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Faith And Works

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Ravindran, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Yesterday me and my wife were studying James.. We came across this.. We were going through some details and trying to understand these 2 passages together, with rest of the Bible.. How would you reconcile these passages written by James and Peter?

    James 2
    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. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

    Romans 4
    What then shall we say was gained by1 Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in 2 him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness
     
  2. Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as Righteousness...his works justified that belief....faith justifies man before God and works justify man before men...
     
    Huntingteckel and Ravindran say Amen and like this.
  3. Nicely said.. Makes sense..
     
  4. I do hope that you had a good Easter day!

    The passage you posted is a "rhetorical" one which is seen in the word "WILT THOU KNOW in verse 20.
    James is addressing "O vain man" and extends beyond empty faith to a person void of reality.

    Abraham is the father of all believers but the reference here, "OUR FATHER" is linking him with his nation the Jews.

    That he was "JUSTIFIED BY WORKS" appears to contradict Pauls "justification by faith" in Romans 4, where we see...."Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall be no flesh be justified in his sight".

    The unjustified man according to Romans 4 is a condemned sinner but in James 2, he is a "hypocrite." Consequently, Abraham's justification in this passage consisted of man's verdict. Christians, Jews and Arabs have "declared righteous" this man of God because of the faith demonstrated when he offered his only son.
     
    Ravindran likes this.
  5. Thanks Major! Hope you had a good one too.. Some good old Hymns at Church and a good heavy meal at Olive Gardens :D

    I think whatever you explained is very much inline with Brother Paul.. Thanks! Making lot of sense now..
     
  6. I was going through this scripture more and more.. One think was striking.. Of course, it was triggered by what Brother Paul and Major posted..

    James is also quoting Abraham and Paul is also quoting Abraham.. If we look at James especially, he is linking things that happened in Genesis 15:6 and Genesis 22.. Abraham was justified as righteous when he believed.. This is when he believed the promises of Lord.. And it was his faith, which counted him as righteous.. Now fast forward, God is asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.. This is the work of Abraham where he is willing to even offer his only son.. This is the justification of his faith or belief..

    Same goes with Rahab.. The act of saving the 2 spies was the works through which her faith was justified.. She already believed God.. It was not the work which set her right with God.. But the works justified her faith.. So may be we should look at the entire context when we talk about justification referred to by James and Paul (which is what we should do always!!)
     
  7. James is also quoting Abraham and Paul is also quoting Abraham.. If we look at James especially, he is linking things that happened in Genesis 15:6 and Genesis 22.. Abraham was justified as righteous when he believed.. This is when he believed the promises of Lord.. And it was his faith, which counted him as righteous.. Now fast forward, God is asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.. This is the work of Abraham where he is willing to even offer his only son.. This is the justification of his faith or belief..
    R
    ight! Notice here when God says "Because you have done this...now I...."

    This is confusing for some because God is omniscient and so He knew what Abraham would do....but that does not equal Him causing Abraham to make that decision. Abrahams decision had to be his own...that proved his faith...Abraham also KNOWING God was faithful who promised that the blessing would come through Isaac...He says for his servant to wait (while he and the boy went to worship) and "WE" will return...however if God had not stopped him he would have slain Isaac still believing fully that God would have kept His word...

    His faith and his work are not the same (Romans 4:2-5) the one prompted the other...without true faith the work would not have come forth...
     
  8. Its real important to look at the two examples that James gives as a living faith. One is Abraham and the other is Rahab the "HARLOT"..now what "works" did she do? She believed in the God of Israel and acted in a very simple way in accordance with her faith. Now I believe most can muster the works of Rahab..and thus fulfill the intention of what James calls a working faith. Why did God use a harlot here in this example? To make sure no one mistook what James was saying as a return to self-righteousness through the "works" of the law or any religious work for that matter.
     

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