Justified by Faith Alone cf. James 2:24


#1041

TWIM :stuck_out_tongue:


#1042

[quote="Wannano, post:1040, topic:442045"]
I would appreciate if you would show me where I have ever claimed that "no works" are necessary. I could also condescendingly say "there you go again." :shrug:

Did I say it did? This verse says we are justified by believing with our heart.

[/quote]

The verse says confessing with the mouth saves so...:shrug:The


#1043

Wannano (quoted by James248 here but presumably removed before made permenant) . . .

I would appreciate if you would show me where I have ever claimed that "no works" are necessary. I could also condescendingly say "there you go again.

Apologies from me Wannano.

I did not mean "you" personally. I used your argument to illustrate what "you" in terms of sola fide proponents in some cases are saying here (as in "you guys").

It was meant to be much broader than your post.

I should have re-worded it. Did not mean to sound "condescending" to you.

Keep up the great posts. Even though I may not agree with them all, you put a lot of heart into them. Respect to you brother.


#1044

It just seems to me that when Paul spoke about works he is talking about Jewish ritual laws and the laws of Moses. Not about doing good works like feeding the hungry or helping the poor etc. When we do any good work or deed do we do it out of love for God and our fellow man or do we do it because we have to like it was a law? Faith being an action work means that if one has faith one then will do good works or deed out of the love for God not because one gets something out of it.


#1045

When I get home in a few hours I would like to address the Roman 10:9,10 passage. It’s one of my favorite. I also want to respond to Cathoholic’s post.


#1046

[quote="spina1953, post:1044, topic:442045"]
It just seems to me that when Paul spoke about works he is talking about Jewish ritual laws and the laws of Moses. Not about doing good works like feeding the hungry or helping the poor etc. When we do any good work or deed do we do it out of love for God and our fellow man or do we do it because we have to like it was a law? Faith being an action work means that if one has faith one then will do good works or deed out of the love for God not because one gets something out of it.

[/quote]

Thank you for saying this. I think this is the crux of the difference in theology. When an evangelical says that we are saved by faith alone we mean that we can't earn our way to eternal life by being good enough or religious enough. Our works of righteousness are but filthy rags to God.

Sadly, there are plenty of people (both in Catholic and Evangelical circles) who think they can earn they way to heaven by being a good enough person. They think there is some kind of cosmic scale and that God is putting your good deeds on one side and your bad deeds on the other and if you die with the good outweighing the bad then you will make it heaven. That is basically how it was under the old law. If you followed the law and made the required animal sacrifices then just maybe your good would out way your bad.

But, thanks be to God, the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ set us free from the law of sin and death. We no longer have to bring lambs to the alter to sacrifice for our sins. Christ is the Sacrifice for our sins. We know longer have to follow the Jewish rituals to find favor in the eyes of God to try and earn our redemption. Eternal Life is now a free Gift from God through faith in Christ and not a system of rules, rituals and sacrifices where we seek to earn Eternal Life.

Because we are set free from the law of sin and death we are free to serve God out of love and gratitude and joy. We don't serve out of fear that we will not measure up to God's standards but with joy because God has accepted us and adopted us and loves us more than we could ever imagine. We serve because the Holy Spirit has made us a new creation, lives within us, guides us and changes us to be more like Christ. It is because of our faith in Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit that we worship, witness, serve and are being transformed into the image of Christ. If we serve/work for any other reason then we are placing ourselves back under the law of sin and death and are trying to earn eternal life by following a system of rules, rituals and sacrifices. It may not be the same rules, ritual and sacrifices the Jews of the first century followed but the practice of trying to earn eternal life is the same.


#1047

[quote="spina1953, post:1044, topic:442045"]
It just seems to me that when Paul spoke about works he is talking about Jewish ritual laws and the laws of Moses. Not about doing good works like feeding the hungry or helping the poor etc. When we do any good work or deed do we do it out of love for God and our fellow man or do we do it because we have to like it was a law? Faith being an action work means that if one has faith one then will do good works or deed out of the love for God not because one gets something out of it.

[/quote]

Titus 3
he saved us,*not*because*of*deeds*done by us in*righteousness, but in virtue*of*his own mercy, by the washing*of*regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit,


#1048

I have to say first of all if a person is good its because that goodness originates with God. That is to say no one is good on one's own but only because it begins with God, whether or not one even believes in God. There are plenty of people just like the Pharisees James spoke about who seem to think all one needs is faith and nothing more, they do not need to do anything just have faith and like James said what good is faith if it does nothing in action. yet, we know that doing any good work in of itself is not going to save anyone, just as faith alone is not going to save anyone.

Jesus about  many pay lip service but do nothing; yet Jesus also talked those who want everyone to see them and how holy they are, but is meaningless in that its all for show. All through the Gospels we see Jesus doing showing how we are to walk with God and our fellow man. In Acts we see the Apostles helping others which one could say good works or deeds. Did the Apostles do these things good works and or deeds to be saved? No they did it because it was what jesus also did and they did learn from Christ.

If a person does good works or deed thinking he/she will be saved, not going to happen. if a person, he/or she thinks they need nothing ore than faith to be saved not going to work either. When doing any good work or deed its not how big the good work or deed is but how much love is given to doing it. Paul said to have faith Hope and Charity and the greatest is Charity and what is Charity but love and love is also an action not just words to say; just as faith is not just a word to say. One just can't have faith without good works nor can one have good works without faith. It is God who prompts us to not just have faith in Him to just believe Him Him but to do something with it and to do it with love, not because one has to to but out of love for God.

How many times do we ask God for something to do something for us? And if God does do it for us did God not do it out of love for us? So should we not do the same? How can we be justified if we are not willing to do God's will which is not just trying to stay out of sin but to do something with the faith given us?

Did not Jesus say to love God with all our strength in mind and body and to also love out neighbor as ourselves? Does there not lay the answer that we are to do good work and deeds for out fellow man and not just have faith? Does not faith and good works go together i think so.


#1049

***No one ought to flatter himself up with faith alone, fancying that by faith alone he is made an heir, and will obtain the inheritance. . . . ***

lanman87:

Sadly, there are plenty of people (both in Catholic and Evangelical circles) who think they can earn they way to heaven by being a good enough person.

Unfortunately I think there is some truth to that lanman87 but I haven’t seen any of that here on this thread.

Sadly, there are plenty of people (both in Catholic and Evangelical circles) who think they can earn they way to heaven by their faith too.

But fortunately we have the Bible and the reassertion from the Council of Trent against thinking your faith or works can merit initial justification.

COUNCIL OF TRENT . . . . none of those things which precede justification—whether faith or works—merit the grace itself of justification.

For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace.

Likewise Trent condemns the notion of being justified in any sense via “the law” (such as circumcision) or by mere natural law (works on your own).


COUNCIL OF TRENT If anyone says that man can be justified before God by his own works, whether done by his own natural powers or through the teaching of the law, without divine grace through Jesus Christ, let him be anathema.

Once you are children of God, then you DO have “Divine grace” and you are expected to cooperate with Christ WORKING in and through you.

Faith IS utterly foundational . . . .

COUNCIL OF TRENT And whereas the Apostle saith, that man is justified by faith and freely, those words are to be understood in that sense which the perpetual consent of the Catholic Church hath held and expressed; to wit, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all Justification; without which it is impossible to please God, and to come unto the fellowship of His sons: but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because that none of those things which precede justification-whether faith or works-merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, it is not now by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle says, grace is no more grace.

thecounciloftrent.com/ch6.htm

Then you MUST cooperate with your justification after that “moment”.

On the increase of Justification received.

COUNCIL OF TRENT Having, therefore, been thus justified, and made the friends and domestics of God, advancing from virtue to virtue, they are renewed, as the Apostle says, day by day; that is, by mortifying the members of their own flesh, and by presenting them as instruments of justice unto sanctification, they, through the observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, faith co-operating with good works, increase in that justice which they have received through the grace of Christ, and are still further justified, as it is written; He that is just, let him be justified still; and again, Be not afraid to be justified even to death; and also, Do you see that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. And this increase of justification holy Church begs, when she prays, “Give unto us, O Lord, increase of faith, hope, and charity.”

More from the Council of Trent . . .

COUNCIL OF TRENT For God forsakes not those who have been once justified by His grace, unless he be first forsaken by them. Wherefore, no one ought to flatter himself up with faith alone, fancying that by faith alone he is made an heir, and will obtain the inheritance, even though he suffer not with Christ, that so he may be also glorified with him. For even Christ Himself, as the Apostle saith, Whereas he was the son of God, learned obedience by the things which he suffered, and being consummated, he became, to all who obey him, the cause of eternal salvation.

And the condemnation of the heresy of justification by faith ALONE . . . .

**CANON XII ** If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified; let him be anathema.

COUNCIL OF TRENT CANON IX If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.

COUNCIL OF TRENT CANON XX If any one saith, that the man who is justified and how perfect soever, is not bound to observe the commandments of God and of the Church, but only to believe; as if indeed the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life, without the condition of observing the commandments ; let him be anathema.


#1050

[quote="Cathoholic, post:1043, topic:442045"]
Wannano (quoted by James248 here but presumably removed before made permenant) . . .

Apologies from me Wannano.

I did not mean "you" personally. I used your argument to illustrate what "you" in terms of sola fide proponents in some cases are saying here (as in "you guys").

It was meant to be much broader than your post.

I should have re-worded it. Did not mean to sound "condescending" to you.

Keep up the great posts. Even though I may not agree with them all, you put a lot of heart into them. Respect to you brother.

[/quote]

Thanks for the kind words.


#1051

Once the moment of justification occurs . . . .

COUNCIL OF TRENT Having, therefore, been thus justified, and made the friends and domestics of God . . . .

Once the moment of justification occurs, we must be "renewed" in grace. This includes our cooperation in that faith we received.

COUNCIL OF TRENT Having, therefore, been thus justified, and made the friends and domestics of God, advancing from virtue to virtue, they are renewed, as the Apostle says, day by day; that is, by mortifying the members of their own flesh, and by presenting them as instruments of justice unto sanctification, they, through the observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, faith co-operating with good works, increase in that justice which they have received through the grace of Christ, and are still further justified, as it is written; He that is just, let him be justified still;


#1052

I posted a long reply to Cathoholic, but I still don’t see it. I’ve got to go to bed. Work in the morning.


#1053

rcwitness. You mentioned Titus chapter 3.

I know YOU know this but there may be lurkers here that may not so I want to clarify something about Titus 3 and what St. Paul means when he tells us about "works done in righteousness" did not save us.


TITUS 3:5 5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit

Titus 3:5 tells us two important things.

1-WHY God saved us (in virtue of His mercy)
2-HOW that salvation was applied to us (“by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit”)

TITUS 3:5 5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit

God saved us in virtue of His mercy. Not because mankind “earned it” by "deeds done by us in righteousness".

Here is NOT what occurred . . . .

God to Jesus: “OK Son. They have been soooo utterly great down there, they EARNED You saving them so get to work.”

That is NOT what happened!

Rather God saved us in “virtue of His mercy” and NOT “not because of deeds done by us in righteousness”.

TITUS 3:5 5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit

TITUS 3:3-8 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by men and hating one another; 4 but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but** in virtue of his own mercy*, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, 6 which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is sure. I desire you to insist on these things, so that **those who have believed in God may be careful to apply themselves to good deeds; these are excellent and profitable to men.*


#1054

I said on the last post . . . .

Rather God saved us in “virtue of His mercy” and NOT “not because of deeds done by us in righteousness”.

I accidentally but incorrectly used a double negative.

Here is the corrected sentence . . . .

Rather God saved us in “virtue of His mercy” and “NOT because of deeds done by us in righteousness”.


#1055

RCwitness, what you said about Titus and God’s mercy was awesome and right on.


#1056

[quote="tgGodsway, post:1055, topic:442045"]
RCwitness, what you said about Titus and God's mercy was awesome and right on.

[/quote]

Amen. Though i only quoted the Scripture. No comment. Sorry about the post you lost! I hate when that happens.

I think this passage from Romans 11 is significant too

Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off.


#1057

[quote="tgGodsway, post:1055, topic:442045"]
RCwitness, what you said about Titus and God's mercy was awesome and right on.

[/quote]

It's good to discuss and share (even debate), as long as it's done in fellowship and charity, right?

We should all love Scripture! That's for sure...

And we should all love Breaking Bread together. Scripture has the power to move us. It's the Revelation of God speaking to us as a loving father!

Scripture can be manipulated, or twisted as Peter tells us. It's harder for His Eucharist to be twisted. It is the Revelation of the Son nourishing us in Spirit and real food!

If we place Scripture above His Eucharist, we do Him and ourselves wrong. Or if we receive His Eucharist while neglecting His kindness and work in our lives, we profane His sacrifice!

Sometimes it's good to just read His written Word and not try to provide each other with so much commentary, right? Anxiety can get the better of us in many ways.


#1058

-]/-]

It is , and I will try to be nice. :wink:

And we should all love Breaking Bread together. Scripture has the power to move us. It’s the Revelation of God speaking to us as a loving father!

What does breaking bread together mean to you? Scripture talks of the early church continuing to meet together and continuing with the breaking of bread. My understanding of breaking bread together is Communion that Jesus instituted as a memorial remembrance of Him and what He did.

Scripture can be manipulated, or twisted as Peter tells us. It’s harder for His Eucharist to be twisted. It is the Revelation of the Son nourishing us in Spirit and real food!

I would think the RCC bases the Eucharist in scripture, however, is there a mention of the word anywhere? I am intrigued by your statement that it is harder for His Eucharist to be twisted. Not sure what you are proclaiming. Was the breaking of bread in the early church the exact same Eucharist you have today? Do you really see evidence in Scripture that it is supposed to be the summit and climax of the Christian experience? If you can address all these questions it may be helpful to me.

If we place Scripture above His Eucharist, we do Him and ourselves wrong.

Please explain.

Sometimes it’s good to just read His written Word and not try to provide each other with so much commentary, right? Anxiety can get the better of us in many ways.

I don’t think I am anxious but I am confused somewhat! :slight_smile: If the Eucharist is more important than scripture and is the summit of our faith, why bother with scripture? It seems logical to just go partake of the Eucharist as much as you can. Oh wait, it just suddenly occurs to me this may be what you Catholics have been saying all the time? :confused:


#1059

I think that there is much confusion over faith vs. works and I think that confusion is, in some cases, over semantics.

The way I understand it, true faith cannot be true faith if there isn’t any works flowing from this faith. Therefore, I believe that the original intent of “faith alone” is correct because faith will always be accompanied by works. If you fast forward to today, there folks who take the “faith alone” argument to an extreme place, which doesn’t represent the original intent behind “faith alone.”

At the the time shortly before the reformation, there certainly was strong shift of the pendulum toward works. I think many of the original, more conservative shall we say. reformers wanted to see that pendulum swing in a more balanced direction.

That is just my take on this issue. :slight_smile:


#1060

I think you are right on and have summed it up well.


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