Faith rather than works


#1

Romans 3:28 – “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Why are my non Catholic friends always bombarding me with this verse?


#2

LOL!!! Because like Philosophy tells Boethius, they are tearing at a sleave, getting a patch and thinking they have the entire dress!!! (MAN!!! You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to use that analogy!!! – a good 5 years at least!!)

Do you explain to them why this is out of context and still consistant with Catholic doctrine?


#3

I find it absurd that anyone can seperate the two. IF you have faith, you will do the works.


#4

Read the Epistle of James.

All of it.


#5

Hello Deesypaul,

The Protestants want you to believe that Catholics are wrong and Protestants are right. Starting from Luther, Protestants have promoted their incorrect understanding of St. Paul to the extent of throwing out the teachings of Jesus. Catholics understand St. Paul in a way that fits into Jesus teachings.

Jesus tells us, "If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments". Jesus teaches that He will bring to heaven those who feed the poor and cast into hell those who abandon the poor. The Protestants hate these answers. They think St. Paul teaches works are out and now “Faith alone” is in.

The misunderstanding is that St. Paul is debating the law of circumcision and not the Law of God’s commandments. St. Peter warns us to be very careful when reading St. Paul’s writings. Martin Luther and the Protestants stumble right past St. Peter’s warnings and base the foundation of the Protestant faith on their misunderstandings of St. Paul’s writings.

St. Paul says,

Galatians 2:16 …who know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Jesus says,

NAB MAT 19:16

“Teacher, what good must I do to possess everlasting life?” He answered, "Why do you question me about what is good? There is One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied “You shall not kill”; ‘You shall not commit adultery’; ‘You shall not steal’; ‘You shall not bear false witness’; ‘Honor your father and mother’; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
St. Paul’s writings were debating the law of circumcision and the Pharisee created Church laws and not God’s Law of the commandments.

NAB ACT 15:1

Some men came down to Antioch from Judea and began to teach the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.” This created dissension and much controversy between them and Paul and Barnabas.NAB ACT 21:20

“You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have come to believe, all of them staunch defenders of the law. Yet they have been informed that you teach the Jews who live among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, to give up the circumcision of their children, and to renounce their customs.”

**NAB PHI 3:5 **(St. Paul is speaking.)

I was circumcised on the eighth day, being of the stock of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrew origins; in legal observance I was a Pharisee, and so zealous that I persecuted the church. I was above reproach when it came to justice based on the law. (GAL 6:13)**NAB 1CO 7:19 **(St. Paul is speaking.)

Circumcision counts for nothing, and its lack makes no difference either. **What matters is keeping God’s commandments.****NAB ROM 2:13 **(St. Paul is speaking.)

For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; it is those who keep it who will be declared just.

NAB 2PE 3:14 Preparation for the Coming.

Consider that our Lord’s patience is directed toward salvation. Paul, our beloved brother, wrote you this in the spirit of wisdom that is his, dealing with these matters as he does in all his letters. There are certain passages in them hard to understand. The ignorant and the unstable distort them (just as they do the rest of Scripture) to their own ruin. You are forewarned, beloved brothers. Be on your guard lest you be led astray by the error of the wicked, and forfeit the security you enjoy.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#6

It is funny to see that St. Paul in Roman 2:13 also says:

http://www.scriptours.com/images/spacer.gif
For not the hearers of the law are just before God: but the doers of the law shall be justified.

I wonder if that is a Protestant explanation to the above passage?

St. Paul uses the term “law” differently. In Roman 2, he is referring to God’s commandments. We are justified by obeying His Laws. And in Roman 3, law is referred to Jewish law (circumcision). In illustrating his point he made in Roman 3, he tells us that Abraham was justified by his faith, not by his circumscision (Roman 4). Roman 3 does not advocate sola fide!

Any thought?

Francis


#7

Robert Sungenis has an excellent book “Not By Faith Alone” that goes into a very lengthy discussion of this topic. You can order it from Queenship publishing or from his website at www.catholicintl.com.


#8

Romans 3:28 – “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Why are my non Catholic friends always bombarding me with this verse?

  1. They rip the verse out of context.
  2. They misdefine “faith”.

Scott Hahn’s tape series “Romanism in Romans” deals with this question very well.


#9

I agree with David, Read James, especially 2:14 -26.

14 6 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? 17 So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. 19 You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. 20 Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called “the friend of God.” 24 See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26 For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

and if they start saying its a different kind of faith, ask them to prove it, and if they say that James is a less important book in the bible, ask them to prove it, its amazing the results you get when you put the burden of proof back on them…


#10

Consider Paul’s goal while an apostle: To bring Christianity to the Gentiles. Being Christian during those times meant you were a Jew, and therefore must obey Jewish law. Paul, being a Roman citizen, understood that to convert the Romans meant the Jewish laws had to go.

This is what he meant by “works.” So by Paul saying you can be “justified” simply means you can be Christian by faith alone and that you did not have to obey Jewish law.

I think many Protestants like to forget about what Jesus said and focus way to much on Paul.


#11

Why are my non Catholic friends always bombarding me with this verse?

Because they do not think Catholics are Christians. They think the Catholic Church teaches false doctrine. They do not understand what the Catholic Church teaches and they do not think you are saved. This is one verse that they have chosen that “shows” all of it.

God Bless,
Maria


#12

[quote=DEESYPAL]Romans 3:28 – “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Why are my non Catholic friends always bombarding me with this verse?
[/quote]

If they want to play dualing scriptures give them this from their King James Version:
James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

Nowhere does the bible say that we are saved by faith alone. In fact, this passage says that man is NOT justified by faith alone. We are justified by Grace alone through faith working in love. They are trying to imply that you believe that you are saved by works. No one believes that we are saved by works; again, We are justified by Grace alone through faith working in love.

However, dualing scriptures is not the correct way to use the bible. Since scriputre is inerrent and does not contradict itself, if they find a contradiction, it must be in their erroneous interpretation of scripture. The New Testament was written by Catholics for Catholics. The Church predates the New Testament by nearly 400 years. It is the Catholic Church which declared, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which books should be in the New Testament. And it is the Catholic Church which delivered, undefiled, the New Testament through 15 centuries when there was no other christian Church. Therefore, it is the Catholic Church which provides the correct interpretation of Scriputre.

Here is something you might want to ask them:

Do you have any idea when your faith was founded and by whom? You may find this enlightening:

If you are a member of the Jewish faith, your religion was founded by about 4,000 years ago.

If you are Roman Catholic, Jesus Christ founded your Church in the year A.D. 30.

If you are Eastern Orthodox, your sect separated from Roman Catholicism around the year 1054.

If you are Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex-monk in the Catholic Church, in 1517.

If you belong to the Church of England (Anglican), your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded when John Knox brought the teachings of John Calvin to Scotland in the Year 1560.

If you are Unitarian, your group developed in Europe in the 1500s.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion branched off Puritanism in the early 1600s in England.

If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1607.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was founded by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.

If you are an Episcopalian, your religion came from England to the American colonies. It formed a separate religion founded by Samuel Seabury in 1789.

If you are a Mormon (Latter-day Saints), Joseph Smith started your church in Palmyra, N.Y. in 1830.

If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year your religion was founded by Mary Baker Eddy.

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness, your religion was founded by Charles Taze Russell in Pennsylvania in the 1870s.

If you are Pentecostal, your religion was started in the United States in 1901.

May the love of God, the peace of Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always.


#13

28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
30 since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

Hmmm. Why the talk of Jews “only” right after the verse in question? Because there is some relation here to circumcision and Law (Law being the Torah OT kind of thing). Abraham was justified before he was circumcised, so the promises are for all his children in faith, not just the observers of the Jewish Law (for this stuff just turn to the next chapter of Romans).

A guess here: Your non-Catholic friends quote this verse because they think that Catholics think that the sacraments like Baptism are for Catholics some exclusive saving thing like the Jews did with the circumcision and observing the 600 some laws. Catholics typically say Baptism is necessary for salvation, but Abraham was justified specifically before he was circumcised. This is my take on what they could think they are getting at with that verse.

Although it is also my take that most people who have flung that verse at me in the past typically believe Catholics think that they can work to earn initial justification, which shows they are unlikely to be making a cogent point with it, because Catholics don’t believe that.


#14

I wont use scripture but my own musings. I have always found it confusing the pejorative way work is used in the Protestant belief. We, by nature, work … fathers work to provide for their children, mothers work to make a safe home for the children, ministers work to spread the good news. What is wrong with work. Christ worked on earth … first as a carpenter then by walking everywhere to spread the good news. Meaningful work is a grace given by God. I understand we dont work our way to heaven but I take great joy in toiling for the Lord. My faith in action is what I perceive as pleasing to the Lord. I believe that work is part of our nature, a good and pleasing part of our nature and I will not apologize for toiling for the Lord.


#15

This isn’t in the Bible, but one of my all time favorite sayings and guiding principles is what St. Ignatius of Loyola said: “Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended on you.” I think that is very much in the true spirit of what the Lord wants and expects of us.


#16

[quote=TheGarg]I find it absurd that anyone can seperate the two. IF you have faith, you will do the works.
[/quote]

Amen.


#17

[quote=DavidFilmer]Read the Epistle of James.

All of it.
[/quote]

:smiley: Yup! It love how the author of James explicitly challenges Paul on that very concept:
James 2:17 "Faith by itself if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
It goes to show that even then people had different views on Faith and Works.


#18

Scripture is inerrant and does not contradict itself. If you think there is a contradiction, then you need to reasses your position. Neither in Paul nor anywhere else in the bible will you find faith alone espoused. However it is explicitly rejected. Jesus Himself says you must do more than believe in Him. For one Luke 6:46 46 And why call you me, Lord, Lord; and do not the things which I say

And again in Matthew 7:21 21 Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And so throughout the New Testament.

Yours in Christ.


#19

QUOTE=Ignatius]Scripture is inerrant and does not contradict itself. If you think there is a contradiction, then you need to reasses your position. Neither in Paul nor anywhere else in the bible will you find faith alone espoused. However it is explicitly rejected. Jesus Himself says you must do more than believe in Him. For one Luke 6:46 46 And why call you me, Lord, Lord; and do not the things which I say

And again in Matthew 7:21 21 Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And so throughout the New Testament.

Yours in Christ.

Greetings to you Ignatius, through Christ the Lord!

I agree with you, Faith alone is not enough, we need works too. If you have faith you can’t help but do works because of your faith. As another poster said, They are entertwined.
With regards to contradictions, I again agree with you that Scriptures do not contadict; I have been taught that since I was small and beleive it.
But knowing a little about the time periods that the Gospels as well as the Letters were written, on a surface reading, the texts do seem to challenge each other. Not so much conradict, but merely challenge. The letter of James was written after Paul’s death, and I wish Paul was alive then to reply to the author of James. This is one of the questions I keep asking the Ask an Apologest section but they have not replied. I am interested to get a faith perspectibve on this topic. And not just the “it doesn’t condradict. period.” I’d like to see how the Church defends this belief.
If one studies the Bible through a purly historical lens, then it can not be ignored that the text seem to contradict each other or at least ‘disagree’ on certain issues (ex, those very passages from Romans and James).
Now from a faith perspective, it is a very different. I would like to see how the Church has dealt with these issues. Despite what I have learnt, I do beleive that none of the Bible contradicts.
I’m struggling how to reconcile the historical and the faith perpectives, but I am thinking that maybe they can not be reconciled, as faith is on a whole other plain than that of history. Faith, is just that, beleif in what we can not explain.

God Bless!

Jade


#20

Faith Alone was simply bad Biblical Language used by Luther. The Theology is sound but the language was a poor choice. Luther himself stated that “Oh faith is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, so that it is impossible for it not to be constantly doing what is good. Likewise, faith does not ask if good works are to be done, but before one can ask, faith has already done them and is constantly active” (Formula of Concord, SD, IV, 10-11).

Thanks to the Joint Doctrine of Justification and works by Jimmy Aken, “The Salvation Controversy” we now know that this really isn’t something that we need to spend too much time arguing about.

We all agree that Faith will produce works and if our faith fails to produce works then it is not faith at all… or in the words of James it is dead.

We are justified by faith apart from works but faith does not come apart from works


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