Faith discussions: improve your walk with the Lord, build up your prayer life, grow in your faith, love others in your church, and other general faith type discussions.

Justifying Works

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Justifying Works

    The Greek usage for “justify” has two primary definitions* and in all cases for all words the context determines the usage. I) to render one to be righteous; II) to show or manifest one has been rendered righteous. Since there is only One who is just, it is only He who can render one to be justified (I), and that by imputation only:

    “To demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom 3:26 – render, I).

    “It is God who justifies” (Rom 8:33 – render, I).

    “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God” (Rom 4:2 – render I).

    “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (Jam 2:24 – show, II).

    “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar” (Jam 2:21 – show II)?

    “Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way” (Jam 2:24 – show II)?

    Even the forgiveness of sins in the prior dispensation were based on faith in God. Until Christ, there could be no remission of sins but instead it was “forbearance,” passing over or overlooking the judgement and punishment of the believers in God.

    “God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed (Rom 3:25); “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Act 17:30). The “setting forth” is in reference to applying the Blood of Christ in His “propitiation” ahead of time to the OT believers, which was “shadowed” (Heb 10:1) in the sin sacrifices of the Law.

    * G1344 - dikaioō - Strong's Greek Lexicon (KJV) (using definitions I and II).

    - NC

  • #2
    No, sorry, old testament=LAW aka justified by works,,,new covenant=GRACE, aka believe unto righteousness,,,Christ died once for all

    Romans 3:28—"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.", so which is it?? how about some context here, OK

    Paul is the messenger to the gentiles, (US) but James was referring to Abraham and his work of,,,,,,dun dun dunnnn, believing God in the previous verse.
    "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."

    Obeying the gospel means BELIEVING God that Christ is His son and died then raised from the dead for US, in the OT yeah it was works because of the sacrificial system, but Christ died once for all.



    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by JSB View Post
      No, sorry, old testament=LAW aka justified by works,,,new covenant=GRACE, aka believe unto righteousness,,,Christ died once for all

      Romans 3:28—"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.", so which is it?? how about some context here, OK

      Paul is the messenger to the gentiles, (US) but James was referring to Abraham and his work of,,,,,,dun dun dunnnn, believing God in the previous verse.
      "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."

      Obeying the gospel means BELIEVING God that Christ is His son and died then raised from the dead for US, in the OT yeah it was works because of the sacrificial system, but Christ died once for all.
      Hi JBS - Appreciate your reply! The reason why works of the Law could not justify is because it has always been established by faith! Works have never established justification, nor righteousness, for faith must be first, otherwise there's nothing to believe in to use for a basis.

      Comment>

      • #4
        The reference to works and faith is a veiled reference to walking in the light or abiding in the vine, both ideas taken from Jesus' parables. On the other hand, the verses which only mention works are really speaking of works alone, apart from faith, which obviously is not walking in the light.

        “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar” (Jam 2:21 – show II)?
        This one is a bit tricky cause it seems to mention works, but not in the negative sense. In other words, it's saying works justify. Nonetheless, upon close inspection, we see Abraham offered his son Issac out of faith. It was God's spirit which gave him the power to obey. Think about it. Otherwise, it's unlikely he would have murdered a son he loved dearly.

        Of course, to sum all the verses up, I would back the Arminian view that salvation can be lost.
        Last edited by Jason76; 10-19-2016, 10:28 PM.
        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
          The reference to works and faith is a veiled reference to walking in the light or abiding in the vine, both ideas taken from Jesus' parables. On the other hand, the verses which only mention works are really speaking of works alone, apart from faith, which obviously is not walking in the light.



          This one is a bit tricky cause it seems to mention works, but not in the negative sense. In other words, it's saying works justify. Nonetheless, upon close inspection, we see Abraham offered his son Issac out of faith. It was God's spirit which gave him the power to obey. Think about it. Otherwise, it's unlikely he would have murdered a son he loved dearly.

          Of course, to sum all the verses up, I would back the Arminian view that salvation can be lost.
          I am only going to touch upon James 2:21, I reject that Salvation can be lost, because if Salvation was left to man alone, he would lose it.

          James speaks not of the causes of justification, but by what effects we may know that a man is justified.

          Sharing a commentary with you from John Calvin on James 2:21:

          James 2:21

          Was not Abraham. The Sophists lay hold on the word justified, and then they cry out as being victorious, that justification is partly by works. But we ought to seek out a right interpretation according to the general drift of the whole passage. We have already said that James does not speak here of the cause of justification, or of the manner how men obtain righteousness, and this is plain to every one; but that his object was only to shew that good works are always connected with faith; and, therefore, since he declares that Abraham was justified by works, he is speaking of the proof he gave of his justification.

          When, therefore, the Sophists set up James against Paul, they go astray through the ambiguous meaning of a term. When Paul says that we are justified by faith, he means no other thing than that by faith we are counted righteous before God. But James has quite another thing in view, even to shew that he who professes that he has faith, must prove the reality of his faith by his works. Doubtless James did not mean to teach us here the ground on which our hope of salvation ought to rest; and it is this alone that Paul dwells upon. (118)

          That we may not then fall into that false reasoning which has deceived the Sophists, we must take notice of the two fold meaning, of the word justified. Paul means by it the gratuitous imputation of righteousness before the tribunal of God; and James, the manifestation of righteousness by the conduct, and that before men, as we may gather from the preceding words, “Shew to me thy faith,” etc. In this sense we fully allow that man is justified by works, as when any one says that a man is enriched by the purchase of a large and valuable chest, because his riches, before hid, shut up in a chest, were thus made known.

          (118) It is justly observed by Scott, that there is the same difficulty in reconciling James with himself as with Paul. And this difficulty at once vanishes, when we take a view of the whole passage, and not confine ourselves to single expressions.
          And here's Matthew Henry:

          The first instance is that of Abraham, the father of the faithful, and the prime example of justification, to whom the Jews had a special regard (Jam_2:21): Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Paul, on the other hand, says (in ch. 4 of the epistle to the Romans) that Abraham believed, and it was counted to him for righteousness. But these are well reconciled, by observing what is said in Heb. 11, which shows that the faith both of Abraham and Rahab was such as to produce those good works of which James speaks, and which are not to be separated from faith as justifying and saving. By what Abraham did, it appeared that he truly believed. Upon this footing, the words of God himself plainly put this matter. Gen_22:16, Gen_22:17, Because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son; therefore in blessing I will bless thee. Thus the faith of Abraham was a working faith (Jam_2:22), it wrought with his works, and by works was made perfect. And by this means you come to the true sense of that scripture which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness, Jam_2:23. And thus he became the friend of God. Faith, producing such works, endeared him to the divine Being, and advanced him to very peculiar favours and intimacies with God. It is a great honour done to Abraham that he is called and counted the friend of God. You see then (Jam_2:24) how that by works a man is justified (comes into such a state of favour and friendship with God), and not by faith only; not by a bare opinion, or profession, or believing without obeying, but by having such a faith as is productive of good works. Now besides the explication of this passage and example, as thus illustrating and supporting the argument James is upon, many other useful lessons may be learned by us from what is here said concerning Abraham.

          [1.] Those who would have Abraham's blessings must be careful to copy after his faith: to boast of being Abraham's seed will not avail any, if they do not believe as he did. [2.] Those works which evidence true faith must to works of self-denial, and such as God himself commands (as Abraham's offering up his son, his only son, was), and not such works as are pleasing to flesh and blood and may serve our interest, or are the mere fruits of our own imagination and devising. [3.] What we piously purpose and sincerely resolve to do for God is accepted as if actually performed. Thus Abraham is regarded as offering up his son, though he did not actually proceed to make a sacrifice of him. It was a done thing in the mind, and spirit, and resolution of Abraham, and God accepts it as if fully performed and accomplished. [4.] The actings of faith make it grow perfect, as the truth of faith makes it act. [5.] Such an acting faith will make others, as well as Abraham, friends of God. Thus Christ says to his disciples, I have called you friends, Joh_15:15. All transactions between God and the truly believing soul are easy, pleasant, and delightful. There is one will and one heart, and there is a mutual complacency. God rejoiceth over those who truly believe, to do them good; and they delight themselves in him.

          (2.) The second example of faith's justifying itself and us with and by works is Rahab: Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? Jam_2:25. The former instance was of one renowned for his faith all his life long, This is of one noted for sin, whose faith was meaner and of a much lower degree; so that the strongest faith will not do, nor the meanest be allowed to go without works. Some say that the word here rendered harlot was the proper name of Rahab. Others tell us that it signifies no more than a hostess, or one who keeps a public house, with whom therefore the spies lodged. But it is very probable that her character was infamous; and such an instance is mentioned to show that faith will save the worst, when evidenced by proper works; and it will not save the best without such works as God requires. This Rahab believed the report she had heard of God's powerful presence with Israel; but that which proved her faith sincere was, that, to the hazard of her life, she received the messengers, and sent them out another way. Observe here, [1.] The wonderful power of faith in transforming and changing sinners. [2.] The regard which an operative faith meets with from God, to obtain his mercy and favour. [3.] Where great sins are pardoned, there must prefer the honour of God and the good of his people before the preservation of her own country. Her former acquaintance must be discarded, her former course of life entirely abandoned, and she must give signal proof and evidence of this before she can be in a justified state; and even after she is justified, yet her former character must be remembered; not so much to her dishonour as to glorify the rich grace and mercy of God. Though justified, she is called Rahab the harlot.

          7. And now, upon the whole matter, the apostle draws this conclusion, As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also, Jam 2:26. These words are read differently; some reading them, As the body without the breath is dead, so is faith without works: and then they show that works are the companions of faith, as breathing is of life. Others read them, As the body without the soul is dead, so faith without works is dead also: and then they show that as the body has no action, nor beauty, but becomes a loathsome carcass, when the soul is gone, so a bare profession without works is useless, yea, loathsome and offensive. Let us then take head of running into extremes in this case. For, (1.) The best works, without faith, are dead; they want their root and principle. It is by faith that any thing we do is really good, as done with an eye to God, in obedience to him, and so as to aim principally at his acceptance. (2.) The most plausible profession of faith, without works, is dead: as the root is dead when it produces nothing green, nothing of fruit. Faith is the root, good works are the fruits, and we must see to it that we have both. We must not think that either, without the other, will justify and save us. This is the grace of God wherein we stand, and we should stand to it.
          God bless,
          William
          Comment>

          • #6
            Thanks to all those replying in this thread! The primary point of the article is to draw attention to the word "justify" and its meaning in James 2:24, which is to show one is righteous, not to render one righteous, because this is where much confusion lies. After being saved the issue with the believer will no longer be anything relating to guilt but to growing in our faith because now the issue becomes that of "drawing close to God" (which mostly involves drawing close to one another) in order that we might most more effectively be used to glorify God by "showing" or "bearing" the fruit of the Spirit.

            Those in Christ are no longer on trial, thus pass or fail is no longer an issue like it was with Israel prior to Christ. The primary issue now for the believer is growth in faith for the glorification of God: "Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit" (Jhn 15:8). Notice that fruit is never produced by the believer but is rather shown or bared. Only the Vine produces fruit!

            Love You in Christ
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by NetChaplain View Post
              Thanks to all those replying in this thread! The primary point of the article is to draw attention to the word "justify" and its meaning in James 2:24, which is to show one is righteous, not to render one righteous, because this is where much confusion lies. After being saved the issue with the believer will no longer be anything relating to guilt but to growing in our faith because now the issue becomes that of "drawing close to God" (which mostly involves drawing close to one another) in order that we might most more effectively be used to glorify God by "showing" or "bearing" the fruit of the Spirit.

              Those in Christ are no longer on trial, thus pass or fail is no longer an issue like it was with Israel prior to Christ. The primary issue now for the believer is growth in faith for the glorification of God: "Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit" (Jhn 15:8). Notice that fruit is never produced by the believer but is rather shown or bared. Only the Vine produces fruit!

              Love You in Christ
              No. I still highly disagree with some posters are saying on this thread and related ones that I also posted in. Well, for one thing, you guys are not taking these verses in light of other verses. In order for everything to flow correctly, each verse has to agree with what is said in the all of the Bible. For one thing, the Parable of the Vine and related verses don't mesh with your interpretation of James 2:24 and some other verses you all brought up.

              However, this debate has been going on for centuries. Therefore the real problem is deciding who is being lead more by the spirit, since everyone praying and seeking God isn't coming to the same conclusion.
              Comment>

              • #8
                Originally posted by Jason76 View Post
                the Parable of the Vine and related verses don't mesh with your interpretation of James 2:24 and some other verses you all brought up.
                I appreciate your input, but I would need more clarification on how or where these interpretations do not parallel one another.

                God bless!

                Comment>
                Working...
                X
                Articles - News - SiteMap