Justified by Faith Alone cf. James 2:24


#1421

No disagreement here.


#1422

Catholics would agree with that statement also.


#1423

spina1953 What you said was great. I agree. Works play a huge role in the life of a Christian. Every Christian should be about the Father’s business doing good works. And Yes the Pharisees were teaching that salvation included works. They were experts in works. Paul said that salvation came to all who will believe, for by grace are you saved, NOT OF YOURSELVES, it is the GIFT OF GOD, not of your good works… Eph. 2:8,9


#1424

I knew Protestant Bibles excluded 7 books from the old testament but I’ve been in this forum long enough to realize that they must exclude Ephesians 2 10 also because only Catholics seem to know about that verse. :thinking:


#1425

This is a great question. The first glimpse of Grace, I suppose, was with Adam. After his fall, God had mercy on him and approached him in grace. He made tunics out of animal skin, which means that blood had to be shed, in order to cover Adam’s shame of nakedness. Ge. 3:21

But if you want a more direct answer to who first expressed this line of teaching, it would be God in Genesis 15:6, when Abraham believed God’s promise, God acted by counting his faith for righteousness. God declared him righteous because of Abraham’s faith.

But in the New Testament, the “just believe” concept is very clear through the teachings of our Savior in John’s gospel. I’ve already posted at least 5 scriptures all saying the same thing, eternal life belongs to those who “believe.”


#1426

You make it sound like protestants never think about good works. This is simply not true. You can go to four day seminars on good works. It is actually a hot topic in puritan circles.


#1427

I am referring to the opinion that every time the NT mentions being judged according to works, its not talking about judgement for eternal life but judgement for responsibilities and rewards IN heaven.


#1428

ajcstr,

I am not understanding what you are saying. are you asking something or offering a comment?


#1429

Hi tgGodsway, Yes every Christian should be doing good works out of love for God not not for their own gain. Grace is a gift from God no question about it. Without grace good works don’t mean anything except self gain by way of recognition, by their fellow man. yet, when one looks at the very early Christians they were very much different fro the pagans in that they knew each other by what they did for others known by their fruits not just talk.

I’m sure you know yourself that there are many who tend to think that faith saves and need not do anything like good works thinking why do that it can’t save anyone on;ly faith does. But to me it takes more then just saying faith is the only thing needed to order to be saved since anyone can talk the talk but walking the walk has to go with it. But its the same for good works in one thinks that doing good works but does not really have faith they will somehow be saved.

While faith and good works go hand in hand,in the end it is God who is going to judge one by their deeds. I’m thinking of the parable where jesus speaks of the servants who are given talents and two of them were able to double it while the third buried it gaining noting for the Master. Same with faith it only real works when deeds come from it.


#1430

Traditional Catholic teaching as I know it regards judgement as pertaining to eternal life. Yes there is some stewardship sprinkled in there, but predominantly Catholic teaching implies that works will play into our judgement for eternal life. Most of Catholic scripture interpretation can be traced back to Councils or individuals like Augustine, Clement, etc.

You follow the path that any judgement related to works is simply to determine the responsibilities one will have in eternal life, not for eternal life itself.

So, the two possibilities are that this is your original thought that you developed through Bible study, or this is the teaching of another that you agree with. If this is teaching you agree with I am asking the origin of this teaching. Luther, Calvin, Russell, etc. The question is purely academic.


#1431

And other Protestants would say once you believe, that’s it, you can choose to do good works but they are in no way required.


#1432

It is a little more nuanced than that. When you love someone you treat them different than someone you don’t love. You do things for them, you think about their happiness, you want to do things that make them feel special. You may have moments of selfishness or anger but the normal disposition toward them is that of kindness and well, love.

When we enter into a relationship with God through faith/belief/trust in Christ it is the same way. We don’t do things to be in a relationship with God we do things because we are in a relationship with God. We do don’t things to be saved we do things because we are saved. God doesn’t change what we do, He changes who we are, and because who we are is changed then what we do will change.

So good works do not bring us into a relationship with God but they are the result of a relationship with God.

If good works contribute to our salvation then we would be saved, at least in part, of our own doing. However, we weren’t saved by our own doing but were saved to do works. Not by works but to do works. There is a big difference is being saved “by” and to be saved “to do”.


#1433

ajcstr,

No… these are not private interpretations. I have studied the bible for over 35 years now and have many mentors. I recognize Luther and Calvin, but I don’t know Russell. But also people like Jonathon Edwards, Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. Zane Hodges, and a few others. My original mentor back when I left the Catholic Church in 1982, was Dr. Charles Stanley a fine and godly man.

I don’t have a particular person who advances an evangelical view against Catholicism but some of what I’ve brought out is simply a result of study.


#1434

Yeah, there are some who do that. but it’s not their fault. Their local pastors do not teach the doctrine of eternal rewards. If they only knew how they are wasting such precious time it would change. It is the local Pastor who either doesn’t know about eternal rewards or too lazy to preach it. I don’t know.


#1435

Those who come to believe in Christ may come to know Christ. And those who know Christ may come to love Christ. And those who love Christ may come to serve Christ. The only exception are those who do good works for all other reasons.


#1436

I need to make a qualification: We can never make ourselves worthy of being
saved, but we can let Christ make us worthy through following his salvific
sacrifice and life. All grace comes through Christ and Christ alone saves
us but NOT WITHOUT our free participation. We are invited but not forced
to attend the wedding feast.


#1437

Question for those that argue the James is talking about justification before men and not God, are you getting this from Romans where Paul says Abraham has something to boast about but not before God?


#1438

The good works that Catholics perform are not “of our own doing”. We are so radically and intimately attached to Jesus Christ, that He literally lives in us. We are one with Him in the most real and palpable way by being infused with His Holy Spirit in Baptism and by consuming His Body and Blood through Holy Communion; He perpetually lives in us spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. The good works performed are a result of Our Blessed Lord working in us; in other words, Christ works in, through, and with us. This is not of our own doing!

“[F]or it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” - Philippians 2:13

“[F]or thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” - Isaiah 26:12

Grace be with you!


#1439

Evangelicals affirm that Christ lives in us and works in us. The difference is that Christ lives in us and works in us because we have been justified by God and the work we do is to bring Glory to God.

God gives us light (justification/salvation) and we are to let our light shine before men that they may Glorify our Father in Heaven.

The passage in James that started this never ending thread is about letting our light shine. If we don’t shine then we don’t have any light. Some of us may shine brighter than others but if we truly have the light it will be visible. The message of Paul in Romans and Galatians is that God justifies us by faith. The message of James is that others see our justification by our works.

The NLT translates the passage this way:

21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

I believe this translation is spot on with the context of the passage. God declares us righteous by our faith and we are shown to be right with God by what we do. God knew Abraham’s heart, God has already justified Abraham because of his faith. God didn’t need Abraham to offer up Isaac on the alter to obtain justification. God had Abraham do this as an object lesson to the people of Israel and to us. God uses this to teach us the strength of faith and the provision of God.


#1440

Then Saint James used perhaps the worst possible example for that “message”. I suggest you reread Genesis 22 where God alone tested Abraham inasmuch as Abraham even leaving his servants behind:

"He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” - Genesis 22:5

Abraham offered up Isaac in front of no one to “see” his justification. In fact, the Pharisees were explicitly condemned for attempting to justify themselves before “others”:

“The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” Luke 16:14-15

You’re right, God did know Abraham’s heart and God did already justify Abraham because of his faith. But that was Abraham’s initial justification by his faith, but that faith was not yet complete. For a completed faith, God alone tested Abraham to see if he would bring his faith to fruition by his works:

“You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works.” James 2:22


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