What did Paul mean to be Justified by Faith?

I believe one of the hardest Protestant objections to answer is when a evangelical presents the argument from Paul’s epistle to the Romans as found in chapters 3,4 and 5 on being justified by Faith. I know many will say that faith and works go hand in hand, because of what James says in his epistle of 2:24.

                               But when one reads what Paul says in the above chapters, he does seem to be saying that one is justified and declared righteous before God by simple faith or belief in Jesus Christ and what he has done for the believer.Paul **doesn't** mention works **with** faith at all, but simply believing. So how do you approach this difficult objection?

Hello, justcatholic,

If justification is seen as what Jesus did for us,
“He is our righteousness” …and faith is accepting
that He is God the Son, and that He did, indeed,
justify us, then there is no problem, to speak of.

Faith, I think, means in this context [St.Paul], a
"lively faith", which i*ncludes *obedience to the
commands of Jesus and the Ten Commandments.
What are called “works” is simply a short-hand way
of saying: Living out the commands of Christ.

Our “works” don’t save us. Jesus saves us. But
failing to follow the commands of Jesus [works]…
what kind of faith is that?

When we fail in following His commands, we repent,
and ask God to forgive us.
Some Christians think that receiving the sacraments
is an attempt to do “works” that will save us, and
thus that violates “faith alone”…i.e., Jesus did the work,
accept Him, in faith, for our salvation.

My own view is that, in teaching “what must we do to
be saved”, a given Catholic may get the wrong idea of
what is actually being said…we can’t do anything to
save ourselves. Jesus saves. The grace received in
the sacraments strengthens us to follow the commands
of Christ, which is part of a “lively faith.”

Jesus said “Take and eat.” How can that be considered
a “work”, when it is a direct command?
"Unless you eat this bread and drink this blood, you
shall not have life in you.“
How is that “trying to save ourselves”? How is that
"relying on ‘works’ to save us?” Jesus commanded
us to do that action.
It is not “relying on a ‘work’ and not faith.’” It is
following a direct command of Jesus.

Does that make sense?

reen12

[quote=justcatholic]Paul doesn’t mention works with faith at all, but simply believing. So how do you approach this difficult objection?
[/quote]

Hello justcatholic,

The problem is that the Protestants have developed their own definition to God’s biblical term “believe”. Jesus uses God’s term belive in the way God intended it. To believe in God means to do what God tells you to do. Jesus tells us to obey the commandments and feed the poor if we wish to enter into heaven. The Protestants distort Christ’s term believe to mean the opposite of Christ’s meaning behind the word believe.

Please visit Believe

NAB JOH 3:36

Whoever believes in the Son has life eternal. Whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure the wrath of God.NAB LUK 8:13

13: Those on the rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. They have no root; **they believe **for a while, but fall away in time of temptation.

NIV PSA 78:32

In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.

NAB JOH 12:44

Jesus proclaimed aloud: “Whoever puts faith in me believes not so much in me as in him who sent me; and whoever looks on me is seeing him who sent me. I have come to the world as its light, to keep anyone who **believes **in me from remaining in the dark. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I am not the one to condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save it. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words already has his judge, namely, the word I have spoken it is that which will condemn him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own; no, the Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to speak. Since I know that his commandment means eternal life, whatever I say is spoken just as he instructed me.”

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.’"
NAB MAT 25:31

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ **And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” **

[quote=justcatholic]I believe one of the hardest Protestant objections to answer is when a evangelical presents the argument from Paul’s epistle to the Romans as found in chapters 3,4 and 5 on being justified by Faith. I know many will say that faith and works go hand in hand, because of what James says in his epistle of 2:24.

But when one reads what Paul says in the above chapters, he does seem to be saying that one is justified and declared righteous before God by simple faith or belief in Jesus Christ and what he has done for the believer.Paul doesn’t mention works with faith at all, but simply believing. So how do you approach this difficult objection?
[/quote]

Though they have different words standing for them – “faith,” “works” – “faith” and “works” are NOT PHILOSOPHICALLY DISTINGUISHABLE, to a CRITICAL extent, in the sense that Protestants define and distinguish “faith” and “works.” A Ford and an Audi are different, but they are both cars.

This is what the Parable of the Good Samaritan is all about.

Do you think that even once, in the history of the Universe, God gave to someone a grace of faith which was inherently dead to doing works? Even once?

No.

“Works will” is OF THE ESSENCE OF faith generated by the grace of faith given by the Holy Spirit.

If “works will” isn’t in the “faith,” THEN IT’S NOT FAITH.

Proving this with Scripture is easy.

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus looks at 3 men.

One is a Jewish priest, one is a Levite (of the priestly tribe), one is a Samaritan – the remnants of conquered Israel, to the north of Judea, where conquest and intermarriage mortally paganized Judaism.

In other words, the 3 men are (1) a “believer” with “the Faith,” (2) a “believer” with 'the Faith," and (3) a “non-believer,” WITHOUT “the Faith.”

In other words, Christ PICKED those 3 men to look at, PRECISELY BECAUSE the first two, BOTH of whom carefully avoided engaging in the good work, represented “faith without works”; and PRECISELY BECAUSE the third, who though denying faith, engaged in the good work, represented “works.”

Who did Christ prefer, of the three? “Mr. Faith With Works #1”? “Mr. Faith Without Works #2”? Or “Mr. Works”?

Next, everybody thinks that Paul was affirmatively endorsing “faith without works.” Was he? Or was this one of Paul’s rhetorical exaggerations?

Read 1 Corinthians 13:13.

Isn’t “love” pure works?

Now,* WHICH DOES PAUL SAY IS GREATER? FAITH, OR LOVE?*

So, relax on this subject. Be PROUD of our Catholic faith.

Also note that at the time of Christ the term faith included both the concepts of belief and of obedience. Without obedience is only belief, and without belief is only obedience. Neither one alone carries the meaning of faith, but faith carries the meaning of both together.

Peace be with you!

What Paul meant by Justification by faith is just what our Lord meant by it.

In His parable about the Pharisee and the publican, Jesus said about the publican:

“I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other” ( Luke 18:14 )

So this is clear. By faith we are justified before our Righteous God. And anyone who tells you you have to wait until you can be in peace with God, is just misleading you.

And let’s just be sure we understand that the living Christian faith is an obedient faith, and we don’t need to add obedience to it in order to be justified. In other words:

Salvation is not by faith AND obedience ( works ),

But

Salvation is by the obedient Christian faith alone.

Have nice time :slight_smile:

In Jesus Christ,
THEOPHILUS†

Theophilus from bibleforums.org? Welcome to the board, dude. I have a feeling this thread is going to get pretty interesting…

[quote=Atreyu]Theophilus from bibleforums.org? Welcome to the board, dude. I have a feeling this thread is going to get pretty interesting…
[/quote]

why is that…

Um, because we should hopefully get to see both sides of the debate: Catholic and Protestant. That’s all! Yeah I guess it was a bit of a stupid statement… :confused:

[quote=Atreyu]Um, because we should hopefully get to see both sides of the debate: Catholic and Protestant. That’s all! Yeah I guess it was a bit of a stupid statement… :confused:
[/quote]

Is he a Protestant?

Peace to you!

:slight_smile: Thank you. Just wanted to say that I am not Roman Catholic, nor Protestant.

In Love,
THEOPHILUS†

I did not see the answer that I believe Paul’s statement to be so here goes;

Peter and Paul argued about gentiles being saved they ate meat and were not circumcised and did not follow the Jewish custom and traditions. Peter told Paul they could not be saved Paul said by faith alone they were saved. Later Peter had a dream about meat I don’t remember the exact dream but have seen it in the video Peter and Paul and it is biblical.
James of course later said faith without works is dead. Meaning exactly what he said. We all need to practice the works of mercy.

[quote=THEOPHILUS†]Peace to you!

:slight_smile: Thank you. Just wanted to say that I am not Roman Catholic, nor Protestant.

In Love,
THEOPHILUS†
[/quote]

If you are a Christian, how could you not be Roman Catholic or Protestant? Are you Orthodox?

P.S. Welcome to the forum! I’m glad you have joined us. :slight_smile:

[quote=THEOPHILUS†]Peace to you!

:slight_smile: Thank you. Just wanted to say that I am not Roman Catholic, nor Protestant.

In Love,
THEOPHILUS†
[/quote]

Hi YAQUBOS!!! I see your circumnavigated you suspension yet again!

"Do not grumble among yourselves.

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

"It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.

"Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.” ( John 6:43-47 )

[quote=carol marie]If you are a Christian, how could you not be Roman Catholic or Protestant? Are you Orthodox?

P.S. Welcome to the forum! I’m glad you have joined us. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

:slight_smile: Thank you. That’s very nice of you.

Yes, I am Christian. I thank the Lord for being orthodox. I belong to the Catholic Church, but not that of Rome.

Have nice time.

In His Grace,
THEOPHILUS†

Okay, since you only mentioned Romans, I’ll give you a quote that might give you something to think about.
Rom 2:2-10, especially verses six through ten.
Of particular interest to your argument is Rom 3:27,28
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. On what principe? On the principle of works? No, but on the principle of faith. For we hold that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law .
Hmmm. “…works of the law.” What law is Paul speaking of?
Since the Mosaic law is the only law a Jew would refer to, it must be that law.
What Paul is saying is that redemption by faith in Christ’s redeeming grace superceeds the Mosaic law, which our Lord replaced with the new covenant.
I would also draw your attention to John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do…"
and John 14:15 “I f you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (That’s work)
The “Roman Road” leads to bad places. One doesn’t have to rely on James to see that works are required after we have freely received the graces attained for us by Christ.
I have lots more Scripture, from our Lord and St. Paul and others, concerning the necessity of works as a result of grace.
One cannot rely on selected quotes pulled from context of three chapters from one epistle for one’s belief. One cannot even rely on the Bible alone.
But that’s been well covered many times on these boards.

Yes, as Strider says, our Salvation must be fruitful. All those who are truly saved by faith will be obedient to their Lord. But Salvation is not by anything we do; it’s by God’s Grace through faith.

THEOPHILUS†

[size=3][size=2]

[/size][/size]†Peace be with you!

God says:

“You shall have no other gods before Me.”

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.”

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”

“You shall not murder.”

“You shall not commit adultery.”

“You shall not steal.”

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

With these Ten Commandments, I greet you, my friends, and you brothers and sisters in Christ.

And I would like to begin my first post with a very practical topic: Are you under the CURSE of God?

In fact, I believe all apologetics are vain unless they intend to be practical and in the service of Truth.

Therefore I would like that we all think seriously about the Ten Commandments mentioned above, and then think about the following words of our God:

“Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.” ( Deuteronomy 27:26 )

And let’s think about the following question:

AM I UNDER THIS CURSE?

In Love,
Yaqubos†

Deleted e-mail address from post as per forum rules.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=407695#post407695

What remarkable similarities…

I witness.[/size]

[quote=THEOPHILUS†]:slight_smile: Thank you. That’s very nice of you.

Yes, I am Christian. I thank the Lord for being orthodox. I belong to the Catholic Church, but not that of Rome.

Have nice time.

In His Grace,
THEOPHILUS†
[/quote]

Hmmm, a non-denom lone ranger running around, just him and his Bible. Where are your bishops as St. Paul under divine inspiration says you should have?

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