Which Gospel is your favorite? / Justification by faith and/or works?


Each Gospel is different. My fave is Luke simply because all the canticles for the Liturgy of the Hours come from Luke. The Benedictus, The Magnificat and the Canticle of Simeon.


John, and Luke a close second, but I love them all.


I enjoy Luke as for me it is the most personal, in that it explores the relationship between God and his people more effectively.


I think it’s comes down to how we define the term Gospel. The letters are highly important as is Acts and Revelation but they do not serve the same definitional term as a Gospel


You’re right about Romans 3:21. However, one must read the chapter in it’s entirety. Romans 3:4 says a man will be justified by his words, works; and Romans 3:30 says we do not overthrow the law; but uphold it.

We must remember: The Law was all 613 commandments of the Torah as recorded in the Books of Moses. Now, the Pharisees were emphasizing blind rule following in all its minutiae, the purity laws of the priests, extended to all observant Jews; and completely missed the point of the spirit of the Law, being mercy and justice as Our Lord taught.

But, what did Our Lord Himself teach?

He taught that those that do the will of the Father will enter the Kingdom. That’s works. Now, this tells me that we are justified by faith and works; since salvation cannot be separate from justification. Our Lord’s Teaching is replete with teaching about works; like selling all you have, giving to the poor and following Him. Jesus told His disciples to follow Him; not just believe in Him and letting them live their lives.

He called sinners to repentance, changing their ways to conform to God’s; which requires a person to radically reorder their lives, their words and their actions. Again; that’s evidence from Our Lord’s own lips that He taught salvation/justification by faith and works. One cannot take up his cross and follow Our Lord without action.

As for Romans 1-4; by all means Hodos pm me on the subject. I’d love to share and dialectic with you. Iron sharpens iron as Proverbs says.



John 6:55-58, “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, abideth in me and me in him.”

How can John 6 be explained logically without affirming the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist?


Amen. You just quoted an important verse from Saint John and, apart from the Last Supper; is my favorite part of Saint John.


Yes, but it says this in condemnation of all men, not in the sense of justifying them. Paul is leading up to the crux of his argument that man needs Christ as his justification. Note that it is right after Romans 3:4 that Paul then says that No one is righteous, no not one. Here he is using the known evil of man’s works to condemn him before God before he then begins his good news in Romans 3:19 where he delivers to us the good news that through Christ we are justified by faith apart from works. You cannot read Romans 3 backwards, because it destroys the entire flow of Paul’s argument.

Paul always upholds the law, not because it justifies us, but because it communicates God’s will and as such is just by its nature. That being said, the law does not justify us, it condemns us. Note that Paul says the law communicates what sin is to us, it doesn’t justify us.

None of this is in contradiction to Christ’s teachings. It is our condemnation under the law that brings us to repentance and Christ. And as we discussed before, our responsibility before God and before our neighbor does not go away just because we have been justified by Christ. On the contrary, we uphold the law because it tells us how we ought to live in our justified state.

I love this stuff.


Respectfully admire ones reply nicely said also!

Notice Jesus heavily quotes from the OT and continually refers to what is important to know?
Does not teach on the 613 laws why? Were most man made?
But Jesus teaches over again, The Ten Commandments, Sermon on the Mount found also in OT, does he not?

Ten Commandments are Righteous Laws that distribute Equality Rights, Freedom and Protection for all, right?

There is no Commandment that says… Only Woman thou shall not commit adultery and does not apply to man does it?

Example…Woman were stone to death if they committed adultery? With Jesus not so…those with out sin throw the first stone? Seems woman in OT are held to their sins, man not so much. Did Jesus know man had their hands all over it?

Did Jesus come to restore, fulfill give the full measure of the Law, return to the True Teaching of His Spoken Word and his Laws? Now Jesus compounds the Law, even if one thinks, of committing adultery one has committed it?

Jesus tells us does he not?
Every word that runs loosely off our tongue will be held accountable even our thoughts, now?

Jeremiah …Oh those lying scribes with their pens?
Jesus gives all his…Woes to the Scribes ( teachers)?
Where does it say man cannot feed himself on the sabbath in your book?
Will not find it in His Spoken Word?

Jesus judges and identifies them? Matthew Chapter 23
You are the children of the father of lies, does he not?
Talking thousands of years and different rulers, teaches along the way…

Jesus charges them even highly learned men, his own Temple elders, priest, etc were adding to and subtracting from His Spoken Word, were they not?

Do not add or subtract from my word?
One added the other subtracted from, adding along the way man made traditions maybe, he did not ask for?

Jesus quotes from His prophets, who state within, God saying I did not ask for and they given what God desires what true fasting is, what true sacrifice is, God seems to define, does he not?

Jesus seems to teach us the correct Biblical Verses repeats from OT…Ten Commandments, Sermon on the Mount…
Return to me
Restore, be truly sorry with a contrite heart, make one self whole again?

Make an internal change within?
Change our Thoughts?
Change our Ways?
Change our harden hearts of stone?
Change and become the fullness of Love within?

In Luke Elizabeth and Zechariah were found blameless and were righteous before the Lord how? Obeyed the Commandments

The Letter of James in the Bible…is a beautiful teaching on how to accomplish this also and continues in Jesus teaching?

The letter of James Reads like a beautiful Homily?

Peace :heart::slightly_smiling_face:


If we are justified by our faith, why do good works matter at all. In my view one cannot have faith without works, thus works are too required. But aside from this point, if faith alone is what matters, why couldn’t a serial killer who believes in Jesus also inherent the Kingdom of God? Wouldn’t we argue that this person has broken the commandments of not killing many times and thus is in grave sin, for Catholics mortal sin. But if he is saved by his faith, then why not indulge in impurity and pleasure and riches because we are saved by our faith not what we do. Seems like if this is the case then Jesus lied at Matthew 19:24

”Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

This statement of Jesus is not connected to faith, it makes no utterance of believing in Jesus, rather it is based on rich people not helping the poor or being materialistic or being vain, these are works. Now yes there is a context this is read in, where faith is mentioned. But it is not the case that a very rich man who never gives to the poor and thinks he is entitled to everything and should help nobody, but beliefs in Jesus will be saved. Seems pharasitical that someone can believe in Jesus but not practice anything Jesus preaches and so I would say this person is a hypocrite, whom Jesus condemns.

Would you respond to this by saying, one cannot have true faith if they go around killing people and indulging in lust and not helping the poor? So you are defining faith as attached to works by definition because without these works we don’t have faith? Then why don’t the works themselves carry merit along with the faith since both seem to matter independently? I find this a very interesting discussion


Because God saved us for a reason. God still gives a rip about his creation, and as his redeemed, so do we.

"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of the flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive to together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

We aren’t antinomians, but we don’t confuse our righteousness (which we aren’t), with the righteousness we receive by grace through faith in Christ. Keep in mind that all the things you are talking about (our works), Christ refers to as fruit, the result of something else, that something else is faith. But again, what does Paul say about our justification? It is a gift through faith, not by works.



Quis ut Deus et:

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei; ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae, Amen.

I love you, Hodos; as my brother in Christ and I’ll endeavor to help you understand.

First off: I’ve seen faithful Lutherans and Protestants live holy lives; albeit with out the fullness of the Faith. I do not accuse you of antinomianism. Although, a life lived by sola fide can logically end up in an antinomian life. If we are justified solely by faith. Even the demons believe and shudder; and they’re certainly not saved.

Well, I see that you have neatly sidestepped what I asked: What did Our Lord teach?

I’ll drive home the point.

Nowhere did Our Lord teach sola fide, nor sola scriptura. These are highly unbiblical doctrines that contradict Our Lord’s Teaching. Jesus taught faith and works; living out His Teaching with a sincere and repentant heart.

The Law that Saint Paul railed against was the Pharisiacal teaching, an interpretation of Torah; that one had to be ritualistically pure and a legalistic understanding and adherence to the Torah without sincerity and mercy; while putting on a good show of holiness. As if this could gain them the world to come.

Also: The following of the world, pursuing worldly goods as opposed to the spiritual goods that Christ taught; is what Saint Paul rightly condemns; not the good works that Man is capable of doing. Good works please God; as we see in Our Lord’s Teaching.

Christ Himself did not condemn the Law; He fulfilled the Law.

I also see that you’re, in all sincerity; trying to use Saint Paul to negate Christ’s Teaching. Saint Paul clarified Our Lord’s Teaching when he wrote: “ Work out your salvation with fear and trembling “ and “ fight the good fight of faith. “ All these cannot be done under sola fide. These require works that please God; namely the lifelong conversion of a sinner’s heart and his/her efforts to live a holy life, pleasing to God.

Furthermore, Hodos; I invite you to show me where in Sacred Scripture did Our Lord teach sola fide and sola scriptura. You can’t; without twisting Sacred Scripture, standardized canon by the Catholic Church; to fit the erroneous doctrines of your founders.


”And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
- 1 Corinthians 13:13

Seems like a very telling verse on this broader discussion


You’re right, GofM. The Great Commandments are about love, after all.


Oh no, I did not assume that you were, I meant the Christian faith in general is not antinomian.

Well, I would answer that the Lord taught exactly what Paul taught. That we are saved by grace through faith. And that we are still obligated to serve God and serve our neighbor, and that our faith drives our actions. If you have a specific passage you want to reference, I would be glad to discuss it with you in detail. Also, I do not draw the false distinction between Christ (I am assuming that is who you are speaking of when you say Lord) and the rest of the Godhead. So I reject any argumentation that divorces the revelation of St. Paul from the revelation of Matthew or whomever you might cite to support a particular doctrinal position.

We could certainly have long conversations about both of these things, but I fear that you probably have the standard misconceptions about what these doctrines mean to begin with. If you care to do so in private, I would be glad to discuss what they mean in their historic context and offer a working definition. Then we can examine the scriptures and see if your claim that they are taught no where by our Lord.

I would completely disagree with this interpretation (I am assuming you are referring back to our conversation about Romans 3). Paul in Romans 1 and 2 holds the Gentiles accountable to the law, and demonstrates that the law is written on their hearts. In addition, Paul did not rail against the law, but said the law gives us knowledge of our sin and that we uphold it (even though in the same book he says that we are not bound to Sabbaths, eating of specific meats, etc.). Clearly, the law he was referring to was the moral law that he used to convict both Gentile and Jew ultimately culminating in his conclusion about sinful man in Romans 3. Which then leads us to his conclusion that we are justified by grace apart from works of the law. Also, Paul makes the distinction that grace is not worked for. I see no evidence that Paul was speaking against the Pharisees in his first three chapters of Romans which is Paul’s magnum opus on the subject of justification.


First off, Hodos: I suggest we retire to pms in the future; so as not to disturb our community with our disputation.

Second, I’m currently reading Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans and so far, I see much writing about works.

Romans 2:6-7

For he will render to every man according to his works: To those who by patience in well doing seek for glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.


In Chapter 1, Saint Paul condemns evil works, not righteous ones; such as homosexual acts and idolatry of creatures.

Romans 2:13

For it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but doers of the Law will be justified.

Chapter 2 goes on further by condemning teachers of the Law who break the law and praising Gentiles who obey the Law.

Again, works. It’s keeping and obeying the Law inwardly and outwardly.

Next: Do you really mean that Saint Paul’s pastoral letter was a revelation equal to Our Lord’s?

Yes, by Our Lord I mean Jesus the Christ.

I agree with the Church that we are saved by grace; for its only by grace that we are able to do good works and thus, be justified before God.

1 Corinthians 13:2

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

What does Our Lord say as what are the Greatest Commandments?

Saint Matthew 22:37-39

Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. On this hangs all of the Law and Prophets.

Love demands actions. This is what Our Lord taught.


Yep, and Paul is using this section to condemn the Jews by their works. How does he say they are justified in Romans 3?

Exactly, Paul is condemning the Jews because their works are not righteous before God. The Jews understood that they were not righteous before God, as they were offering the sacrifices for their sins at the altar. This recognition of their sinful nature is built right into the law. A first century Jew would have no issue reading this passage and agreeing with Paul that their works condemned them rather than declared them as righteous.

Nope. Paul is condemning the Jews who possess the revelation of the law and consider themselves privileged to have it, yet who know that they are not doers of the law, and uses Gentiles who obey aspects of the law to shame them for their disobedience to it. If you continue to Chapter 3, again Paul’s conclusion is that there is NO ONE RIGHTEOUS. NOT EVEN ONE. Jew and Gentile alike are both condemned under the law. You cannot stop at Chapter 2. You have to follow Paul’s argument through to its conclusion.

I absolutely agree that we are told to follow God’s command. This is an imperative statement telling us what we are supposed to do. That is not at question. What it is not is a descriptive statement saying that we fulfill that obligation. The problem is that Paul’s argument is that YOU DO NOT FULFILL GOD’S LAW and are therefore condemned under the penalty of the law, and are justified freely by grace through faith apart from works. The command has not gone away. But again, your works don’t justify you, Christ does. Keep reading through to Chapter 8 where Paul’s section on justification culminates with Romans 8:31-39. Ask yourself when you get there, who does Paul say is the one doing the justifying?


First off, Hodos; please don’t all caps with me.

Second: Saint Paul was condemning hypocrisy and evil works.

There were righteous people under the Law; Joseph, Jacob’s son; and Saint Joseph, Our Lord’s foster father, Simeon and Zechariah were righteous before God under the Law. That refutes your claim that no one is righteous.

As for the Great Commandments; you miss my point. Our Lord commanded us to do good works as part of our salvation and justification for our entry into His Kingdom. Especially the “ Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect “ and to first seek the Kingdom.

Doing the will of the Father lets us into the Kingdom. Works.

You have yet to show us how faith alone merits us His Kingdom.


I was using it to emphasize my point, if you are offended by that I apologize. What do you prefer? Italics, Bold? My options are limited via text medium.

Again, I would say that isn’t consistent with Romans considering Paul’s condemnation of all men in Romans 3, and the use of Adam to say that sin spread to all men and death through sin in Chapter 5. Otherwise, you are saying that some Jews were justified by their actions and did not need a Christ. Again, refuted by Paul’s conclusion is Chapter 3 that none are righteous, not one. Paul’s clear statement is that men’s works are not righteous before God, and that we are justified by faith in Christ apart from works.

I already did in Romans 3, but you rejected that evidence. Feel free then to look at the criminal on the cross with Jesus who repented as a concrete example of what Paul says in Romans. Again, we are justified by faith. That being said, I have already explained that we were saved for the purpose of living according to God’s will (Ephesians 2:1-10). We are saved by faith apart from works, but the fruit of faith leads to works.


After rereading Romans Chapter 3; I believe I have an answer for you.

Saint Paul didn’t condemn all men. He simply said that all men are under the power of sin. Not that all men are inveterate and reprobate sinners. True, we all fall short of the glory of God. But we have the grace to make a heroic effort to live holy lives pleasing to God.

As for justification: I read that Saint Paul was teaching that works alone do not justify men before God and rightly so. We uphold the Law with faith. Upholding as in adhering to the Law as taught by Our Lord.

Saint Paul, furthermore; was teaching in Romans 3 that not all men are false. He used a rhetorical technique “ as if “ all men were false. As for “ No one, not one “; I venture to say that Saint Paul was quoting from one of the Prophets during a time of Israel’s backsliding and faithlessness. For we see in each time of such faithlessness, there’s always a Prophet to speak against such folly.

So, there’s always a faithful remnant in each faithless generation.

As for Our Lord, He Himself said: “ I came not for the righteous, but sinners. “ So, that tells me that there were righteous Jews, under the Law; living during His Life and Ministry.

What I venture to say is first off, Saint Paul was talking to Jews in Romans.

Second: We all needed Christ for the original sin of our First Parents.

As for the all caps thing: Italics or boldface is fine. Whatever works.

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