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  • Discussion Romans 4 vs James 2

    Justification by grace or justification by works?

    I agree with the former, as it says in Romans 4. However, it says in James 2:21 that Abraham was justified by works; where as Romans 4:3 says it was accounted to Him righteousness by faith.

    I've always had problems with James - I've never gotten along with it. I can't figure out why but perhaps it's because it's directed towards an audience that felt content to sit back and do nothing.

    Obviously God cannot lie and He doesn't contradict Himself; but I always tend to have problems with scripture colliding with each other.

    Anybody that can help clear this up? Thanks!

  • #2
    James does collide with Romans for sure. The verse in question about being justified by works is in complete disagreement with Romans. The first verse to James says who it is directed to, JEWS. People in the tribulation, especially the Jews, who will be dispersed, will be saved by works + faith. Today, however, we are saved by grace through faith and nothing else. Good job catching the difference there!

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    • #3
      All James is saying is that Abraham's faith was attested to by his works. But it's not saying that works is what justifies us (it is merely a showing of our faith).

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Xel'Naga View Post
        All James is saying is that Abraham's faith was attested to by his works. But it's not saying that works is what justifies us (it is merely a showing of our faith).
        Works show faith. Brilliant. I could not have thought of a better way to say it
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Xel'Naga View Post
          All James is saying is that Abraham's faith was attested to by his works. But it's not saying that works is what justifies us (it is merely a showing of our faith).
          Paul and James were saying the exact same thing.
          Paul, however, was writing to those who he anticipated to have had some grounding in the basics of Christianity, so he, [not addressing the matter directly like James] was emphasising faith in Christ [as opposed to the OT system of law before Christ] as the source of what he understood they already were very familiar with: that Jesus came to bring "obedience to the truth".
          Rom. 1:
          3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
          4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
          5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
          6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

          Rom. 2:
          7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
          8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
          9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
          10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
          11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

          Peter was also on the same page with both Paul and James:
          1 Pet. 1:
          17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
          18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
          19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
          20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
          21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
          22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
          23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

          The truth that we are to obey is the truth of the "common faith" that Jesus revealed in the NT.

          To misinterpret "justified by faith" to exclude action that naturally accompanies faith and is inseparable from justification, is like hearing someone say "I arrived by air" [meaning by airplane] and assuming that somehow the literal air brought him without the vehicle of the plane by which he was able to come by air.
          "Inseparable" I say: as inseparable as the body is from the spirit in order for there to be life.

          James 2:
          20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
          21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
          22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
          23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
          24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
          25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
          26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Xel'Naga View Post
            All James is saying is that Abraham's faith was attested to by his works. But it's not saying that works is what justifies us (it is merely a showing of our faith).
            Actually, that is EXACTLY what it is saying. You are trying to say what you THINK it teaches, but it SAYS that "...by works a man is justified, and NOT by faith only."
            That is what James SAYS.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jerry4America View Post
              Actually, that is EXACTLY what it is saying. You are trying to say what you THINK it teaches, but it SAYS that "...by works a man is justified, and NOT by faith only."
              That is what James SAYS.
              Of all the eloquent things I could say, I will simply say. No, you're wrong.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Xel'Naga View Post
                Of all the eloquent things I could say, I will simply say. No, you're wrong.

                James 2:24 - "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (NKJV)


                so what's up with this scripture?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JesusMySavior View Post
                  Justification by grace or justification by works?

                  I agree with the former, as it says in Romans 4. However, it says in James 2:21 that Abraham was justified by works; where as Romans 4:3 says it was accounted to Him righteousness by faith.

                  I've always had problems with James - I've never gotten along with it. I can't figure out why but perhaps it's because it's directed towards an audience that felt content to sit back and do nothing.

                  Obviously God cannot lie and He doesn't contradict Himself; but I always tend to have problems with scripture colliding with each other.

                  Anybody that can help clear this up? Thanks!
                  The grace made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus justified all those who exercised trust by being obedient and trustworthy in the prescribed manner of love towards God and mankind. Hence we are justified by His grace and our actions support that we have received His grace.
                  Edify the brethren, love the brethren, and forgive the brethren until I have nothing left.

                  www.woc-church.org

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                  • #10
                    The kind of faith that justifies brings forth works that also justify. If one claims to be justified by faith, but shows no works as evidence, we must doubt their justification.

                    So then, you will know them by their fruits. --Matt 7:20

                    (PS: Scriptures don't "collide" -- though our understanding of them can, and does.)
                    Phl 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Xel'Naga View Post
                      Of all the eloquent things I could say, I will simply say. No, you're wrong.
                      I don't understand people. I've got a question for you, mr. right. How does this verse "Ye see then how that BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and not by faith only," NOT say "BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED???? It just SAID it! I know and completely understand what you want it to TEACH, but it DOES say "... BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED..."!! How can you say that me saying that is WRONG?

                      Once again, I know and completely understand since I used to be a fundamentalist for 15 years, what you think and want it to TEACH, but no matter what YOU say, that verse SAYS, "...BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and NOT by faith ONLY!" THAT is the complete opposite as what PAUL SAID.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jerry4America View Post
                        I don't understand people. I've got a question for you, mr. right. How does this verse "Ye see then how that BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and not by faith only," NOT say "BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED???? It just SAID it! I know and completely understand what you want it to TEACH, but it DOES say "... BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED..."!! How can you say that me saying that is WRONG?

                        Once again, I know and completely understand since I used to be a fundamentalist for 15 years, what you think and want it to TEACH, but no matter what YOU say, that verse SAYS, "...BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and NOT by faith ONLY!" THAT is the complete opposite as what PAUL SAID.
                        "BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and not by faith only"

                        You left off the word "only," which makes a huge difference.

                        Faith which produces works justifies. It's not an either/or, but one following the other.
                        Phl 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JesusMySavior View Post
                          James 2:24 - "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (NKJV)

                          so what's up with this scripture?
                          You must quote in fuller context:

                          James 2:24-26 (NASB):

                          You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.
                          In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
                          For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

                          Originally posted by Jerry4America View Post
                          I don't understand people. I've got a question for you, mr. right. How does this verse "Ye see then how that BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and not by faith only," NOT say "BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED???? It just SAID it! I know and completely understand what you want it to TEACH, but it DOES say "... BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED..."!! How can you say that me saying that is WRONG?

                          Once again, I know and completely understand since I used to be a fundamentalist for 15 years, what you think and want it to TEACH, but no matter what YOU say, that verse SAYS, "...BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and NOT by faith ONLY!" THAT is the complete opposite as what PAUL SAID.
                          Oh, now I'm a fundamentalist? I'm getting a little confused. I was kicked out of the fundamentalist camp a long time ago (for supporting 'evolution' - I prefer the English pronunciation: 'evilution'). I was just recently kicked out of the conservative camp (for saying a woman could teach... Or was it that I said women could wear slacks?). But now I'm back in the fundamentalist camp for saying that works are evidence of faith? Works because we are saved, not to become saved.

                          But hey, lets drop that. You know what, I need to apologize. You are correct. If you read James 2:24 in seclusion without considering its context (which makes it a pretext) then you are correct. That is what James is saying. But as it turns out you're taking his words out of context and that is itself eisegetical. You're reading into the text what you want it to say. Lets not accuse each other of this all day, cyclical things quickly become boring.

                          In answer to your question: read the whole chapter. And no, you don't completely understand - you have no idea where I stand.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SIG View Post
                            "BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, and not by faith only"

                            You left off the word "only," which makes a huge difference.

                            Faith which produces works justifies. It's not an either/or, but one following the other.
                            It's a nice way of looking at it. I used to look at it that way. I didn't leave off the word ONLY either. One time in that post, I left off, but by faith only" just because I was being monotnous and didn't want to go too far . According to Romans, works has NO part in justification of the soul. Once again, James is written to Jews who are SCATTERED ABROAD. In the book of James, you have the tribulation types in it- Job for one (5:11), a type for the jews who are on the ground for seven days and seven nights through 42 chapters (the amount of months in the Great Tribulation) who loses everything and then gets everything back at the end, just like the Jews will; Elijah (5:18) who stops the rain from coming to the earth for forty-two months (exactly like in the tribulation where he will do it all OVER again). James and much of Hebrews has a tribulation application.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Xel'Naga View Post
                              Oh, now I'm a fundamentalist?
                              I didn't call you a fundamentalist, I called MYSELF one back in the day. Fundamentalists believe that EVERYTHING IN THE BIBLE HAS TO MATCH.

                              But hey, lets drop that. You know what, I need to apologize. You are correct. If you read James 2:24 in seclusion without considering its context (which makes it a pretext) then you are correct. That is what James is saying.
                              I appreciate it. Way to man up!

                              But as it turns out you're taking his words out of context and that is itself eisegetical. You're reading into the text what you want it to say. Lets not accuse each other of this all day, cyclical things quickly become boring.

                              In answer to your question: read the whole chapter. And no, you don't completely understand - you have no idea where I stand.
                              I didn't say I knew everything about you, Mr. Sensitive, I simply said that I understand where you come from ON THIS VERSE!
                              Now, I am simply reading the book at face value. This verse does not match Romans- never will, unless you spiritualize it away! Now, it is apparent from Matthew and Revelation and Hebrews that people in the tribulation will NOT BE SAVED LIKE WE ARE, or in the case of this verse, JUSTIFIED like we are. Matthew 25, Revelation 20 and 22, Hebrews 6 and most of the book of James does NOT match Pauline doctrine.

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