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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : sheep from goats

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Joined: 2006/1/26
Posts: 189
mountains of Pa.

 sheep from goats

In reading matthew ch 25 ver 31 thur 46 is a true eye opener! it speaks about are works,about helping those around us.and judgment..In the book of james speaks about,ch2 ver26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead,so faith without works is dead also."galatians ch5 ver 6 speaks of faith which worketh by love. a true eye opener!

 2006/2/22 5:39Profile

Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia

 Re: sheep from goats

How about Matthew 23:23 -

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anisec and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

This is one of the great dilemas in Christianity, best displayed by Martin Luther's arguments with the papal theologians, over the Book of James. Luther held that justification was by faith alone, while his Catholic counterpart pointed to James writing "faith without works is dead". Luther responded by saying that James was an "epistle of straw".

There is a constant temptation to think that it is either "works" or "grace". Jesus cuts to the heart of the matter in Mat 23:23, "Forget works. Focus on the more important matters, like the fact that we'll have to give account to God, but despite this, He offers us the mercy upon the only condition that we place the totality of our trust upon Christ to enable us to habitually do the works that we've fogotten about."

As someone put it, Jesus nowhere says that he knows our heart, but He said that he knows our works. Why? Because our works prove the condition of our heart (Matt 12:33).

By the way, Luther later repented of his statements regarding James' Epistle. He realised that Justification is by faith alone, but also that faith is proven by works. No contention here.

Aaron Ireland

 2006/2/22 9:31Profile

Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2764
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: sheep from goats

What's really eye-opening to me in that passage is the reaction of the sheep and the goats to the Lord's words. They both react to the Lord with essentially the same words,
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
(Mat 25:37-39)

Then shall they [goats] also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
(Mat 25:44)
In the case of the sheep I find it very interesting that they claim ignorance to having ministered to the Lord. To me this confirms what Aaron said, when we are "in Christ" we habitually do the works that He did, works of mercy and justice. These are truly works that originate from God and are done unto God from a pure heart of love, not seeking reward for self. Just as Jesus did the works of the Father dwelling in Him, we do the works of Christ in us.

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
(Joh 14:10)

In Christ,


Ron Halverson

 2006/2/22 10:07Profile

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


By the way, Luther later repented of his statements regarding James' Epistle.

I never heard that. Can you document it? It would be very interesting.

Ron Bailey

 2006/2/23 14:45Profile

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