Justified by Faith Alone cf. James 2:24


#1502

LOL, No doubt about it!


#1503

So let me ask this. “Justified by works and not by faith alone”. This one statement
refers to justification both before men (works) and before God (faith) ?

Also. Isn’t fidelity measured by works?


#1504

I think the total sentence deals with the proof of one’s faith. That to those Jews who claimed to have faith, James is saying “Prove it”. Where is the evidence? Basically it is actions speak louder than words. The same thing happens today. If someone goes around boasting about their faith but will not lift a hand to help someone in need or serve in the church, can that faith save them? The Evangelical answer is no. That faith can’t save him because faith is more than intellectual understanding or even a personal declaration. This is a common error in evangelicalism and something the devil uses to keep people from giving themselves completely to Christ. They think, “I’ve said a prayer and professed my faith, I’m good”. Faith (which in its fullness means surrender and trust in Christ) is a change agent that gives evidence of the change. It is much more than saying a prayer and telling someone that “I believe in Jesus”.

Now people can fake the evidence of faith, at least for a while. They can proclaim they have faith and volunteer in the church and work in a soup kitchen feeding the hungry. Yet, they are doing it all in their own power and not relying on the Holy Spirit and a transformed heart. Can such works save them? Again the evangelical answer is no. This is also a tool of the devil to keep people from truly coming to Christ and giving themselves completely to Him. They believe that because they know the Scriptures, and do “Good works” they are saved. I believe this is the more common error in the Bible Belt where I live. We are taught to follow a religious system instead of being surrendered to and transformed by Christ. There is nothing wrong with a religious system, but following it without a transformed heart is useless.

The true Gospel is that I give myself to Christ then everything I do is out of Love for God and to give Him Glory. I will not be perfect and I will sometimes stumble, sometime badly. But for a true follower of Christ the desire of his heart is to live for Jesus. I believe both Catholics and the Evangelicals (at least the ones I’ve been around) believe that to be true.


#1505

I think men measure fidelity by outward works. God measures us by what is in our heart.

Edit- and before folks start slamming me with scripture about how we will be judged according to our works let me clarify what I mean.

I mean that God judges knows our motivations and “who we are”. We can proclaim we have faith all day long but God knows our heart. He knows if it is real or just something we are saying. We can do “Good Works” all day long but God knows our heart. He know if we mean it. He knows if it is genuine or if we are being like the pharisee’s and putting on a show for others benefit or to make ourselves look good. As mankind, all we have to go on is what people say and what people do. But God is not limited by that obstacle. He sees our innermost being.


#1506

Amen, lanman87! <3


#1507

James answer and the Catholic answer would be no also.

James says works complete faith so faith is always the cornerstone.

Saying “justified by works and not by faith alone” is NOT the same as “justified by works alone”


#1508

Cathoholic (Me):

Sola fide proponents often propose one of these anti-James arguments:

James uses the word “justification” to mean something other than “justification”. James teaches “justification before men” and Paul is teaching “justification before God”.

James uses the word “faith” to mean something other than “faith”.

Don’t fall for it.

Iamman87:

I’ve read two Greek Lexicons for the word used for Justified. Dikaioo

Both give these definitions for Dikaioo

to render righteous or such he ought to be
to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

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The problem here Ianman87 is you “picking and choosing” which definition you will follow.

Protestants do this with Bible verses too. They do it all the time. (They did it in my Baptist teachings that I had growing up frequently)

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You take verses that affirm faith . . . .but you DENY the verses that talk about the necessity of working (or even the need for “hope”).

Catholics on the other hand affirm we are to work for the benefit of others (set a good example, avoid scandal, etc.), but we ALSO affirm the verses that discuss the necessity of grace works.

You playing off one definition for another (but only when it suits your tradition) is not persuasive.

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To others reading this thread.

Ianman87 really thinks James is talking about ONLY helping others by works.

St. James specifically rhetorically asks (in this context of a faith that doesn’t work) if this guys empty faith (notice you CAN have empty faith) will save him.

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JAMES 2:14, 24 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? . . . . 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

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NOT JAMES 2:14, 24 (But a phantom verse that Ianman87 WISHED it said) 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith SET A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS? . . . . 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

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The answer of course is “no”, in this case his faith CANNOT save him.

St. Paul teaches the exact same thing in 1st Corinthians 13.

You playing off one definition for another (but only when it suits your tradition) is not persuasive lanman87.


#1509

Ianman87 (from post 1503) . . . .

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I think men measure fidelity by outward works. God measures us by what is in our heart.

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It’s BOTH lanman87. BOTH and according to your state in life. (you imply God judges us by “only” what is in our heart and not our actions. That is erroneous and un-Biblical.)

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Good intentions are fine. But as the old saying goes, “the road to Hades (only the saying isn’t “hades”) is paved with good intentions.”

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JAMES 2:14-17, 24 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. . . . 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

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NOT JAMES 2:14-17, 24 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15 Sure it can. Why? Because God ONLY measures us by what is in our heart. 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? Heaven because he’s got faith and God ONLY measures us by what is in our heart. 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is fine because God ONLY measures us by what is in our heart. . . . . 24 You see that a man is justified by faith ALONE and not by works as long as he has got a good heart.


#1510

Well, I could sat the same thing about you.

The definition (which is a valid definition) in the context of verse 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works indicate the word justified is evidential.

I would also say an empty faith doesn’t save. There are types of “faith” that will not save.

I said in an earlier post

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Cor 13: 1-3

Okay, prophecy and understanding and faith without love means I’m nothing. Giving away everything I have and being a martyr without love gains me nothing.

Why, because God is love. If we do anything without God, either what we say or what we do it is worthless. We can do a lot things but if we do it without love we have missed the Gospel.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 1 John 4 7-12


#1511

Ianman87:

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Why, because God is love. If we do anything without God, either what we say or what we do it is worthless.

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OK. Now just keep affirming MORE Ianman87.

Affirm that if you have FAITH to move mountains (you cannot do that without God), but do NOT have charity (notice you CAN have a genuine faith without charity), you GAIN . . . . What?

Do you gain “Heaven” anyway because of the tradition of justification by faith ALONE?

No.

You gain . . . “NOTHING”.


#1512

And it’s interesting Ianman87, that you cite 1st John 4 about love.

Recall in St. John’s Gospel, (I think it is John 14:15 AND John 15:14 if I recall correctly) . . . “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

Do you NEED “love” in addition to “faith”?

Yes.

Do you NEED to keep God’s commandments?

Yes.

The very verses you are citing suggest MORE is needed for salvation than faith.


#1513

Jonathan Edwards said “Love is the main thing in saving faith, the life and power of it, by which it produces its great effects.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said this: “True faith in God cannot exist without love to Him, nor sincere love without faith”.

He then goes on to say

“This happens by a necessity of faith’s own nature . The moment a man believes in Jesus Christ, he loves Him as a matter of course. It is possible to trust in another person and not love him, but from the peculiar circumstances of the case, our Lord, having loved us and given Himself for us out of the infinite charity of His heart, we are compelled to love Him the moment we repose upon Him. To trust the bleeding Lamb and not love Him is a thing not to be imagined. Faith is a gold ring which in every case the heavenly jeweler sets with the beryl of love.”

John Calvin said “We confess with Paul that no other faith justifies “but faith working through love””

So you see, Evangelism, affirms that Love is a necessary part of faith and that faith is a necessary part of Love. There is no disagreement on the need for Love.


#1514

Ianman87 quoting Edwards (parenthetical addition mine to preserve context) . . .

This (love) happens by a necessity of faith’s own nature.

That’s the whole point lanman87. “Love” DOESN’T necessarily continue packaged with “faith”.

It may, but it may NOT.

That was the whole point of St. Paul in 1st Corinthians 13:1-13.

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I think your problem isn’t so much with me lanman87, I think your issues are with St. Paul.

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You evidently are going to choose Edwards and your tradition, over the Bible.

And you have free will to do that. But you choosing error, is still . . . .error.


#1515

This has been a fun exercise. We will just have to agree to disagree.


#1516

St. Paul:

If you have faith to move mountains, but have not charity, you gain nothing.

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The Catholic Church:

If you have faith to move mountains, but have not charity, you gain nothing.

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Cathoholic:

If you have faith to move mountains, but have not charity, you gain nothing.

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Ianman87:

This (love) happens by a necessity of faith’s own nature.


#1517

I affirmed this verse. Faith, even great faith, without Love (God) gains nothing.

I could take the time to explain the context of the verse but I’m not going to change your mind and you are not going to change mine. Have a great night.


#1518

So again, since we can agree on this, the difference appears to be in the way we define what a “work” is


#1519

Yes, and I believe we also have a different definition of faith.


#1520

But I still think we are pretty close in principle. Have you ever read the joint declaration on justification?


#1521

Just curious, there are many passages that say if one believes in the Lord they are saved. James says that even the demons believe.

How does Protestant theology reconcile this?


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