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Saint Nicholas
07-12-07, 01:15 PM
" And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more of grace: otherwise work is no more work". Romans 11.6


PART ONE
Brothers and sisters in Christ,.........It is with sincere desire to present this body of work to the audience of this forum. Again I will attempt to show how the Grace of justification is antithetical to ALL works. There can never be a synthesis of these to ideas. Any addition to Grace or a synthesis of Law and Gospel (Grace), would render Paul’s doctrine of Justification null and void. Many religious churchman however, have taught the synthesis, making faith and works one cohesive unit, along with rendering good works,( the fruit of faith), as a ground, basis, and proof of justification. If good works can be seen (by men) as a bonafide proof of Justification, then we must ask two basic questions. 1. What is the numerical quantity of good works that would prove an individual to be Justified? 2. What degree of substantive quality must these good works possess?

In this article, I will present evidence, that should be sufficient to indict James the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the crime of Judaizing the Pauline doctrine of Justification by faith alone, without the works of law. James the brother of Jesus, is the antithesis of Paul and never fully comprehended the Pauline doctrine of Justification. I do not believe he was even an apostle as some suggest. A false apostle perhaps, but no true apostle of the Gospel of Christ. However that is another subject worth discussion.

Whether or not the book of James has been considered a Pseudonymous work, is irrelevant for the sake of this discussion. We will only examine the content of the letter to examine it’s overall teachings.

In James 1:1 the letter opens with an address to the twelve tribes of the dispersion (diaspora). This opening statement gives us a hint at the audience the letter was intended to reach. I do not agree that the twelve tribes should be interpreted allegorically or metaphorically. There is no warrant for such an interpretation in this letter. This letter is neither parabolic or prophetic, compared to such others as Revelations, the Prophets, the parables of Jesus, etc. The Jewishness of the letter would be understood by the Jerusalem Church (Jewish/Christians), for they too, struggled in the transition from Moses (Law) to Christ (Gospel). The Jewish/Christian animosity towards Paul’s Gentile Christianity, is obvious according to the scriptures as we shall see after we look briefly into a portrait of James.

A brief portrait of James

For the sake of brevity, please read the scriptures listed. I will follow with my comments.

Mark 6:1-4 Jesus makes reference that He is without honor among His own family and kin.

John 7:1-13 vs.5) Jesus’s brothers did not believe in Him. vs.7) His brothers were not hated. Christ was hated. vs.13) His brothers feared the Jews and were silent.

Acts 12:17 Notice how Peter after his imprisonment, makes sure to differentiate James from the brethren. This would at least indicate to me that James had some importance over the other brethren. At least to Peter it was important to make this distinction.

Acts 15:1 The "certain men" Who came down from Judea were of the circumcision party.
Galatians 2:12 "Certain men from James" were of the circumcision party.

Act 15:18-21 James statements in these verses are to say the least, incriminating. James response was not at all similar to Peter’s response. James avoided the language of circumcision but still placed four yokes of bondage on the Gentiles. Abstain from pollution’s of idols, from fornication, from things strangled, and from blood. These four commands are still from the LAW of Moses. In verse 21, James supports his statement by appealing to MOSES! No mention of Christ! No mention of the Gospel! Contrast James statements to Peter’s statements in Acts 15:7-11. Peter makes reference to Christ and the Gospel!!

Acts 21:20-25 When Paul went to Jerusalem, the brethren received Paul gladly. However Paul did not fare well with James. Paul was glorifying God for Gentile conversions. And James and the Elders said to Paul that thousands of Jews were converted also to Christ and "are all zealous of the law".James knew by that time, that Paul was against Moses as a way of Justification. See how the James gang tries to trap Paul in vs.21 then in vs. 22 they challenge him "what is it therefore? In verse 23 They exercise authority. Vs. 24 They ask Paul to recant by telling him to shave his head as a sign of submission to the LAW. Beloved Paul was to crafty for them, and seized every opportunity he could get to preach the Gospel. Paul became "all things to all men"

Acts 21:26-30 Paul’s seven days of preaching the Gospel was enough for the Jewish Christians. They wanted him KILLED! Where was JAMES? Why did not James stand up in defense of Paul?

Read all of Acts 22 My question is this. Why was Paul so hated in Jerusalem? And why was James and his followers still allowed to enter into the temple and synagogues unharmed? It was because James the usurper was the head of the Jerusalem Christian church. His false gospel of Justification by WORKS was tolerable to the Pharisees!

Gal 2: Paul’s statement in vs. 4, makes reference to false brethren who were determined to bring Paul and the Gentile Christians into submission to the LAW. Verses 6-7 can be a reference to James and his followers in this context. Verses 11-14 state that the James gang caused Peter and Barnabas to stumble. Peter must have feared James. Why? Paul defends the Gentile Christians with vs.16 This statement of Paul is in direct opposition to James 2:24. Paul concludes chapter 2 with vs.21.

This concludes PART ONE. After Part Two is finished, I will be post it.
This whole examination started with the idea of "Pure Religion" If the moderators of this forum wish to place this article in a new thread, than by all means do so. An Appropriate title could be "The James Gang" or "James Exposed". Whatever the Lord’s will is will surely be done.

In defense of the True Gospel,
Nicholas

Saint Nicholas
07-15-07, 10:25 AM
Part Two
In this portion, we will examine the Anti-Paulinism of the letter of James. Letís look at the James statements.


James

James 2:14 "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and not have works? Can faith save him?
2:17 " Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
2:20 " But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead.
2:21 " Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the alter?

I must make comment here. James is dead wrong on his interpretation of Abraham. In Genesis 15:1-6 God promised Abram seed from his bowels. When Abram believed this promise from God, in vs 6, it was accounted to him for righteousness. Abram was Justified long before Isaac was even born. James twisted the scripture to mean that Abraham was justified when he offered up Isaac. This should be enough evidence that the writer of this letter clearly intended to misrepresent the facts. Also James uses the argument of Abraham to misrepresent Paulís use of Abraham as we will see in part three from Paulís conclusions.

2:22 " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
The Genesis account does not support this conclusion. Abramís faith was already perfect before Isaac was born!!. That is why it was accounted to him for righteousness. FAITH ALONE JUSTIFIED ABRAM!!

2:23 " 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.

James uses the same biblical passage, Genesis 15:6 in attempting to prove the opposite point that Paul was trying to convey. James added " and he was called the Friend of God", which was not in the Genesis account. However, to a Jew who could trace his lineage and blood line to Abraham, this statement was of extreme importance. II Chronicles 20:7 " Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever? Isaiah 41:8 " But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend". The writer of James full well knew that physical decedents of Abraham( whom the letter was addressed ) would take this statement personal, and exploit their pride of being of the lineage of Abraham. I believe the writer put it there to further instill animosity towards Paul and the Gentile Christians. Paul the Apostle said in Romans 2:28,29 "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God". Paul refutes any such notion that a person could be considered a True Jew on account of him being a physical, circumcised, descendant of Abraham. James and his followers hated that statement from Paul. However, James used the term "friend of God" to lend credence to his false doctrine of a Justification by works.

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

This statement is in clear opposition to Paulís statements. Further proving that the writer of James would not and could not accept Paulís doctrine of Faith Alone. I might add that Faith is a gift from God. This gift (Faith) looks only in one direction, and has only one object in view. Faith looks to Christís substitutionary atonement (ALONE ) as the only proof, ground, and basis of our Justification. When a sinners look inward, or depend on their own works as a proof, ground, or basis of their Justification, then they will fare no better than Peter did, when he took his eyes of Christ, and started to sink. Matthew 14:22-31 vs30 "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me."

2"26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also".

Again another wrong conclusion. Letís analyze this statement. [ body/faith] [spirit/works]

Can we really agree that the monergistic, effectual work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and the gift of the Holy Spirit (faith) is DEAD? Titus 3:5,6 " Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour." These verses shatter James false notions of synergism. Faith alone, in and of itself is always vibrant and alive because faith is the sole gift and efficacious power of God alone. To call faith dead, is a repugnant statement, and an affront to the very life giver Himself, God alone!!

In part three we will examine Paulís understanding of Abraham, and the one and only true doctrine of Justification.

Nicholas

MCoving
07-15-07, 12:07 PM
Wow very interesting.. in reply to your first post about James I found the verses you referred to said a whole lot about his character. Especially in Acts 21, James was there and so were the elders. James was part of the Jewish culture there, and he promoted the Law of Moses. His focus was more on obeying the law, of Jewish culture than it was on the Gospel and Christ. He was more focused on keeping the law, but why when Jesus Christ fulfilled the law?? Knowing James focus and devotion to the Jewish culture also makes alot of sense to the book he wrote. Still I dont get why the focus on obeying the law when Christ fulfilled it? There was enough teachings on obeying the law and not so much on justification by faith alone. We all know to obey God but its the grace and justification which needed to be taught.

Also reading in Acts 15 it says this "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." The Jewish culture believed that unless one was circumcised... unless following the Law of Moses one COULD NOT be saved. So Paul went to Jerusalem to the church to talk to the apostles and elders. Now note the Jerusalem elders were talked too.. the SAME elders that were with James when Paul talked to them in Acts 21. I wonder if James was there at the time as well??? Oh wait.. reading on he was there. So Paul was confronting James and the elders about the false doctrine that one must follow the Law of Moses must be circumcised to be SAVED. And where in this did any of the elders or James object? They seemed to have believed this as well...

5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses."6 The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.8 "And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us;9 and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.10 "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?11 "But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are."

And do you know James reply to this arguement that his followers the Jews believed that you need to be circumcised to be saved, to keep the law of Moses? James didn't object he just tried to find some common ground and the response was that maybe its okay if they just follow some of the Laws of Moses.. as if that was a start for them...

I wonder did James ever say that it was okay for Gentiles not to be circumcised?

I find all this information interesting.. that James was part of the Jewish religion, and with the elders.. that it seemed him and Paul were in opposition to each other. One was focused on observing the law of Moses while the other on Grace and faith in Christ. Thanks so much Nicholas for sharing all of this. It definitely gets me thinking....

Mary

Whammer
07-15-07, 01:36 PM
As I read through this and continue to meditate on scripture, I am reminded of Jesus' words to His disciples in Mat. 10:34-39.
Jesus knew this to be true in His own life at that time as well.......some of His enemies were those of "His own household".
We have so little written of 1st century history (same as most centuries, alot of information, but how much truth?)
Anyway, there is nothing in all that I can read that would give me any confidence that James the brother (physical) of Jesus ever came to understand the Gospel in its entirety/the fullness of the truth. I can find nothing written that proves he ever repented of the things that Nick is bringing out here.....let James' own words that we do have recorded serve to stand as his testimony.

Saint Nicholas
07-18-07, 05:20 PM
" For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Romans 1:16,17

Part Three

The Apostle Paul
on
Justification by Faith Alone

Unmistakably there is a sharp contrast between Paul and James. Including the book of James and other mentions of James the Lordís brother in scripture, James offers NO support or advancement of the Gospel. One would be hard pressed to find even a morsel. Now with Paul, that is a whole different story as we shall see.

Romans 2:11-16 vs13 "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified"

I want to start with the above verse for one primary reason. Many who support James, use this verse to argue that James and Paul are similar in their understanding when discussing the relationship between Faith and Works as a means and or proof of Justification. On the surface of this statement, one may conclude that Paul and James are in agreement. However if this statement were to agree with James, Paul would be contradicting himself in the following chapters of Romans, and in the book of Galatians. If we exegete this passage in itís context, we will see no contradictions. Chapter 2, opens with a stern rebuke against those (primarily Jews-"O man") who judge one another, and they themselves do the same things. Paul proceeds in this chapter to show that Jew and Gentile are alike.

Vs 11 "For there is no respect of persons with God." vs12 "For as many as have sinned without law (Gentiles) shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law (Jews) shall be judged by the law."

Both are guilty of sin. Jew and Gentile alike.

Vs 13 " For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified".

Now this is a true statement in this context. The point that Paul was making, is that Jews were good hearers of the Law. Every Sabbath the Jews would enter the synagogue and hear the Law as it was read from Moses. The Jews thought that they were superior to all the nations around them. But just hearing the law is not good enough. The Law demands perfect obedience. Not only by obeying the letter of the Law,(outward observances), but also obeying the intent and spirit of the law from the heart (pure and sinless motives and desires). This type of obedience would then render a man Justified. Only one man in history is and was able to perform this type of obedience. That is the God/Man Jesus Christ! Matthew 5:27,28 "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." The Jews lost site of the true function of the Law. The Law magnifies the righteousness of God, and tells mankind how depraved and incapable we all are in attempting to satisfy the requirements of the law. The Law necessitates a Redeemer from itís curse.

Vs 16 "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my Gospel"

Paulís main thrust of chapter two, is to show that God is the only perfect and infallible judge. This judgement is based on the Gospel Alone! Only God knows the hearts of men. That is why any form of works displayed, can NEVER be a proof of Justification before God and men. We sinners can NEVER see into the heart of others. Performance of good works can NEVER be a measuring stick of ones justification..

Vs 25 "For circumcision (Jews) verily profiteth if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made un-circumcision"

Vs 26 " Therefore if the un-circumcision (Gentiles) keep the righteousness of the law, (faith alone in Christís righteousness) shall not his un-circumcision be counted for circumcision?"

Paulís major enemies were Christian Judaizers. Those of James. Jews

Vs 27 "And shall not un-circumcision which is by nature ( all men are born un-circumcised ) if it fulfil the law, (faith alone in the Gospel) judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision (Jews) dost transgress the law?"

Vs 28 " For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: vs 29 " but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God"

Only the Master Physician, Jesus Christ can perform this kind of heart surgery. All of Godís elect are true Jews. And all of the non-elect, are not true Jews. No amount of works that we can perform will ever satisfy God. And we do not need the praise or approval of men as a proof of our Justification. Unlike James, who needs some sort of proof of Justification. Faith Alone is not enough with James. James says, Iíll show you my faith by my works. What a prideful and arrogant statement. As if his works are perfect before God and men, to Justify himself.

If we read Romans and Galatians with the understanding that Paul was answering the attacks against him by Judaizers of the Gospel, we will understand the book of James more clearly.

Romans 3:7-12 Please read

Paul in these verses was stating that the truth of God (Faith alone in the Gospel) was considered by some to be a lie, in that it totally nullified Law keeping (Moses). The Judaizers made slanderous allegations against Paul, that nullifying Moses was an evil thing. Paul says that he proved both Jews ( who had the Law) and Gentiles ( who did not have the Law) to be under sin.

There is none righteous. There is none that understands. There is none that seeketh after God. All are gone out of the way. All are unprofitable. None does good.

Romans 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh (Jew and Gentile) be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

This is the function of the Law. All attempts in adherence to the Law as a means or proof of Justification is futile. The schoolmaster is done away with. It brought us to Christ. It is finished! There are those who say "the law points us to Christ as a way of salvation. Then once saved, Christ points us back to the law as a way of life". That is nonsense! As if the law could add anything to our faith in Christ. Observance to law would then make Christís imputed righteousness deficient.

Vs 21 "But now the righteousness of God (who is Christ) without the law ( Christ pre-existed the written code) is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets."

The law and prophets witness, testify, and derive their righteousness from the Eternal One, Christ. Not the other way around. There is no law that makes Christ Righteous, He is Righteous by His very being and essence. And there is no written code that makes the elect righteous either.
Christ in us, and us in Him, through faith alone, is our only hope, righteousness, and justification. NO WORKS!

Vs 22 "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of (or in ) Jesus Christ unto all (Jew and Gentile) and upon all them that believe: (faith alone) for there is no difference:"

Vs 23 " For all (Jew and Gentile) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"

Vs 24 " Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"

Vs 25 " Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God."

Vs 26 "To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth ( faith alone) in Jesus".

There is no hint of a synthesis of faith/works in these versus. To Paul it was strictly Faith Alone, in Christ Alone.

Vs 27 " Where is the boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith." (Faith alone)

No boasting with Paul!

Vs 28 "Therefore we conclude that a man ( Jew and Gentile) is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

No works! No deeds! No proving before men! Faith Alone!

Vs 30 "Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the un-circumcision through faith.

Faith Alone

Vs. 31 " Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea we establish the law."

Paul answers his critics who slandered and misrepresented him. Paul was not voiding the law, but rather stating that faith alone in Christís righteousness is the fulfillment and embodiment of all law keeping. It is as if we the elect who believe in Christ, have satisfied all the requirements of the law. Imputed righteousness declares to us that we are just and righteous in the sight of God. We have fulfilled the law in Christ through faith alone.

Some that are of the James and Augustinian persuasion, will say that this verse means that with the assist of enabling Grace, we can now establish and perform the works (good works, not dead works) of the law as a way or proof of justification. This is wrong. The written code could not penetrate the sinful human condition and bring eternal life and justification in the old covenant, as all men (regenerate or not) failed to obey itís precepts perfectly. What the law needed was fulfiller, and Christ is the answer and fulfillment of the law. The Gospel of Christ establishes the law WRITTEN IN THE HEART! AND NOT ON TABLETS OF STONE OR PARCHMENTS.

Regeneration and faith alone in Christ alone IS THE PERFECT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE LAW.

I must close this segment now. However I will continue with Part Three. There is so, so much that Paul has written on this subject, compared to nothing James has contributed.

In defense of the True Gospel,
Nicholas

~JM~
07-18-07, 09:40 PM
"We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone." - [some guy named] Calvin

Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Paul is in fellowship with James.

Jam 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

James is teaching how our faith in justified in the eyes of men, the idea of pure religion being expressed in actions is also related in Matthew 7 where faith is shown in the actions of the women who washed Christ's feet.

Again, we find the same idea of faith being expressed in actions, "why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6

And again, we find another example, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7

Gal 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Compare Christ's words quoted above with the words found in James below:

Jam 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Jam 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

The Doctrine of Justification: Its Evidence (http://www.lgmarshall.org/Pink/pink_justification.html#chapter9)
A.W. Pink

Paul and James using Genesis:

Let’s say that there is a terrible lightening storm one night which does a lot of destruction. Let’s say one bolt of lightening splits in two a huge tree and another catches a barn on fire. The next day a child asks, What causes the destruction? Is it the bright lightening or the loud thunder? The answer is that the destruction is caused by the lightening alone apart from thunder. That is correct. The power of the lightening is what split the tree and caught the barn on fire. The loud thunder didn’t directly harm anything. A second child then asks a totally different question. He asks if all lightening is destructive. The answer to the second question is no. It is only bolt lightening, which is always accompanied by loud thunder, which is destructive. The relatively quiet sheet lightening is harmless. It merely lights up the sky. Sometimes one hears a distant rumbling with sheet lightening, but never the loud crack of thunder. So the destruction is not caused by lightening alone apart from thunder. The sort of lightening which does not cause loud thunder doesn’t strike the earth and never does any damage. The answer to the first question is, The destruction is caused by lightening alone apart from thunder. The answer to the second question is, The destruction is not caused by lightening alone apart from thunder. The two answers appear to contradict each other, but they really don’t. When the two answers are understood in the context of the two questions, both answers are true, and they don’t really contradict each other. The first statement is saying that destruction is caused by the lightening alone. The second statement is saying that the lightening which destroys is never alone; that sort of lightening is always accompanied by loud thunder. See Gal. 2:9 Paul and James are in agreement.

The quote from Calvin at the top adds emphasis, Paul clearly states that salvation is thru faith alone and James states that saving faith is never alone. You would have to argue that dead faith is still a saving faith.

Oh, I do not recall James teaching anything about circumcision in the epistle in question.

It appears certain that James is speaking of the manifestation, not of the imputation of righteousness, as if he had said, Those who are justified by faith prove their justification by obedience and good works, not by a bare and imaginary semblance of faith. In one word, he is not discussing the mode of justification, but requiring that the justification of all believers shall be operative. And as Paul contends that men are justified without the aid of works, so James will not allow any to be regarded as Justified who are destitute of good works. . . . Let them twist the words of James as they may, they will never extract out of them more than two propositions: That an empty phantom of faith does not justify, and that the believer, not contented with such an imagination, manifests his justification by good works. Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion

See also Gal. 2:9

James and Paul on Justification (http://www.gracesermons.com/robbeeee/jamespaul.html)
John G. Reisinger


To summarize the application of the terms of these two writers we find:
Paul: Faith is complete trust in, and obedience to, Jesus Christ.


Works are outward acts of ritual and adherence to a code to attain merit.
James: Faith is belief in Jesus Christ, the resurrection, and salvation.
Works are spontaneous acts of love that spring from the fruits of the Spirit.

"He [James] has no idea of disparaging faith, which he everywhere assumes as present and which he highly values. His point is that faith and works are inseparable in any properly constituted Christian life, and he argues this clearly and effectively."Reconciling Paul and James (http://www.mountzion.org/fgb/Spring04/FgbSP7-04.html)
William Pemble (1591-1623)

Honest question, what do we do with Acts? Is it out?

Acts 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him

Now that is quite a contrast to what Paul wrote:

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

What about what Peter preached in Acts?

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

PAUL preached Christ died for our sins

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

In Gal. 2 we see Peter being lumped in with James, are they working together to subvert the Gospel?

Sorry folks I can't agree, I'll leave James where it is.

Peace.

j
PS: Pls read the links provided above.

Greg
07-18-07, 09:48 PM
JM, I would suggest you read this thread in it's entirety:
http://www.predestinarian.net/showthread.php?t=3265

Greg

Whammer
07-19-07, 10:06 AM
"
In Gal. 2 we see Peter being lumped in with James, are they working together to subvert the Gospel?

Sorry folks I can't agree, I'll leave James where it is.

Peace.



Do you see Peter getting lumped in with James, in the context of Gal. 2 as a "positive thing"? Paul rebukes him severely for his hypocrisy and is not "happy" that even Barnabas was carried away in such filth......something completely out of step with the purity of the whole gospel. With these issues being so great a cause of strife in these years of the advance of the gospel.......where do we find anything written by James that shows he also repented of such hypocrisy? Where did he make any effort at all to make it plain to all the new gentile assemblies that he made a mistake?

Look at Acts 18:24-28, Apollos was able by God's grace to recieve correction too when it was needful that it come, he was a jew who knew the law and prophets.
The only things from 1st century history that I have found that have been written about James (fleshly brother of Jesus) is how beloved he was by all his fellow-countrymen..........James (son of Zebedee) was not, Peter was not, Paul most assuredly was not....other tradition shows that none of the other apostles were either.
James, it appears could never let go of the OC. He is the perfect example of a judiazer and that is why we have "some" of his writings preserved till now with us. The book that bears his name is also called "the proverbs of the NT" for a reason....it bears the flavor of OC thought and lacks any real cohesion of thought......that very well may be because there are 2 or 3 people's thoughts expressed in this "book".

You could also throw in a hundred other names of those considered "top theologians" by many (like Calvin).....what good is that in the presence of Jesus?
Luke 16:15 bears some real relevance here I think;)

~JM~
07-19-07, 10:08 AM
JM, I would suggest you read this thread in it's entirety:
http://www.predestinarian.net/showthread.php?t=3265

Greg

I have, thanks.

Nicholas Heath
07-19-07, 10:44 AM
This James issue has been beaten to death, over and over and over and over. My question would be, what is one suppose to do with his own conscience? I believe James is canonical because it is in the canon. There are many great writings out there that glorify Christ, God, the Gospel etc. Many of them are on this site, and people do not even realize that fact. I have purchased the Dead Sea Scroll book, and find myself in awe, of the writings. The fact is, they are not in the canon, and James is in the canon. Are you free to reject the book of James? I would say yes, but it is according to your own conscience. What about the conscience of the brothers and sisters who affirm James to be canonical, for the simple fact, that it is in the canon. These people have to hear, read, that the book of James is meant to decieve, does not belong in the canon, when it is in the canon no matter what they teach. This is the point, you are free to reject the book of James, whether sinful or not. Others are free to embrace it, whether sinful or not. What are we to do with the conscience, if the words of the opposing teams destroys the individuals conscience, who does care what you believe about the book of James, but has the freedom to disagree, without being destroyed by words?

Brandan
07-19-07, 11:14 AM
Nicholas, it has posted numerous times on here, I don't think anyone here resents anyone for embracing the book of James as "canonical." Yes it is in the canon, but reprobates put together the "canon." The "canon" as everyone calls it is an invention of men.

Usually, it's the supporters of the "canon" that resent the dissenters. They can't stand that we think the book of James is trash.

I don't think there was any conflict here, and I agree, there is a lot of inspired writing out there that is not in the canon that in my opinion is authoritative. You'll even find some of it right on this website.

I personally cannot find anything of redeeming value from the book of James OR from the account of his life found in the Gospels and the book of Acts other than the fact that it simply reminds us that we will never be free of the legalizers until Jesus returns. We are experiencing the tribulation that began with "certain" followers of James.

Here is an interesting parallel... I am not on board with it entirely yet though....
Isaac > Jacob > Joseph > Jesus
Ishmael > Esau > Joseph's Brothers > James

Brandan

Nicholas Heath
07-19-07, 12:48 PM
Nicholas, it has posted numerous times on here, I don't think anyone here resents anyone for embracing the book of James as "canonical." Yes it is in the canon, but reprobates put together the "canon." The "canon" as everyone calls it is an invention of men.

Usually, it's the supporters of the "canon" that resent the dissenters. They can't stand that we think the book of James is trash.

I don't think there was any conflict here, and I agree, there is a lot of inspired writing out there that is not in the canon that in my opinion is authoritative. You'll even find some of it right on this website.

I personally cannot find anything of redeeming value from the book of James OR from the account of his life found in the Gospels and the book of Acts other than the fact that it simply reminds us that we will never be free of the legalizers until Jesus returns. We are experiencing the tribulation that began with "certain" followers of James.

Here is an interesting parallel... I am not on board with it entirely yet though....
Isaac > Jacob > Joseph > Jesus
Ishmael > Esau > Joseph's Brothers > James

Brandan

This James issue has been beaten to death, over and over and over and over. My question would be, what is one suppose to do with his own conscience? I believe James is canonical because it is in the canon. There are many great writings out there that glorify Christ, God, the Gospel etc. Many of them are on this site, and people do not even realize that fact. I have purchased the Dead Sea Scroll book, and find myself in awe, of the writings. The fact is, they are not in the canon, and James is in the canon. Are you free to reject the book of James? I would say yes, but it is according to your own conscience. What about the conscience of the brothers and sisters who affirm James to be canonical, for the simple fact, that it is in the canon. These people have to hear, read, that the book of James is meant to decieve, does not belong in the canon, when it is in the canon no matter what they teach. This is the point, you are free to reject the book of James, whether sinful or not. Others are free to embrace it, whether sinful or not. What are we to do with the conscience, if the words of the opposing teams destroys the individuals conscience, who does care what you believe about the book of James, but has the freedom to disagree, without being destroyed by words?

Greg
07-19-07, 02:22 PM
This James issue has been beaten to death, over and over and over and over. My question would be, what is one suppose to do with his own conscience? I believe James is canonical because it is in the canon.We have done the canon thing already. Who is it, Nick, that determines the canon? If you answer honestly, you have to come to the conclusion that YOU determine what the canon is. Each individual makes that determination for themselves, whether or not they realize it. A group of dead guys decided that the canon should appear with the 66 books we now have. Whether you question it or not, you have still decided what the canon is - you have decided to agree or disagree with what those men determined. If you believe that James should be part of the canon, then believe that. I don't have an issue with you over that.
There are many great writings out there that glorify Christ, God, the Gospel etc. Many of them are on this site, and people do not even realize that fact. I have purchased the Dead Sea Scroll book, and find myself in awe, of the writings. The fact is, they are not in the canon, and James is in the canon.Again, Nick, where does this idea of canon come from? Where did you get it from? Who decided what is canon? There are all kinds of questions that you should probably be asking yourself about what the canon is. I don't agree that James should be part of it, you do, I don't have an issue with that. I do have an issue with you trying to tell me what the canon should be for me or anyone else and how I should act in regard to my communication with others about the canon.
Are you free to reject the book of James? I would say yes, but it is according to your own conscience. What about the conscience of the brothers and sisters who affirm James to be canonical, for the simple fact, that it is in the canon.Like we've already stated they can believe what they want.
These people have to hear, read, that the book of James is meant to decieve, does not belong in the canon, when it is in the canon no matter what they teach. This is the point, you are free to reject the book of James, whether sinful or not. Others are free to embrace it, whether sinful or not. What are we to do with the conscience, if the words of the opposing teams destroys the individuals conscience, who does care what you believe about the book of James, but has the freedom to disagree, without being destroyed by words?What would you have us do Nick, please men? This is all stupid logic in my opinion. It is not our intent to be a stumbling block to any of the elect. No one is forced to be here or to read what we have to say.

I believe that legalism from the false church is one of the main gospel issues of our age. It obviously was in Paul's day as we can see through some of St. Nicholas's recent posts. We will not quit defending the Gospel. I believe that in our present age, as the elect come to understand the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, they will see the book of James for what it is.

Nicholas Heath
07-19-07, 03:43 PM
I would like to know, what part of my post that was deleted, was incoherent and off topic. For learning purposes. Thank you. Also, if possible, could you please send me a copy of it, through pm. If possible I would like this information within 24 hrs. If not, I will stick with my assumptions and go from there to resolve the issue.

Saint Nicholas
07-19-07, 08:27 PM
This James issue has been beaten to death, over and over and over and over. My question would be, what is one suppose to do with his own conscience? Keept it! It is your conscience. And you must do what you think is right. I will respect you for that. I believe James is canonical because it is in the canon. OK. You are entitled to think that way. And I am entitled to disagree. Can we at least agree to disagree? There are many great writings out there that glorify Christ, God, the Gospel etc. Many of them are on this site, and people do not even realize that fact. (I do) I have purchased the Dead Sea Scroll book, and find myself in awe, of the writings. The fact is, they are not in the canon, and James is in the canon. Are you free to reject the book of James? I would say yes, but it is according to your own conscience. Yes Nick I agree. What about the conscience of the brothers and sisters who affirm James to be canonical, for the simple fact, that it is in the canon. I have no power to change the way you think. And Roman Catholics believe that the aprocraphal books are to be canonical because, for the simple fact, that it is in their canon. These Catholics have to hear, read, that their apocraphal books are meant to decieve, does not belong in the canon. These people have to hear, read, that the book of James is meant to decieve, does not belong in the canon, when it is in the canon no matter what they teach. This is the point, you are free to reject the book of James, whether sinful or not. Others are free to embrace it, whether sinful or not. What are we to do with the conscience, Keep it Nick. Do not ever surrender your conscience to any man. Just continue surrendering it to Christ. That is all I ask. if the words of the opposing teams destroys the individuals conscience, who does care what you believe about the book of James, but has the freedom to disagree, without being destroyed by words?

In Christ,
Nicholas :)

gerhard
07-19-07, 09:48 PM
Nicholas, it has posted numerous times on here, I don't think anyone here resents anyone for embracing the book of James as "canonical." Yes it is in the canon, but reprobates put together the "canon." The "canon" as everyone calls it is an invention of men.


James was included in the canon by the Papist Council of Trent. However, the Early Church held the book to be questionable at best. Frances Pieper writes in his Christian Dogmatics:

But as to the canonicity of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Second Epistle of Peter, the Second and Third Epistles of John, the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Jude, and the Apocalypse, doubts, more or less strongly expressed, were entertained (antilegomena). Eusebius in his Church History lists the homologoumena and the antilegomena. The historical fact that the Early Church differentiated between the homologoumena and the antilegomena cannot be changed by a resolution of the later Church. Luther, too, abides by this judgment of the primitive Church; he says, appealing to Eusebius (Church History III, 25), that in ancient times the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistles of James and Jude, and the Apocalypse ďhad a different reputation.Ē

1. Should our opinion of James be informed by the Early Church or by the Papist Church?
2. Does the Network question the inspiration of any other book of the antilegomena?

Bob Higby
07-20-07, 08:48 AM
For those defending the canonicity of James (I have asked this many times):

Please engage in actual exegesis of verses 21 through 26 of chapter 2; just like you would any other passage considered biblical. There is only value in debating the issue on which lies at the heart of our difference. Using other verses than these to justify a 'works demonstrate faith' doctrine will never get to the real issue--which is exegesis of the disputed passage and the fact that many of us do not believe it can be white-washed.

MCoving
07-21-07, 10:21 AM
Hello! So I was reading through The Believers Rule of Life this morning, I really like that book it gets my mind thinking on many things. And I came across those verses in James and something new came to my mind. Now this may have been talked about before but for me its a little new and maybe one of those lightbulb moments. So the verses I've always wondered over are these in James:
James 1:23-25 and James 2:17,18
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.18
But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."



So my thoughts on this whole dead faith thing is its not really faith!! I believe that if someone has Faith, the real genuine faith from God they will produce good works. There's no if's to it.. there is no such thing as having true faith without works. For God is one who does the work in us, for His good pleasure. If a person was given the Spirit, given Christ, given Faith by God there is NO WAY that they would NEVER walk in works, or have a faith without deeds. So what James is saying doesn't make sense UNLESS he means faith in a false Christ or something other than the REAL TRUE faith. And then it may make a little sense to me... but unfortunely its not really clarified too well in this book.

haha yeah now that I say this I think this was talked about before with the dead faith thread... but its just interesting to see it more in the light.

Also other verses I'm still not sure on in James is this:
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;
How is faith perfected by Abrahams works? How is our faith perfected by the works God does in us? That doesn't make sense to me.. because our faith is perfected because of Christ in us right? It's not like we need to do something for faith to be complete. Yes it will happen as Christ works in us.. I believe faith always produces good works.. but we have Christ THAT IS ALL that makes our faith perfect and complete. Just having Christ in us makes us perfect and our faith complete even if we were to do no works. Right?? Like if on our last breath like the robber on the cross, and Christs righteousness was imputed to our accounts, that robber was Gods child, but he had no time to do any work.... it was just Faith, that Faith without any works right before he died was enough to justify Him. Agreed?

Mary

ps: if this is discussing James too much again please disregard I know its been discussed before and is a touchy subject.

Bob Higby
07-21-07, 11:16 AM
Answers to Gerhard:

1. Should our opinion of James be informed by the Early Church or by the Papist Church?

Using the Christo-centric hermeneutic of Luther that is endorsed by most or all of the facilitators here, our opinion of any writing that is esteemed to be biblical must be informed by the gospel contained in the Bible itself. Most specifically as it has come to its full-corn fruition in Christ's revelation of Himself to Paul. This is not to say that the gospel started with Paul, of course, but only to say that it reached its full fruition in the message given to Him.

The opinion of the Papist Church at the Diet of Regensburg, unfortunately, is exactly what informed those protestants who gave us our current canon. And, as you have implied, it is all proposed to be homologoumena (high-canon and universally accepted as scripture in its entirety); none of it antilegomena (low-canon; esteemed to be partly or mostly scripture by many and fully scripture by some). I added those annotations for those who may not be familiar with the terms of Eusebius.

As far as the opinion of church writers of the second thru fifth centuries is concerned; there is certainly value in studying the history of the varied interpretations on what was scripture and how those views developed and matured. We have tried to do this in our previous canon threads. Since Athanasius was the first person to try and legislate the 27-book NT canon (367), comparing that attempt and its success at Carthage in 397 (which was not an 'ecumenical' council) proves that all of the documented history before Athanasius demonstrates there was no universal consensus on the content of the canon; the statement by Eusebius on homologoumena and antilegomena that you referred to was written earlier that same (4th) century. And the homologoumena canon list of Athanasius cannot be found prior to his time; though there are many and varied lists that contain most of our current Bible.

The final authority on what is homologoumena is the conscience of each believer informed by harmony with the evangel contained in that very homologoumena. This does not mean that the evangel is contained or proclaimed in every verse of scripture; it does mean that every verse is related to and supports it in some manner.

2. Does the Network question the inspiration of any other book of the antilegomena?

There are various views amongst us on this; none of which bother me personally--since I firmly believe in liberty of the regenerate conscience as informed by the gospel and that every true believer will move in the direction of increased rejoicing in the truth as it becomes clear.

Some contributors here, of course, do accept the full 66-book canon as homologoumena; the rejection of James per se is not a test of calling someone 'brother' here.

On the matter of antilegomena or the lesser canon, some here would not include James in that either--others would to some degree.

Most of us here would include both Hebrews and Revelation in the high-canon, even if they were not viewed by some in church history (even Luther) as part of the homologoumena. This is based on the Christo-centric hermeneutic--as we would believe those books to be in harmony with the evangel taught in the rest of the apostolic scriptures.

For me, the remaining 4 NT books that were originally antilegomena remain an open issue for study. I have the most trouble with 3 John, as it has no attestation of existence until the 3rd century (like James and 2 Peter) and gives no definite gospel testimony. Plus we do not know anything about who the characters mentioned in that book actually were historically.

This is a hard issue and a hard stance--since we have to take the fire from both the conservatives and the liberals! To a liberal there really is no homologoumena if that concept implies infallibility of the original text of scripture. But as far as the true homologoumena is concerned, all of us here are as impressed with the need to be faithful to its content and meaning as much as any conservative is.

I hope this helps to answer your question!

Grace alone and always,

Bro. Bob

Greg
07-21-07, 08:34 PM
Nick, it seems to me that most of our miscommunication started with my post when you got to this line:
What would you have us do Nick, please men? This is all stupid logic in my opinion.Your understanding was that I was calling logic stupid, or calling you stupid. In fact, I was doing neither. My intent was to say that I thought you were using faulty logic in your response to the thread.

Our difficulty continued when you repeatedly addressed the question of logic and did not appear to contemplate nor address the other points that have been made. As a result, it was my opinion that you were stirring up trouble and being contentious.

Now, I think that my opinion was wrong and that you were sincerely trying to understand. Perhaps if we both slow down and try to understand each other we can avoid anything like this in the future. :)

Greg

Greg
07-21-07, 08:35 PM
My apologies, everybody, for this good thread getting sidetracked by anything I may have done. Let's get back to the good stuff.

Greg

Nicholas Heath
07-21-07, 10:32 PM
I apologize as well. For going against my own convictions, or conscience in relationships. I did not do it intentionally, but I still did it! I will not be posting as much from now on. I must think alot, before I do so. For my own sake, and the sake of others. Actually, for the sake of Christ. Someone, not going to mention names, not even interested in talking about this person as of now (hopefully at a later date). Taught that brethren stumble in many things, if anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. This person, claimed to be a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I would rather listen to him, than the lies that come out of my own mouth. Also, I would like to spend more time looking in the mirror. Sometimes I observe myself, and go away, and immediately forget what kind of man I am. Please let one mans trash, be ones treasure.

MCoving
07-22-07, 12:46 AM
I apologize as well. For going against my own convictions, or conscience in relationships. I did not do it intentionally, but I still did it! I will not be posting as much from now on. I must think alot, before I do so. For my own sake, and the sake of others. Actually, for the sake of Christ. Someone, not going to mention names, not even interested in talking about this person as of now (hopefully at a later date). Taught that brethren stumble in many things, if anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. This person, claimed to be a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I would rather listen to him, than the lies that come out of my own mouth. Also, I would like to spend more time looking in the mirror. Sometimes I observe myself, and go away, and immediately forget what kind of man I am. Please let one mans trash, be ones treasure.

That one man I think we all know you are referring to is James. Nick and others who love the book of James and believe it to be inspired I'm okay with that. Its okay to quote from there, I also have gleemed precious gems of Truth from that book. I just dont get the one verse that was mentioned. And I am also benefiting much from your study Saint Nicholas on James I appreciate what you bring to the table. I know that this forum has seen many passionate people support the book of James and not support it. I know to some extent we all want unity in doctrine, and desire to come to agreement. Each person believes they are right and that they have the Truth.. sometimes it is hard to come to agreement in that sense. But I do pray someday the Lord brings us all together in unity over this. But I also know the majority people here love each other.. we are patient with each other.. and we wont let differences over doctrine get in the way of valuable friendships the Lord has given us. Of course we all desire to know the Truth.. and I pray someday the Lord reveals the exact Truth to each and everyone of us on this matter... but thanks everyone for staying civil this time in the discussion!!!

And also its okay Nick to be passionate about the Book of James and believe its inspired or for others.. and its okay to be passionate on the other side. When its the Lords timing we will be revealed the Truth. Obviously one of the parties is believing in a lie.. I dont know I haven't really decided either way.. its just one of those really hard doctrines imo. Anyways I just wanted to say that I appreciate everyone here on the forum, and I believe each person contributes some precious pearl of wisdom here... each person from Brandan to the baby in the Lord or like my friend Dustin who listens more than responds..... hehe . And I love seeing Greg and Nick work things out, and just the genuine love and concern for brethern. Its a huge difference than when we discussed this before... huge! Thanks all!! I am so blessed to be part of this community who live for the Lord and I thank God for all I've been taught here. For all my friends :D

Love in Christ,
Mary

Nicholas Heath
07-22-07, 11:49 AM
For those defending the canonicity of James (I have asked this many times):

Please engage in actual exegesis of verses 21 through 26 of chapter 2; just like you would any other passage considered biblical. There is only value in debating the issue on which lies at the heart of our difference. Using other verses than these to justify a 'works demonstrate faith' doctrine will never get to the real issue--which is exegesis of the disputed passage and the fact that many of us do not believe it can be white-washed.

I agree with with your assessment. Actually 99.9% of your post. The one word I do not agree with is defend. This would be the .01%. The reason I personally do not like the word defend, is because, I do not believe I need to defend, but go on the offense side. It's a matter of semantics on my part, which I hope it is fine. If not, please let me know.

Also, I am curious about your Christian journey. As in, the times, reasons, thought processes that made you come to your conclusions. The catch is, would you be willing to do so without mentioning any teachers, even people from the bible? I know you are a great teacher, and very studious. I respect you more than you know, or I have shown. If you have already done this in the past and is open to the public, please say so. I suppose this would be your own tesitmony, or ours. Since our testimony changes rapidly as time goes bye-bye. Life is a vapor. Actually, I believe I am going to do that as well, at a later date. Thank you again Bob, for your contributions/gifts to the body of Christ.

Saint Nicholas
07-22-07, 12:15 PM
Part Three
Continued
Romans 4:1 "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?"
Vs 2 " For if Abraham were Justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

Now there are those, especially Roman Catholic apologists, who contend that this verse does not deny justification by works, but rather denies boasting before God. The key word is "IF". Paul in arguing his points, is quite comfortable with taking his opponents premise, and in this case {one can be made righteous by works } andrunning it to itís logical conclusion. If one can be made righteous by works he could boast. But that "IF" is impossible with men!

Vs 3 "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

What more can be said? Faith Alone! James is not content with this statement. James needs the works of Abraham, to complete Justification. To James it is {FAITH & WORKS } = Justification . Not Faith Alone? This is what James is teaching. No matter how much someone tries to wiggle, and twist James, to save face.

James 2:20 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Faith never depends on works for itís life. For faith is always living. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Faith can never dead.

James 2:21 "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered up Isaac his son upon the alter?"

If James is right. Then Paul said in Ro.4:2 Abraham would have something to boast about before men would he not? But James is dead wrong.
Ephesians 2:8,9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast"
Paul is crystal clear!!!

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

This statement by James, directly contradicts Paulís doctrine of Faith Alone!

Romans 4:4 "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt."

Vs 5 "But to him that worketh not but believeth (faith alone) on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Read following verses I will add comments.

Vs 6 God imputes righteousness without works. James disagrees.
Vs 7 By faith alone, without works sins and iniquities are covered and forgiven. James disagrees
Vs 8 Non-imputation of sin toward the elect by faith alone. James disagrees
Vs 9 The blessing of Justification toward Jew and Gentile alike by Faith Alone. No works. James disagrees.
Vs 10 -11-12 Righteousness [ Justification ] was reckoned to Abraham prior to any works. Faith Alone. James disagrees.
Vs. 13 -16 Righteousness and justification through faith alone. James disagrees.

Verses 17-21 Here in this passage is Paulís inspired meaning of the essence of faith. He uses the Abraham account as an example. Paul shows that Abraham did not look to any substance within himself nor circumstances surrounding his life. Abraham did not consider his own dead child producing abilities, nor Saraís dead womb. "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief""but was strong in faith, giving glory to God" Abraham was Fully persuaded that what God had promised, he was also able to perform.

Vs 22 "And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness"
Vs.23 "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him:
Vs.24 "But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, , if we believe on him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Vs 25 "Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

This is Paulís explanation of the Abraham event. No mention of works, no mention of offering up Isaac as a justification by works. There is no hint of a dead, incomplete, or imperfect faith here. To Abraham and Paul, it is Faith Alone in the promise of God. Faith alone! In Christ alone! NO WORKS AT ALL as a means or proof of Justification.

Part three of Paul to be continued later today.
Nicholas

Saint Nicholas
07-22-07, 03:34 PM
Part Three
cont.

Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"

Faith alone in Christ alone is all sufficient for assurance, hope, peace, and confidence. No amount of works that you and I perform can ever add to faith. To rest our hopes in anything other than faith in Christ is futile. To look to any form of works as a proof or justification in your life or anotherís life is also futile. James does not agree.

Romans 10:1-4 "Brethren, my hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of Godís righteousness, (Christ ), and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness ( Christ ) of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth."

Justification is a verdict of righteousness. But not ours! It is only Christ who is the righteous one.This righteousness is imputed to the elect, and realized by faith alone. James cannot agree with this understanding. James requires some kind of works to complete faith. James is not discussing fruits and consequences of a true and living faith. James says that faith alone is insufficient, and that works are necessary for justification.

So far after reading these articles how do you think the Apostle Paul would respond to these statements? I believe Paul would thus respond.

James 2:14 "What doth it, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?"

Yes James. No amount of works we do are ever perfect in the sight of God. We are saved by Grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Christ Alone.

James 2:17 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone"

James you do not understand the essence of Faith. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 James you need a proof you can see. However the gift of faith that the Holy Spirit has given me, is a living substance, and provides a living hope. Faith alone in Christ alone is all the evidence I need. Jesus said "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe" Why do you insist on seeing works? You cannot see into the hearts of men. Your judgement will be at best faulty.

James 2:18 "Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: Shew me your thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

James you are an arrogant man. Even if you showed me that you fed every starving Jew and or Gentile in the world. And gave all your money to the poor. Your works are still filthy rags. Only Christís righteousness will suffice.

James 2:20 "But wilt thou know , O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

James, why are you calling me a vain man. You are obsessed with works. Donít you know that I killed the followers of Christ. And had them put in jail and beaten. Let me tell you something James. "We are the circumcision who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man ( including you James ) thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is of the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but DUNG, that I may win Christ. And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of (or in) Christ. The righteousness which is of God by faith." See James, all your works are DUNG.

James 2:21 "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the alter? No he was not James. I donít know how many times to tell you. He believed the promise of God and was justified. Way before Isaac was even conceived. Why have you twisted the Genesis account of Abraham? Was it to justify you works gospel. That is a horrible thing to do.

James 2:22 " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect." Are you telling me James, That God justified Abraham with an imperfect and insufficient faith? Do you really think you good works can make my faith alone in Christ perfect?

James 2:23 " And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." James your application of this verse is devious. It is true Abraham believed God. But you are using this statement to mean believing is more that just faith alone. You mean it to be works also. You preach a false gospel James. You preach a faith + works = Gospel Justification.

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

Well James, it is clear to me that you must be placed under anathema for teaching Justification by works. Remember I wrote that if it be of grace it is no longer of works. And if it be of works it is no longer of grace. James works and grace are antithetical to one another. Why do you insist to synthesize them?

Because Paul has written so much on this topic of justification, I wanted to cover the main points without glossing over them. I know some may think this is lengthy but it is necessary to try and break through all the years that tradition has held the book of James to be high canon.

One more post of part three. Then part four will conclude.

Love in Christ,
Nicholas :)

theWaltz
07-23-07, 09:02 PM
Well James, it is clear to me that you must be placed under anathema for teaching Justification by works. Remember I wrote that if it be of grace it is no longer of works. And if it be of works it is no longer of grace. James works and grace are antithetical to one another. Why do you insist to synthesize them?


What James means, and I feel this to be accurate, is that if you have faith, you will show it by deeds. If you have faith and no deeds, how do you know that you are a true believer? Why should you be treated as such?

It's sort of like why you don't sin if God will just forgive it. You suffer no eternal consiquence, because God forgives, but you do suffer the physical pain that a sin may cause and you fall out of the eyes of non believers, who will turn around and say "If that's a christian, I don't want a part in that."

Faith without deeds is meaningless on a social level. It will mean nothing to others, and it will simply show you never cared about your faith to even attempt to do something out of faith. Allow me to further explain-

If you say you have faith in me and I tell you that if you jump off a bridge you will not fall to your death, instead I will catch you, and you say "No, I don't want to jump off a bridge, I may die if you don't follow through," then you don't have faith, otherwise you would have done it. You can determine if your faith is true by taking actions in your faith that put you out on a limb.

I don't know some terms that are being used, I would love to learn full definitions(Cannon, etc.) and I don't necessaraly believe in predestination. I do believe in truth, and I feel James spoke a lot of truth.

Yes, you are saved by faith alone.

Yes, if you have faith, you will at least attempt to do something out of it. The size of the deed is irrelevent.

Whammer
07-23-07, 09:34 PM
I don't know some terms that are being used, I would love to learn full definitions(Cannon, etc.) and I don't necessaraly believe in predestination. I do believe in truth, and I feel James spoke a lot of truth.

Walt, take your time here at the forum, there is alot of reading to do as a new member. Go through the noteworthy archives for starters:)
If you are a "lover of truth", you will find alot here to chew on.

Saint Nicholas
07-23-07, 09:51 PM
TheWaltz wrote: "Faith without deeds is meaningless on a social level. It will mean nothing to others, and it will simply show you never cared about your faith to even attempt to do something out of faith."

I believe this is faulty logic. Let me explain. Christ had perfect faith and also perfect deeds. And with all that it was still meaningless to those who put Him to the Cross. If Christ's perfect and sinless life did not prove anything to the reprobates of this world. Would our sin tainted works fair any better? Think about it Waltz!

Nicholas

Greg
07-24-07, 07:59 PM
James says:
Jas 1:26, (NASB), If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.

Jas 1:27, (NASB), Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.For the elect there is really no such thing as religion. We simply are what we are because of his decree. Anything the unlearned elect do, practice, act, perform (i.e. religion) has nothing to do with the elect's connection - eternal position. The idea of religion is a reprobate concept that has no bearing in the life of the elect. It is promoted by the "christian church" (both catholic and protestant) and is not part of the gospel and should be ditched as garbage.

Of course the concept of religion is found in James, no surprise there.

Saint Nicholas
07-29-07, 03:30 PM
Part Three
Conclusion

Acts 13:38,39 "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man ( Christ ) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by Him ( Christ ) all (Jew & Gentile alike ) that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

Please read the whole of Acts 13. Throughout Paulís missionary journeys, if there were ever a people that were against Paulís message of the Gospel, they would be mainly (1) Talmudic Jews.(2) Judaized Christians. (3) Pagan and Hellenistic Gentiles. Of course all those sects that are against the message of Grace alone could be listed, however I wanted to summarize Paulís enemies from that historical time period into those three categories.

The Pharisaical religious machine was in full operation when Christ entered history ( and still is today, allegorically speaking.) There were Synagogues throughout Gentile lands. In fact, this religious machine was powerful enough to persuade Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor to decide against Christ, even though Pilate had acquitted Jesus four times.

Matthew 23:15 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."

Strong and truthful language from our Lord Jesus. Paul and Barnabas encountered the same hatred and venom not only from Pharisaical Jews, but from Christian Judaizers also. The message of Justification through Faith Alone, in the person and work of Christ Alone, is the foundation that the Church stands on. In denial of this doctrine, the church falls.

Romans 8:33 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Godís elect? It is God that Justifieth."

The heart of Paulís message in relation to Justification, is the very fact that Justification is the Sovereign work of God alone! From eternal Election, our human existence in and though history, and finally our Glorified state in the new Heaven and Earth, it is all the work of God in and through His son Jesus Christ, and revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in regeneration. To Paul, no element of human efforts or merits can ever play a part in Justification. Unlike James, a Christian Judaizer, who links human action and cooperation as a vital and necessary part of Justification.

1 Corinthians 6:11 "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

We the elect are seen and treated by God the Father, through Christ, as sinless, sanctified and justified. We are of the status of "WERE", although sin still is present in our old man. This is the what the Christ event has done for us. ALL of our sins have been expiated by the Christ. We are holy and righteous IN CHRIST!

In our regenerate state, we experience all manner of temptations, commission of sin, either by action or thought. The Spirit lusts against the flesh, and the flesh lusts against Spirit. We war daily with our members.

" O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death.?" I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law (faith alone in the Gospel of Christ, is the fulfillment of ALL law) of God: but with the flesh the law of sin." Romans 8:24,25.

The soteriology of Paul, places the burden of righteousness/justification solely on the merits of Christ. This Justification is Imputed alone to the elect. This righteousness is wholly alien and extrinsic to man. It is never inherent or intrincic to mans nature. Man by nature and birth is depraved. Even the works an elect regenerate child of God may perform would still be tainted by sin, thus disqualifying them from being a proof, ground, or basis of Justification. James and his followers, the Roman Catholic Church, some Reformed folks, Evangelicals, Arminians, Pentecostals, and the like, still look to works as playing either a major role ( ground or basis ) or a minor role ( proof ) in securing the verdict of justification. Paul excludes both roles! MAN OFFERS NOTHING TO JUSTIFICATION IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. Titus 3:5-7 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." And James has the audacity to say that Abraham was Justified by works and not faith alone!!!!!

Please read the whole letter to the Galatians. The whole thrust of this letter is to expose and refute the Christian Judaizers.

Paul in Galatians1:6-9 places an anathema on all those who would pervert the Gospel of Justification. Paul also in verses 11 -12, certifies that his Gospel was not learned from men but rather Jesus Christ Himself.

Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not Justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of (in) Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

Again the whole polemic of Paul is to refute James and his followers. For they were the ones who were against Paulís Gospel of Justification.

Vs 17,18 Paulís critics accused him and his followers of being sinners in stating that they were justified by faith alone in Christ alone without all works. Then Paul says if that he rebuilds (Moses) the things he destroyed, he would then be a transgressor of the Gospel. There is NO synthesis of Grace and works in Paulís writings.

Vs.21 "I do not frustrate the Grace of God: for if righteousness (justification) come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

Again as I shared earlier. To Paul, the whole of the Law encompassed not only ceremonial and cultic principals peculiar to Israelites, but also all moral and ethical conduct required from the heart.. Man is totally incapable of satisfying the law! Thank God for Christ our Saviour who redeemed us from itís curse.

In Chapter three of Galatians vs1, Paulís stern rebuke is challenging. Foolish Galatians who has bewitched you? It was James and his followers spewing out their false gospel of works.

Galatians 3:6 " Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness . Faith Alone no works!

Vs 7 "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham"

I can just see James and his followers, along with the Jews, who heard or read this statement. Gentiles by faith alone are Children of Abraham? Can you see why Paulís Gospel was so hated?

Verses 8,9 God justifies the heathen through faith alone. We the elect are blessed with Abraham The scriptures foretold of the Gospel..

Vs 10 All those who preach a proof or justification by works, are still under the curse.

Vs.11 "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for the just shall live by faith."

Shall we add to this and say we are justified in the sight of men by the law? Nonsense!! Men are not God,. Justification is Godís business alone. We need no further proof of justification. Faith alone is the answer of a good conscience.

Vs. 12 " And the Law is not of faith: but the man that doeth them shall live in them."

Paul again reiterates the uselessness of the law as a way of justification. To Paul it is faith alone.

Versus 13-14 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, that the blessings of Abraham will come on the Gentiles through faith alone in Christ alone!

In Chapter five of Galatians Paul continues to strengthen his argument in defense of Justification by Faith Alone. Paul knows his Gospel, and knows the enemies of the Gospel. He asks them. Who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth? Paul says that these Judaizers were not from God. And then says these teachings are leaven. Jesus also warned us of the leaven of the Pharisees.

Galatians 5;11 "And I, Brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offense of the cross ceased."

Paul is stating to his audience that the offense of the cross would cease if he preached a justification by works. Also his persecution would also cease. Faith Alone brings the wrath of all religions onto the elect. Especially false Christian ones.

Hebrews 10:38,39 "Now the Just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul"

So far reading all that has been written by Paul, pertaining to Faith and Justification, what are we to understand from this scripture? Any looking to works as a way or proof of justification is futile. It is considered a drawing back or drawing away from faith alone. But here is the marvelous news. We the elect are not of them that trust in good works as a proof or means of justification, thus going back unto perdition. We believe in Christ alone through faith alone as our only justification.

Below is a link to Martin Luther's commentary on Galatians. Glean whatever truth you may.
http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/gal/web/gal-inx.html

Part four will end this study.

Nicholas

Bob Higby
07-30-07, 01:06 AM
Thanks so much Nick! I look forward to part IV very much. So far I am in agreement with all of your studies on this subject and am convicted that the Lord has blessed you with an unusual measure of wisdom to discern His true Word and gospel!

Pam
07-30-07, 08:55 AM
Thank you for the messages you have given us through this thread. They are straightforward and clear and so refreshing!

Rlhuckle
07-30-07, 12:58 PM
I was going to wait until you were finished to offer my thanks, but I'd like to echo Bob's and Greg's Wife's sentiments and thank you for the time and study you have spent in putting this teaching together; it has really been a blessing to read.

Brandan
07-30-07, 03:31 PM
Ditto on the comments - can't wait until part 4!

Krablessed1973
07-30-07, 04:49 PM
This is one issue that we have to be very careful of, because we are doubting God by debating the very books that are in His Word. I believe that James should be there by faith, and we should not doubt it because it might offend a doctrine that we dearly hold on to. I don't think James does that however.

I think James offers a balance in the works issue. I don't believe he is contradicting Paul. One of my study bibles says the following: James and Paul do not contradict each other. Paul emphasizes that faith is not religious deeds without a born-again heart; James stresses that faith is not a born-again heart without deeds. Neither would agree to the validity of an empty creedal faith.

May the Lord bless you as you meditate on Him,

Kevin.

Greg
07-30-07, 06:39 PM
This is one issue that we have to be very careful of, because we are doubting God by debating the very books that are in His Word. I believe that James should be there by faith, and we should not doubt it because it might offend a doctrine that we dearly hold on to. I don't think James does that however.

I think James offers a balance in the works issue. I don't believe he is contradicting Paul. One of my study bibles says the following: James and Paul do not contradict each other. Paul emphasizes that faith is not religious deeds without a born-again heart; James stresses that faith is not a born-again heart without deeds. Neither would agree to the validity of an empty creedal faith.

May the Lord bless you as you meditate on Him,

Kevin.Kevin we appreciate your words of caution. I would suggest that you read through the many threads on the canon - what it is and how we receive it - and also the threads on James. The positions that we take on these topics have happened as a result of the deepest convictions. We did not come to these positions lightly. You may find it quite interesting to learn why we believe as we do. I'm sure some of your positions on these topics (and many more) will be challenged on this forum.

MCoving
08-02-07, 04:07 PM
I was reading in Hebrews today and a verse caught my attention. I dont know yet what stance I take with James... I'm still trying to figure out if these verses can be reconciled together, that is if they are speaking Truth. Sometimes it seems as if James is not speaking Truth, but a lie in the way things are worded. These verses are my main concern and the main thing which causes me to be puzzled... the rest of James is great I believe there are many things I can learn from it.

James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works AND NOT BY FAITH ALONE.
James 2:22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected.

Now I am really puzzled when I read those verses and compare it to what I just read in Hebrews...

Hebrews 12:2 "Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith"

Hebrews says it is Jesus who perfects faith.. yet James says it is works that perfects faith. I have yet to understand how these verses in James 2 connects with the rest of the Books of the Bible. How can Jesus perfecting faith connect with works perfecting faith?? Because in James 2 it is talking about the mans works... not what Christ did on the cross, or anything about Christ.. but about Abraham and Rahab.. their actual works.

This is all interesting to me.. and I pray someday the Lord will reveal His Truth to me.. not anyone elses but His alone. Scripture.. Gods Word we know to be true, infalliable, and inerrant. That which is the true Word of God.. I often wonder whether the Bible, these books put together by men... has been added to... did men add?
Rev 22:18, (NASB) (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&version=nasb&book=66&chapter=22&verse1=18&verse2=&ascdesc=&abrv=1&strip=0&converge=0&footnotes=0&createchaps=1&compare=0&andor=0&restrict=&startbook=&endbook=&references=&highlight=1&chaplinks=&remove=&keywords=adds), I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;

Or has God preserved the Bible as His true Scripture throughout generations and I'm only confused by my little knowledge of Him and my sinful ways. I honestly can say I dont know.. it could be either. I have enjoyed though learning as much as possible about this subject, before I dont think I would have even contemplated that Gods Word could have been added too... and in our Bible there be a book with lies in it.THe church wouldn't have such a thing... It is Jesus who is the Truth and the Way, and Christ is in us.. I would think that knowing Truth one could decipher whether a book, even if its not in our Bible like the Dead Sea Scrolls contains Gods Word, contains Truth or if it contains Lies. ... Thanks for the study! And I'm very fortunate to be here on the forum, and studying these things.. and I thank people for not pressuring someone to believe one way or another.. but that we learn together and all seek Truth. And that we are humble and realize that maybe we could be wrong... I've always thought of that, what do I believe that is true and right.. and what do I believe that is wrong, and a lie. Ever since I was so decieved in my old church.. I take everything I hear and compare it to Gods Word and what I know from the Spirit to be True, is the message constant, does it mesh well with His Word.. is there enough evidence. I examine everything I believe... so that I may not be decieved again..


Mary

Saint Nicholas
08-02-07, 06:30 PM
Part Four
Historical Evidence & Observations
James The Just

In this final chapter, we will consider James from an historical perspective. Quotes will be supplied from various authors that were written not long, perhaps 2-4 centuries after the death of James.

My intention is to place information before this audience, as we would also in a court of Law during trial proceedings. Whether or not this information is 100% accurate is not the issue. If the historical writings are accurate, then it further supports our claims against James. If it is somewhat, or not at all accurate, then we have nothing in Scripture to vindicate James either. James loses either way. The burden of proof will be on the reader to find scriptural evidence or historical evidence as pertaining to James the Lordís half brother, that would vindicate James. Show me from the Scripture, and or historical writings where James was a champion of the Gospel.

My comments will follow the cited passages.


Thomas 12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that Thou wilt leave us. Who is it that will become great over us?" Jesus said unto them, "Whithersoever ye are come, ye will go to James the Righteous. It is for the righteous' sake that heaven and earth were created.


Taken from heretical Gospel of Thomas, we will get a glimpse at the aura that surrounded James and his followers. James clearly ascended to being the head of the Jerusalem Church. When Christ went into the temple at Jerusalem and overturned the money tables, the religious leaders wanted to stone Christ. Paul, Peter, John, and the true followers of Christ were also hated, and their lives were always in jeopardy until their death. Has James the righteous become great over us?

"The Lord, after he had given the linen cloth to the priest's slave, went to James and appeared to him. (Now James had sworn not to eat bread from the time that he drank from the Lord's cup until he would see him raised from among those who sleep.)
Shortly after this the Lord said, 'Bring a table and some bread.'
And Immediately it is added: He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to James the Just and said to him, 'My brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Adam has been raised from among those who sleep."
[Gospel of the Hebrews] 9:1-4


In another heretical book written around that time period, we read more falsehoods. It is my opinion that these books were written as propaganda to further lend credence to James. We know from scripture, that James and his followers were already against the Pauline message of the True Gospel, which is Justification through faith alone.

"Control of the Church passed to the apostles, together with the Lord's brother James , whom everyone ... has called the Righteous..."
- Eusebius (quoting Hegesippus, an early second century Jewish Christian writer), Ecclesiastical History, 2.23

Why was James called the Just or Righteous one? "There is none righteous, no, not one". And no one man controls the Church. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, and he leads His Elect by the effectual working of the Holy Spiritand truth.

Quoting Hegasippus, Eusebius states that James 'the Righteous' 'was holy from his birth'..."

Hegasippus also described him as a "Nazarite"

(http://www.predestinarian.net/way.html)
"He drank no wine...ate no animal food; no razor came near his head; he did not smear himself with oil, and took no baths. He alone was permitted to enter the Holy Place [the Holy of Holies in the temple], for his garments were not of wool but of linen . He used to enter the Sanctuary alone, and was often found on his knees beseeching forgiveness for the people, so that his knees grew hard like a camels...because of unsurpassable righteousness, he was called the Righteous and...'Bulwark of the people'..."


- Eusebius, [I]The History of the Church 2,23What a pious man James was. James still followed the Mosaic Law. Hardly a Christian, would you not agree? Jesus our Lord said "If they hate me they will also hate you" "If they persecute me, they will also persecute you". Nothing James has done in the above quote would appease or impress God. And James says "Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works". All of James righteousness is still filthy rags (DUNG).


You can now see why Roman Catholics, clergy and laity, along with all other false cults, practice salvific suffering. Flagellation, Starving, Bloodletting, Cloistered monastic life, etc. etc. These ignorant souls think they can merit Godís justification, or in the case of Protest-ANTS, prove to men they are justified. In third world countries where the poor and ignorant are exploited by the Roman Church and her whore daughters, these folks nail themselves on crosses and walk the cobblestone streets on their knees till they bleed on Good Friday. Satanic will worship at itís finest hour. Rome and her whore daughters, love the book of James. This book allows them to justify their works religion.


Much more to follow in Part Four continued.


Nicholas

Brandan
08-02-07, 09:25 PM
I'm DEFINITELY going to compile this information into an article and put it on 5solas and pristinegrace as "James Exposed!" Thank you SOOOO Much Nicholas!

Saint Nicholas
08-06-07, 06:14 AM
Part Four
(cont.)
We will continue our examination of James, the Lordís half brother, from an historical perspective.

From the death of the last true Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, there have been numerous writings from men claiming to be Christian, and also non- Christian historical writings. We will only seek information from the early periods up to and including the fourth century. Below is a writing from Hegesippus:


Concerning the martyrdom of James, the brother of the Lord, from Book V.
[James, the Lordís brother, succeeds to the government of the Church, in conjunction with the apostles. He has been universally called the Just, from the days of the Lord down to the present time. For many bore the name of James; but this one was holy from his motherís womb. He drank no wine or other intoxicating liquor, nor did he eat flesh; no razor came upon his head; he did not anoint himself with oil, nor make use of the bath. He alone was permitted to enter the holy place: for he did not wear any woollen garment, but fine linen only. He alone, I say, was wont to go into the temple: and he used to be found kneeling on his knees, begging forgiveness for the people-so that the skin of his knees became horny like that of a camelís, by reason of his constantly bending the knee in adoration to God, and begging forgiveness for the people. Therefore, in consequence of his pre-eminent justice, he was called the Just, and Oblias, which signifies in Greek Defence of the People, and Justice, in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning him.

Now some persons belonging to the seven sects existing among the people, which have been before described by me in the Notes, asked him: "What is the door of Jesus? "And he replied that He was the Saviour. In Consequence of this answer, some believed that Jesus is the Christ. But the sects before mentioned did not believe, either in a resurrection or in the coming of One to requite every man according to his works; but those who did believe, believed because of James. So, when many even of the ruling class believed, there was a commotion among the Jews, and scribes, and Pharisees, who said: "A little more, and we shall have all the people looking for Jesus as the Christ.

They came, therefore, in a body to James, and said: "We entreat thee, restrain the people: for they are gone astray in their opinions about Jesus, as if he were the Christ. We entreat thee to persuade all who have come hither for the day of the passover, concerning Jesus. For we all listen to thy persuasion; since we, as well as all the people, bear thee testimony that thou art just, and showest partiality to none. Do thou, therefore, persuade the people not to entertain erroneous opinions concerning Jesus: for all the people, and we also, listen to thy persuasion. Take thy stand, then, upon the summit of the temple, that from that elevated spot thou mayest be clearly seen, and thy words may be plainly audible to all the people. For, in order to attend the passover, all the tribes have congregated hither, and some of the Gentiles also."

The aforesaid scribes and Pharisees accordingly set James on the summit of the temple, and cried aloud to him, and said: "0 just one, whom we are all bound to obey, forasmuch as the people is in error, and follows Jesus the crucified, do thou tell us what is the door of Jesus, the crucified." And he answered with a loud voice: "Why ask ye me concerning Jesus the Son of man? He Himself sitteth in heaven, at the right hand of the Great Power, and shall come on the clouds of heaven."

And, when many were fully convinced by these words, and offered praise for the testimony of James, and said, "Hosanna to the son of David," then again the said Pharisees and scribes said to one another, "We have not done well in procuring this testimony to Jesus. But let us go up and throw him down, that they may be afraid, and not believe him." And they cried aloud, and said: "Oh! ohl the just man himself is in error." Thus they fulfilled the Scripture written in Isaiah: "Let us away with the just man, because he is troublesome to us: therefore shall they eat the fruit of their doings." So they went up and threw down the just man, and said to one another: "Let us stone James the Just." And they began to stone him: for he was not killed by the fall; but he turned, and kneeled down, and said: "I beseech Thee, Lord God our Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
And, while they were thus stoning him to death, one of the priests, the sons of Rechab, the son of Rechabim, to whom testimony is borne by Jeremiah the prophet, began to cry aloud, saying: "Cease, what do ye? The just man is praying for us." But one among them, one of the fullers, took the staff with which he was accustomed to wring out the garments he dyed, and hurled it at the head of the just man.

And so he suffered martyrdom; and they buried him on the spot, and the pillar erected to his memory still remains, close by the temple. This man was a true witness to both Jews and Greeks that Jesus is the Christ.
And shortly after Vespasian besieged Judaea, taking them captive.]

It appears, that Hegesippus has a bias in favor of James. Hegesippus claims that James is a fulfillment of prophesy. More propaganda in my opinion. There are many references to James being the Just One. This elevation of James is not good. John the Baptist said "I must decrease, but He (referring to Christ) must INCREASE"

In another passage, Hegesippus interprets a passage from Isaiah as being fulfilled in the person of James. Can anyone doubt the impact and control that James possessed in the early Jewish Church? The Judaized form of Christianity that James and his followers espoused, denies the Gospel.

Let us read another death account from Josephus the Jewish historian. Antiquities book xx

[AND now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Ji~idea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five Sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, be delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable ~f the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.]

The account of Josephus, seems to be strictly from a political point of view. And as well should be from a man who was Jewish and was not writing from a Christian perspective. The charge of breaking the law is a bit vague though. What law? Could it be because James spoke in the name of Jesus? How had James survived that long then? As mentioned earlier in this writing. I strongly feel that James form of Judaized Christianity was tolerable to the main stream Judaism of that day, because Moses (law) was not rejected as a basis or proof of Justification. James and his followers could survive in that climate. James Judaized form of Christianity may have been viewed as just another sect of Judaism along with a myriad of others that were prevalent in that day.

As long as the OFFENCE OF THE GOSPEL is stripped away, all that would remain would be a religious power struggle. I think this is what James got caught up with. A struggle for supremacy. James and the Judaized Christian advocates growing and competing with the Pharisaical religious machine.

Now some may say that James was a martyr for the Gospel. But as I contend, James did not have or teach the Gospel of Justification by faith alone. No more than Roman Catholic crusaders who were killed by the Muslims could be considered Christian martyrs either.

For those on this forum, who are interested in further study on the subject of James the Lordís half brother, there are plenty of web sites that will aid in your quest. Below is a link to early writings.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/


I will be concluding part four in my next post. I am finding that as I am searching for information on this topic, more and more appears. There is so much that has been written in early history that if one would just search and read, they will see a different side of James, than their church traditions and leadership has hid from them. Most will not even dare to question the letter of James. That would be sacrilegious to them.

May the Lord bless His people with all Truth and knowledge in Christ Jesus.

Amen and Amen
Nicholas

Greg
08-06-07, 07:50 AM
Part Four
Nicolas, this is very good stuff.

There are many lies within christendumb that need to be set straight.

Bob Higby
08-08-07, 09:43 PM
I heartily second Greg's approval! I need to go back and read everything again but I certainly agree with the overall direction of your studies Nicholas! I will cite any issues that I believe need further discussion after reviewing.

Saint Nicholas
08-12-07, 03:24 PM
Part Four
Conclusion

In the previous post, I supplied a link to Early Christian Writings. Of course there are also many writings from a non-Christian and historical perspective, however if we are to understand the very early sentiments whether oral or written from the 1st to the 4th centuries concerning James and the Jerusalem Christian Church, we have to keep the Biblical mentions of James within their proper historical context.

The Roman Catholic (Western), Greek Orthodox (Eastern), and the Protestants (schismatics of the Western Church), love to appeal to the early fathers for their identity and foundation. Especially Rome and the Orthodox sects.

I for one, do not see in the Soteriology of these so-called fathers a continuation of the Pauline message of Justification by Grace Alone through Faith Alone, without all works! In my opinion, I believe that even during the life of the true Apostles of Christ, there were enemies of the Gospel.

False Teachers, False Apostles, False Christs, False Prophets, False Brethren, etc. etc. The one teaching they share unanimously is the teaching of a "WORKS" as a ground, basis or proof of oneís Justification. James the Lords half brother was indeed one of these "False" people. And the early fathers were not much better either. Without the Gospel, there is NO Christianity.

Such ideas as (1) Faith being imperfect without works (2) Works are necessary for Justification.
(3) The meritorious nature of good works. (4) Good works earn believers special rewards in heaven. (5) Good works increase oneís Justification. (6) Good works are proofs that men are Justified, and so forth, are ideas rooted and based in ignorance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sinful humanity has always wanted to get credit for something he has done. From Adam and his fig leafs, to our contemporary religious scene, WORKS and existential theology in all forms, plague mankind. It really does not matter if one is a Muslim, Buddhist, Talmudic Jew, Shintoist, or Christian, If Justification is linked to just one minute element of human cooperation, in any way shape or form, IT IS A FALSE GOSPEL!!

The heretical Clergy, via an unbiblical clergy/laity system, have bound the consciences of men throughout centuries with all manners and false notions of a WORKS based salvation. Such ideas of (1) Church membership roles. (2) Tithing (3) Sabbath keeping. (4) 10 commandment keeping. (5) Water Baptisms (6) Circumcision (7) Sacraments (8) Priests and ministers could forgive sins.
(9) Sanctuaries (10) Bells (11) Stained glass widows (12) Holy water (13) Clerical robes (14) Monastic life. (15) Humanly ordained ministers (16) Seminary factories who produce clones to be installed like parts, as pastors. (17) Holy Days (18) Holy Seasons. (19) Holy Land. The list could go on and on. All of these actions, thoughts, and works, are symptoms of a false Gospel.

ECT 1 and ECT 2 are further symptoms a corrupted Gospel.

God led me to this forum in January of 2006. I never even considered questioning the Letter of James. I, like most of us, have been conditioned to think that this letter is high canon because it was in my "official bible". I even considered, when I was a Roman Catholic, the apocryphal books to be High canon, because that is what the church taught me to believe.
When the debate arose on James last year, I was silent, however I was reading the arguments from both sides. That led me to research this matter on my own. It was Godís Grace alone that opened my eyes. That is the beauty of not being a member of a certain denomination or group. I was free to examine, and trust the Lord to guide me into truth. If I were to be a member of a church, and questioned the letter of James, the higher ups would have put me out of their fellowship. I have before, many years ago been put out of a church for disagreeing with them.

Below is a brief list of some helpful historical sources, that will provide more information pertaining to James. The list is not exhaustive but a starting point. There are more passages within these writings that are not listed that would also shed further light on James.

Ascents of James (from the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 1. 33-71 & 4:35 and more
Epiphanius on Nazoreans, James, and Successors
Gospel of the Hebrews (quoted by Jerome.. On Famous Men 2
Gospel of Thomas 12
Eusebius (quoting Hegesippus) Ecclesiastical history 2.23. 4-7
Eusebius Ecclesiastical history 3.11 & 4.22.4
Eusebius (quoting Hegesippus) Ecclesiastical history 3. 19.20
Eusebius (quoting Hegesippus) Ecclesiastical history 3. 32..
Flavius Josephus. Antiquities 20. 200-201...20:9:1
In Nag Hammadi Library: Apocryphon of James..First Apocalypse of James...Second Apocalypse of James...Gospel of the Egyptians.
Eusebius Eccl. Hist. 7:19
Ethiopic Didascalia ch XLIII
Protoevangelium of James

More on the identity, aura, tradition and history that surrounds James, from a wide variety of early writings not listed above.

SUMMARIES

The child Jesus while living at home, heals James from a deadly viper bite.

James was called the "brother of God."

The title "Son of Man" was ascribed to James at the last supper.

James was to be the first in a line of Christian Caliphates.

James received his position of head of the church from Jesus Himself.

James was made the Just Bishop of Jerusalem after the Lordís ascension.

James receives his office directly from the Apostles.

James held his rank from the beginning of the corporate life of the Jerusalem community.

James is called the "chief of Bishops" and "Archbishop"

Peter calls James "the Lord and Bishop of the Holy Church".

Clement addresses James as "the Lord and bishop of bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the holy church of the Hebrews and Churches everywhere excellently founded by the provinces of God, with elders and deacons, and the rest of the brethren"

James as administrative head of the church 1. Receives reports. 2. Engaged in disputations. 3.Assigned Peter to specific tasks.

James, as "chief of bishops" is portrayed as the Christian counterpart to "Caiaphas.......the chief of priests."

Peter insists that no teacher or prophet is to be believed unless he has been certified by James.

Peter gives all his writing to James for safekeeping.

James is the first in a long line of apostolic succession. The primacy of James has been rejected in the West from the time of Irenaeus onward however was continued in the East.

During the second century the title of "High Priest" was used frequently within the church. To many early christians, James, as the first among the bishops stood at the head of an order of Christian priests.

In Recognitions, there are parallels between Jewish and Christian ordination. "Let there be elders and deacons, like the Levites; and subdeacons, like those who carried the vessels of the court of the sanctuary of the Lord; and an overseer, who shall likewise be the guide of all the people, like Aaron, the head and chief of all the priests and Levites in the city." This Christian priestly ordination is traced to the Church of James.

There was a group within Christendom who viewed the death of James in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem.

Epiphanius and Eusebius both concur that James entered into the sanctuary of the Temple and that he actually went into the "Holy of Holies" James also wore the high priestly petalon on his forehead.

I firmly believe that early tradition was deliberately molded and shaped to favor one or more groups within early Christianity. Is it any wonder that we see in the writings of Augustine a blend of pagan and corrupt Jewish thought. The clergy, the sacrifice of the Mass, justification by works, the priesthood, has it origins and infancy to James and his followers historically. Augustine carried the torch for James. Augustine never ever taught the Pauline doctrine of Justification by an imputed righteousness. NEVER!!! And dumb, blind Protestants such as R. C. Sproul and his minions exalt Augustine and Aquinas as champions of the church! How awful and shameful!

From the writers Hegesippus, Eusebius, Epiphanius, and the Ps Clementines, we see a strong nationalistic, pietist, and cultic views of James. In the Clementines more emphasis was toward church structure and ethical matters. Most of what has been written about James portrays James with an interest in Jewish piety and legalism. That is why the whole thrust of the book of James in the Bible, is concerned with good works as a basis of justification.

Some will say that even if James lived that kind of Life, James never required it for Salvation. POPPYCOCK!! James clearly attempts to overthrow Paulís message of Justification through faith alone without all works!

Also in the Ps Clementines issues of church authority are alluded to. The Jerusalem church was seen as the pure church, although others were recognized, appeals to James and the Jerusalem church were necessary for correction in doctrine. Also, James is seen as the sole head above the apostles of the church. Just like the Pope of Rome. Only as Gentile Christianity accepted the control from Jerusalem, they could remain pure.

In all fairness I must admit that from the early writings, James has been considered to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, practice the Lordís supper, and even the practice of water baptism. Also Eusebius said that James confessed that "Jesus our Savior and the Lord is the son of God".

However, Roman Catholics, Arminians, evangelicals and a myriad of Protestant sects also pay lip service to these tenants of Christianity. But the fact still remains. WHERE IS THE GOSPEL OF JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE ALONE THROUGH FAITH ALONE, WITHOUT ALL WORKS!

The agreement or disagreement with the letter of James, would not to me at least, be a cause for dis-unity. However the Gospel of Christ Alone must be Pristine and without any form of works. We can enjoy fellowship in Christ only in that sense. If the letter of James is used to espouse some idea of works as a proof or ground of justification. Then I will be at odds with you, and our fellowship broken.

The End.

May the Lord grant His people with all knowledge and wisdom, in Love for the true Gospel.

Nicholas

Bob Higby
08-12-07, 08:17 PM
Nicholas,

Have you ever encountered or researched the position that the Epistle of James is a pseudonym and written or compiled by an Ebionite author from perhaps a variety of earlier sources?

Just wondered, --Bob

red beetle
08-13-07, 09:28 PM
Nicholas wrote:



I believe this is faulty logic. Let me explain. Christ had perfect faith and also perfect deeds. And with all that it was still meaningless to those who put Him to the Cross. If Christ's perfect and sinless life did not prove anything to the reprobates of this world. Would our sin tainted works fair any better? Think about it Waltz!

Nicholas



I will get to the quotation a bit later, but I would like to make some general remarks.

The idea that the Book of James is not inspired has been developing for some time around here.


Some have been so bold as to claim that they can not find even a morsel of Gospel truth in James. I would like to first answer this bold claim. In doing so, I would point them to James 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above."

Is Justification a good gift? Yes.
Is Adoption a good gift? Yes.
Is Saving Faith a good gift? Yes.
Is the Object of Saving Faith perfect (the works of Christ)? Yes.
Is Repentance unto God good a gift? Yes.
Is Sanctification a good gift? Yes.

The assertion made by James here, especially in the full context of the entire Bible, seems to be a delicious Gospel morsel indeed.

James continues in this 17th verse saying, "and cometh down from the Father of lights."

James tells us that these good gifts come down from God.
This means that man can not obtain them by himself or by cooperation with God.

Christ Jesus confirms what James says when He states, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" John 3:13.

Paul also agrees with James when he states, "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on the wise, Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above)...For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" Romans 10:6-10.

So you see that these good gifts must come down from heaven. Christ must bring them, and give them to His elect. This of course makes synergism impossible, for salvation is of the Lord. Wow, two delicious morsels in one verse, but the verse is not even finished.

James continues in the 17th verse saying, "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

Gentlemen, this is the doctrine of the Immutability of God. There can be no Gospel without this doctrine, no assurance of salvation without this doctrine. If God is mutable, then so is His purpose to save. Christ's work on the cross is finished, perfect, and unchangeable.
This is a trinity of Gospel truth in just one verse from James.


Above I quoted Nicholas. It seems, and I may be wrong, that he does not believe that it is important for Christians to do any good works--that there is no place for good works in the life of the justified.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ says to those who are regenerated, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your GOOD WORKS, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" Matthew 5:14-16.

Notice that Jesus commands us to do good works so that men may glorify God. To glorify God is a good work, and only humans who are regenerated can do this good work. The assertion made by Christ is that the regenerated can show their faith by doing good works.

Now consider a common example. Whenever someone comes to a church and seeks to join, then that person must present a profession of faith. This profession of faith is a work. The elders of that particular church must decide if this work is good or not, that is, if it is a true Gospel profession. If it is, then they glorify God and accept a new member. If not, then they bid farewell.

Now, if the man is accepted upon his profession of faith, did he not show the elders his faith, or did he merely claim that he had faith without showing them anything? Did he not reveal content, which can be logically examined and compared to the 66 Books of the Protestant Bible?

If a man came to Higby's church and said, "I want to join."
And, if Higby said, "What do you believe?"
The man replies, "I have faith."
Higby says, "Then tell me of this faith, how a man is justified."
The man replies, "Do you not know that I can not demonstrate my faith to you? You must simply accept me based upon my profession of faith."
Higby says, "But we can not accept you, for we know not if you have the faith of Catholics, Arminians, or Muslims."
The man says, "Brother, it is enough for you to known that I have faith, not the object of it."

Darth Gill publishes his explanation of the Gospel in a newspaper.
He invites likeminded people to come and join his church.
Someone reads this profession, then judges it to be sound.
They come and ask to join his church.
Has Darth Gill simply claimed to have faith, or has he showed his faith by a credible profession?

Believing is a good work, and so is confession (Romans 10:10).
Believing is personal and private.
Confession is public.
Both are caused by God (John 6:29 and Ephesians 2:8-11).

I have read the paper "James Exposed." I have also read many of the previous threads several months ago. The paper will not be hard to refute. It has several large logical fallacies. If anyone would like to see a counter essay, then I will write one. I now have time, so I probably will anyway.

One thing I noticed months ago was that many here who have been motivated to give up on the Book of James have adopted Higby's paradoxical method for determining what is and what is not an inspired book of the Bible. The problem with this is that one must know what the Gospel is before one can judge if a book is inspired. But, how can one know what the Gospel is unless they go to the source, that is, the Bible. But, how can one know what the Bible is unless one judges the books with the Gospel? And so on, ad infinitum. The Roman Catholic Church has the same illogical starting point: The Catholic Church wrote the Bible...the Bible authorizes the Catholic Church to write it...and so on.

Gordon H. Clark, a man who is honored at this site, but I fear is hardly ever read, answers correctly when he states that the Bible alone is the Axiom of the Christian Faith. The Bible Alone Is The Word Of God. Christians start with Scripture, then they explicitely state or logically deduce their system of belief. This is why the Westminster Confession of Faith begins with Scripture. It avoids Higby's paradox. On what authority does one preach the Gospel if not from the Bible alone? When people begin to speak of the Gospel without presupposing the authority of the Scripture, then what could they possibly mean by "Gospel?"

Finally,
Gordon H. Clark, Herman Hoeksema, John Gill, Gilbert Beebe, and Samuel Trott (who was considered by most to be better than Beebe) all believed that the Book of James was inspired. There is not one great teacher of absolute predestination in church history that held this idea that James was not inspired. Even Luther, though he may have toyed briefly with the idea, never gave in. I state this since some here seem to think that the fallible history of man has something to say on this.

James is consistent with Paul.
Until now, I have never heard anyone interpret the Book of James like Gill and Higby, other than Roman Catholics and Arminians.
Does this mean that they are Catholic or Arminian?
Right now, I would say that they are certainly confused, as is Nicholas.



Sola Fide
Red Beetle

Bob Higby
08-14-07, 12:15 AM
RB, you are wrong on Luther. Just a side note. Luther did remove his objections to James in his NT introduction after Regensburg (in my view, to compromise with the Papacy) but men can quote no statement where he fully endorsed it as high-canon. Much less Revelation which I accept as high-canon (there were other books that Luther always rejected: notably Esther).

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above." I was taught this in the cult that I was raised in from the cradle up; even Muslims confess this. The fact that the epistle called James says it proves nothing. It is certainly truth! However, it is not GOSPEL truth unless we know what the SUPREME gift IS and define it (HIM) EXPLICITLY without compromise!

To confess God as being without variableness or shadow of turning is simply quoting the Old Testament. Even Sunni Muslims believe this; hey, they accept the doctrine of the predestination of all things as much as anyone. But what is HE without variableness CONCERNING as it relates to the gospel? Nothing in the epistle tells us. It is not enough to state that God is immutable; the tyrannical God of Sunni Islam is immutable!

You trust certain men of the past to have had the authority to legislate your Bible, just as you trust certain men of the past to have had the authority to legislate the WHOLE of Christian doctrine. To say that these things have come to us directly from God without the historical involvement of sinful men is to put our heads where the sun don't shine!

The priesthood of all believers and liberty of conscience means that EVERY Christian has the authority under the Holy Spirit to discern what is scripture and what is true doctrine. EVERY doctrine. I know that is a radical concept for those in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Regensburg-honoring Protestant traditions but it is absolutely true!

Bob Higby
08-14-07, 12:18 AM
Paradox

There is nothing paradoxical in my view on what constitutes scripture. It is those who accept James 2:21-26 as scripture that will always be hopelessly awash in paradox; trying to explain away its obvious contradictions to the final revelation of the gospel given to God's apostle Paul.

MCoving
08-14-07, 12:31 AM
Paradox

There is nothing paradoxical in my view on what constitutes scripture. It is those who accept James 2:21-26 as scripture that will always be hopelessly awash in paradox; trying to explain away its obvious contradictions to the final revelation of the gospel given to God's apostle Paul.

Bob quick question do you deny just this part of James as being untruthful? Or do you deny the whole book? I understand how you say that we evaluate what is True, inspired by God by whether the book is gospel centric. But my thought is, the OT books are not all gospelcentric, as in not all of them preach the Gospel or Christ, least not directly, right? And what about some of the short books in the NT, ie 2 john?

I wonder is it just the fact of these verses which seem to go against what we know to be True? That is justification by faith alone.. and not faith plus works? Because I see Truth in James as i do in other books of Scripture.. it is only these verses which confuse me on what is being said. But Im not about ready to throw out the complete book of James either just because I dont understand. I admit it sounds wrong to me.. "you see that a man is justified by works". It just doesn't fit right with what we know about justification, so I either conclude thst it is not Truth, not inspired by God Himself and thus some sinful man added to His Word. Or that I am interpreting it wrong, and reading into James words in a wrong way..

This doctrine here has always been a tricky one for me.. I understand both sides, and respect both sides. And I appreciate all the family here in the Lord. I definitely believe though that this isn't an issue that should bring disunity amoung brethren, its hard understandable... hard in that even in myself if one book of the Bible speaks untruth how can we rely upon any of the rest?? Id wish/hope that we could rely upon God to keep His Word pure and unhindered from sinful man so that we could rely upon the Bible. Thats why for now I really dont take a stance either way because I cant seem to understand the verses you qouted... but for me not understanding doesn't necesarily mean the book of James is a lie. I know and fully believe though that justification is by faith alone, and no works perfects it.. only Christ does.

Thanks for your thoughts! And just curious as to whether you see any of James inspired or not.

Mary

red beetle
08-14-07, 12:04 PM
Paradox

There is nothing paradoxical in my view on what constitutes scripture. It is those who accept James 2:21-26 as scripture that will always be hopelessly awash in paradox; trying to explain away its obvious contradictions to the final revelation of the gospel given to God's apostle Paul.

Bob, your starting point is illogical. It is a paradox.
Cornelius Van Til had a similar illogical starting point.
Van Til claimed that one must believe in God before Scripture.
Gordon Clark responded by saying, "How do you know this?"
Van Til points to Genesis 1:1.
Clark responds, "Exactly."
If you simply begin with "God", then no one will know which God you are talking about. You must first define God according to the 66 Books of the Protestant Bible (Sola Scriptura).

You start with "Gospel."
How do you know what the Gospel is?
You must point, as Van Til did, to the Protestant Bible, or no one will know if you are talking about the Mormon, Catholic, or Arminian Gospel.
If you maintain, as Van Til did, that this is not the case, then you dive head first into paradox. Van Til's theology embraces paradox. For him all Scripture was "apparently contradicting" anyway.
As I said earlier, the Roman Catholic position is also paradoxical. This is why philosophers like Hume and Kant quickly did away with them.


Higby's paradox:
The Bible must first be authorized by the Gospel.
The Gospel must be defined by the Bible.
Don't get dizzy.

Red Beetle

Rlhuckle
08-14-07, 12:43 PM
The Bible must first be authorized by the Gospel.
The Gospel must be defined by the Bible.
Don't get dizzy.

Red Beetle

Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jer 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

The only reason any KNOW truth is because God has revealed truth. I suppose many read the Bible and decide to believe it might be true based on the wisdom and logic found there......

red beetle
08-14-07, 01:05 PM
Has anyone considered what happened after the conversion of Paul?
Everyone knew that Saul sought to kill the Christians.
When the Lord saved Saul, God had to speak to Ananias in a special way and show him that Saul was now a Christian (Acts 9:10-16).

When Paul came to the other disciples they did not believe he was a Christian. He had to demonstrate his faith. He did this by preaching sound doctrine (Acts 9:20-21). Those that heard him were amazed. They were witnessing God's power.

When Saul came to Jerusalem the disciples also did not believe him to be a Christian. They knew his former profession. But Barnabas gave evidence of Saul's conversion (Acts 9:26-27). Saul's new profession, his works of counfounding the Jews (Acts 9:22) all gave evidence of his conversion.

Paul himself agrees with James in the first chapter of Galatians. He understood that our faith had to be professed, confessed, defended, and demonstrated before men. Galatians 1:23-24 is an outworking of Christ's teaching in Matthew 5:13-16. Paul's profession and good works resulted in his acceptance among the church. Among those Christians who knew him only as a persecutor of the faithful, this brought them to accept him as a Christian and to glorify God! Paul states, "But they had heard only, that he which persecutes us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed" (Galatians 1:23). Notice how Paul himself emphasizes how his previous profession and works were compared to his present profession and works among them.

James, therefore, is in complete agreement with Paul when he states, "Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works" (James 2:18).

James is in complete agreement because he is not talking about how God justifies a man. The context of the entire Book of James demonstrates that James is not writing on how God justifies a man. Logic and context rule in the interpretation of Scripture. The mistake that Higby, Gill, and Nicholas have made is that they have equivocated on the term 'justify'. The word has more than one meaning. The context determines the meaning.

Alvin Plantinga once wrote a book called "Warranted Christian Belief."
In this book he tries to justify Christianity as an acceptable intellectual position, that is, he was trying to prove to other men, among other things, that you can be Christian and intelligent. No one thought Plantinga was teaching Justification by Faith Alone in that book. The point is that the word has a demonstrative meaning and a legal meaning. Paul uses the legal meaning in Romans and James uses the demonstrative meaning in James.

Concerning James 1:17, Bob thinks that because a Muslim can interpret this verse according to his own belief system that the verse must be rejected. This is absurd. The ability to misinterpret, does not negate the fact that there is a correct interpretation. Just because one does not understand a verse, a chapter, or even an entire Book of the Bible, does not mean that they should tear out that which is obscure to them.

Thomas Jefferson also tore out many parts of the Protestant Bible in order to accomodate his own Deistic system of belief. He, like some here, justified his actions by appealing to his own understanding of history.

The reason Catholics and Arminians read and interpret James in this manner is to attack Sola Fide. The reason Higby, Gill, and Nicholas take the Catholic interpretation is to attack the book itself. Let me just point out that regardless their motives, they have taken that first step back to the Roman Catholic Church.

Red Beetle

Brandan
08-14-07, 02:59 PM
Red Beetle, your misrepresentation of us and associating us with the heretical and idiotic Van Til won't do any more to help your case on this web site. Did you even read Nicholas' exposition on James, or are you here just to sling rhetoric?

You criticize us for forming our own canon, yet being the hypocrite you are, you cannot even see that you have done the same thing. You determined in your wisdom that those that went before us had the authority to determine the canon for you (and for me too)! At least we (predestinarian.net believers) have a method of determining authoritative literature. You on the other hand seem to have not thought through the determination of the canon and simply accepted that whatever is there must be true simply because it is there (illogical). What's absolutely ridiculous about your position and the position of Clark is the canon you subscribe to doesn't even mention anything ABOUT "canon". The doctrine of "canon" is simply an invention of churchman like yourself used solely to imprison the minds of the men including the elect! It is my hope that this will no longer be the case and this recent exposure of James will demonstrate the sheer stupidy of churchianity and its evil tactics once and for all. To your shame, you paradoxically adopt a doctrine of works as opposed to GRACE because of your closed minded dependency on church teaching as opposed to the truth of the Gospel.

You are a poor soul hopelessly fighting against the truth because your mind is still imprisoned by some degree to the whore that the apostles warned about. It is my hope for you that you will have that "Damascus" moment where God opens you mind to the truth of Scripture and realize that ALL things MUST be judged by the Gospel and not some invention of men (canon) or we are left with nothing.

Brandan

Saint Nicholas
08-14-07, 03:53 PM
Nicholas,

Have you ever encountered or researched the position that the Epistle of James is a pseudonym and written or compiled by an Ebionite author from perhaps a variety of earlier sources?

Just wondered, --Bob


Brother Bob.............My overall concern was not to attempt to identify the writer or writers of the Epistle of James. My primary interest was mainly observing the soteriological implications of the letter in relation to the doctrine of Justification.

It very well may have been a pseudonymous work. Although there are two references to Jesus Christ,[ James 1:1 and James 2:1 ] this book is so thoroughly Jewish, and steeped in Law and Jewish tradition, that an Ebionite author cannot be ruled out.

The Ebionites were a Jewish Christian heretical sect that adhered to the Mosaic Law and traditions. Irenaeus considered them heretics and followers of the teachings Cerinthus who was a Gnostic-Ebionite heretic. His was a mixture of Gnosticism, Judaism, chiliasm, and Ebionitism.

Some major characteristics of the Ebionites were:

1) A denial of the divinity of Christ.
2) A denial of the virgin birth of Christ.
3) Observance to the Jewish law.
4) They regarded Paul the Apostle as an apostate.
5) Highly favored the Gospel according to Matthew.

Origin and Eusebius both made distinctions, that there were two classes of Ebionites. Some Ebionites accepted the Virgin birth, whiles others did not. However both sects denied Christís divinity.

Off course there is much more that has been written concerning Ebionism, but whether James dictated the letter for someone to write it for him, or it was written by someone else using James name to give the letter authority, is not of my concern. I would reject it either way.

As stated in the James Exposed article. It is my opinion that the Epistle of James was a propaganda tool used to debunk the Apostle Paul, and the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone for both Jew and Gentile.

Your brother in Christ,

Nicholas :)

MCoving
08-14-07, 04:23 PM
To be honest besides all this reasoning, and saying well I dont see the Gospel message in the book so must not be True, etc. I cant find one bible verse that proves 1)James was not an elect or 2) the Book of James is not Scripture

I just cant seem to find it. For we know that ALL Scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) we know that Paul wrote with the wisdom that God gave him (2 Peter 3:16), we know that the OT is Scripture (Jesus qouted alot from it). And for me at least since I cant seem to answer those two questions I cant seem to come to any conclusion.

(I'm still wrestling with this doctrine.. I would like to come to a solid conclusion). Here's a thought maybe we have been reading the meaning of justification different in James book than what was intended by the author? Thats what I keep wondering this could very well be True, and thus I could have confidence that God has kept His Bible pure and unhindered by sinful men.. that whoever wrote in it, compiled it together, etc. was given the wisdom of God. I also know though that we dont know the Bible to be true because its in front of us (we could have the Catholic Bible in front of us, or grown up with that more than Protestant in history) but because the Spirit testifies that it is True.

http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/Cheung/05justified.htm

Mary

Bob Higby
08-14-07, 05:53 PM
Higby's paradox:
The Bible must first be authorized by the Gospel.
The Gospel must be defined by the Bible.
Don't get dizzy.

Which Higby is this? Certainly not this one!

The Gospel itself is WITHIN the authoritative scriptures given by revelation of Jesus Christ, so we cannot dare to ask the question: "Which came first, the Bible or the Gospel?" That is ridiculous. A theory on biblical authority in the abstract is as worthless as a theory of the gospel in the abstract. Our everlasting starting axiom in defending truth is THE GOSPEL AS REVEALED IN THE BIBLE (scripture)!

This is the only position free of a hopeless paradoxical revolving-door philosophy of which should be the prominent starting axiom: the gospel or the Bible. We cannot have the gospel without the Bible; we cannot have the Bible without the gospel! The two in union are the starting axiom to determine all truth.

red beetle
08-14-07, 11:48 PM
Higby's paradox:
The Bible must first be authorized by the Gospel.
The Gospel must be defined by the Bible.
Don't get dizzy.


Bob wrote:

The two in union are the starting axiom to determine all truth.

Bob, confronted with his own paradox, is now trying to run. But he won't get far. You never do when you run in a circle.

On the other hand, my claim is that the Bible Alone Is The Word Of God. It is the only Axiom which consistenly comprehends both Law and Gospel, among many other things.

Bob is now claiming that Gospel and Bible are the starting axiom.
So I will ask him a question.
How does he know what the Gospel is?
If Bob truthfully answers this question, then he must assume my claim: Sola Scriptura.
He must show me from the source, that is, the Bible Alone.

Red Beetle

Saint Nicholas
08-14-07, 11:51 PM
Nicholas wrote:

Quote:

I believe this is faulty logic. Let me explain. Christ had perfect faith and also perfect deeds. And with all that it was still meaningless to those who put Him to the Cross. If Christ's perfect and sinless life did not prove anything to the reprobates of this world. Would our sin tainted works fair any better? Think about it Waltz!

Nicholas




My comments to Red Beetle will be in [[ bold brackets ]]

I will get to the quotation a bit later, but I would like to make some general remarks.

The idea that the Book of James is not inspired has been developing for some time around here.

[[ But RB this is not a new or novel idea. For almost 4 centuries after the death of the Apostles, there was no unanimous consensus as to the canonicity of the letter of James. And from the 4th century to this very day, there are those who reject it as high canon. I am one of them. ]]


Some have been so bold as to claim that they can not find even a morsel of Gospel truth in James. I would like to first answer this bold claim. In doing so, I would point them to James 1:17 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=jam&chapter=1&verse1=17&verse2=&version=kjv), "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above."

[[But RB, this statement is not the Gospel. The Gospel is about what Christ has done to redeem His elect. Even Mormans and Jehovah Witnesses believe "James 1:17]]

Is Justification a good gift? Yes.

[[Only if it is the Pauline understanding of Justification, and not the James, Roman Catholic, and others who hold to a faith/works = Justification view.]]

Is Adoption a good gift? Yes.

[[Yes adoption is a good gift. Where has James taught this?]]

Is Saving Faith a good gift? Yes.

[[Yes, But James says we are justified by works and not faith only.]]

Is the Object of Saving Faith perfect (the works of Christ)? Yes.

[[Yes. But to James, Christís works alone are not sufficient to Justify. Was not Abraham justified by works when he offered up Isaac?]]

Is Repentance unto God good a gift? Yes.

[[Yes. But repentance is the fruit of Justification, not its cause.]]

Is Sanctification a good gift? Yes.

[[Same as previous answer.]]

The assertion made by James here, especially in the full context of the entire Bible, seems to be a delicious Gospel morsel indeed.

[[ I believe you to be in error dear friend. First of all where has James stated those things you just have said? Secondly, you are saying that this morsel of Gospel truth (James 1:17) would include faith, repentance as a component of Justification. That is the heretical Trent position. Faith and repentance are results of Justification not itís meritorious cause.]]

James continues in this 17th verse saying, "and cometh down from the Father of lights."

[[Old testament Judaism taught this also. But this verse is not teaching the Gospel of Justification.]]

James tells us that these good gifts come down from God.
This means that man can not obtain them by himself or by cooperation with God.

[[Yes RB. Clearly eisegesis on your part. Why then must Abraham perform a work to be Justified according to James?]]

Christ Jesus confirms what James says when He states, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" John 3:13 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=joh&chapter=3&verse1=13&verse2=&version=kjv).

[[You are running away from the salient point of our argument. The point of contention is how is one Justified. By faith alone (Paul) or by faith + works?(James)]]

Paul also agrees with James when he states, "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on the wise, Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above)...For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" Romans 10:6-10 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=rom&chapter=10&verse1=6&verse2=10&version=kjv).

[[Irrelevant to the argument under consideration.]]

So you see that these good gifts must come down from heaven. Christ must bring them, and give them to His elect. This of course makes synergism impossible, for salvation is of the Lord. Wow, two delicious morsels in one verse, but the verse is not even finished.

James continues in the 17th verse saying, "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

Gentlemen, this is the doctrine of the Immutability of God. There can be no Gospel without this doctrine, no assurance of salvation without this doctrine. If God is mutable, then so is His purpose to save. Christ's work on the cross is finished, perfect, and unchangeable.
This is a trinity of Gospel truth in just one verse from James.

[[Again RB, we do not deny the immutability of God, but deny James understanding of how the immutability of God results in Justification by works.]]


Above I quoted Nicholas. It seems, and I may be wrong, that he does not believe that it is important for Christians to do any good works--that there is no place for good works in the life of the justified.

[[Yes RB you are wrong, and totally misrepresented me. First of all the elect were created and justified unto good works. And secondly there is a place for good works in the life of the justified. However these good works of yours and mine will never merit favor with God or men. Will my good works of teaching Justification by an imputed righteousness merit favor with the Roman Catholics and their Council of Trent?]]

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ says to those who are regenerated, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your GOOD WORKS, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" Matthew 5:14-16 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=mat&chapter=5&verse1=14&verse2=16&version=kjv).

Notice that Jesus commands us to do good works so that men may glorify God. To glorify God is a good work, and only humans who are regenerated can do this good work. The assertion made by Christ is that the regenerated can show their faith by doing good works.

[[Again RB, you are arguing that we do not believe in doing good works. You are wrong. And it is obvious you cannot see the real point of disagreement.]]

Now consider a common example. Whenever someone comes to a church and seeks to join, then that person must present a profession of faith. This profession of faith is a work. The elders of that particular church must decide if this work is good or not, that is, if it is a true Gospel profession. If it is, then they glorify God and accept a new member. If not, then they bid farewell.

[[RB your common example defeats you. Example: An Arminian walks into a 5 point Calvinist Church and makes a profession of faith. The Calvinist elders after a thorough examination of the Arminian profession decide this is a bad work and bid him farewell. Then that same Arminian walks into a Methodist church and makes the same profession of faith. The Methodist elders then embrace him and call it a good work and glorify God. Now according to James, Abram offered up Isaac and James says he was Justified by that work of faith. So if James is teaching a Justification before men as you propose, was Abram justified by his work of impregnating the Egyptian Hagar? Think about it?]]

Now, if the man is accepted upon his profession of faith, did he not show the elders his faith, or did he merely claim that he had faith without showing them anything? Did he not reveal content, which can be logically examined and compared to the 66 Books of the Protestant Bible?

[[RB. What 66 books of the Bible did the Justified Abraham, Justified Paul, Justified Peter, Justified John have ( to cite a few examples) which their profession could be logically examined within the second century?]]


If a man came to Higby's church and said, "I want to join."
And, if Higby said, "What do you believe?"
The man replies, "I have faith."
Higby says, "Then tell me of this faith, how a man is justified."
The man replies, "Do you not know that I can not demonstrate my faith to you? You must simply accept me based upon my profession of faith."
Higby says, "But we can not accept you, for we know not if you have the faith of Catholics, Arminians, or Muslims."
The man says, "Brother, it is enough for you to known that I have faith, not the object of it."

Darth Gill publishes his explanation of the Gospel in a newspaper.
He invites likeminded people to come and join his church.
Someone reads this profession, then judges it to be sound.
They come and ask to join his church.
Has Darth Gill simply claimed to have faith, or has he showed his faith by a credible profession?

Believing is a good work, and so is confession (Romans 10:10 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=rom&chapter=10&verse1=10&verse2=&version=kjv)).
Believing is personal and private.
Confession is public.
Both are caused by God (John 6:29 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=joh&chapter=6&verse1=29&verse2=&version=kjv) and Ephesians 2:8-11 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=eph&chapter=2&verse1=8&verse2=11&version=kjv)).

I have read the paper "James Exposed." I have also read many of the previous threads several months ago. The paper will not be hard to refute. It has several large logical fallacies. If anyone would like to see a counter essay, then I will write one. I now have time, so I probably will anyway.

[[Go ahead RB, we welcome dialogue and disagreement. But donít misrepresent our views.]]

One thing I noticed months ago was that many here who have been motivated to give up on the Book of James have adopted Higby's paradoxical method for determining what is and what is not an inspired book of the Bible. The problem with this is that one must know what the Gospel is before one can judge if a book is inspired. But, how can one know what the Gospel is unless they go to the source, that is, the Bible. But, how can one know what the Bible is unless one judges the books with the Gospel? And so on, ad infinitum. The Roman Catholic Church has the same illogical starting point: The Catholic Church wrote the Bible...the Bible authorizes the Catholic Church to write it...and so on.

[[RB, you have totally misrepresented Roberts position as being paradoxical.]]

Gordon H. Clark, a man who is honored at this site, but I fear is hardly ever read, answers correctly when he states that the Bible alone is the Axiom of the Christian Faith. The Bible Alone Is The Word Of God. Christians start with Scripture, then they explicitely state or logically deduce their system of belief. This is why the Westminster Confession of Faith begins with Scripture. It avoids Higby's paradox. On what authority does one preach the Gospel if not from the Bible alone? When people begin to speak of the Gospel without presupposing the authority of the Scripture, then what could they possibly mean by "Gospel?"

[[But RB you are wrong again on our views. And I think you should start the discussion on another thread.]]

Finally,
Gordon H. Clark, Herman Hoeksema, John Gill, Gilbert Beebe, and Samuel Trott (who was considered by most to be better than Beebe) all believed that the Book of James was inspired. There is not one great teacher of absolute predestination in church history that held this idea that James was not inspired. Even Luther, though he may have toyed briefly with the idea, never gave in. I state this since some here seem to think that the fallible history of man has something to say on this.

James is consistent with Paul.

[[ I beg to differ ]]

Until now, I have never heard anyone interpret the Book of James like Gill and Higby, other than Roman Catholics and Arminians.

[[ Now thatís a gigantic stretch. Please be very specific with your statement. Please cite specifics of Roman Catholic and Arminian interpretations.]]

Does this mean that they are Catholic or Arminian?
Right now, I would say that they are certainly confused, as is Nicholas.

[[You have said a lot RB, however you still failed to give us your exegesis on James 2:14-26]]



Sola Fide
Red Beetle

red beetle
08-15-07, 01:31 AM
Brandan wrote:

Red Beetle, your misrepresentation of us and associating us with the heretical and idiotic Van Til won't do any more to help your case on this web site.
Did I say you were a Van Tilian? Are you trying to put words in my mouth? Just because you have a paradoxical starting point like Van Til, doesn't mean you are one of his followers. Your emotions seem to be getting the better of you. Your making hasty generalizations.

Brandan wrote:

Did you even read Nicholas' exposition on James, or are you here just to sling rhetoric?

Yes, I did read it. And, my pointing out Higby's paradox is hardly rhetoric. It is basic use of the law of non-contradiction.

Brandan wrote:

You criticize us for forming our own canon
I criticize you for attacking God's inspired Word: The Book Of James.
Remember the warning to those who add or subtract from Scripture, to those who wrestle it to their own destruction. It is a stumbling stone to the Jew and foolishness to the Greek.

Brandan wrote:

yet being the hypocrite you are, you cannot even see that you have done the same thing.
No, I have not done the same thing you have done.
I do not claim that the Bible must be identified and authorized by the Gospel. The reason is because the Gospel must first be defined by the Bible alone. To speak of the Gospel before it is defined by the Bible is not only illogical, but it is dangerous. My starting point is the Bible alone. Your starting point is not mine.

Brandan wrote:

You determined in your wisdom that those that went before us had the authority to determine the canon for you (and for me too)!
Your statement is false. I never claimed nor asserted that fallible men before me had the authority to determine, that is, authorize "the canon." My position is that all Christians recognize Scripture, not canonize Scripture. The Westminster Confession of Faith correctly states, "The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or Church, but wholly upon God...because it is the Word of God" WCF 1:4. I start with the 66 Books of the Protestant Bible: Sola Scriptura. The Bible, God's authoritative Word, does not depend upon my puny judgment, but I do depend upon it.

You are the one claiming to determine what is and is not Holy Scripture. You have need of reading Acts 17:10-11. You will find that the Bereans checked the Scriptures to determine if Paul and Silas were preaching the truth. They did not check the Scriptures to determine if the Scriptures were true. They presupposed the Scriptures to be true, as do I.

Brandan wrote:

At least we (predestinarian.net believers) have a method of determining authoritative literature. You on the other hand seem to have not thought through the determination of the canon and simply accepted that whatever is there must be true simply because it is there (illogical).
Again, it seems clear that your faith is resting upon what you determine to be true. The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that only God has the right to determine what is true. I think you could correctly be called a humanist at this point. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but God's eternal Word does not depend on you.

It is true that I believe the 66 Books of the Protestant Bible to be the Word of God Alone. It is true that I presuppose this without arguing for the proof of Sola Scriptura. The Bible alone is my axiom. All systems must begin somewhere. Christianity begins with the Bible alone. Axioms are not illogical.

Brandan wrote:

What's absolutely ridiculous about your position and the position of Clark is the canon you subscribe to doesn't even mention anything ABOUT "canon".
Your the only one talking of "canon". I never used the word in my claims.
But I must wonder why you would think yourself a Christian, then turn around and state that Sola Scriptura is ridiculous. Sola Scriptura is Clark's view and it is mine. I do not think God's Holy Word is absurd. You are taking God's name in vain.

Brandan wrote:

The doctrine of "canon" is simply an invention of churchman like yourself used solely to imprison the minds of the men including the elect!
Your starting to sound like Friedrich Nietsche. He couldn't had said this line any better. However, I never claimed to invent Scripture. I simply believe it.

Brandan wrote:

It is my hope that this will no longer be the case and this recent exposure of James will demonstrate the sheer stupidy of churchianity and its evil tactics once and for all.
Those who are free from believing the Bible are not regenerated.
Why would you hope that people give up the Bible alone as their authority in faith and practice? You sound like a humanist, or even worse, a Catholic, when you describe Sola Scriptura as "sheer stupidity."

Brandan wrote:

To your shame, you paradoxically adopt a doctrine of works as opposed to GRACE because of your closed minded dependency on church teaching as opposed to the truth of the Gospel.
This is a lie. Sola Scriptura does not oppose grace. I believe in Justification by Faith Alone. Where have I ever said that one must earn his justification before God? Demonstrate from my writings that I believe in Justification by Faith and Works, or retract your claim.


Fact is, it was your friend from Brazil that attacked me the last time I was on this site several months ago. He claimed in private messages that Jesus taught Justification by Faith and Works. It was you and Higby that asked me not to get into it with him. I wondered why you would support a man who held the idea that Christ taught the Roman Catholic doctrine of Justification by Faith and Works. However, this really isn't surprising now that I think of it, for you do hold to the Catholic interpretation of James. Maybe your closer to Rome than I previously thought.

Brandan wrote:

You are a poor soul hopelessly fighting against the truth because your mind is still imprisoned by some degree to the whore that the apostles warned about.

Rhetoric.


ALL things MUST be judged by the Gospel and not some invention of men (canon) or we are left with nothing.

Again, you must define the Gospel before anyone can possibly understand what you are talking about. You will have to use the Bible alone to define the Gospel, if you do it truthfully. In doing so, you will only prove your position, Higby's paradox, to be self-referentially absurd.
Your starting point is self-contradicting.
You would do better to believe in Sola Scriptura.

Red Beetle

Forester07
08-15-07, 05:12 AM
Some have been so bold as to claim that they can not find even a morsel of Gospel truth in James. I would like to first answer this bold claim. In doing so, I would point them toJames 1:17 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=jam&chapter=1&verse1=17&verse2=&version=kjv), "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above."



The book of James, at best, is not clear about the Gospel. I could easily give the book of James to a Muslim friend of mine here where I live and there is nothing in the book he'd disagree with. Muslims believe Jesus to be a great Prophet and honor him greatly. The Gospel is not mentioned in James thus for a Muslim there would be no area of disagreement for them. The Gospel is the truth that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the elect. Where is this mentioned in James? Muslims would disagree with the Gospel!

I find many verses in the Book of James that I find troubling and in many ways weird. I will just list a couple of verses I find troubling, there are however many more that just these.

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

What is James saying here? That those who stood the test "a work" will recieve the crown of life. Is James really staying true to the gospel here. The only way anyone will recieve the crown of life is through the work of Jesus Christ being imputed to them. James appears to be saying to me that if you, through your own work, remain steadfast then you will be saved. This is not the Gospel.....

Jas 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Take this verse. Isaiah 64:6 Says

Isa 64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

James says that pure religion is to do good works but in reality our good works, our righteous deeds are like polluted garments. The King James says filty rags. Strongs defines this as "the menstrual flux (as periodical)" So in affect our good deeds are like a women's dirty tampon in God's eyes. How does this compare to what James just said? Pure religion is proclaiming the Good News of what Christ has done for His people. Pure religion is proclaiming the work of Christ not the works of man.

Here are a few more to look at. James 3:18, 4:6, 4:8, 5:19-20. Each of these verses seem strange to me. I think whoever wrote it was serious confused.




Higby's paradox:
The Bible must first be authorized by the Gospel.
The Gospel must be defined by the Bible.
Don't get dizzy.



You are not doing justice to what Bob really believes. The Elect love the Gospel. Whether we hear it from a preacher or read it in the bible that is what we love. The gospel is what the elect have a passion for. However, when the elect come to the knowledge of the Gospel either through preaching or through reading the bible and see what Christ has done for them on the cross, it is then their job to determine what is from God and what is not. Only the individual elect person can do this. The elect are drawn to the Gospel only because of the fact that God elected them.

So the Reasoning is this:
God chose the Elect,
The Elect love the Gospel because of God's election (even before they hear or read it),
The Elect read or hear the Gospel and believe it,
The Elect determine what is from God (ie Scripture).

Don't you see that the only reason Scripture is Scripture is because it testifies of Christ and his work. Even the old testament Scripture does this in types and shadows. The book of James doesn't even use types and shadows but only confusion and contridictions.

The Gospel in the beginning was never defined by the bible. It was defined by people telling others what Christ had done. It was oral. The apostles inspired by God were led to write these things down for our benefit but the Gospel is still the historical event that took place as Christ died on the cross. Yes many first hear about the Gospel through the bible but the individual books contained in the bible should only be considered inspired under close scrutiny from the elect. When the book of James is examined it is clearly lacking in the Gospel message. It never proclaims what Christ has done and causes more confusion among the church than it helps. Throughout history it has helped to justify a works based focus for many Christians. Most commentaries I read on the book of James spend the majority of the time telling the reader what James didnít really mean. Read Gillís commentary for example, the whole time Gill has to explain away what James is saying in order to not contradict Paul. It really is quite funny.

At best the book of James has many issues and muddles the Gospel with works so badly that one has to dig to find vague unclear possible references to Christís work of Justification.

As Worst the book of James is a completely false Gospel written by heathen to fight against the true Gospel of Grace.

Forester07

Calvinator
08-15-07, 10:31 AM
I just read James Exposed pfd. It is a hard thing for the mind to reject the epistle of James as high canon of Scriptures, but it does preach a gospel of works, which is heresy. James does boast of his so called good works.

:mad: My name is James and I have been exposed!

Bob Higby
08-15-07, 12:22 PM
Yes, there is NOTHING in the epistle called James (which I am convinced was not authored by James the brother of Jesus,--see our previous canon threads for evidence) that a Talmudic Jew or Muslim would not embrace and celebrate to the uttermost. There are Muslims out there promoting the epistle right now on the internet--I just ran into it just the other day but failed to save the URL--I will post it if I find it again.

R.B., you remind me of a bureaucratic politician finding all of the right buzz words to destroy an opponent by fragmented citing of undocumented claims about their beliefs. You don't even quote me out of context; you cite that I believe certain stupid nonsense as fact when there is nothing to support the notion that I hold to such a postion. There is not a single thing in what you claim that I believe that I have anything to do with. Nor do I follow or respect the teaching of any of the persons that you mention.

1. I am 100% Clarkian on the issues of paradox theology, the nature and basis of truth, the high-grace predestinarian character of the gospel, all issues related to fundamental Reformed doctrine as opposed to the Papacy, etc.

2. I reject Van Til on EVERY SINGLE issue; there is not one on which we agree!

He is wrong on affirming common grace and general revelation; hence he is wrong on the nature of Grace itself.
He is wrong on the notion of paradox in infallible, inerrant scripture.
He is wrong on common wrath.
He is wrong on any of his implied challenges to the 5solas of the Reformation.
He is wrong on conditionalism in soteriology.
He is wrong on the incomprehensibility of God.
He is wrong on the subjective nature of justification.
He is wrong on ecumenism.
He is wrong on apologetics and the basis for defending Christian belief.
He is wrong in denying that regenerate man can know absolutely true propositions of truth.
He is wrong on imputation.
He is wrong on God's immutability and absolute sovereignty.
He is wrong on virtually EVERY ISSUE of relevance or significance!

So I exhort the forum, don't believe any claims of posters about what I believe unless you have heard it from my own mouth!

I don't see how one can start with the axiom of scripture in the abstract when the scripture foremost is the WORD of the GOSPEL! If the Bible did not proclaim the gospel of Christ it would be worth nothing.

MCoving
08-15-07, 05:17 PM
All right this issue on James isn't going to be settled in my mind until I come to my own conclusion and Lord Willing it is the right one and truth.

I have a question though which was brought to my attention also from reading Cheung which I posted on here. Brandan, Bob and Nicholas (saint nicholas) have you ever thought about James using faith and justification differently than Paul? Meaning in language words can have multiple meanings for example the word run can mean different things depending upon the context.. such as run for president, run as in with your legs, and run as in a working car.

Could James mean faith as in trusting Christ and obeying rather than believing in Christ? And could justified mean to be right instead of our rightness with God?

If one reads these verses as "you see that a man is made right with God by works and not believing in Christ alone" than of course that would be wrong and in opposition to Pauls words. Right? And this is how Catholics interpret this verse. So course they use it to make their justification by works right and true. But what if it read "you see that a man is right by works and not by trust alone". One can say they trust someone but if they dont actually act upon it how do we know they trust a person?

Here are meanings to the words justified and faith. Also looking within' James and the context he is talking about people obeying Christ and not necesarily how we are made right with God which is through Christs death. Though the verse if someone says he has faith but he has no works? can that faith save him?" confuses me.. that word save but save may not always mean salvation in Scripture right?

Also reading at begining of James sets the tone on what faith is meant.. not the saving faith but faith as in our walk, trusting in Christ as we learn to obey Him throughout life. "But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea" so this faith here is different than saving faith right? Why cant that of Chapter 2 be as well? Just seems James is talking about spiritual growth.. obeying Christ, living a holy life, doing what Christ says to do.

Anyways just wondering what people who believe James is not inspired if they had come acrossed this and ruled out those two words meaning something else... Here there meanings:

One justified is a verb used with an object while other is a verb used without an object. Could that make a difference in how we interpret these passages in James??

jus·ti·fy http://cache.lexico.com/g/d/premium.gif http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pnghttp://cache.lexico.com/g/d/speaker.gif (https://secure.reference.com/premium/login.html?rd=2&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdictionary.reference.com%2Fbrowse%2 Fjustified) /ˈdʒʌshttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngtəˌfaɪ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[juhs-tuh-fahy] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -fied, -fy·ing.
–verb (used with object) 1.to show (an act, claim, statement, etc.) to be just or right: The end does not always justify the means. 2.to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded: Don't try to justify his rudeness. 3.Theology. to declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit. 4.Printing. a.to make (a line of type) a desired length by spacing the words and letters, esp. so that full lines in a column have even margins both on the left and on the right. b.to level and square (a strike). –verb (used without object) 5.Law. a.to show a satisfactory reason or excuse for something done. b.to qualify as bail or surety. 6.Printing. (of a line of type) to fit exactly into a desired length.

faith also meaning either belief in God or confidence in Christ in maybe His ability to do good in us.. His Law or obligation of loyalty.. choosing to do what is right first, loyal to Christ rather than to oneself.

Meaning that verse in James could read "You see that being loyal to Christ was working with his works, and as a result of the works, his loyalty was perfected". Just a thought...


faith http://cache.lexico.com/g/d/premium.gif http://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pnghttp://cache.lexico.com/g/d/speaker.gif (https://secure.reference.com/premium/login.html?rd=2&u=http%3A%2F%2Fdictionary.reference.com%2Fbrowse%2 Ffaith)/feɪθ/Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[feyth]Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation–noun 1.confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability. 2.belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact. 3.belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims. 4.belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty. 5.a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith. 6.the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith. 7.the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles. 8.Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved. —Idiom 9.in faith, in truth; indeed: In faith, he is a fine lad.

I'm trying to understand both side of things.. I've understood the other side for awhile almost kinda believed it.. now i understand this side. One thing for sure though is these verses should NEVER be understood to mean that justification, being made right with God includes faith and works. It has nothing to do with us, and everything to do with what Christ did.. We were justified by what Christ did and our belief (our faith) is a result of that..

Mary

ps: justified as in not made right with God but made right with others.. their experience their actions proved that they were loyal to Christ and obeying Christ. Right if someone does as God says that has merit to their character correct? It shows proof that God is working in them, and causing good works. Obviously we are not assured that we are children of God or that others are by their works but by what His Word says and their belief in Christ. As we all have various levels of good works and bad, and always changing can have assurance in that! Does that make sense?

MCoving
08-15-07, 05:37 PM
Also another thought if we take that a book to be inspired it must one have the Gospel message or two talk about Christ.. in somehow distinguish it from something the Muslims would read than what about 3 John?? That book doesnt say the word Christ in it.. its actually just about doing good and obeying God.

Would you then say that 3 John shouldn't be part of the Canon?

Calvinator
08-15-07, 06:18 PM
Red Beetle, your misrepresentation of us and associating us with the heretical and idiotic Van Til won't do any more to help your case on this web site. Did you even read Nicholas' exposition on James, or are you here just to sling rhetoric?

You criticize us for forming our own canon, yet being the hypocrite you are, you cannot even see that you have done the same thing. You determined in your wisdom that those that went before us had the authority to determine the canon for you (and for me too)! At least we (predestinarian.net believers) have a method of determining authoritative literature. You on the other hand seem to have not thought through the determination of the canon and simply accepted that whatever is there must be true simply because it is there (illogical). What's absolutely ridiculous about your position and the position of Clark is the canon you subscribe to doesn't even mention anything ABOUT "canon". The doctrine of "canon" is simply an invention of churchman like yourself used solely to imprison the minds of the men including the elect! It is my hope that this will no longer be the case and this recent exposure of James will demonstrate the sheer stupidy of churchianity and its evil tactics once and for all. To your shame, you paradoxically adopt a doctrine of works as opposed to GRACE because of your closed minded dependency on church teaching as opposed to the truth of the Gospel.

You are a poor soul hopelessly fighting against the truth because your mind is still imprisoned by some degree to the whore that the apostles warned about. It is my hope for you that you will have that "Damascus" moment where God opens you mind to the truth of Scripture and realize that ALL things MUST be judged by the Gospel and not some invention of men (canon) or we are left with nothing.

Brandan
I have never looked at it that way. That is a very good point. What authority did old dead theologians, of the past, have that we do not have today, to decide what should or should not be part of the canons of Scriptures?

Calvinator
08-15-07, 06:27 PM
Also another thought if we take that a book to be inspired it must one have the Gospel message or two talk about Christ.. in somehow distinguish it from something the Muslims would read than what about 3 John?? That book doesnt say the word Christ in it.. its actually just about doing good and obeying God.

Would you then say that 3 John shouldn't be part of the Canon?
:eek: I'm still choking down the epistle of James! lol

red beetle
08-15-07, 10:55 PM
The following is a response to Nicholas.



The idea that the Book of James is not inspired has been developing for some time around here.

[[ But RB this is not a new or novel idea. For almost 4 centuries after the death of the Apostles, there was no unanimous consensus as to the canonicity of the letter of James. And from the 4th century to this very day, there are those who reject it as high canon. I am one of them. ]]

I said "around here", not throughout history. The lack of unanimous consensus is not an argument which proves your claim. It is the informal logical fallacy of ad populum. Appealing to numbers or counting heads to determine the truth of a claim is an error. This is just one of many logical mistakes you make over and over in you paper.



Some have been so bold as to claim that they can not find even a morsel of Gospel truth in James. I would like to first answer this bold claim. In doing so, I would point them to James 1:17 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=jam&chapter=1&verse1=17&verse2=&version=kjv), "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above."

[[But RB, this statement is not the Gospel. The Gospel is about what Christ has done to redeem His elect. Even Mormans and Jehovah Witnesses believe "James 1:17]]

I never said the statement was the Gospel. I said that it contained part of the Gospel. Like Brandan, you are making hasty generalizations, another logical fallacy. I have already answered the claim that James 1:17 must be rejected because Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses can believe it. This is yet another absurdity. Consider the fact that the Devil believes that there is one God. Should we reject the doctrine of monotheism? Your twisted logic would say "Yes!"

The verse implies that salvation is not of man, but of God. This is essential to the Gospel. If you think otherwise, just come out and say it.



Is Justification a good gift? Yes.

[[Only if it is the Pauline understanding of Justification, and not the James, Roman Catholic, and others who hold to a faith/works = Justification view.]]

You assume that James is teaching Catholic doctrine, but you have failed to prove it. You simply beg the question. Begging the question is an informal logical fallacy which your paper makes use of throughout. I have already demonstrated that James is using the word 'Justify' in a different sense than Paul. Therefore, James does not contradict Paul. A contradiction requires that the term in question be used in the same way and sense. Your equivocation on the word 'Justify' is yet another logical fallacy.


Is Adoption a good gift? Yes.

[[Yes adoption is a good gift. Where has James taught this?]]

Where in the Bible do we read of the Apostle Thomas giving detailed teaching on the doctrine of Adoption? Will you condemn him too? None of the Apostles ever used the word 'Trinity'. Must we not eliminate another doctrine based on your foolish method?



Is Saving Faith a good gift? Yes.

[[Yes, But James says we are justified by works and not faith only.]]

Fallacy of equivocation.



Is the Object of Saving Faith perfect (the works of Christ)? Yes.

[[Yes. But to James, Christís works alone are not sufficient to Justify. Was not Abraham justified by works when he offered up Isaac?]]

Fallacy of equivocation, again.



Is Repentance unto God good a gift? Yes.

[[Yes. But repentance is the fruit of Justification, not its cause.]]

I didn't say repentance causes Justification.
Justification causes repentance. Justification also causes the elect to demonstrate their faith by proper confession and works.
See Matthew 5:14-16, Acts 9:10-27, Romans 10:10, Galatians 1:21-24, James 2:16-18.



Is Sanctification a good gift? Yes.

[[Same as previous answer.]]

Part of conversion is demonstrating to others you believe the Gospel, identifying a true body of believers, and joining their assembly. James teaches this in chapter two, not the doctrine of Justification By Faith Alone.



The assertion made by James here, especially in the full context of the entire Bible, seems to be a delicious Gospel morsel indeed.

[[ I believe you to be in error dear friend. First of all where has James stated those things you just have said? Secondly, you are saying that this morsel of Gospel truth (James 1:17) would include faith, repentance as a component of Justification. That is the heretical Trent position. Faith and repentance are results of Justification not itís meritorious cause.]]

I am not saying that James 1:17 confuses Justification with Sanctification.
Your claim here is absurd. James 1:17 does not imply that faith and repentance are causes of justification before God, nor do I make the claim.



James continues in this 17th verse saying, "and cometh down from the Father of lights."

[[Old testament Judaism taught this also. But this verse is not teaching the Gospel of Justification.]]

Again, for those of you who need it, if the pope teaches that 2+2=4, then his teaching is true. Your method, on the other hand, would require that we reject such math. The Old Testament did teach that every good thing comes from God. Justification is a good thing. Can you draw the correct conclusion?

1) All good things are things which come from God
2) Justification is a good thing
3) Therefore, Justification is a thing which comes from God



James tells us that these good gifts come down from God.
This means that man can not obtain them by himself or by cooperation with God.

[[Yes RB. Clearly eisegesis on your part. Why then must Abraham perform a work to be Justified according to James?]]

Wrong again. That man can not earn justification before God is implied by James 1:17. I am deducing from James 1:17, not reading into it.
Since Scripture cannot contradict itself, then your interpretation of James must be incorrect. The context of James proves that I am right.

But let me say that just because a man does not know what a verse, chapter, or even a Book of the Bible means, this does not give him the right to forbid others to recognize it as inspired by God. Just because one person is not smart enough to understand the teaching of some part of Scripture, doesn't mean that no one else can. And, I am not calling anyone stupid, there are parts of the Bible we all fail to understand. Chapter One, Section 7 of the Westminster Confession of Faith speaks wonderfully to this. If you haven't read this part of the Westminster Confession of Faith, then please stop reading this and go read it.



Christ Jesus confirms what James says when He states, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" John 3:13 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=joh&chapter=3&verse1=13&verse2=&version=kjv).

[[You are running away from the salient point of our argument. The point of contention is how is one Justified. By faith alone (Paul) or by faith + works?(James)]]

I am not avoiding anything, but demonstrating that Christ agrees with James. You just don't have an answer for Christ's teaching with your Roman Catholic interpretation of James. The Book of James never claims to be teaching Sola Fide. James is teaching sanctification.



Paul also agrees with James when he states, "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on the wise, Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above)...For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" Romans 10:6-10 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=rom&chapter=10&verse1=6&verse2=10&version=kjv).

[[Irrelevant to the argument under consideration.]]

Paul teaches the same propositions that are found in the Epistle you have condemned, and you think it is irrelevant? I think this demonstrates to us all that you have not thought out your position.


So you see that these good gifts must come down from heaven. Christ must bring them, and give them to His elect. This of course makes synergism impossible, for salvation is of the Lord. Wow, two delicious morsels in one verse, but the verse is not even finished.

James continues in the 17th verse saying, "with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

Gentlemen, this is the doctrine of the Immutability of God. There can be no Gospel without this doctrine, no assurance of salvation without this doctrine. If God is mutable, then so is His purpose to save. Christ's work on the cross is finished, perfect, and unchangeable.
This is a trinity of Gospel truth in just one verse from James.

[[Again RB, we do not deny the immutability of God, but deny James understanding of how the immutability of God results in Justification by works.]]

Why don't you deny the immutability of God? Catholics claim to believe it, and according to your method, that disqualifies the doctrine. Your not being consistent with your own method. Remember, you and Higby are saying that if a Muslim or a Catholic can claim it, then we can't.



Above I quoted Nicholas. It seems, and I may be wrong, that he does not believe that it is important for Christians to do any good works--that there is no place for good works in the life of the justified.

[[Yes RB you are wrong, and totally misrepresented me. First of all the elect were created and justified unto good works. And secondly there is a place for good works in the life of the justified. However these good works of yours and mine will never merit favor with God or men. Will my good works of teaching Justification by an imputed righteousness merit favor with the Roman Catholics and their Council of Trent?]]

You are wrong that our good works cannot merit favor with other men. The Bible contradicts you when it says, "And the king loved Esther above all women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen" Esther 2:17. Also see Esther 8:5. Do you even believe that Esther is inspired? After all, she doesn't speak much of Justification or Adoption.

Daniel 1:9 demonstrates that God determines men to favor those he so chooses to accomplish his eternal counsel. Your thesis is shot.

But I saved the best for last. Luke 2:52 states, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."
I could show countless examples by assertion, but that would be beating a horse long dead.




In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ says to those who are regenerated, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your GOOD WORKS, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" Matthew 5:14-16 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=mat&chapter=5&verse1=14&verse2=16&version=kjv).

Notice that Jesus commands us to do good works so that men may glorify God. To glorify God is a good work, and only humans who are regenerated can do this good work. The assertion made by Christ is that the regenerated can show their faith by doing good works.

[[Again RB, you are arguing that we do not believe in doing good works. You are wrong. And it is obvious you cannot see the real point of disagreement.]]


You try to avoid the fact that Christ teaches the same as James. Let me just restate it for you. You will have to deal with this.
The assertion made by Christ (Matthew 5:14-16) is that the regenerated can show their faith by doing good works.




So if James is teaching a Justification before men as you propose, was Abram justified by his work of impregnating the Egyptian Hagar? Think about it?

We, like Abraham, demonstrate our faith to men by our good works, not bad ones. Read Matthew 5:14-16.


Now, if the man is accepted upon his profession of faith, did he not show the elders his faith, or did he merely claim that he had faith without showing them anything? Did he not reveal content, which can be logically examined and compared to the 66 Books of the Protestant Bible?

[[RB. What 66 books of the Bible did the Justified Abraham, Justified Paul, Justified Peter, Justified John have ( to cite a few examples) which their profession could be logically examined within the second century?]]

This is a classic Roman Catholic attack against Sola Scriptura in favor of oral tradition. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 answers this clearly. Justification is no different in the Old Testament than in the New.



One thing I noticed months ago was that many here who have been motivated to give up on the Book of James have adopted Higby's paradoxical method for determining what is and what is not an inspired book of the Bible. The problem with this is that one must know what the Gospel is before one can judge if a book is inspired. But, how can one know what the Gospel is unless they go to the source, that is, the Bible. But, how can one know what the Bible is unless one judges the books with the Gospel? And so on, ad infinitum. The Roman Catholic Church has the same illogical starting point: The Catholic Church wrote the Bible...the Bible authorizes the Catholic Church to write it...and so on.

[[RB, you have totally misrepresented Roberts position as being paradoxical.]]

Higby's paradox is a paradox.

He stated plainly that he has a duel starting point: Gospel and Scripture.
This asserts that Gospel is something other than what is found in Scripture.
If it did not, then one would only need Scripture, for the Gospel is contained in the Bible.




Finally,
Gordon H. Clark, Herman Hoeksema, John Gill, Gilbert Beebe, and Samuel Trott (who was considered by most to be better than Beebe) all believed that the Book of James was inspired. There is not one great teacher of absolute predestination in church history that held this idea that James was not inspired. Even Luther, though he may have toyed briefly with the idea, never gave in. I state this since some here seem to think that the fallible history of man has something to say on this.

James is consistent with Paul.

[[ I beg to differ ]]

Do you think that Clark, Hoeksema, Gill, Beebe, and Trott denied the Book of James to NOT be inspired by God? Can you show me in their writings where they said this? Can't wait to see and read it for myself.

Can you show me any great teacher of absolute double predestination in church history who rejected the Book of James? Begging to differ is not proof, but merely begging the question, another logical fallacy.

Until you and your buddies can demonstrate from the context of the Book of James that he is teaching justification before God, and not just assume he is, you have no right to claim that James is inconsistent with Paul--especially after I demonstrated with the writings of Paul and the Sermon on the Mount that Christ and Paul both agree that the converted can demonstrate their faith by their good works.




Until now, I have never heard anyone interpret the Book of James like Gill and Higby, other than Roman Catholics and Arminians.

[[ Now thatís a gigantic stretch. Please be very specific with your statement. Please cite specifics of Roman Catholic and Arminian interpretations.]]

Catholics, Arminians, and you all believe that the Book of James is teaching that man is justified before God by faith and works. We just don't see this kind of teaching in John Calvin or John Owen or Gordon Clark or others who hold to Sola Scriptura.

Sola Fide
Red Beetle

Brandan
08-15-07, 11:43 PM
I'm leaving this conversation until Monday as I'm going camping! Red Beetle, you're no different from Sean Gerety as far as I can tell, maybe a bit milder. At least you haven't yet called us dispensationals!

Anyway, best wishes on the upcoming election! - Brandan

Bob Higby
08-16-07, 08:51 AM
RB, in responding to Nicholas you are skillfully utilizing the hermeneutic of compartmentalization; the favorite Reformed answer to critics. I just want the readers to be aware of it:

1. Point out a potential problem with one or a few statements made by the perceived opponent. An example; asking a question like: "Did this paper fully evaluate or do justice to the positive relationship of Paul and James the brother of Jesus according to Acts 15 and Gal. 1?"

2. On the basis of questioning (not really refuting) a compartment or portion of a writing by a perceived opponent; conclude that the thesis of the WHOLE is in error.

Now let us move on to consider the 'justification before men' fiasco, which has been discussed here again and again. I certainly agree that one must manufacture such an interpretaion if the inspired status of the book called James is accepted as an a-priori assumption--with that assumption assumed to need no logical justification. This is certainly the interpretation given by Luther and Calvin in response to the political requirement from the Papacy at Regensburg: the Protestants must accept James in the canon to have military peace and with the Papacy in the battle against Islam.

The whole argument is based on vs. 14-20 of chapter 2; verses 21-26 competely unravel it. That is why we don't get sound exegesis of verses 21-26 from Protestants. The other part of the Protestant argument is that the book HAD to be written before the Jerusalem Council. So their accpetance of the book is with the assumption that the date was before, not after the conflict Paul mentions in Galatians. It is sort of like the Preterist interpretation of Revelation--without an exact DATE of writing (which is entirely unprovable) the argument fails.

Anyway, the argument is easily refuted:


Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? (1) You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; (2) and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," and he was called the friend of God. (3) You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. (4)

Four entirely false propositions in light of the true gospel given to Paul; the next two verses (25 & 26) are equally false propositions but I did not quote them. None of the propositions in these verses are even 1% true if the gospel given by Christ to Paul is true. The book called James is saying that Abraham was called the friend of God and received imputed righteousness BEFORE GOD by works when he offered up Isaac on the altar.

The rhetoric in proposition 3 above (connecting the Genesis verses on imputation and the expression 'called God's friend' from a different OT passage) was first used by Irenaeus (apparently) in an entirely different context, then later plagiariazed by the author of the book called James. It is certainly possible also that the author of 'James' and Irenaeus both plagiarized it from a common source. Irenaeus did not copy the expression from 'James' as many believe; in discussing James and Jude he only cites Jude as having written an epistle.

melted
08-16-07, 12:49 PM
If the revelation of the gospel comes by way of inspired Scripture (Bob says, "the gospel as revealed in the Bible"), then I believe that one would be illogical to turn around and judge the Scriptures by the gospel. We're not asking which came first objectively, the gospel or the bible (in relation to time & eternity). We are asking about revelation to our subjective minds. In this context, there most certainly is an order at hand, and one that is even apparent by Bob's own statement above. The fact that the Bible reveals the gospel implies that the Bible must precede the understanding of the gospel to the believer because it reveals it. The Bible reveals the gospel, and then the Christian believes the gospel as revealed. Revelation must obviously precede belief.

Consider:
I know the gospel because it is revealed to me in the Bible.
I know the Bible because in it the gospel is revealed.

Surely we must all recognize how illogical this is..? If we judge the Scriptures by what is in our mind, then our minds have taken a position of greater authority than the Scriptures. I do not have an eloquent solution to the question of determining the canon, but that does not stop me from considering the failings in others' solutions. (Currently I am content to say that God, in His providence, has provided me the Bible as He intended it.)


I have a small observation to make which has been on my mind. I have seen many times the statement, "and he was called the friend of God" being used in proving that James was discussing justification before God. I take issue with this. James does not say that, "he became the friend of God". He does not even say that, "he was called the friend of God by God", yet these ideas are what we are led to believe when one uses this statement to prove James means justification before God.

If (let's assume) the proper context is that James is discussing justification before men, then this statement, WHEN VIEWED IN ITS PROPER CONTEXT, makes perfect sense. He was called the friend of God by others. Could it be reasonably possible that James meant that Abraham was recognized by other men as God's friend because of his display of faith? Certainly. This act of Abraham's is recorded for us in the Bible, and this is how we know of it. When I read of this work, I recognize Abraham's faith as does the writer of Hebrews, and I call him the friend of God!

- Grace and Peace in Christ -

Rlhuckle
08-16-07, 01:23 PM
If the revelation of the gospel comes by way of inspired Scripture (Bob says, "the gospel as revealed in the Bible"), then I believe that one would be illogical to turn around and judge the Scriptures by the gospel. We're not asking which came first objectively, the gospel or the bible (in relation to time & eternity). We are asking about revelation to our subjective minds. In this context, there most certainly is an order at hand, and one that is even apparent by Bob's own statement above. The fact that the Bible reveals the gospel implies that the Bible must precede the understanding of the gospel to the believer because it reveals it. The Bible reveals the gospel, and then the Christian believes the gospel as revealed. Revelation must obviously precede belief.

Consider:
I know the gospel because it is revealed to me in the Bible.
I know the Bible because in it the gospel is revealed.

Surely we must all recognize how illogical this is..? If we judge the Scriptures by what is in our mind, then our minds have taken a position of greater authority than the Scriptures. I do not have an eloquent solution to the question of determining the canon, but that does not stop me from considering the failings in others' solutions. (Currently I am content to say that God, in His providence, has provided me the Bible as He intended it.)



There are actually two things being conflated here, in my opinion:

1. The propositions presented (Scripture).
2. Faith (belief) in the propositions.

All have the power to read the propositions but only God grants a saving knowledge of them.

Melted said:

I know the gospel because it is revealed to me in the Bible.
I know the Bible because in it the gospel is revealed.


Maybe a better way to say it would be:

I know the gospel propositions because they are revealed in the Bible.
I know the gospel propositions to be true because God revealed them to be true.


Of course propositions must be made before one can understand them but true understanding depends upon belief (faith) when it comes to spiritual things. Therefore, the Bible alone apart from God moving is mere words on a page. However, the WORD of God is not and does not depend upon words on a page--the words on the page depend upon God.

Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Bob Higby
08-17-07, 01:07 AM
He (Abraham) was called God's friend by MAN on the basis of his WORKS? Where in the Bible is THIS notion?

The only possible scripture that the notion is based on is 2 Chr. 20:2-7

Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the Lord; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the Lord. Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord before the new court, and he said, "O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?"

If Jehoshaphat dared to call Abraham God's friend on the basis of what HE himself observed of his works, that would be very risky indeed since the appeal is to the sovereignty of God. It is only because GOD sovereignly declared Abraham righteous in Gen. 15 that Jehoshaphat would dare to affirm such a thing in this context.

Anyway, I can see on this matter that the supporters of James and us will NEVER agree; our presuppositions on how scripture is to be discerned are different. Those who differ with us are using the argument from providence that what has been handed to us from history must be of God; we believe there are specific standards of gospel truth that apply in discerning what is infallible scripture.

Bob Higby
08-17-07, 08:25 AM
Here is the quote from Irenaeus where he uses a compound of Gen. 15:6 and 2 Chron. 20:7 in an ENTIRELY different context (NOT doing certain works) than the book called James. The fact that Irenaeus uses this compound expression when referring to Abraham is cited as proof by some that he here quotes James as authoritative scripture. However, no where in his writings does he mention that a book or epistle written by James exists--and he does elsewhere discuss every NT book that he knew about extensively.

from Against Heresies 4.16:

1. Moreover, we learn from the Scripture itself, that God gave
circumcision, not as the completer of righteousness, but as a sign,
that the race of Abraham might continue recognisable. For it declares:
"God said unto Abraham, Every male among you shall be circumcised; and
ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, as a token of the
covenant between Me and you."(13) This same does Ezekiel the prophet
say with regard to the Sabbaths: "Also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be
a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord,
that sanctify them."(14) And in Exodus, God says to Moses: "And ye
shall observe My Sabbaths; for it shall be a sign between Me and you
for your generations."(1) These things, then, were given for a sign;
but the signs were not unsymbolical, that is, neither unmeaning nor to
no purpose, inasmuch as they were given by a wise Artist; but the
circumcision after the flesh typified that after the Spirit. For "we,"
says the apostle, "have been circumcised with the circumcision made
without hands."(2) And the prophet declares, "Circumcise the hardness
of your heart."(3) But the Sabbaths taught that we should continue day
by day in God's service.(4) "For we have been counted," says the
Apostle Paul, "all the day long as sheep for the slaughter;"(5) that
is, consecrated [to God], and ministering continually to our faith,
and persevering in it, and abstaining from all avarice, and not
acquiring or possessing treasures upon earth.(6) Moreover, the Sabbath
of God (requietio Dei), that is, the kingdom, was, as it were,
indicated by created things; in which [kingdom], the man who shall
have persevered in serving God (Deo assistere) shall, in a state of
rest, partake of God's table.

2. And that man was not justified by these things, but that they
were given as a sign to the people, this fact shows,--that Abraham
himself, without circumcision and without observance of Sabbaths,
"believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God."(7) Then, again, Lot, without
circumcision, was brought out from Sodom, receiving salvation from
God. So also did Noah, pleasing God, although he was uncircumcised,
receive the dimensions [of the ark], of the world of the second race
[of men]. Enoch, too, pleasing God, without circumcision, discharged
the office of God's legate to the angels although he was a man, and
was translated, and is preserved until now as a witness of the just
judgment of God, because the angels when they had transgressed fell to
the earth for judgment, but the man who pleased [God] was translated
for salvation.(8) Moreover, all the rest of the multitude of those
righteous men who lived before Abraham, and of those patriarchs who
preceded Moses, were justified independently of the things above
mentioned, and without the law of Moses. As also Moses himself says to
the people in Deuteronomy: "The LORD thy God formed a covenant in
Horeb. The LORD formed not this covenant with your fathers, but for
you."(9)

Bob Higby
08-18-07, 07:56 AM
Another link for consideration:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/james.html

Forester07
08-19-07, 09:34 AM
The Bible must first be authorized by the Gospel.
The Gospel must be defined by the Bible.
Don't get dizzy.




Red Beatle,

How do you determine what is Canon? Do you blindly accept what councils of men voted into canon over 1600 years ago? Do you have a better method of canon determination than Bob's? Have you ever spent time studying how the current canon came into being?

Forester07

Saint Nicholas
08-19-07, 04:23 PM
In response to Red Beetleís critique of my response to his post. I just want to say that he totally misrepresented my responses to him, and made some conclusions about my beliefs that are incorrect.

Aside from his use of language that I employ "logical mistakes", "ad populum arguments" "logical fallacies" "twisted logic" "equivocations on the word justify" etc. etc. He still failed to address my article.

He did not address the biblical mentions and references I stated concerning James, and show from the Bible where I was incorrect on my assessment of James from my article.

He also did not address the historical mentions of James, from early Christian and historical writings.

My judgement of the beliefs of James are based on three basic categories.

1) Biblical references
2) Historical writings from early Christian, and non-Christian sources.
3) And from the letter named James itself.

Footnotes in the reformed study bible, or in any other bible just to mention, are not my basis of truth. And I am not suggesting that this is Red Beetleís basis either.

What astonishes me, is that Red Beetle would think that just because the Roman Catholic Church teaches something (whether true or false), that I would automatically reject it, just because it came from the Roman Catholic Church. That is an outright false representation of me. There is nothing in any of my previous writings on this forum, that would remotely suggest that idea. Truth is truth no matter where it comes from, even if Balaamís dumb donkey speaks it. Now if wrong conclusions are embraced from a set of truths, I would argue against the conclusions, and not the truths themselves.

Quote:

RB wrote "Now, if the man is accepted upon his profession of faith, did he not show the elders his faith, or did he merely claim that he had faith without showing them anything? Did he not reveal content, which can be logically examined and compared to the 66 Books of the Protestant Bible?"


Saint Nicholas responds below:
[[RB. What 66 books of the Bible did the Justified Abraham, Justified Paul, Justified Peter, Justified John have ( to cite a few examples) which their profession could be logically examined within the second century?]]



RB responds below:
This is a classic Roman Catholic attack against Sola Scriptura in favor of oral tradition. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=2ti&chapter=3&verse1=15&verse2=17&version=kjv) answers this clearly. Justification is no different in the Old Testament than in the New.


Red Beetle totally misunderstood the point I was trying to make .I do not or ever believed that the majority is always right (ad-populam). Again, Red Beetle took a statement I made and took it out of context, to attempt to discredit me. Even if there was a unanimous consent in the early church agreeing to the canonicity of the letter called James,I would still reject it as being high canon! The point I was trying to make to him was that the early Christians did not have a 66 book canon as their final authority, but rather there were literally 100's of letters and writings floating around in those days. So my question still remains. What 66 book canon was there to analyze oneís profession of faith?

Now enough of that. Let us get back to the real argument at hand. There are three basic understandings of the letter called James.

1) The letter of James is teaching a Justification before God by Faith + works.

2) The letter of James is teaching a Justification before men by a show of good works.

3) The letter of James is teaching Sanctification.

We will address points 2 &3. Since you already know where I and others on this forum stand in relation to point 1. Point 3 will be understood only as meaning that the word Justify really means Sanctify. Thus a twofold meaning is given to the word Justify for point #3

I am going to paraphrase for the sake of illustration James 2:14-26 as would those who believe in points 2 & 3 would understand these verses.

James 2:14 " What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has a faith that justifies him before God, and not have good works that result from this kind of faith before God? Can that kind of Faith save him? In which that kind of faith is really not a faith at all that Justifies before God.

Vs 15 "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (16) and one of you say unto them. Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled: notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit with that kind of faith that does not produce good works?

Vs. 17 "Even so that kind of faith, which is not really a faith that justifies before God, if it hath not good works as a result, is a dead non existent false faith being alone, and not producing good works.

Vs 18 "Yes, a man may say, he has faith to justify him before God, and I have good works: Shew me that kind of faith you claim to have that justifies you before God, without the works that should flow from that kind of faith you claim that justifies you, and I will shew you my faith that justified me before God, by my good works before men.

Vs. 19 "You believe that there is one God; You do well; the devils also believe, and tremble.

Vs. 20 "But donít you know, O vain man, that any claim to a faith that justifies before God, if it does not have good works as a proof before men, is a false profession and dead faith.

Now before I continue, the above paraphrase would have some merit, if James is addressing a false claim to faith. But letís continue in flow and context of this passage.

Vs. 21 "Was not Abraham our fatherís faith before God, justified by itís good works before men, when he had offered Isaac upon the altar?

Vs. 22 " Do you see how a true faith that justifies before God alone, wrought ( which means working together) with his works before men, and by his works before men, was his true justifying faith before God alone, made perfect?

Verse 22 shatters the reformed understanding of what they claim James is teaching. The actual language of verse 22 cannot be twisted. We are talking about Abrahamís faith here. Not a false claim to faith that does not produce good works as could be construed from verses 14-20. The writer of James is clearly stating that Abrahamís true justifying faith before God alone, which God imputed righteousness to him was made perfect by his works before men!!How can that be when the scripture and Paul state that Abraham was justified by faith alone without all works? How can a real true Justifying faith before god be imperfect? Verse 22 says that Abrahamís faith before God [which is a true faith, not a false profession] was not perfect, and needed good works to perfect it. Verse 22 alone and in the context should settle the matter. James is teaching a justification before God by faith + works.

I will admit right now, that the Roman Catholic apologist and I both agree that the letter called James is teaching Justification by faith + works.

Does that make me a Roman Catholic? The difference is that I reject the letter called James and the teaching of James, while the Roman Church accepts it. That is why as Martin Luther has said, that the epistle of James is an epistle of straw. And I agree with Luther on this one.

Vs. 23 "And the scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God"

Vs. 24 "You see then how that by works before men a man is justified before men, and not by faith only before God to justify him before God?

I am trying to remain consistent to the reformed position. They are the ones who teach a justification before God for Salvation, and a Justification before men as a proof of that salvation.

However verse 24 forbids such a conclusion. The wording of verse 24, to be consistent, would then be teaching a double justification! Can you see the problem?

Vs. 25 "Likewise also was not Rahabís justifying faith before God alone, justified by her works before men, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way.

Vs. 26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so is Abrahamí justifying faith alone before God , without good works as a proof and justification before men, dead also."

Again, the life, aura, written history, biblical references to James the Lordís half brother, and especially the letter called James, in no way magnifies the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It does not teach Justification by Faith alone, rather teaches a Justification by faith and works.

By faith alone,
Nicholas

Bob Higby
08-20-07, 06:53 PM
The change in the Roman Catholic position at Regensburg is very interesting to note in this context! Luther, in challenging certain books, was actually doing this as a result of his Roman Catholic education. Back then the RCC saw no real need to defend an infallible canon, because the church was supposed to be the infallible interpreter of any book and that was all that mattered!

After Luther opposed James, the RCC demanded allegiance to it from the Protestants with a determination that was invincible. The Papacy hoped to eventually get the nonconforming nations back into the fold (and fully believed that it would).

Calvinator
08-28-07, 07:03 AM
Until about three weeks ago, I never really considered the epistle of James not to be high canon scripture. But for awhile, in the back of my mind, I have had a problem with the second chapter of James. There are some verses that I can spin to line up with God's high sovereign grace, but there are some that flat deny God's high sovereign grace and I would have to change them to line up with the gospel that was preached by the apostle Paul.

I can see it now, the next time I defend the pure Biblical gospel with a religionist and he quotes from James and I tell him that his argument is mute, because I do not recognize the epistle of James as high canon. The look on his face - priceless!

Calvinator
08-28-07, 12:02 PM
This is one issue that we have to be very careful of, because we are doubting God by debating the very books that are in His Word. I believe that James should be there by faith, and we should not doubt it because it might offend a doctrine that we dearly hold on to. I don't think James does that however.
Any true Biblical doctrine that is found in James, is found elsewhere. Dropping the book of James only offends the doctrine of works. Our works are filthy rags in the sight of God and they add nothing to our salvation. The book of James says that works complete our faith and that we are justified by our faith and works.


I think James offers a balance in the works issue.
Ballance? Balance to what, the gospel that Paul preached? Was Paul's gospel out of balance?


I don't believe he is contradicting Paul.
Even having to say such a thing indicates that there is something wrong. If it was the same gospel, there would be no need to say such a thing. It wouldn't probably come up.

Bob Higby
08-28-07, 08:00 PM
Is James needed to balance Paul? Either Paul fully preached the gospel as he claimed or he didn't! Furthermore, no one is clearer than Paul that the elect are foreordained to good works.

Calvinator, you have been posting a lot of good comments here and elsewhere. Thanks for your contributions on this forum!

Bro. Bob

Greg
08-28-07, 10:44 PM
Calvinator, you have been posting a lot of good comments here and elsewhere. Thanks for your contributions on this forum!

Bro. BobI agree, glad to have you here.

Calvinator
08-29-07, 02:46 PM
Is James needed to balance Paul? Either Paul fully preached the gospel as he claimed or he didn't! Furthermore, no one is clearer than Paul that the elect are foreordained to good works.

Calvinator, you have been posting a lot of good comments here and elsewhere. Thanks for your contributions on this forum!
Bro. Bob
Thanks brother Bob. Your right, the gospel of Paul needs no balancing.


I agree, glad to have you here.
And thank you, Highlyfavored. Glad to be here. As long as the Lord wills.

John:)

Krablessed1973
08-29-07, 04:27 PM
I am noticing that my posts are being divided up and exposed on this issue of the book of James. I have never dreamed of doubting the book of James because it is in the bible. It was allowed there by the Lord, and has been there for a long time. I believe it should be there, purely by faith.

I know that there are a thousand possible reasons why you think it shouldn't be in the bible, and you may be right, but I just happen to believe that faith without works is in fact dead. Works have absolutely nothing to do with salvation.

We cannot work our way into favour with God. We are chosen in Him from the foundation of this world. Those of us who are His.

I believe that good works are simply the result of a soul that has been filled with the Holy Spirit, and saved by the power of the Blood of Christ.

You can go so deep into wanting to remove books from the bible because they might not fit the theology we believe. We have to form our theology from the whole counsel of God. We have the full counsel in 66 books.

I have heard of people who study deep theology, and no longer have a faith in God. This is a very sobering truth, and one that we should not dismiss as rubbish.

I also think that as a forum, we should handle people with care, especially as we would claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ. 1 Corinthians 13 is a good starting point.

Just remember, any knowledge that we have now, is purely a work of grace by the Lord on our lives. This should never cause us to be ripping people to shreds because they happen to cross our line of thinking, or us acting clever because someone else is in ignorance about something.

We have to remember that this forum may be viewed by non-christians, who want to see how Christians behave.

Krablessed1973
08-29-07, 04:51 PM
True faith always has the fruit of works, because faith causes action.

God causes His children to walk by faith and not by sight. The bible says this.

Let people say I am wrong. I will not challenge any further responses.

There are very good instructions in the book of James that we would do well to obey. It challenges the things that we say (talking about the tongue.) That is godly.

Enough said.

MCoving
08-29-07, 06:07 PM
I know that there are a thousand possible reasons why you think it shouldn't be in the bible, and you may be right, but I just happen to believe that faith without works is in fact dead. Works have absolutely nothing to do with salvation.



True faith always has the fruit of works, because faith causes action.
God causes His children to walk by faith and not by sight. The bible says this.
Let people say I am wrong. I will not challenge any further responses.
There are very good instructions in the book of James that we would do well to obey. It challenges the things that we say (talking about the tongue.) That is godly.
Enough said.

I know this has been discussed before you can read over the last threads but a quick response from what I know. Faith without works to me wouldn't be the real mccoy. The real faith given by God you are right will always produce good works in people, whether others see evidence of it or not. Its not so much faith being dead as there just being no true faith, nonexistent it wasn't that faith was alive at one point then died. If someone doesn't have the Holy Spirit in their life, the works of God in them, then they have no saving faith its not dead just not there. God gives people faith, gives them the ability to trust Him and believe in Him. That faith that God gives is alive and ever present in His children. If one doesn't have faith they just dont have it.

Rom 4:5, (KJV) (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&version=kjv&book=45&chapter=4&verse1=5&verse2=&ascdesc=&abrv=1&strip=0&converge=0&footnotes=0&createchaps=1&compare=0&andor=0&restrict=&startbook=&endbook=&references=&highlight=1&chaplinks=&remove=&keywords=no+faith), But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Rom 4:16, (KJV) (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&version=kjv&book=45&chapter=4&verse1=16&verse2=&ascdesc=&abrv=1&strip=0&converge=0&footnotes=0&createchaps=1&compare=0&andor=0&restrict=&startbook=&endbook=&references=&highlight=1&chaplinks=&remove=&keywords=no+faith), Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
Gal 2:20, (KJV) (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&version=kjv&book=48&chapter=2&verse1=20&verse2=&ascdesc=&abrv=1&strip=0&converge=0&footnotes=0&createchaps=1&compare=0&andor=0&restrict=&startbook=&endbook=&references=&highlight=1&chaplinks=&remove=&keywords=no+faith), I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

A faith from Christ, which means having Christ in us can never be dead.. for we are alive in Christ. The only so called "faith" that can be dead is no faith at all, false faith or a false idea of faith... faith in something other than God. For a false faith will get one no where... just look at the arminians...

For His Glory,
Mary

Brandan
08-29-07, 06:24 PM
I am noticing that my posts are being divided up and exposed on this issue of the book of James. I have never dreamed of doubting the book of James because it is in the bible. It was allowed there by the Lord, and has been there for a long time. I believe it should be there, purely by faith.The Roman Catholic Church has been around a long time. It was allowed to exist by the Lord. I believe the pope is the vicar of Christ, purely by faith. {end sarcasm}


I know that there are a thousand possible reasons why you think it shouldn't be in the bible, and you may be right, but I just happen to believe that faith without works is in fact dead. It's fine with me that you believe this, but can you explain exactly what a "live faith" is and how it differs from a "dead faith." What are the qualitative and quantitative differences between the two. Further, how can "faith" which means LIFE really be described as "dead?"


You can go so deep into wanting to remove books from the bible because they might not fit the theology we believe. We have to form our theology from the whole counsel of God. We have the full counsel in 66 books. Says who? You?


I have heard of people who study deep theology, and no longer have a faith in God. This is a very sobering truth, and one that we should not dismiss as rubbish.I've heard of people brushing their teeth so hard that all their teeth fall out and can no longer eat. This is a very sobering truth, and one that we should not dismiss as rubbish.


I also think that as a forum, we should handle people with care, especially as we would claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ. 1 Corinthians 13 is a good starting point.I also think we should too! What does this have to do with this topic though?


Just remember, any knowledge that we have now, is purely a work of grace by the Lord on our lives. This should never cause us to be ripping people to shreds because they happen to cross our line of thinking, or us acting clever because someone else is in ignorance about something.Agreed.


We have to remember that this forum may be viewed by non-christians, who want to see how Christians behave.What does this have to do with this topic?

Calvinator
08-29-07, 07:31 PM
Saint Nicholas, I just wanted to say, thank you and great job on "James Exposed."

John:)

Saint Nicholas
08-29-07, 07:51 PM
[quote] I have never dreamed of doubting the book of James because it is in the bible. It was allowed there by the Lord, and has been there for a long time. I believe it should be there, purely by faith.

Prior to God regenerating my dead spirit, I was a member of the Roman Catholic church from my infant baptism. I never doubted the aprocraphal books because it was in my Roman Catholic bible. They to were allowed to be there by the Lord, and have been there for a long time. As a then Roman Catholic I believed they should be there, purely by faith in what I then believed to be the infallible church.


I know that there are a thousand possible reasons why you think it shouldn't be in the bible, and you may be right,

Not a thousand possible reasons, just the main one. It teaches justification by faith+ works.



but I just happen to believe that faith without works is in fact dead. Works have absolutely nothing to do with salvation.

I agree that our good works have nothing to do with our justification. However, was Abrams faith dead before he offered up Isaac?


We cannot work our way into favour with God. We are chosen in Him from the foundation of this world. Those of us who are His.

Agreed


I believe that good works are simply the result of a soul that has been filled with the Holy Spirit, and saved by the power of the Blood of Christ.

Agreed


You can go so deep into wanting to remove books from the bible because they might not fit the theology we believe.

Well who went so deep as to remove the apocraphal books from the Bible?


We have to form our theology from the whole counsel of God.

Agreed



We have the full counsel in 66 books.

Disagree


I have heard of people who study deep theology, and no longer have a faith in God. This is a very sobering truth, and one that we should not dismiss as rubbish.

You claim to be a High Grace Calvinist, and yet your statement sound like an Arminian argument. Also, I do dismiss your above statement as rubbish.
Those who study deep theology and no longer have faith in God, NEVER WERE SAVED TO BEGIN WITH. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO PERSERVERANCE OF THE SAINTS?


I also think that as a forum, we should handle people with care, especially as we would claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ. 1 Corinthians 13 is a good starting point.

Sharing the truth with people is the ultimate expression of Love. "Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?" Galatians 4:16


Just remember, any knowledge that we have now, is purely a work of grace by the Lord on our lives. This should never cause us to be ripping people to shreds because they happen to cross our line of thinking, or us acting clever because someone else is in ignorance about something.

Who is the guilty party here on this forum who is ripping people to shreds?


We have to remember that this forum may be viewed by non-christians, who want to see how Christians behave.

I know that. But how did the non-christians of the world view the bahaviour of the Papists during the crusades and the inquisition? Also, when Irish Catholics and Irish protestants were slaughtering one another not to long ago? God will save His elect despite this forum or any other media. God is Sovereign! even over this forum!

Nicholas

Calvinator
08-29-07, 10:11 PM
but I just happen to believe that faith without works is in fact dead. Works have absolutely nothing to do with salvation.
Your statement appears to contradict itself. If works have absolutely nothing to do with salvation, then why do works have to make faith live? If works have no part in salvation, then a person is saved by dead faith in Christ, which then would be faith alone in Christ alone. That is the gospel Paul preached. Dead faith saves or there is no such thing as dead faith, if that faith is in Christ. This is why I have a problem with the book of James.

Krablessed1973
08-30-07, 06:34 AM
Thank you all for your responses. I don't see any love or Holy Spirit in much (not all) of them to be honest. We don't need to resort to sarcasm just because we disagree. If this is what engaging in a discussion about theology entails, then I would rather keep my opinions to myself regarding this topic or others that are likely to cause such sarcasm or other insults towards myself. If I have personally caused offence, then I do apologise.

Brandan
08-30-07, 07:46 AM
Thank you all for your responses. I don't see any love or Holy Spirit in much (not all) of them to be honest. We don't need to resort to sarcasm just because we disagree. If this is what engaging in a discussion about theology entails, then I would rather keep my opinions to myself regarding this topic or others that are likely to cause such sarcasm or other insults towards myself. If I have personally caused offence, then I do apologise.Abraham, sarcasm is an effective tool to point out error. It's biblical too! Jesus routinely used sarcasm in his dealings with those that dissented. Don't you want your errors pointed out? What is so wrong or harmful with that? And just because you do not "see" any love or Holy Spirit in them doesn't mean it is not there. You have caused not offense, but if you are going to express your thoughts, do not think that you will not receive criticism. I personally welcome criticism and I throw my thoughts out there knowing that many will analyze them and attempt to correct me if I'm right or wrong.

Examples of sarcasm: Mt 23:24, (MKJV), Blind guides who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

Mt 23:15, (MKJV), Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you compass sea and the dry land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Gal 5:12, (MKJV), I wish that those causing you to doubt will cut themselves off. (sarcasm or not - it's use of common every day language to express a point!)

Abraham, would you rather us be honest and maybe even a bit sarcastic with you or would you rather have us affirm you in your error and speak softly and smoothly to you? I'd rather personally deal with sarcastic individuals than smooth talkers!

Isa 30:9-10, (MKJV), that this is a rebellious people, lying sons. They are sons who will not hear the law of the LORD; (10) who say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Do not prophesy to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy falsehood;

Bob Higby
08-30-07, 10:53 AM
Abraham,

We have varying approaches here in interacting with contributors; I would encourage you to stick with the issues and respond to specific points or questions with your evidence.

Bro. Bob

Krablessed1973
08-30-07, 02:36 PM
Thank you for your responses. I have been reminded of Titus 1:13. Fair enough!:)

Calvinator
08-30-07, 02:55 PM
Thank you all for your responses. I don't see any love or Holy Spirit in much (not all) of them to be honest. We don't need to resort to sarcasm just because we disagree. If this is what engaging in a discussion about theology entails, then I would rather keep my opinions to myself regarding this topic or others that are likely to cause such sarcasm or other insults towards myself. If I have personally caused offence, then I do apologise.
Everyone on this forum can speak for themselves, but I know of no one that is offended, save for one. Real life must be harder than someone hacking on your posts, so I believe that you are stronger than that. No one is hating on you.

Saint Nicholas
08-30-07, 08:01 PM
Your statement appears to contradict itself. If works have absolutely nothing to do with salvation, then why do works have to make faith live? If works have no part in salvation, then a person is saved by dead faith in Christ, which then would be faith alone in Christ alone. That is the gospel Paul preached. Dead faith saves or there is no such thing as dead faith, if that faith is in Christ. This is why I have a problem with the book of James.

Excellent comment dear brother. Your insights are most welcome on this forum. Looking forward to more of your input.

Your brother in Christ,
Nicholas :)

Calvinator
08-30-07, 08:30 PM
Excellent comment dear brother. Your insights are most welcome on this forum. Looking forward to more of your input.

Your brother in Christ,
Nicholas :)
For a long while I had a problem with the epistle of James. More specifically the second chapter, but due to some traditional thinking, I never considered it not to be high canon. God used your work on the epistle of James to pull my out of that thinking. What authority did they (those that put the canon toether) have, that we don't have today, to say what is canon what is not?

John:)

Greg
09-01-07, 08:11 PM
And thank you, Highlyfavored. Glad to be here. As long as the Lord wills.I am glad you're a part of the forum Calvinator, and when I found this picture on the web and I found out just how tough and uncompromising on the truth you are, I thought I should share this with everyone here.

Calvinator
09-02-07, 04:21 AM
LOL Now that's to funny!http://bibleforums.org/forum/images/smilies/iconpound3vw.gif

Whammer
09-03-07, 10:01 PM
I wanted to re-iterate one more thought here in this thread.
Faith is faith.......it is what it is.
Faith is not only a gift of God, it is a genuine fruit of the Holy Spirit. Gal. 5
A a real fruit, it can be seen in Hebrews 11 as faith is assurance, believing that when God says something, it can be trusted 100%.
Little faith = faith.
medium faith = faith.
large faith = faith.
Giant faith = faith.
The biblical gift of faith, that fruit of the Spirit, in any quantity......is what it is......faith. A fruit of the Spirit in any quantity is the genuine thing in any measure.........but no where does the scripture say that a fruit of the Spirit can be a dead thing........but in james, that is precisely is what is said. Some say, "Oh james is talking about a false faith or said faith.....which is to say, no faith. This is certainly saying something james isnt saying, he could have chosen different words if that is what he meant. But even if we go with that notion and add in "falsely professed faith" to each of the sentences in context........look what comes of that. Now we have a mere professed faith plus works and that produces justification???? If we are going to play with the word faith, we gotta play with it the same in the context of those few sentences, right?
The more these words in james are twisted to say something they dont, they say more than those that change the words...want them to.
Either way, biblical God given faith is what it is, it will be produced by the Spirit, same as every other fruit........but the Holy Spirit producing dead faith in the elect........not happenin james 2:17

Calvinator
09-04-07, 09:46 AM
James said in his epistle that he can show us his faith by his works. Does not the infidel have this ability? If our works are filthy rags in the sight of God and we show are faith by our works, what does that say about our faith in the sight of God?

Krablessed1973
09-04-07, 01:14 PM
James said in his epistle that he can show us his faith by his works. Does not the infidel have this ability?

No, because the faith that works is the faith that is obedient to the Lord. Consider verse 19 of James 2. It refers to the fact that people say they believe in God. What is pointed out here is the fact that the devils also believe in God, and tremble. Their belief or "faith" doesn't move them to obedience to the Lord. Obedience is the context here, I believe.



If our works are filthy rags in the sight of God and we show are faith by our works, what does that say about our faith in the sight of God?

The righteousness that the Lord refers to as filthy rags is the righteousness we are doing in our own capacity or in our own name. If the righteousness we are doing is a result of the work of grace, these works are not filthy rags, but the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The reason James 2:20 is written, is to ask a rhetorical question. It is not claiming that faith is dead at all. It is making the point that a faith that has no evidence of fruit is no faith at all, hence why it is regarded as dead.

May the Lord bless you my brother,

Abraham854.

Calvinator
09-05-07, 10:14 PM
Consider verse 19 of James 2 (http://bible.5solas.org/bible.php?view=1&restrict=0&keywords=&startbook=0&endbook=0&references=0&andor=0&ascdesc=0&highlight=1&createchaps=1&abrv=1&book=jam&chapter=2&verse1=&verse2=&version=kjv)
The point of this thread is to not consider James 2. Everyone that defends James comes across as spinning. Paul and James both quote the same verse in Genesis, but they come up with two different answers. Paul say "the man that works not" and James says "faith and works". James is not just talking about evidence, but he is also talking about being righteous in the sight of God or justified. The only one that justifies the ungodly is God and God alone. Our works add nothing to it. Abraham was accounted righteous before he offered up Isaac. There was no work involved by Abraham in him being made righteous. James quotes the same verse and then jumps into the future and talks about the work that Abraham did, but he was already justified. James is to late with the work thing.

Calvinator
09-06-07, 08:17 AM
Abraham854,

If the epistle of James never existed and everything else stays the same and someone comes up to you and said the following:

My brothers, what profit is it if a man says he has faith and does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and if one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them those things which are needful to the body, what good is it? Even so, if it does not have works, faith is dead, being by itself. But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith from my works. You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble. But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Do you see how faith worked with his works, and from the works faith was made complete? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God." You see then how a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Would you acuse him of preaching a gospel of works?

______

What if someone came up to you and said the following:

What then shall we say that our father Abraham has found, according to flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has a boast; but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness." But to him working, the reward is not reckoned according to grace, but according to debt. But to him not working, but believing on Him justifying the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also says of the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness without works, saying, "Blessed are those whose lawlessnesses are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord will in no way impute sin."

Would you accuse him of preaching heresy?

______

If faith without works is dead or does not justify the ungodly then Paul was preaching Heresy. So it is a good thing that we have the epistle of James to filter the gospel that Paul preached. If it was not for this epistle, who knows how many more souls out there would have put their faith alone in Christ alone for their justification.

NO, NO, NO! God forbid! The gospel that Paul preached was complete pure Biblical gospel and was balanced. Here is a works gosple we can put our faith in:

FAITH(that's given by God) + WORKS(the work of God) = justified sinner

The only one that justifies the ungodly is God and God alone. The only work that justifies the ungodly is the work of God and the work of God alone.

:)James is wrong!

Krablessed1973
09-06-07, 04:55 PM
I have stated my case for keeping James in the bible. It is not up to me to convince you. That is God's work. I have faith that the Lord has preserved His word. I will not tear out anything from my bible.

I believe all scripture is inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is not for me to try to re-write the bible to suit any bias that I may have.

I believe all of it. Genesis to Revelation. Whatever I don't understand, the Lord in His time will enlighten me as He wills, until I see Him face to face, where my knowledge of Him will be complete.

Has the Lord told you to write this stuff on the internet about James (the Lord's brother), or is this your own idea? How much prayer has gone into this topic?

Greg
09-06-07, 10:46 PM
I have stated my case for keeping James in the bible. It is not up to me to convince you. That is God's work. I have faith that the Lord has preserved His word. I will not tear out anything from my bible.I wonder if the Catholic church had similar thoughts about the protestants when they decided to ditch the apocrapha?
I believe all scripture is inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).Agreed.
It is not for me to try to re-write the bible to suit any bias that I may have.I believe you are infering by this statement that those of us who don't consider the book of james to be high canon have decided to disregard it based on some previous bias that we all share and as a result have decided to rewrite the bible. My suggestion would be for you to look up the threads in the archives that deal with:
What is the canon?
Where did the idea of the canon come from?
Does the bible discuss what is canon?
How did the books in the bible get accepted as canon?
Since God predestines all things, would he allow a book to be included within the bible if it wasn't inspired? If so, why?


I believe all of it. Genesis to Revelation. Whatever I don't understand, the Lord in His time will enlighten me as He wills, until I see Him face to face, where my knowledge of Him will be complete.Maybe this is his wake up call to you to consider what is being talked about here, after all he brought you to this forum for a reason. Perhaps it was for you to learn and not to be the teacher.
Has the Lord told you to write this stuff on the internet about James (the Lord's brother), or is this your own idea? How much prayer has gone into this topic?Well, if God hadn't decreed it, it certainly would not have happened, so yes I guess he has told us to write about it on the internet. And how could it be anyone's idea but God's? He has absolutly predestined all things.

I would lay even money that most who disagree have not even considered that however improbable, it is possible that we could be correct in our assertions.

Also, there is in fact no proof that james the brother of Jesus even wrote the epistle. There is some evidence to suggest that it was compiled from more than one source. You should look into the history on the book of james.

And... james, though he was referred to as the Lord's brother may not have been his sibling, but could have been a cousin or uncle and still would have been refered to that way out of jewish custom.

Bob Higby
09-06-07, 11:57 PM
I am working through the issue of dispensationalism in the first century. In studying the NT, it is obvious to me that the apostles (minus Paul) were originally dispensationalists. Ultimately they left Jerusalem after the full light of truth dawned on their souls. But I don't believe they were equipped to write the NT books that we have (nor did they) until God trashed their Jewish dispensationalist dreams over a process of many decades. That was the error that God had to cleanse them of before they were fitted to write the infallible scripture that we now enjoy.

Bob Higby
09-07-07, 12:05 AM
James, unlike the apostles, NEVER gave up the delusion of Jewish dispensationalism. We know that from the testimony of Josephus, he died as a martyr for the Old Covenant.

It is not that James the brother of Jesus ever accepted the heretical views of the book that bears his name written by one of his followers long after his death (in accordance with radicals that claimed to follow him during his life), he never did. Scripture testifies of his belief in the gospel given to Paul for the GENTILES in Acts 15. His great sin was in refusing to give up the notion that God was going to restore the kingdom to the physical Israel of that time as a SEPARATE people from those saved in connection with hearing Paul's gospel. Thus he died as a martyr who was known more for his allegiance to the law than his allegiance to Jesus Christ.

Krablessed1973
09-07-07, 03:10 PM
Highlyfavored makes a good point about the Apocrypha, regarding what Roman Catholics would have thought of protestants for taking the Apocrypha out. I cannot disagree with this. I know it has been pointed out to me before, probably by the gentleman who wrote the original article "James Exposed".

I can see that you all know a lot more about this subject than I do, and so acknowledge that there is much for me to learn.

Whatever the truth is concerning the book of James, I am asking the Lord to reveal to me by His Holy Spirit what this truth is. Please pray that the Lord would enlighten me as to the truth of the book of James, and that I would walk in whatever God reveals.

I realise that this will involve study, but realise that study without the Spirits' guidance is merely head knowledge, which is useless.

Thank you for bearing with me, and may the Lord Bless you,

Kevin.:)