How would you respond to this?


#1

I was discussing catholicism with a friend and I brought up the James passage where it says faith alone is dead however they responded with Ephesians 2:8-10

What would you respond by saying?


#2

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – 9 not because of works, lest any man 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.

Neither James nor the Church claims that we are saved by works. Per James, for us sinful creatures comprising a body and soul, the works of the body are the physical manifestation of the soul’s faith.

Your works matter to God:
Rev 20
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Your works matter to St Paul:

Rom 2

But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6* For he will render to every man according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.

Your works matter to Jesus:

Matt 25

‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ 46* And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


#3

If we believe in Christ then we must fallow His commands, and what are His greatest commandments? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10)

You can hardly have the faith without it launching you forward to do what Jesus says.

If we have faith but do not obey Jesus’s commandments then James Chap 2 kicks in. The free gift of God is worthless (to us) if we do not put it to use, or even accept it.


#4

[quote="Tx3bro, post:1, topic:311288"]
I was discussing catholicism with a friend and I brought up the James passage where it says faith alone is dead however they responded with Ephesians 2:8-10

What would you respond by saying?

[/quote]

What specific translation. In other words, what wording of Ep 2:8-10 is he refering to?


#5

I like to use this analogy:

How do you make money?
Answer: You get a job

But by just having a job do you make money?
Answer: No

Do you make money by going to your job?
Answer: No, not just by going to your job.

Then how do you make money?
Answer: You not only go to your job, but you work for your employer.

And the only way you can get the job in the first place is if it is offered.

Job = grace
Going to your job = faith
Money = salvation
Employer = God
Work = doing God’s will

You get money from a job by going to your job = You are saved by grace through faith

The story doesn’t end there. You don’t get money by just doing work (not by works). You first have to be employed (received grace), and then your work must be for the employer (doing God’s will).


#6

Like!


#7

I would simply respond that since both are in Scripture that they do not contradict one another but need to be understood each within the light of the other. Therefore let us look…

Eph 2
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God-- 9 not because of works, lest any man 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.

James 2:
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18 But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

Ask your friend to read through these two passages as they are presented above. Do they not sound as though they could have been written in just this way by the same author (as indeed they are since the author is the Holy Spirit). The second merely describes and example of the “works prepared beforehand” and expresses the importance of them as part of that living gift from God - Faith.

If - one is not walking in the works which God has prepared for him can he claim to be following Christ? If he is not following Christ by doing the works prepared for him by Christ - can he claim to have faith?

This is what St James is saying in his description…when he says that faith without works is dead…and when he says that, “by my works (I) will show you my faith”.

There is no contradiction between the two passages.

Peace
James


#8

Matt 7:15-16 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

Just as no plant produces fruit on its own accord but only if God allows the fruit to grow, we are not saved by our own accord or by our good works–you can’t buy salvation. Nevertheless, a faithful person will bear the fruit of good works, just as a fig tree that has been absorbing sunlight will bear figs. One who is faithful will inevitably perform good works, and Jesus himself asserts that works are the “by-product” if you will of our faith.


#9

#10

Those 2 passages makes it clear that we do not earn our salvation through works, and it also shows that we have a duty as Christians to live a life of holiness. Christianity is not only a religious discipline but also a heartfelt devotion. I think sometimes Catholics portray salvation by over-playing the role of works while trying to defend against Protestants who under-play the role of works. That passage in James makes it clear that we cannot become a Christian and get to Heaven if we do not change our sinful habits and practice a life of holiness. And that passage in Ephesians shows us that we cannot just go through the motions of Christianity and get to Heaven without an actual change of heart.


#11

Money is salvation?

Ayn Rand would like that.


#12

[quote="steve53, post:11, topic:311288"]
Money is salvation?

Ayn Rand would like that.

[/quote]

Lol, it's just an analogy.


#13

Tx3bro, can you please quote both passages in the translation he was using?


#14

The way I have understood it personally is that the new testament distinguishes between two different types of works, there are works of the law, and works of charity.

Romans 3:28
For we consider a person to be justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

James 2:14-17
What is the benefit, my brothers, if someone says that he has faith but does not have works? That faith is not able to save him, is it?*If a brother or a sister is poorly clothed and lacking food for the day,*and one of you should say to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and ⌊eat well⌋,” but does not give them what is necessary for the body, what is the benefit? Thus also faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself.

So as we can see James tells us what works are needed, and Romans tells us works of the law do not justify a person.


closed #15

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