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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Trying to Understand "Faith Without Works is dead"

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letsgetbusy
Member



Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia

 Re:

I have heard of genuine repentance and faith put this way. If one has truly turned from sin and toward the Son of God, his life will change, and this will be evident in his actions. So the change of actions is not what saves him, the change of actions are a result of his repentance and faith.

A false faith will claim victory over death, but you will see a man who has not changed, he has not been born again.

As far as healing goes, it is not always God's will to heal, nor is it God's will to always work miracles, but if God puts it on your heart to pray for either, sometimes he does heal the sick and work miracles. But don't feel that your faith is weak because God doesn't answer your prayer. Remember Paul prayed 3 times for God to remove the thorn in his flesh, the messenger of Satan who was buffeting him, but God just told him that He (God) was made strong in Paul's weakness.

Hope this answers your question.


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Hal Bachman

 2006/6/9 20:00Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: Trying to Understand "Faith Without Works is dead"

There are times where the Word of God lays down a principle and that principle is evidenced by a practical application. Case in point here is a brother or sister who is destitute. It is wrong for us as followers of Jesus Christ to passover thoughs who are brothers in the Lord or sister in the Lord, who have needs. Note this passage relates to faith as it applies to the interaction within the body of Christ.

I think its dangerous to take passages of scripture and try to make them fit our theology, this is one of thoughs cases where many of the charismatic movements have built entire doctrines of teaching around one passage of scripture and worked it to fit "thier" doctrines. It's interesting to see however that in many of these same circles when it come to sacrifical giving within the body of believer, these same folks just never feel lead. I don't want to preach here, the subject makes my blood boil though.
Now as for your friend who is using this scripture for his healing? I would just be real silent about it and pray for him. If he's healed you'll see spiritual pride, if his case worsens you'll observe guilt, either way be ready to help as one with the grace and mercy from the Word of Truth to help them in thier hour of trial. God Bless


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D.Miller

 2006/6/10 11:31Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Don't allow one Jerusalem Law preacher to overwhelm the preponderance of scripture that faith is what will make our works acceptable to God.

Now who would that be?


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Ron Bailey

 2006/6/13 6:21Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 faith must be justified by works?

Perhaps if we examine the word 'justify' it may help.

Quote:
Matt. 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Matt. 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Luke 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
Luke 7:35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.
Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.



This is the word used in 'justification by faith' but it will be evident from these gospel examples that the word is used in our more common English way to mean 'authenticate, prove, defend,' It is Paul, particularly who uses the word in its forensic sense.For any who might want to examine all the uses of the verb 'justify'... Matt 11:19; 12:37; Luke 7:29,35; 10:29; 16:15; 18:14; Acts 13:39; Rom 2:13; 3:4,20,24,26,28,30; 4:2,5; 5:1,9; 6:7; 8:30,33; 1Cor 4:4; 6:11; Gal 2:16-17; 3:8,11,24; 5:4; 1Tim 3:16; Titus 3:7; James 2:21,24-25; Rev 22:11 Even Paul uses the word it its more common sense...
Quote:
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
(1Tim 3:16 KJVS)

This list of references shows that Paul's use of the word dominates the NT. However, for those who believe that James was as inspired as was Paul, the other sense of the word still operates in the NT. Here are James' examples
Quote:
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
James 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?



This will be controversial but perhaps one way of expressing the different usages of the word would be to say that [u][b]men must be justified by faith but faith must be jusftiied by works[/u][/b]. The point is often made that 'faith' can never be 'alone' it will inevitably be accompanied by 'works'. 'genuine faith' that is! There is another kind of 'pseudo faith' which can easily be mistaken for the genuine article but which will lack the necessary 'fruit' of 'works'.

There is a brief phrase of Paul's which I think epitomises NT faith.
Quote:
2Cor. 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, [u]I believed, and therefore[/u] have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;

NT faith always has a 'therefore'; it cannot stand alone. As 'therefore' suggests a logical next step, so the something following 'faith' is the inevitable next step. There will always be a action proceeding from genuine faith. Faith, to be genuine, must be followed by 'something'; consequences, works. James is not using 'faith' in the sense of 'justifying faith' but mental assent eg.
Quote:
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

This is not 'belief in' or 'unto' but belief 'that'. In other words it is an assent to objective fact. For this 'faith' to be 'justifying faith' it must be the kind that not only assents but surrenders.

Perhaps it is my sense of humour, or a coincidence, but it ought not to pass our attention that the 'works' which James is commending are 'attempted murder' and 'high treason'. These are not the 'good works' of a do-it-yourself salvation but evidence that the 'faith' of Abraham and Rahab is the genuine sort which must inevitably have a 'therefore' attached. Faith is not assent, it is total abandonment and these two examples are beautiful illustrations of that truth.

Yes. it is true that 'faith' justifies, but it is equally true that the 'faith that justifies' is a faith which is vindicated/justified by its total abandonment to the revealed will of God. 'works' alone identify the genuine article. Beware all imitations.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/6/13 9:52Profile





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