.Okay. I just deleted my post then since I misunderstood.


I am answering your question as to where in Scripture does it say that accepting Christ is a work. Jesus made it chillingly clear that it's not like you can just think good thoughts and that will get you to Heaven.I thought you were saying that having faith in Christ was a work and if so, my contention is that faith itself is not a work. Yet, as James says, faith without works is dead.

BrckBrln
Sep 9th 2008, 08:11 PM
Take the simple Law of Gravity--everything must go down. Then what about birds? Do they not go up?

I don't think that's a contradiction. Gravity is a very weak force (compared with the other forces) and with enough power you can beat it like our space shuttles. Just wanted to point this out and, yeah, there aren't any contradictions or errors in the Bible.

John146
Sep 9th 2008, 08:17 PM
Romans 10:9 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.

That looks like two actions to me.

Choose ye this day whom you will serve.

Maybe an action is required on our part?I think of good works or works of righteousness as being things like this:

Matthew 25
35ForI was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

BroRog
Sep 9th 2008, 08:22 PM
In Romans, when Paul says we are justified by faith and not by works, we know that he means "works of the Law."

As an example, suppose we see a Jewish man walking down the street. He is wearing a little box on his forehead and in that box contains a scripture verse, perhaps a verse out of Deuteronomy. Suddenly a man walks up to him with a camera man, who wants to ask him some questions. The Jewish man, being xenophobic pushes the man off the street, begins hitting him, shoves the camera and yells, "we don't like your kind! Get out of here, Get out of here."

We would be right to ask him, "Hey, why do you wear that box on your head? Do you believe the verses inside? You don't act like you believe it. You act like you don't care a lick about what God thinks." While putting a box on the head is part of this man's religion, we can see that his religion has done him no good. He might as well take the box off his head and save himself the embarrassment.

On the other hand, the Jewish man could have treated the man and his camera man with kindness and thoughtfulness. Had he done so, we might conclude that he actually does believe the scriptures on his head.

We don't know either way. It's not up to us to judge a man's heart. But rest assured, that is what God is going to do. He knows whether our outward actions reflect an honest and good heart or not.

Emanate
Sep 9th 2008, 08:38 PM
In Romans, when Paul says we are justified by faith and not by works, we know that he means "works of the Law."

As an example, suppose we see a Jewish man walking down the street. He is wearing a little box on his forehead and in that box contains a scripture verse, perhaps a verse out of Deuteronomy. Suddenly a man walks up to him with a camera man, who wants to ask him some questions. The Jewish man, being xenophobic pushes the man off the street, begins hitting him, shoves the camera and yells, "we don't like your kind! Get out of here, Get out of here."

We would be right to ask him, "Hey, why do you wear that box on your head? Do you believe the verses inside? You don't act like you believe it. You act like you don't care a lick about what God thinks." While putting a box on the head is part of this man's religion, we can see that his religion has done him no good. He might as well take the box off his head and save himself the embarrassment.

On the other hand, the Jewish man could have treated the man and his camera man with kindness and thoughtfulness. Had he done so, we might conclude that he actually does believe the scriptures on his head.

We don't know either way. It's not up to us to judge a man's heart. But rest assured, that is what God is going to do. He knows whether our outward actions reflect an honest and good heart or not.

That is what Y'shua taught. It is not about the outward appearance. Thus the need to not only write Torah on our hands and forehead, but more so on our hearts.

as a side note: Tefllin are not what I see the intent of Torah.

IPet2_9
Sep 9th 2008, 09:10 PM
I don't think that's a contradiction. Gravity is a very weak force (compared with the other forces) and with enough power you can beat it like our space shuttles. Just wanted to point this out and, yeah, there aren't any contradictions or errors in the Bible.

But that's just the point. There are two conflicting (or contradicting) forces. Reality is not simple; reality is a very complicated thing. Contradictions in the Bible are just a simple matter of semantics, and of perspective. The contradictions are actually a reflection on the Bible's authenticity--not it's errancy. The Bible is real, and reality is a complicated thing, full of paradoxes.

keck553
Sep 9th 2008, 09:21 PM
It's amazing what length a person who profeses to be a beleiver in God will go to justify thier disobedience to His way.

Just amazing. What ever happened to simple childlike acceptance?

Bryan43
Sep 9th 2008, 09:30 PM
the only way to understand a supposed contradiction is to not take a verse or a few verses and assume you know what they mean.

Who where james talking to?? People who were hearers only, peaple who showed no change of life. Who had a false religion.

Paul said we are saved by grace alone, and not works. But we were saved to do thre works God created us to do. ( eph 2: 8 - 10 )

James is just clarifying what Paul said. If you have no works. your faith is dead. If you had true faith, you would show works.

James is not trying to say we are justified, or recieve eternal life by any works.

he is saying if we had true repentance. if we had true faith. if we had true salvation. we would do the works Paul said we would do in eph 2: 10/ the fact these people were not doing these works proved they had Zero or dead faith.

Paul is speaking to a works crowd, trying to add ceremony and law to salvation.

James is speaking to a lasciveous group, thinking they could quote a few wordsa and be saved and live like they always had lived.

they do not contradict. they actually compliment.

Paul said we are saved by faith alone. and out of this salvation will come works.,

James states the lack of works shows that there was not faith. thus no salvation. for if their was true faith. there would be true works. just as Paul said there would be.

Hope this helps

ananias
Sep 9th 2008, 09:56 PM
In Romans, when Paul says we are justified by faith and not by works, we know that he means "works of the Law."

As an example, suppose we see a Jewish man walking down the street. He is wearing a little box on his forehead and in that box contains a scripture verse, perhaps a verse out of Deuteronomy. Suddenly a man walks up to him with a camera man, who wants to ask him some questions. The Jewish man, being xenophobic pushes the man off the street, begins hitting him, shoves the camera and yells, "we don't like your kind! Get out of here, Get out of here."

We would be right to ask him, "Hey, why do you wear that box on your head? Do you believe the verses inside? You don't act like you believe it. You act like you don't care a lick about what God thinks." While putting a box on the head is part of this man's religion, we can see that his religion has done him no good. He might as well take the box off his head and save himself the embarrassment.

On the other hand, the Jewish man could have treated the man and his camera man with kindness and thoughtfulness. Had he done so, we might conclude that he actually does believe the scriptures on his head.

We don't know either way. It's not up to us to judge a man's heart. But rest assured, that is what God is going to do. He knows whether our outward actions reflect an honest and good heart or not.

Thanks for the tip, brorog. I'll never ever approach a Jewish-looking man with a box on his head!

ananias

BroRog
Sep 9th 2008, 11:24 PM
Thanks for the tip, brorog. I'll never ever approach a Jewish-looking man with a box on his head!

ananias

Especially in certain areas of Jerusalem.

keck553
Sep 9th 2008, 11:36 PM
So much for evangelism. :giveup:

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 9th 2008, 11:45 PM
You say accepting Christ is a work. But where does scripture say that?

Jesus, Himself, says that believing on Him is a work....


~Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent~
John 6: 28-29

Bryan43
Sep 10th 2008, 12:04 AM
Jesus, Himself, says that believing on Him is a work....


~Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent~
John 6: 28-29


Yes, but whose work?? Our work? Or the work of God??

this is the difference. No one can boast about believeing. Because God did all the work.

Anyother work that comes from our doing anythi8ng can be boasted about. as paul says. if you can boast it is a work.

Not of works. lest any man should boast.

name a work that can not be boasted about.

IPet2_9
Sep 10th 2008, 12:06 AM
It's a contradiction. :pp

SIG
Sep 10th 2008, 12:14 AM
Ugh... back to being paranoid about if what I've done is enough.

Don't worry about it; it's not you, it's GOD who works in you....You can be sure that He does enough.

Bryan43
Sep 10th 2008, 12:17 AM
Originally Posted by HisLeast http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1781769#post1781769)
Ugh... back to being paranoid about if what I've done is enough.


don;t worry. Christ did all the work for salvation. all we need to do is trust him

now if you are born again. and wish to recieve reward?? then you must start working. however, as SIG said. it is Christ who works in you. not you who actually does the work..

the question is. do you have faith in God to do the works for you??

IPet2_9
Sep 10th 2008, 12:19 AM
My deep thought for the moment:

Less filling! Tastes great!
Less filling! Tastes great!
Less filling! Tastes great!

...
...
...

Faith! Works!
Faith! Works!
Faith! Works!

:giveup:

SIG
Sep 10th 2008, 12:23 AM
I see no contradiction; maybe I'm simple.

True works are a supernatural by-product and evidence of true faith. Faith saves; works follow. If you see no true works, you must question true faith. And yes, it is God who works in those who have true faith...

Both the faith and the works (as these are together) justify, as both together bear evidence of salvation.

apothanein kerdos
Sep 10th 2008, 12:34 AM
Or the problem of equivocation with the word "justification" could be occurring. Our works have nothing to do with our salvation. The 'justification' in James has a different meaning than the 'justification' in Romans 4. Saying it's "works of the law" is playing around with words and not really paying attention to what the Scripture is saying. After all - and this is the wrench in the argument - how could Abraham be justified by works of a law that didn't exist? If Paul means "works of the law" then I'd have to question his intelligence - everyone knew Abraham wasn't justified by the law; it didn't exist yet.

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 10th 2008, 12:59 AM
Yes, but whose work?? Our work? Or the work of God??

this is the difference. No one can boast about believeing. Because God did all the work.

Anyother work that comes from our doing anythi8ng can be boasted about. as paul says. if you can boast it is a work.

Not of works. lest any man should boast.

name a work that can not be boasted about.

Look at the Scripture again. Jesus said it is our work to believe. Please look at what Jesus said. Our work is to "believe" As one that has had to ~fight the good fight of faith~ (that is scripture!,) for years, I can tell you that it is a work......

It has been gut-wrenching, hard work to learn to really trust and believe that God is for me, not against me.

Yes...God did all the work...But don't tell me it has not been work to seek Him and seek Him and believe and trust in Him as I have done for years.

It has been work! Tell me, please that it is not work to those whose image of God has been so distorted that they have had to fight and fight and work to trust this God Who died for me........

I don't boast....But God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him....

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 10th 2008, 01:03 AM
It's a contradiction. :pp

Amen!!!:pp:pp :hug:

RoadWarrior
Sep 10th 2008, 01:05 AM
I totallly disagree with you. As one that has had to ~fight the good fight of faith~ (that is scripture!,) for years, I can tell you that it is a work......

It has been gut-wrenching, hard work to learn to really trust and believe that God is for me, not against me.

Yes...God did all the work...But don't tell me it has not been work to seek Him and seek Him and believe and trust in Him as I have done for years.

It has been work! Tell me, please that it is not work to those whose image of God has been so distorted that they have had to fight and fight and work to trust this God Who died for me........

I don't boast....But God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him....

You are not alone. I also have traveled that hard road of doing the deep work that is necessary to know God. The first hard work was tearing down the doctrinal constructions that were wood hay and stubble.

BroRog
Sep 10th 2008, 01:10 AM
Or the problem of equivocation with the word "justification" could be occurring. Our works have nothing to do with our salvation. The 'justification' in James has a different meaning than the 'justification' in Romans 4. Saying it's "works of the law" is playing around with words and not really paying attention to what the Scripture is saying. After all - and this is the wrench in the argument - how could Abraham be justified by works of a law that didn't exist? If Paul means "works of the law" then I'd have to question his intelligence - everyone knew Abraham wasn't justified by the law; it didn't exist yet.

It's an equivocation on the word "work". In Romans the issue is whether a person can merit God's justification simply by observing the rituals. Paul's answer is in the negative. In essence he is saying, whether you keep them or not, faith is what God declares as "justifiedness."

James is writing to folks who merely mouth the words, "I have faith." To that James wants to look for evidence that might lend credibility to their statement. In this case, the word works is more akin to our word "action".

Here is an example. Suppose I ran around saying, "God warned me that a bomb was going to drop on our city." James would say, "Ok, if you really believe that, why are you still here? Why haven't you taken action on your beliefs? Doesn't the fact that you haven't moved you and your family away from here indicate a lack of belief?" James isn't talking about just any old works. He wants to see works that demonstrate a genuine faith.

Bryan43
Sep 10th 2008, 01:14 AM
Look at the Scripture again. Jesus said it is our work to believe. Please look at what Jesus said. Our work is to "believe" As one that has had to ~fight the good fight of faith~ (that is scripture!,) for years, I can tell you that it is a work......

John 6: 28 - 29 28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

You must have missed. I think Jesus is quite clear!. They asked him what works they could do to recieve the food that endured top eternal life.

Jesus said. It is the WORK OF GOD that you believe. Belief is not our work. it is our faith in HIS WORK.


It has been gut-wrenching, hard work to learn to really trust and believe that God is for me, not against me.

Yes...God did all the work...But don't tell me it has not been work to seek Him and seek Him and believe and trust in Him as I have done for years.


are we talking about his work for salvation and his promise of eternal life?

Or having faith in God to work in and through us. to grow us. to make us a child he can use?? They are two different things.



I don't boast....But God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him....



I agree. But Christ is quite clear. you want to live forever, never hunger, never thirst. be promised eternal life, given Chris'ts own assurance he will raise you on the last day?? all thing Christ promised in john 6??

then do what he says.

“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

ConqueredbyLove
Sep 10th 2008, 01:15 AM
You are not alone. I also have traveled that hard road of doing the deep work that is necessary to know God. The first hard work was tearing down the doctrinal constructions that were wood hay and stubble.

Thank you...That means so much to me...that you understand....

HisLeast
Sep 10th 2008, 01:15 AM
name a work that can not be boasted about.

Keeping one's mouth shut.

Bryan43
Sep 10th 2008, 01:15 AM
It's an equivocation on the word "work". In Romans the issue is whether a person can merit God's justification simply by observing the rituals. Paul's answer is in the negative. In essence he is saying, whether you keep them or not, faith is what God declares as "justifiedness."

James is writing to folks who merely mouth the words, "I have faith." To that James wants to look for evidence that might lend credibility to their statement. In this case, the word works is more akin to our word "action".

Here is an example. Suppose I ran around saying, "God warned me that a bomb was going to drop on our city." James would say, "Ok, if you really believe that, why are you still here? Why haven't you taken action on your beliefs? Doesn't the fact that you haven't moved you and your family away from here indicate a lack of belief?" James isn't talking about just any old works. He wants to see works that demonstrate a genuine faith.

agreed. and I might add. John the Baptist demanded proof from the pharisees that they had true repentance before he would baptise them. He too was looking for works that show true faith. before he would do anything.

Bryan43
Sep 10th 2008, 01:16 AM
Keeping one's mouth shut.

I know many people who boast, " I did not say anything. I kept my mouth shut.. arn't you proud of me! "

faroutinmt
Sep 10th 2008, 01:26 AM
No works that we do can ever justify us in the sense of forgiving our sins and declaring us righteous (innocent of guilt) before God. Only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ can do that.

However, we are justified before God and before men by the fruit of the Spirit in our lives in the sense that this is the true proof/evidence that we are in fact reconciled to God and that He has taken control of our lives.

We are justified (declared righteous) only on the basis of Christ's work. We are justified (evidenced/proven to be righteous) by the fruit of our behavior.

RoadWarrior
Sep 10th 2008, 01:30 AM
Thank you...That means so much to me...that you understand....

We could do a whole thread on what that sort of journey looks like. I'll bet there are others here who have traveled that hard road. And there are some that are on it but don't realize it. At the same time there are others have turned aside into the broccoli fields and don't quite yet know why broccoli stalks and leaves rotting in the fields stinks so much.

There are dead works, and then there is work that glorifies God. Quite different activities.

apothanein kerdos
Sep 10th 2008, 01:31 AM
It's an equivocation on the word "work". In Romans the issue is whether a person can merit God's justification simply by observing the rituals. Paul's answer is in the negative. In essence he is saying, whether you keep them or not, faith is what God declares as "justifiedness."

James is writing to folks who merely mouth the words, "I have faith." To that James wants to look for evidence that might lend credibility to their statement. In this case, the word works is more akin to our word "action".

Here is an example. Suppose I ran around saying, "God warned me that a bomb was going to drop on our city." James would say, "Ok, if you really believe that, why are you still here? Why haven't you taken action on your beliefs? Doesn't the fact that you haven't moved you and your family away from here indicate a lack of belief?" James isn't talking about just any old works. He wants to see works that demonstrate a genuine faith.

How does this negate what I said though? ;)

If anything, I'd say the two points compliment each other.

apothanein kerdos
Sep 10th 2008, 01:32 AM
Keeping one's mouth shut.

You can boast in your heart. You can boast without saying a thing. Sin is internal. Any and all works are things we can boast about, even to ourselves, thus none of them save us.

HisLeast
Sep 10th 2008, 01:36 AM
Don't worry about it; it's not you, it's GOD who works in you....You can be sure that He does enough.
I can? Then why work out one's salvation with fear and trembling?
Why the talk about works at all if its just God doing it all and I'm along for the ride?

I just can't reconcile this "God does it all" with any of scripture. When God said "go do", how many of even the GREAT patriarchs trembled? Moses cowered over his speech impediment. Elisha asked for a double dose of whatever Elijah had. Jesus himself asked if the cup could be passed. Surely mighty works to God's glory take more than us just going into a trance while God drives your body. Surely it takes some mastery of one's self and denial of self preservation.

apothanein kerdos
Sep 10th 2008, 01:41 AM
I can? Then why work out one's salvation with fear and trembling?
Why the talk about works at all if its just God doing it all and I'm along for the ride.

I just can't reconcile this "God does it all" with any of scripture. When God said "go do", how many of even the GREAT patriarchs trembled. Moses cowered over his speech impediment. Elisha asked for a double dose of whatever Elijah had. Jesus himself asked if the cup could be passed. Surely mighty works to God's glory take more than us just going into a trance while God drives your body. Surely it takes some mastery of one's self and denial of self preservation.

Excellent question. I really wish the Bible addressed that ;)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Probably be best if everyone read the context before quoting one verse to prove a point. :)

HisLeast
Sep 10th 2008, 01:46 AM
don;t worry. Christ did all the work for salvation. all we need to do is trust him
That is most definitely not a message consistent with what is testified here.


now if you are born again. and wish to recieve reward?? then you must start working. however, as SIG said. it is Christ who works in you. not you who actually does the work..
I don't even want to think about reward. If I'm the dude in heaven who has to spit polish the golden streets, I'll be happy as a lark. Again, I'm suspicious of the "Christ does the work, you don't" idea. Whatever work I accomplish with my stubborn and insubordinate will, the glory and honor will be God's, but I think God expects obedience, and thats not something that God does for me.... thats something I do for him.


the question is. do you have faith in God to do the works for you??
"Have you stopped beating your wife"?
Its a loaded question. If I say "no" I admit to not having faith in God. If I say yes, I admit that God does all my works for me. The two are irreconcilable to me. If God does all our works for us, why are we even having a conversation about the importance of works?

If God does everything, what do WE do? Where's the part where WE deny ourselves? Where's the part where WE labor for God's glory? In every part of the Old Testament dealing with sin the imperative is clear "you must not do this" "you must avoid this" "YOU". In every example of works in the Old and New Testaments the onus is just as clear "take care of the poor, widowed, and imprisoned", not "stand back and watch me do it".

drew
Sep 10th 2008, 01:50 AM
We're not justified by works of the law (Acts 13:39, Rom 3:20,28), but we are justified by faith and good works (James 2:24).
I agree with this. It is important to note that in texts like Romans 3:28, Paul is clearly talking about the Torah - the law of Moses. He is not denying that we are justified by "good works". How could he be? He has just told us in Romans 2 that there will indeed be people who are justified by "good works".

BroRog
Sep 10th 2008, 01:57 AM
How does this negate what I said though? ;)

If anything, I'd say the two points compliment each other.

How do you see such an equivocation working? As far as I can see, Paul and James are using the term in the exact same way.

BroRog
Sep 10th 2008, 02:01 AM
I agree with this. It is important to note that in texts like Romans 3:28, Paul is clearly talking about the Torah - the law of Moses. He is not denying that we are justified by "good works". How could he be? He has just told us in Romans 2 that there will indeed be people who are justified by "good works".

Paul isn't arguing that we are justified by our good works. He says God will judge us according to our deeds and depending on what we are seeking through those deeds the outcome will be appropriate to that.

HisLeast
Sep 10th 2008, 02:05 AM
Excellent question. I really wish the Bible addressed that ;)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Probably be best if everyone read the context before quoting one verse to prove a point. :)
For your information, sir, Philipans 2:12-13 happens to be a personal mantra that haunts me each night until (if) I get to sleep. I might not be your academic equal, sir, but I darned well make it a point not to quote-mine scriptures willy-nilly. May I quote the text now? Or must I return to the kiddy table until I acquire a Masters of Divinity from a reputable school?

Now... about that context I'm so artfully accused of ignoring...

" for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. "
Maybe my comprehension is off, but this appears to be saying that God works in us to foster the will to act for his good purpose. That still leaves us with lacing up the boots and doing it.

drew
Sep 10th 2008, 02:12 AM
Or the problem of equivocation with the word "justification" could be occurring. Our works have nothing to do with our salvation.
In Romans 2:6-13, Paul makes it quite clear - we are indeed "justified" (declared to be in the right) and saved (given eternal life) by the good works that the Holy Spirit generates in our lives:

God "will give to each person according to what he has done."[a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202&version=31#fen-NIV-27954a)] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.
12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.


After all - and this is the wrench in the argument - how could Abraham be justified by works of a law that didn't exist? If Paul means "works of the law" then I'd have to question his intelligence - everyone knew Abraham wasn't justified by the law; it didn't exist yet.
Paul indeed means "works of the law" in Romans 4 - the context makes this abundantly clear. He has just told us in 3:28 that the law - the Torah - does not justify. Are you suggesting that a breath later - in Romans 4:2 - Paul is making a different claim altogether - that "good works" do not justify. I find that a tad odd.

But there are lots of other reasons to see that in Romans 4, it is still "justfication by the works of Torah" that is being denied. The argument that he can't be doing this since the Law did not yet exist has superficial appeal, but I suggest that it does not really work.

It is true that the Torah was delivered hundreds of years after the command to circumcize. But it is clear from the rest of Romans, and the following from Galatians - that Paul sees circumcision as a token or symbol of the Torah:

Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

Besides, when Paul writes this in Romans 4, it is clear he has something in mind that marks out Jew from Gentile - and that is not the matter of "good works", it is the matter of the Torah:

16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

This statement makes much better sense if we realize that earlier in chapter 4, he is denying the justificatory power of the Torah, since it is precisely the Torah, and not good works, which would be the basis for argument that the Jew - the person who has Torah - is the heir to the promise to the exclusion of the Gentile.

And that is precisely what Paul is saying is not the case.

drew
Sep 10th 2008, 02:21 AM
Paul isn't arguing that we are justified by our good works. He says God will judge us according to our deeds and depending on what we are seeking through those deeds the outcome will be appropriate to that.
Well, he does say that we will be declared to be righteous according to what we have done (obeying the law). I would call this is a statement that we are justified - declared to be "in the right" - according to what we have done. To me, this is justification by good works.

Nevertheless, I also agree to what you post above, although I do not see the contradiction between your view and mine here. I agree that verse 7 fits with what you say, but verse 13 says that those who obey the law will be declared righteous. That seems like like a rather clear claim that some sort of behaviour is required, not mere intent or motivation, as one might indeed legitimately argue from verse 7.

RoadWarrior
Sep 10th 2008, 02:29 AM
I can? Then why work out one's salvation with fear and trembling?
Why the talk about works at all if its just God doing it all and I'm along for the ride?

I just can't reconcile this "God does it all" with any of scripture. When God said "go do", how many of even the GREAT patriarchs trembled? Moses cowered over his speech impediment. Elisha asked for a double dose of whatever Elijah had. Jesus himself asked if the cup could be passed. Surely mighty works to God's glory take more than us just going into a trance while God drives your body. Surely it takes some mastery of one's self and denial of self preservation.

Php 2:12-13
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
NKJV

Two works are going on here: We are working out what God is working in us. It is back to the "relationship" thing. Something we do together with God, not apart from Him. And He is doing it with us, not apart from us.

No trance is involved. It is in full cooperation with God while resisting the Devil, dieing to sin, and giving up selfish ambition, while yielding to the Spirit that He might bear fruit in us.

Mograce2U
Sep 10th 2008, 02:42 AM
I only read the 1st 2 pages but had a thought about Daniel's counsel to King Neb when he had a prophetic dream.

(Dan 4:27 KJV) Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.

Now there wasn't anything specific in the dream that said Neb would suffer this fate because of sin - yet Daniel understood that. And Neb apparently followed his advice for the dream did not come to fruition for about a year. At which time Neb's sin was to declare the glory of his kingdom as being his own doing.

Now we know that faith is what brings our justification in the sight of God. But that faith is being sanctified by the Spirit who dwells in us. If there is to be any evidence of that work, then it will come thru the fruit it produces.

Poor Neb didn't have this work going on in him, but his good works did stay the judgment for awhile - until he sinned that is. So here we see the contrast between good works w/o faith and good works borne of faith.

Abraham's faith was trusting in the promise of God, the evidence of that faith was that he then obeyed what God told him to do. King Saul lacked this evidence, even though he evidenced the anointing of the Spirit of God by prophesying. So faith and the Spirit is not all there is to it - for unless that work is manifested visibly, who would know it?

The Lord gave me a good work to do at one point and it is still a blessing for me. For it confirmed to me that God indeed had done a fruitful good work in me and my faith in Christ was established by it. And what it purged me of was any doubt concerning my salvation and hope in Christ.

thil
Sep 12th 2008, 07:40 PM
Just want to add my two (or three or four) cents to this whole discussion.

I see 'working out our salvation' as God working within us and us working at being obedient to Him in every way in order to keep a tight hold on our salvation.

We can try to be good people and do what is right and even help others, but if we are not doing that "work" for God, it will be useless. When we give our life to God, he transforms us into righteousness. In that transformation we no longer have our old fleshly nature and desires but we now have the heart of God. If we truly have faith and want what God wants we will truly love our neighbor as ourselves, and we will do the 'works' solely out of the desire to do the will of God. God will see our 'works' and by that He knows what is really in our hearts.

In our society today, I see a lot of people 'doing' nice and good things. What many call good works. Feeding the poor, helping the homeless, ministering to the lost. That's great, but if we are doing it for what we get out of it, because it makes us look good, or because we feel it's a requirement of our Christianity, then it is not even worthy, nor will it be accepted. If our works come from our heart (which should want only the desires of God's heart) then they will be justified. (In law, justify means: to show a satisfactory reason or excuse for something done.) God wants to know that when we do something we are doing it for the right reason.

If we have the heart of God, we will not desire to sin (not that we won't fall into it on occasion, as we are still flesh), we will desire to do only God's will in every aspect of our lives, and we will desire to share that with everyone so that they will be able to know the love of God and be a part of His Kingdom.

I have thought deeply on the works and faith subject and read what the bible has to say. faith without works is dead. We just can't say we have faith in God and that's it. You can't just do the works and that's it. If you truly have faith in Him and honestly believe in Him and sincerly follow Him, the works come naturally. It becomes your heart's desire.

That's just my thoughts on the subject.

Firstfruits
Sep 12th 2008, 07:48 PM
How can a person be justified by works and not justified by works at the same time?

You hear many folks talk about how salvation is by faith alone and not works. However, the Word of God declares that we are both not justified by works and also justified by works.

And for those thinking it . . . this is not a contradiction.

Thoughts?

There are two types of works, one that God recognizes and the other has no justification in the sight of God.

Firstfruits

BroRog
Sep 12th 2008, 11:48 PM
Php 2:12-13
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
NKJV

Two works are going on here: We are working out what God is working in us. It is back to the "relationship" thing. Something we do together with God, not apart from Him. And He is doing it with us, not apart from us.

No trance is involved. It is in full cooperation with God while resisting the Devil, dieing to sin, and giving up selfish ambition, while yielding to the Spirit that He might bear fruit in us.

That's right and Paul is also making another point. Notice the contrast Paul is making between "in my presence" and "in my absence." The Philippians didn't have this problem, but since he raised the issue, apparently other churches did. That is, it would seem that other churches obeyed Paul when he was present, but not when he was absent.

What do we make of this? What this suggests to me is, some people have a hard time thinking of God as being present. Paul is asking the Philippians to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, BECAUSE it is God who is at work in them. That is, like them, we should be obedient to Paul, not because Paul will come to our church and scold us, but because God is always present with us, whether Paul is here or not.

Just like you said RoadWarrior, we have a relationship with God. The implication is, we have God to fear, not Paul. If anyone deserves our fear and trembling its God. And how are we going to work out our salvation with fear and trembling if we don't realize that God is present -- right here; right now?

We need to be mindful that salvation isn't merely something we pick up in the rear of the church as we walk out the door. Salvation is doing business with God on a daily basis, always mindful of the fact that he is standing right here. Those of us who have our secret little sins that we do in private away from the eyes of our loved ones, need to grasp the concept that we can never hide from God. We leave one room and enter the next room; he's still there. We go into a windowless room and lock the door; he's right here. We get on a plane and find ourselves in a strange city, away from those who know us and even in our anonymity, where we think we are free to do whatever we want; God is here. We live in a 4 by 4 cell and have to stand up all day; God is here. Our parents leave us in the gas station bathroom; God is here too.

God is here.

RoadWarrior
Sep 13th 2008, 12:38 AM
That's right and Paul is also making another point. Notice the contrast Paul is making between "in my presence" and "in my absence." The Philippians didn't have this problem, but since he raised the issue, apparently other churches did. That is, it would seem that other churches obeyed Paul when he was present, but not when he was absent.

What do we make of this? What this suggests to me is, some people have a hard time thinking of God as being present. Paul is asking the Philippians to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, BECAUSE it is God who is at work in them. That is, like them, we should be obedient to Paul, not because Paul will come to our church and scold us, but because God is always present with us, whether Paul is here or not.

Just like you said RoadWarrior, we have a relationship with God. The implication is, we have God to fear, not Paul. If anyone deserves our fear and trembling its God. And how are we going to work out our salvation with fear and trembling if we don't realize that God is present -- right here; right now?

We need to be mindful that salvation isn't merely something we pick up in the rear of the church as we walk out the door. Salvation is doing business with God on a daily basis, always mindful of the fact that he is standing right here. Those of us who have our secret little sins that we do in private away from the eyes of our loved ones, need to grasp the concept that we can never hide from God. We leave one room and enter the next room; he's still there. We go into a windowless room and lock the door; he's right here. We get on a plane and find ourselves in a strange city, away from those who know us and even in our anonymity, where we think we are free to do whatever we want; God is here. We live in a 4 by 4 cell and have to stand up all day; God is here. Our parents leave us in the gas station bathroom; God is here too.

God is here.

You have spoken well, BroRog.

Mograce2U
Sep 13th 2008, 02:11 AM
For your information, sir, Philipans 2:12-13 happens to be a personal mantra that haunts me each night until (if) I get to sleep. I might not be your academic equal, sir, but I darned well make it a point not to quote-mine scriptures willy-nilly. May I quote the text now? Or must I return to the kiddy table until I acquire a Masters of Divinity from a reputable school?

Now... about that context I'm so artfully accused of ignoring...

" for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. "
Maybe my comprehension is off, but this appears to be saying that God works in us to foster the will to act for his good purpose. That still leaves us with lacing up the boots and doing it.:lol: Thanks for the chuckle.

Faith and works is not an idea foreign to the OT either:

(Psa 51:17-19 KJV) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. {18} Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. {19} Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

It was not enough to just go thru the motions under the sacrificial system either. Which is the works that cannot suffice in and of themselves if one was not repentant either. There is a passage in Leviticus that speaks about a sacrifice not being accepted if one returns to his sin afterwards.

SIG
Sep 13th 2008, 04:51 AM
I can? Then why work out one's salvation with fear and trembling?
Why the talk about works at all if its just God doing it all and I'm along for the ride?

I just can't reconcile this "God does it all" with any of scripture. When God said "go do", how many of even the GREAT patriarchs trembled? Moses cowered over his speech impediment. Elisha asked for a double dose of whatever Elijah had. Jesus himself asked if the cup could be passed. Surely mighty works to God's glory take more than us just going into a trance while God drives your body. Surely it takes some mastery of one's self and denial of self preservation.

Phl 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
Phl 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for {His} good pleasure.

We can try to be good Christians and try to do works that please God. Or we can die to self, enter into the Spirit, and let God show His will in us and work in us for His good pleasure. This is a huge responsibility, and so it is one that we approach with fear and trembling.

We are hardly in a trance when Spirit-filled. And I would suggest that the mastery of one's self and the denial of self-preservation are indeed of God and His Spirit.

(OOPS! I guess it's clear I didn't read the posts following the one I'm replying to when I wrote the above....)

RoadWarrior
Sep 13th 2008, 05:29 AM
I have long considered this scripture to be a very important one in any discussion on works:

Eph 2:8-10
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. NKJV

It is the work of God which saves us, just as it was His work that created us. Then He also provides good works for us, and expects us to "walk in them."