Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saved by Grace Through Faith



For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

God's Word couldn't possibly be any plainer. So why do we still try so hard to inject human good works into soteriology?

9 comments:

Teresita said...

God's Word couldn't possibly be any plainer. So why do we still try so hard to inject human good works into soteriology?

I'm thinking because...of God's Word.

James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Randy said...

Joel,

Luther obviously had a problem with the book of James about the works issue. But, he finally resolved it, I am sure. James doesn't conflict with Romans as some might think.

But, you are so right, why do we do it? Good question. I remember saying to many people one simple but hopefully profound statement.
I didn't do anything to deserve salvation or work my way to it, so what makes me think I can do anything in and of myself to keep it?

Be well,

Randy

lee n. field said...

teresita -- Roman Catholic, I'm guessing, from the argument?

There can be no contradiction between Paul and James. I know how I handle the apparent difference. How do you?

Solameanie said...

Teresita,

James was referring to justification before men, not justification before God. Good works are an indication that someone is saved, not a cause of their salvation.

Teresita said...

lee n. field: There can be no contradiction between Paul and James. I know how I handle the apparent difference. How do you?

Paul's gospel was in opposition to the Judaizers, who said men had to become circumcized and keep kosher to be saved. He correctly stated that justification was not through works of law. However, then, as now, people interpreted works of law as meaning all works, including basic things like supporting widows and the poor. James corrected this correction by stating that a faith which does not produce these things is not saving faith, but is dead.

Solameanie: James was referring to justification before men, not justification before God. Good works are an indication that someone is saved, not a cause of their salvation.

There is no such thing as "justification before men". In fact, Christ told us not to be like the hypocrites who sought to be approved of men.

Solameanie said...

Not from the context. If you keep reading, James makes it abundantly clear that good works are evidence of salvation that has already taken place. You have to take the whole counsel of God in Scripture and not isolate out a verse. The whole of Scripture is very clear that one's good works are not involved in the salvation of one's soul.

As to your reference to what Jesus said about approval of men, hypocrisy was the issue, not any sort of justification.

Teresita said...

Solameanie: If you keep reading, James makes it abundantly clear that good works are evidence of salvation that has already taken place.

Salvation does not take place until Judgment Day. For it is always possible that man, by his free will, may reject the gospel, even after a lifetime of living it. In 2 Peter 2:20 we read, "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

As to your reference to what Jesus said about approval of men, hypocrisy was the issue, not any sort of justification.

Since justification means to make righteous, what sort of righteousness before men, rather than before God, is even possible, let alone something should Christians devote themselves to? And where can I find scripture to learn more about this righteousness before men?

Solameanie said...

"To make righteous" is not the only definition of justification. But that's beside the point for the time being.

You are looking for an example of what I am talking about. Jesus, in talking about the good works of His people, said . . . Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Those are the same types of works being discussed in James. The type of works you seem to be talking about are salvific works. Two different things.

To say that human works play a role in salvation is to insult the Lord, who did it all for us on the cross. He is the one who enables us to do those good works in the first place. (Ephesians 2:10).

I'll address all of this more completely in another post.

Solameanie said...

While I am at it, I wonder that you are choosing to argue about this , as an adherent of not only daojia Taoism, but also lesbianism according to your profile. You might have been raised Catholic, but you appear to have left even that behind.