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Thread: Article: James 2:14-26

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    Article: James 2:14-26


  2. #2
    Abraham Juliot
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    Hey James Johnson or Forester07, I have 2 questions.

    1. What is your understanding and interpretation of Matthew 6:14-15? What does it mean in light of justification?

    "For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." [Matthew 6:14-15]

    2. Have you considered Robert Hawker on James 2:14-26?

    James 2:14-26
    What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (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 ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. (19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (22) Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? (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. (24) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (25) Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? (26) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

    I include all these verses, under one reading, as willing to bring the doctrine contained in them, into one view. Perhaps, no part of the word of God, hath been so little attended to, with an eye to the divine teaching, as this short but interesting passage of the Apostle; and conclusions have been drawn from it by the carnal; yea, and (for want of asking wisdom from God upon the occasion) by not a few of the Lord's people also, who have been much exercised in mind, unable to enter into a clear apprehension of the meaning. I beg the Reader to grant me a few moments indulgence. And I venture to hope, under the Lord the Spirit's enlightening grace, we shall find that nothing can be more clear than the Apostle's intention, in what is here said.

    And, first, in order to give the fullest scope to the supposed mis*understanding, between Paul and James, onthe subject of faith, I shall beg to bring before the Reader the words of each. The first of these great Apostles speaks so decidedly of justification only by faith, and without the deeds of the law; that no form of language can possibly be stronger, in confirmation of the doctrine. By the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:20; Romans 3:24. But to him that worketh not; but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. For the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed through the law; but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect, Romans 4:5; Romans 4:13-14. Christ is become of no effect to you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace, Galatians 5:4. Not of works, lest any man should boast, Ephesians 2:9. Nor if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain, Galatians 2:21. So much for Paul on the subject of faith.

    I need not go over what the second of those great Apostles James, hath said on the subject: it is now before us. And nothing can be more plain, or express, in his statement on the subject of works. His concluding sentence, sums up all he had said before. For as the body without the spirit is dead; so faith without works is dead also. Now on the supposition, that both those holy men, taught, and in*spired, as both were by the Holy Ghost, were speaking of one and the same thing; there would be indeed much cause for suspension, which to regard. Sentiments in that case, so very opposite, would raise fears and doubts, and distresses in the awakened and rege*nerated mind. But blessed be God, there is not the smallest cause for exciting any apprehension; The Apostles are in perfect harmony with each other. And James, so far from militating against what Paul hath said on the subject, doth very blessedly confirm the whole, and his observations, when rightly considered, strengthen the precious arguments of Paul, on the great subject of justification alone by faith. And this under the Lord's grace, will fully appear by the few following considerations.

    First. Let us enquire what works those were, which James so much dwells upon? We may safely answer at once; not works of godliness or morality. For the two persons James brings forward in proof, when speaking of their being justified by works, very plainly manifests to the contrary. Was not Abraham our father jus*tified by works? Abraham, when called of God, was an idolater. And Paul speaking of Abraham's good works; declared that he had not whereof to glory before God, Romans 4:2. An idolater indeed, could have nothing to glory of before God. The Lord had declared before, concerning man, that all flesh had corrupted itself, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart, was only evil continually, Genesis 6:5. And was Abraham an exception? And with respect to Rahab the harlot, could she be justified by the works of religion, or by works of virtue or morality; who, though faithful to God, was certainly unfaithful to man? Can any thing upon earth be more plain and self-evident, from the history of these very persons, the Apostle brings forward in proof, that whatever works James had in view when he declared faith without works was dead being alone, it was impossible he could mean works of godliness, or virtue, or morality.

    Secondly. Upon the supposition, that the good works James insisted upon as evidences of faith, and without which he saith faith itself is dead, being alone, had respect to the holiness and purity of a man's own heart; this would be directly contrary to the whole system of the Gospel; which, through all the word of God, is declared to be a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15. And in this sense, nei*ther Abraham nor Rahab, nor all the Patriarchs, Apostles, or Pro*phets, could find justification in themselves before God. The doctrine of grace, is wholly founded in the reverse of good works. For if it be of works, then is it no more of grace; otherwise grace is no more grace. And the first and last, and ultimate design of the Gospel is, that in the Lord, shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory, Isaiah 45:25.

    Thirdly, There is a striking difference in the manner of expres*sion; between those great Apostles. In all the writings of Paul, in re*lation to justification, he is uniformly speaking of the method of a sinner's justification before God. James, on the contrary, is solely considering the subject, in respect to our being justified in the sight of men. Paul, never loseth sight of the cause of justification, which is Christ. James is speaking of the effect. Hence we hear the former, observing, concerning Abraham, that if he had been justified by works, whereby he had to glory! yet still not before God, Romans 4:2. Whereas James puts the case of a brother or sister, being destitute of food; and one say, depart in peace, be ye warmed or filled; notwithstanding ye gave them not those things that are needful; what doth it profit? Even so saith he, faith is dead, being alone, that is alone in justification before men. The world can form no judgment whatever, by what a man professeth; but by what he practiseth. And therefore (saith James) what doth it profit the world, that a man have faith, if that faith be unaccompanied with deeds?

    Hence then it appears, that on the supposition of this last statement, Paul is speaking of the method of a sinner's justification before God; and James of our being justified in the view of men; those great Apostles differ altogether in the subject they are upon, and not in sentiment, upon the one momentous doctrine, of the method of salvation by Jesus Christ.

    Fourthly, and lastly, therefore, I venture from all that hath been before offered, to observe, that God the Holy Ghost the Almighty Author by inspiration of all Paul's writings and those of James no less, hath himself explained the whole, and settled the point, by placing the great doctrine of faith on its own proper basis; and in so clear, and circumstantial a manner, as, under his divine instruction cannot be mistaken.

    In proof of this, I beg the Reader once more, and somewhat more particularly to notice James's words. Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the Altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was made perfect. Now, not to notice again what hath been before observed that the works which made perfect Abraham's faith, hath no respect whatever to works of morality, or virtue; it must strike every man's mind with full conviction, that James hath no other meaning what*ever, by what is here said of works, than works of faith. The faith of Abraham was proved to be real, by his proceeding to act upon it. And God the Holy Ghost explains this in another part of his sacred writings, when he saith: by faith Abraham when he was tried offered up Isaac. And he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. Of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Accounting that God was able to raise him even from the dead, from whence also he received him in a figure, Hebrews 11:17- 19. Now let the Reader pause over this statement, which, let him remember, is God the Holy Ghost's own. And then let him say, is not this whole transaction of the Patriarch's faith, and faith only, in the deeds of faith acting upon faith? What is the plain sense of it but this? God promised Abraham a son. God declared with this son that the promised seed, meaning Christ after the flesh, should, in process of time, come from him. Abraham believed what God had said; and took God at his word. Soon after, Abraham receives a com*mand to offer up this son, as a burnt-offering. Being strong in faith and concluding that God was able to raise his son again from the dead, he proceeded to obey God. Here then was faith carried into practice. Now, saith James, was not Abraham our father justified by works? Yes! most assuredly: for his faith was hereby proved, not to be a dead faith, but a living faith, and acted upon by the works or faith. But what hath this to do with works of morality, or good deeds among men? This was a transaction wholly between God and the Patriarch, in the concern of his own soul, and had no reference whatever to the transactions of common life between man and man. It must be prejudice indeed, and of no ordinary kind, that would here from draw conclusions, that morality, and good deeds, among men, were the works James had in view when he said, and by works was Abraham's faith made perfect; when it is plain, the Apostle is, wholly discoursing upon this subject, in reference to the solemn transaction between God and the Patriarch.

    In like manner, as a further proof, in the instance of Rahab. No one for a moment can suppose, that the Apostle, when speaking of this woman being justified by works, alluded to works of goodness or morality. A woman of ill-fame could not be thought exemplary for any of these. And, with respect to her conduct towards her country, blessed as her faith, and works on that faith, were in the sight of God; yet, in the world's dictionary, she was treacherous to*wards man. When, therefore, we hear the Apostle demanding, was Yes! Her receiving the spies in peace, was a work of faith indeed, which proved how true, and genuine her faith was; and became the precious effect of that sure cause. And God the Holy Ghost else*where bears testimony to this act of her's, upon the faith the Lord had given her, when he saith: by faith the harlot Rahab perished not, with them that believed not, Hebrews 11:31. But how totally foreign are both these instances to the doctrine some have raised from this Chapter; which, while the Apostle is directly producing instances to shew, that a lively faith (as in those cases) must, and will everlast*ingly be acted upon, in proof that it is not a dead, unprofitable faith they draw conclusions, as if faith without morality was dead, being alone, and cannot justify before God.

    From the whole, therefore, I cannot hesitate to conclude, that the Apostles Paul and James, were both taught of God; both inspired by the Holy Ghost when writing their Epistles; both had the same views of that faith, which is of the operation of God; and both knew, that the Church hath justification before God in Christ alone, without the deeds of the law, and solely in the blood and righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. James, therefore, is only strengthening his brother Paul's statement of faith, in shewing, and in two such me*morable instances as he produceth, how real living faith is always acted upon by real living principles; and thereby becoming subject of joy in the faithful soul, when such blessed effects spring out of so blessed a cause.

    I must not suffer the Reader to pass on from this Chapter before that he hath first paused, and considered with me, the blessedness of what is here said concerning the Patriarch Abraham, in that he was called the friend of God. What title among all the sons of men can come up to this? James, no doubt, gathered it from these passages, 2 Chronicles 20:7 and Isaiah 41:8, for otherwise, we do not find the very phrase, as James hath here worded it, in all the Bible. Every thing proves it, indeed, in the whole of Abraham's history; and that's enough. And Jesus so called his disciples, John 15:15. But what I particularly beg the Reader to remark in it, is the foundation of this friendship. It is all in God. Abraham's friendship to God, which God condescends to accept, is the effect of God's friendship to him. But it is God's friendship which is the sole cause. And let the Reader further remark, how sweetly the Lord proved Abraham's faith, by the trial of demanding his son. True faith hath true properties.

    Reader! do not overlook the design of the Holy Ghost, in this precious record of the Patriarch. These things are our examples. Every son and daughter of faith is, in like manner, the friend of God; and proved to be so by the same effects. Am I speaking to a truly regenerated child of God, who, like Abraham, hath been brought to believe the record God hath given of his dear Son. Then doth he know, as Abraham knew, God's friendship to him. My Brother! What was it but the antient, everlasting, unchanging love and friendship of God in Christ, which gave his Son to you, and for you, and chose you in him, before the foundation of the world? And what was it but from the everflowing streams of the same un*alterable friendship, which gave Christ to the cross, and the Holy Spirit to the regeneration of your soul, when you neither knew that friendship, or your need of it, and was altogether unconscious of either, and was living without God, and without Christ in the world? Do you not thereby prove God's friendship to you?

    Now, then, see for the effects arising from such a cause, which, like Abraham, may testify, that you are also the friend of God. Nay, start not back, nor shrink at the comparison, though your faith is not so illustrious as this great father of the faithful. Have you made no sacrifice to the Lord? Have you no Isaacs, noofferings to give up, on which nature would wish to lean? Doth not every regenerated child of God, in deed, and in truth, sacrifice his Isaacs, and all that nature would fain cherish, when laying low in the dust before God, desiring to be stripped of every thing, so that Christ be glorified in his salvation? Surely, however small the grace of faith, though but like a grain of mustard-seed it be, in the heart of every child of God; yet is it of the same source, which the Lord gave to Abraham, when, in the exercise of it, he manifested himself as the friend of God. It is not the greatness of our attainments; but the Lord's love, in taking it so kindly of his redeemed ones, when at any time they are enabled to bear testimony to the word of his grace. And, what the Lord said to David, he in effect saith to all the seed of our Almighty Spiritual David; whereas it was in thine heart to build an house to my name; thou didst well, that it was in thine heart, 1 Kings 8:18. It were well if God's children would live more upon the Lord's love to them, than form conclusions of their interest in the Lord's friendship from their love to him. The faithful in Christ Jesus, will at length sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom. And it will then be discovered, that the Lord'sfriendship, and not our deservings, hath been, and everlastingly must be, the source of all our blessedness. If we love him, it is because he first loved us, 1 John 4:19.

    Reflections
    Oh! for grace, while reading what God the Holy Ghost hath said in this Chapter, in reproving any respect of persons, in his house of prayer; that I may everlastingly keep in view the Lord's pleasure, and so have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, as to regard the rich more than the poor; but to love the Lord's poor with pecu*liar delight for Jesus's sake; and God's chosen may be my chosen; and the poor of this world, if rich in faith, and heirs of the king*dom, may be the excellent in whom is all my delight.

    Blessed and Eternal Spirit! keep my soul from all error, in the right apprehension of all thy gracious truths. Teach me, Lord, that if it were possible for a man to keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. And, as we have all sinned, and come short of thy glory, never may my soul seek the smallest justification by the deeds of the law.

    And I do beseech thee, O Lord, who leadeth thy people unto all truth, that I may so fully learn, from what thou hast here taught the Church, how unprofitable the dead faith of merely acknowledging divine truths, while not living under the influence of them, is before God; that my faith, like the faith of Abraham and Rahab, may be works of faith; in proof, that my profession and practice are in perfect correspondence to each other. Let my soul abhor the thought, and much more the conduct, of professing love to a poor brother or sister, while withholding from them the tokens of that love. And in the higher concerns with my God and Savior, far be it from me, O Lord, to profess, that I know God, but in works deny him! Oh! for grace, while seeking justification before God, upon the sole footing of the Person, blood-shedding, and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be found an eminent example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity!" -Robert Hawker

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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Abraham Juliot,

    Thank you for your response and questions. It is always good to talk about these issues. I will respond to your two questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abraham Juliot

    1. What is your understanding and interpretation of Matthew 6:14-15? What does it mean in light of justification?
    The two most important things to look at when interpreting these verses is to identify the context of the passage and the audience.

    1. Context of Matthew 6: In Matthew 6:1-18 the main theme that Jesus is speaking about is the hypocrisy of men and Jesus is exhorting the crowd to not be hypocrites seeking the recognition of men through their good works.

    2. Audience: The unregenerate crowds that followed Jesus and Jesus' Disciples.

    Given this, it is clear that Jesus is not teaching about salvation when He speaks Matthew 6:14-15. This would contridict the gospel of grace completely. Forgiveness of others is not the direct source of God's forgiveness to the elect, Christ's blood is and that is given completely of free grace. The audience Jesus is speaking to is key here. Jesus is preaching to a crowd of unregenerate people (Elect and Reprobate mixed together)and taking them through several points to emphasize their sin and helplessness before God. The crowd being all jewish assumed that they were God's chosen people and were righteous by birthright. Matt 6:1 says, "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven." Here Jesus is systematically tearing down their misconceptions and points out that they are sinners before God. The people in the crowd were all guilty of everything Jesus is saying in these verses. Look at the phrases in the context of the verses in question.





    • "when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you",
    • "For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others."
    • "do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words."
    • "And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others."
    • Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
    Now, look again at the verses in question.

    "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

    Do the get the point? Matt 6:14-15 is showing the unregenerate jews that they are all sinners before an angry God and are not going to recieved forgiveness or salvation. Jesus is showing the crowd their sins and unrighteousness before God. They are all guilty of everything Jesus is speaking about. The crowd was already guilty of not forgiving others their trespasses. Jesus was pointing this out to the crowd to make clear their hypocrisy. Jesus is tearing away their false righteousness and those of the crowd chosen by God will come to Jesus for their true righteousness and forgiveness.


    Quote Originally Posted by Abraham Juliot

    2. Have you considered Robert Hawker on James 2:14-26?
    I read it and it fits with the typical protestant view. Hawker says, "Hence then it appears, that on the supposition of this last statement, Paul is speaking of the method of a sinner's justification before God; and James of our being justified in the view of men; those great Apostles differ altogether in the subject they are upon, and not in sentiment, upon the one momentous doctrine, of the method of salvation by Jesus Christ."

    I have shown in my exposition that James is not talking about being justified in the view of men but before God. That is why I reject the book as scripture. Until you can prove, through the text of James alone, that James is talking about justification before men and show where in scripture that we should demonstrate our justification before men then I will have to continue to reject the book of James.

    Thinking on it, Matthew 6 directly contridicts this view of Justication before men. Jesus exhorts the crowds there to do the good works in secret before God.

  4. #4
    Abraham Juliot
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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Audience: The unregenerate crowds that followed Jesus and Jesus' Disciples.
    focusing on the immediate context. Jesus is teaching his audience to pray to God as their Father and in the verse i brought up he uses the phrase "Your.. Father" twice.

  5. #5
    Abraham Juliot
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    Forgiveness of others is not the direct source of God's forgiveness to the elect, Christ's blood is and that is given completely of free grace.
    Agreed. Nevertheless the passage is expounding on gospel truths. The Law does not promise forgiveness, so wherever forgiveness is spoken of, it is a promise from the gospel. Jesus could not be trying to show them their helpless to obtain forgiveness by the law, because the law doesn't even promise forgiveness. The Law does not teach that "your Father" will forgive you if you forgive men their trespasses. Neonomians might believe that. (i.e that both law and gospel promise grace).

  6. #6
    Abraham Juliot
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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    I read it and it fits with the typical protestant view. Hawker says, "Hence then it appears, that on the supposition of this last statement, Paul is speaking of the method of a sinner's justification before God; and James of our being justified in the view of men; those great Apostles differ altogether in the subject they are upon, and not in sentiment, upon the one momentous doctrine, of the method of salvation by Jesus Christ."
    Please don't overlook the point that Hawker was making. Make sure you continue reading the rest of the exposition as you will find that Hawker does not agree with the protestant view. let me know if you have read his exposition carefully in its entirety. Please address Hawker here:

    "But what hath this to do with works of morality, or good deeds among men? This was a transaction wholly between God and the Patriarch, in the concern of his own soul, and had no reference whatever to the transactions of common life between man and man. It must be prejudice indeed, and of no ordinary kind, that would here from draw conclusions, that morality, and good deeds, among men, were the works James had in view when he said, and by works was Abraham's faith made perfect; when it is plain, the Apostle is, wholly discoursing upon this subject, in reference to the solemn transaction between God and the Patriarch. In like manner, as a further proof, in the instance of Rahab. No one for a moment can suppose, that the Apostle, when speaking of this woman being justified by works, alluded to works of goodness or morality. A woman of ill-fame could not be thought exemplary for any of these. And, with respect to her conduct towards her country, blessed as her faith, and works on that faith, were in the sight of God; yet, in the world's dictionary, she was treacherous towards man. When, therefore, we hear the Apostle demanding, was Yes! Her receiving the spies in peace, was a work of faith indeed, which proved how true, and genuine her faith was; and became the precious effect of that sure cause. And God the Holy Ghost elsewhere bears testimony to this act of her's, upon the faith the Lord had given her, when he saith: by faith the harlot Rahab perished not, with them that believed not, Hebrews 11:31. But how totally foreign are both these instances to the doctrine some have raised from this Chapter; which, while the Apostle is directly producing instances to shew, that a lively faith (as in those cases) must, and will everlastingly be acted upon, in proof that it is not a dead, unprofitable faith they draw conclusions, as if faith without morality was dead, being alone, and cannot justify before God."

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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Abraham,

    Let me see if I get what you and Hawker are saying. That when James is talking about works in James 2 it is really meaning works of faith. Let's see how that works in context. I will change all the word "works" in the passage below to "works of faith" and let's see if it makes sense.
    Jas 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have Works of Faith? Can that faith save him?
    Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,
    Jas 2:16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
    Jas 2:17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have Works of Faith, is dead.
    Jas 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith and I have Works of Faith." Show me your faith apart from your Works of Faith, and I will show you my faith by my Works of Faith.
    Jas 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder!
    Jas 2:20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from Works of Faith is useless?
    Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by Works of Faith when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?
    Jas 2:22 You see that faith was active along with his Works of Faith, and faith was completed by his Works of Faith;
    Jas 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"--and he was called a friend of God.
    Jas 2:24 You see that a person is justified by Works of Faith and not by faith alone.
    Jas 2:25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by Works of Faith when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?
    Jas 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from Works of Faith is dead.
    How does that fit what you are saying? Does it make sense to you? Even if this is what James is saying it would still be wrong. The main problem I have with this view is that you have to change the meaning of the word "works" that James uses in order to make it seem to agree. Basically it appears your view is bluring works and faith in James 2 into the same meaning. However, words have distinct meanings and I think the author of James knew exactly what he was saying. Look at the definitions of the greek words.

    G2041
    ἔργον
    ergon
    er'-gon
    From ἔργω ergō (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: - deed, doing, labour, work.

    G4102
    πίστις
    pistis
    pis'-tis
    From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

    Making "works" in James to mean faith doesn't solve the problem and only adds more confusion. It is definitely a clever way to confuse the point. However, when you look at each example that is used in James 2 it still means "works". Abraham did a work to offer up his son. Rahab did a work to hide the spies. Clothing and feeding the poor is a work. We are NOT justified by doing acts of goodness. We ARE Justifed by Christ's Blood and faith is the gift of God that is used to allow the elect to understand and cherish the free gift of salvation and what Christ has done. Abraham had faith, so did good works. Rahab had faith, so did good works. All the Elect of God have faith and WILL do good works. The results of the gift of faith is doing good works. I will state that there has never been an elect person on this earth in all of history that has had the gift of faith and not done good works. IT CAN'T HAPPEN. God changes the elect person totally and it is IMPOSSIBLE not to do good works. Even if you interprete James 2 like the above example it still adds "something" to faith in order to be justiifed. James is still bashing faith alone. THAT IS ANTI-GOSPEL. The elect are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Even adding works of faith is going too far!!!!!

  8. #8
    Abraham Juliot
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    Hey Jimmy, I first want to thank you for taking the time to discuss this with me.

    How does that fit what you are saying? Does it make sense to you?
    Those are fair observations. However, my conviction is based on understanding the kinds of works which are done by Abraham and Rahab and not by inserting words which are not their.

    The main problem I have with this view is that you have to change the meaning of the word "works" that James uses in order to make it seem to agree.
    If your view is correct that these are not works of faith, then you have to the same thing. You need to put Works of Law in all tha places you put Works of Faith. The context of the works determines what kind of works these are, not any personal views which may be pressed upon the text. So, we both must ask "what kind of works are being described here... specifically as they are expounded in the case of Abraham and Rahab?"

    Basically it appears your view is bluring works and faith in James 2 into the same meaning.
    If I may present my understanding of Faith and works of Faith. The assurance of faith is passive and the work of faith is active.

    "The exercises of Faith are two-fold—passive and active. Its passive exercises are reception and reliance (Col. 2:6; 1 Thess. 1:6; Heb. 11:33, “obtained promises”—Isa. 30:7; 2 Tim. 1:12); its active exercises are all the gracious duties enjoined in the gospel, for Faith is the motive power of every act which is spiritually pleasing to God through Christ (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 5:2; 2 Cor. 1:2, 4 and 5:7; Gal. 2:20; Heb. 11 whole chapter). The passive and active exercises of Faith are brought together in Heb. 11:13. “They saw the promises afar off, were persuaded of them, and embraced them”—then, in the power of this persuasion, they voluntarily acted as “strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” So also in Col. 2:6, “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord”—passive reception, “so walk in Him”—gracious activity." -William Styles

    "One word more concerning faith before we enter upon the blessed history, contained in this glorious Chapter, of the fruits and effects of it. Faith is the gift of GOD, Philippians 1:29. CHRIST is the Author and finisher of faith, Hebrews 12:9. Hence it must fol ow, that what is GOD'S gift is not man's merit; and therefore the glory of faith, in the exercise of his people, is wholly the LORD’s. It may perhaps appear strange to some, when I say, that I consider faith as the act of CHRIST upon my soul, more than my act of dependence upon him. Paul said, and saith with truth, that his life of faith was not his, but the LORD'S. Hear his own words. The life (saith he) which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the SON of GOD. Mark the expression. Not Paul's life of faith in the SON of GOD, but the faith of the SON of GOD, Galatians 2:20. It is not Paul's act upon CHRIST, but CHRIST’S act upon him. And how is this proved? The life of faith, like any other life, is a life of receiving, not giving. Similar to animal life, which is wholly kept up and preserved, by receiving food, air, strength. These things are received to live upon. They are incomings, not out-goings. The incomings are first received, as the cause. The out-goings are exercised as the effect. Reader! if these things are so, how doth it reduce, and bring low the pride of all our attainments? How forcibly come home the words of the Apostle, For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? 1 Corinthians 4:7" - Robert Hawker

    Look at the definitions of the greek words.
    This helps, but it does not determine what kinds of works James is speaking of. The context is still key.

    Making "works" in James to mean faith doesn't solve the problem and only adds more confusion.
    For clarification, I'm not making them mean this. I base my conviction on the description of the works. I believe the works are "works of faith". (not faith)

    Abraham did a work to offer up his son. Rahab did a work to hide the spies. Clothing and feeding the poor is a work. We are NOT justified by doing acts of goodness.
    The clothing and feeding the poor is directly related to a "brother or sister." It is addressing "my brethren". The context is referring to a church setting where people make a profession of faith, but show no works of faith by love towards a "brother or sister" The church is exhorted to love one another because of Christ has loved us. Is this a work of the law? Does the law command souls to love their brothers and sisters in Christ? The law does not speak to individuals as being brothers and sisters.

    There are many exhortations for the church which are not from the law of works. The act of obedience to these exhortations is a work of faith from the law of faith. "And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour." [Ephesians 5:2] "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." [1 John 3:14] "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." [1 John 4:11]

    The scriptures say that we are justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law and that by the works of the law shall no man be justified. (as it is written in Romans 3 and Galatians 3) I affirm this. The works that James is referring to are works of faith, not works or deeds of the law, therefore they do not contradict Paul.

    We ARE Justifed by Christ's Blood
    I affirm this. The blood of Christ is the ground and cause of our justification. Neither faith nor works of faith are the ground or cause of our justification. Paul does not teach that faith is the ground and cause of our justification and James does not teach that works of faith are the ground and cause of our justification. The context of Paul is referring to the witness of the Spirit in the conscience that we are justified freely by God's grace because of the blood of Christ and James is referring to manifestation before God and man (i.e. open evidence, witness, and testimony) that we are justified freely by God's grace because of the blood of Jesus. Neither faith nor works of faith are the ground and cause of our justification. They only testify and bear witness that we are justified freely by God's grace because of the blood of Christ. Faith looks to Christ and receives witness from the Spirit in the conscience. Works of faith walk with Christ and bear witness before God and man.

    The personal assurance of our justification is by the passive exercise of faith in Christ in our conscience. The open manifestation of our justification is by the active exercise of faith walking with Christ before God and man. The law does not not command anyone to trust in Christ as your redeemer and walk with Him as your redeemer. Therefore, assurance of faith and the works of faith are not deeds of the law.

    "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another." [John 3:10-11] "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." [1 John 3:14-15]

    I will state that there has never been an elect person on this earth in all of history that has had the gift of faith and not done good works.
    Who has said that an elect person with the gift of faith does not work by love. James is not talking about an elect believer. He is referring to a vain man with a dead faith. You are making this statement with the assumption that there can be no such thing as a dead faith and consequently you present James as contradicting himself because he doesn't fit your conviction that a dead faith is impossible. However, you have no scriptural arguments to support your claim that a dead faith is impossible in this article. You have not addressed the common text outside of James which are used to support the conviction that a dead faith is possible.

    James is still bashing faith alone.
    No, he is teaching that a "faith" [which does not work by love towards Christ and the brethren] is a "dead faith".

    "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away." [Luke 8:13] "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." [John 12:42-43] "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man." [John 2:23-25]

    Are any of these passages an example of a saving faith or a faith that acts according to the law of faith?

    Even adding works of faith is going too far!!!!!
    Please carefully read these verses and answer the questions as you have time. We can address them individually before we move through them all. Or, if you want to address them all at once that is fine.

    ""By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." [Hebrews 11:4-5]

    1. Was Abel's deed a work of the Law or a work of Faith?
    2. Does the Law command souls to do what Abel did?
    3. What did abel obtain by faith when he offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice?
    4. From who did he obtain this?
    5. What did God testify of?

    "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 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 2:21-23]

    1.Does the text say that this scripture was first fulfilled at this time?
    2. Or is this an example of the ongoing fulfillment? [namely continual assurance of the hope of righteousness through faith and the works of faith]
    3. Was Abraham's deed a wok of the Law or a work of Faith?
    4. Does the Law command souls to do what Abraham did?
    5. What testimony did Abraham obtain when he had offered Isaac?
    6. From whom did he obtain this testimony?

    "By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace." [Hebrews 11:30] "Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?" [James 2:25]

    1. Was Rahab's deed a work of the Law or a work of Faith?
    2. Does the Law command souls to do what Rahab did?

    "And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven." [Luke 7:44-48]

    1. Was this woman's deed a work of the Law or a work of Faith?
    2. Does the Law command souls to do what this woman did?
    3. What witness before Jesus and the men did this woman obtain by faith when she kissed Jesus?
    4. From whom did she obtain this?
    5. What did Jesus testify to her?

    "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name... And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors... For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses... Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?... Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" [Matthew 6:9, 12, 14-15, 26, 30]

    1. Who specifically is Jesus directing here?
    2. What kind of souls was Jesus speaking to when he said "O ye of little faith"?
    3. Does the Law of Works or the Law of Faith direct us to pray to God as our "Father"?
    4. Does the Law of Works or the Law of Faith direct us to pray "forgive us our debts..."?
    5. Does the Law of works promise forgiveness if we forgive others?
    6. What witness does an unforgiving heart obtain from God?
    7. What kind of prayers does the forgiving heart pray in this passage? [Prayers to God in faith as your Heavenly Father or deeds in the law of works to God as your Creator and Wrathful Judge]
    8. What witness does a faith-praying-forgiving heart obtain?
    9. From whom does this same heart obtain witness?

    "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." [Romans 3:27-28]

    1. Is faith a law?
    2. Are the deeds of the law commanded in the law of faith?
    3. Are deeds n the law of faith deeds in the law of works.

    "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." [Galatians 3:10-14]

    1. What Law has a cursed promised in it? [the law of faith or the law of works]
    2. What Law has the promise of the spirit in it? [the law of faith or the law of works]

    "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." [Matthew 11:28-30]

    1. What law commands the "heavy laden" to come unto Jesus? [the Law of works or the law of faith]

    "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." [Romans 3:14] "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." [Ephesians 4:24] "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." [Ephesians 6:11] ""And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." [Colossians 3:10] "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering." [Colossians 3:12] "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation." [1 Thessalonians 5:8]

    1. In each of theses scriptures, "What law commands the child of God to act (put on)"?

    Thy Faith Hath Saved Thee
    "And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." [Luke 7:48-50]

    1. What does faith save us from?
    2. What did Jesus tell the woman to go in?

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

    1. What does a true and living faith save us from which a dead faith cannot save us from?

    "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away." [Luke 8:13] "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." [John 12:42-43] "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man." [John 2:23-25]

    1. Are any of these passages an example of a saving faith or a faith that acts according to the law of faith?

    Again, thank for all your time in this discussion.

    Blessings

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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    The personal assurance of our justification is by the passive exercise of faith in Christ in our conscience. The open manifestation of our justification is by the active exercise of faith walking with Christ before God and man. The law does not not command anyone to trust in Christ as your redeemer and walk with Him as your redeemer. Therefore, assurance of faith and the works of faith are not deeds of the law.

    Absolutely not! The active exercise of faith before God and man, well, I AM one of those men! To propose that other men are different from myself in the proof of justification, thinking that I can be assured by faith alone whereas other men just like myself have to be assured by a certain level of works, well, that is a contradiction of the highest sort.

    The law of Christ DOES command us to trust in Christ and walk with Him! Who can say that it does not?

    Works proceeding from faith are still works--if our assurance is based on them then the measure of those works required to gain assurance HAVE TO BE MEASURED AND STATED IN SCRIPTURE! Of course, the Bible has nothing to do with such subjectivism.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Abraham Juliot
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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    To propose that other men are different from myself in the proof of justification, thinking that I can be assured by faith alone whereas other men just like myself have to be assured by a certain level of works, well, that is a contradiction of the highest sort.
    I'm not sure I understand you here, but it appears that you have a sandemanian view of faith. If so, I will respond by presenting this for your consideration:

    If the personal assurance of our justification is by assenting to gospel doctrine and the manifestation of our justification to others is through manifesting our assent to gospel doctrine... then you would have an argument.

    However, personal assurance is by looking to Christ, embracing Him in hope, trusting in His mercy, and not by examining our own assent to the doctrines of the gospel.

    "And, added to what is there said, I would just remark, that the expressions here made use of by the Apostle, of confession with the mouth, and belief in the heart, very decidedly shew, that Paul considered those principles as living principles, not floating merely in the understanding, but influencing the mind and conscience. Head knowledge, void of heart influence, is the bane of the present day. Thousands, it is to be feared, are resting in a name to believe, while virtually dead before God. Paul saith, it is with the heart (not the head) man believeth unto righteousness. And elsewhere he prayed for the Church, that Christ might dwell in their hearts by faith, Ephesians 3:17." - Robert Hawker, commentary on Romans 10:5-13

    "Christ himself is the object of my faith. What I believe concerning him is this that God made him sin, that I might be made the righteousness, of God in him, My faith consists in believing the everlasting virtue of Christ's blood to make me clean from all sin; and the infinite perfection of his obedience to make me now and evermore righteous before the Lord, at this present moment, and when I stand before him at his bar; and on this I rest my everlasting all. " -Samuel Eyles Pierce

    ...whereas other men just like myself have to be assured by a certain level of works
    The open manifestation of our justification before God and man is by the testimony of our works of faith (not to be confused with works of the law which would include a curse).

    Abel had one work of faith that is recorded for us in Hebrews 11. I don't think he needed anymore for us to believe God's witness of him. "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." [Hebrews 11:4-5] "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another." [John 3:10-11]

    The law of Christ DOES command us to trust in Christ and walk with Him! Who can say that it does not?
    I'm sorry... I meant the law of works not the law of Christ. My statement should rather be read, "The law of works does not not command anyone to trust in Christ as your redeemer and walk with Him as your redeemer." The law is not of faith, we do not receive the spirit by works of the law, we are declared righteous apart from the deeds of the law, no flesh shall be justified by the law, and all who are of the works of the law are under a curse.

    "There is a faith indeed which the law requires and obliges to, namely, faith and trust in God, as the God of nature and providence... moreover the law obliges men to give credit to any revelation of the mind and will of God he has made, or should think fit to make unto them at any time; but as for special faith in Christ as a Saviour, or believing in him to the saving of the soul; this the law knows nothing of, nor does it make it known." -John Gill

    Do you believe that the Law of Christ is the law of works or the law of faith? Or, is there another law which Paul never mentioned in Romans 3.

    Works proceeding from faith are still works--if our assurance is based on them then the measure of those works required to gain assurance HAVE TO BE MEASURED AND STATED IN SCRIPTURE!
    Where did I say that our personal assurance is based on our works of faith? Do read carefully what you already quoted me saying. "The personal assurance of our justification is by the passive exercise of faith in Christ in our conscience. The open manifestation of our justification is by the active exercise of faith walking with Christ before God and man."

    I made this statement after stating my position as I agree with the strict baptist William Styles.

    "The exercises of Faith are two-fold—passive and active. Its passive exercises are reception and reliance (Col. 2:6; 1 Thess. 1:6; Heb. 11:33, “obtained promises”—Isa. 30:7; 2 Tim. 1:12); its active exercises are all the gracious duties enjoined in the gospel, for Faith is the motive power of every act which is spiritually pleasing to God through Christ (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 5:2; 2 Cor. 1:2, 4 and 5:7; Gal. 2:20; Heb. 11 whole chapter). The passive and active exercises of Faith are brought together in Heb. 11:13. “They saw the promises afar off, were persuaded of them, and embraced them”—then, in the power of this persuasion, they voluntarily acted as “strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” So also in Col. 2:6, “As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord”—passive reception, “so walk in Him”—gracious activity." -William Styles

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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Quote Originally Posted by Abraham Julot

    If your view is correct that these are not works of faith, then you have to the same thing. You need to put Works of Law in all tha places you put Works of Faith. The context of the works determines what kind of works these are, not any personal views which may be pressed upon the text. So, we both must ask "what kind of works are being described here... specifically as they are expounded in the case of Abraham and Rahab?"
    Just for reference how are you defining the following:

    Works of Law

    Works of Faith

    This will help me understand what you are saying and not misrepresent you.

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    Abraham Juliot
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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Works of Law are any works which are commanded in the law of works.

    "But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust." [1 Timothy 1:8-11]

    Works of Faith are any acts which are done by the assurance of hope in the mercy and grace of God through Jesus Christ.

    "By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." [Hebrews 11:7] "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." [Hebrews 11:8-10] "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. [Hebrews 11:24-28]

    Works of faith are not commanded in the law of works and works of law and not commanded in the law of faith. The law of works promises a curse for every transgressor and the law of faith promises sure grace for the very enemies of God who are turned by His grace to hope in Him and love Him because He first loved them.

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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Abramham,

    Thanks for the clarification. I will be working on addressing all the various verses you listed to support your view. It will take some time as I have a very busy week at work this week.

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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    If the personal assurance of our justification is by assenting to gospel doctrine and the manifestation of our justification to others is through manifesting our assent to gospel doctrine... then you would have an argument.

    That IS my argument, I agree with this proposition absolutely! Yes, I know that you can bring up the objection that it is Sandemanianism over and over and over again. There is historical dogma and there is FACT. The fact is that the only way any elect believer can have a genuine assurance that someone else truly believes is by confession with the mouth--which is always in harmony with belief in the heart. If a confessor totally denies the truth of the gospel in life--that confessor does not know and believe the true gospel. The idea that someone can have such a deep knowledge of the Word to express EVERTHING right and yet deny it 100% in life--THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN!

    However, personal assurance is by looking to Christ, embracing Him in hope, trusting in His mercy, and not by examining our own assent to the doctrines of the gospel.

    Okay, so let me subtract all my knowledge of the gospel, any joyful assent to it, and embrace some mystical 'Christ' without ANY concept of his person and work. Does that give me ASSURANCE??

    --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Abraham,

    In trying to wade through the vast amount of verses and quotes and paraphrases that you have posted I will address just one specific topic. In future posts if you can keep your comments/posts to bit sized chunks that would be helpful. What I am going to address in this post is your comparison of Hebrews 11 and James 2 and how that is showing "Works of Faith".

    I want to make it clear that I don't see a difference between "works of faith" and "works of law". Both are pointing to something that you have to do. They both point to actions that must be taken on the part of the individual. They both add something to faith alone. Works are by definition doing something, so when James says, "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone." James is adding something to faith.

    When comparing Hebrews 11 and James 2 it is important to look at the context of each passage and the topic or main point that the author is trying to get at.

    Hebrews 11 is showing that faith resulted in fruits / good works within those elect mentioned. The topic the author of Hebrews is discussing is faith and the resulting good works / fruits because of their gift of faith. Nothing is mentioned about their justification or salvation is this passage. Their works are a result of faith alone. They were predestined to walk in them.

    Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    Php 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

    Look at the Hebrews passages in question:

    Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son,

    What is this passage really saying? It is not talking about justification but the resulting fruits of faith.

    Heb 11:31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

    Again the same. Faith resulting in good works. Nothing is mentioned about justification. In fact, the previous chapters in Hebrews clearly spells that Christ is our salvation and Justification.

    Heb 9:24-28 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

    Now let's look at James 2. Here the author of James is clearly talking about Justification.

    Jas 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

    Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?

    Jas 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

    James is clearly speaking on justification and not the fruits of faith. In my exposition on James 2 I state this:

    Quote Originally Posted by forester07

    2. James is using the same example that Paul uses to demonstrate a totally different point. “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” This is a direct quote from Genesis 15:6 which is stated right after God says this to Abraham, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them. So shall your offspring be." All Abraham did was believe what God had said. The work that James is pointing to does not happen until Genesis 22 which is many years after Abraham had already been justified by God through his belief. A key point here is the beginning of verse 23 which says, “and the Scripture was fulfilled”. James here is saying that the passage in Genesis 15:6 wasn’t fulfilled until this Genesis 22 where Abraham offers up Isaac. James’ view is that this work of offering up Isaac was really when Abraham was justified before God.
    James is clearly saying that Abramham's justification did not happen until this work of offering up Isaac. Paul says that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness (Rom 4:3). Paul and James are NOT agreeing on this point. James is not talking about the fruits of faith but of justification. The same thing can be said about Rahab, James is making the work of hiding the spies her point of justification. James is not talking about the fruits of faith but about justification. Do you see the problem here?

    The author of Hebrew is clearly talking about faith producing good works while the author of James is talking about works being required for justification. Not the same thing. On this basis, James must be rejected as scripture. It is teaching a false gospel. Works of faith as you call them are the result of faith. They are the same as the fruits of the spirit (Gal 5:22-26) which come out of the elect's faith. The fruits are not our justification, but James says they are. Justification is soley based on Christ's blood shed for us on the cross and not the fruits that result from this justification.

    The problem that I have with James is that he is talking about justification. James directly contridicts the gospel of free grace.

  16. #16
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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    I cannot improve upon Forester's reply. I do believe that Eph. 2:10 is the golden key that unlocks this mystery more than any other--the good works ordained by God are the unfolding of salvation/justification and not the basis of it. It doesn't matter whether those works are called works of faith or New Covenant works. Works of law are obviously excluded because those would be deeds performed to obtain justification by law. But works as the fruit of faith are no more the basis of justification than works of law are the basis of it.

    The works of Abraham and the others mentioned in Heb. 11 are certainly evidence that such persons were JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE. They are in no wise evidence that such persons were JUSTIFIED BY WORKS AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

  17. #17
    Abraham Juliot
    Guest

    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    I posted this in the other thread, but perhaps it will may be found helpful in a response here.

    The idea that someone can have such a deep knowledge of the Word to express EVERTHING right and yet deny it 100% in life--THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN!
    My definition of dead faith does not go beyond the faith which a devil may have. In considering what Devil's actually may believe, a dead faith does not go beyond this. In devils and in the carnal mind, there always remains a resistance and bitterness towards God's revealed truth, despite what they may believe about God and his gospel which is true.

    "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." [James 2:19]

    Dead faith is a faith which devils may have. James relates dead faith to the faith of a devil. When we understand what a devil can believe, we can understand that there is a kind of faith which does not and cannot receive the promises of God's grace. Dead faith cannot walk by faith in God's promises of grace because it cannot receive God's promise of grace. It cannot receive Christ promises of grace because the flesh and carnal mind profits nothing, it is the Spirit that quickens.

    "And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God." [Mark 1:23-24] "And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God." [Luke 4:33-34] "And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation." [Acts 16:16-17] "Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done... But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God." [Acts 8:13, 20-21]

    Yes, I know that you can bring up the objection that it is Sandemanianism over and over and over again.
    The nature of sandemanian faith is simply believing the testimony of the gospel (namely the doctrine of the gospel). It is true that even this itself must be a work of the law, because to deny the truth of the gospel would be a sin (such as believing a lie and charging God as being a liar). If the nature of saving faith is merely believing doctrine, then the law must curse for the want of saving faith. For every sin and transgression against the truth is cursed by God. If the law curses for the want of saving faith, then the law must command saving faith. For God curses souls for transgressing the commands of the law. Therefore, saving faith cannot be a mere belief of gospel doctrine (though he that comes to God in saving faith must believe gospel doctrine).

    There is a faith which the law commands. In as much as it is a sin to deny the truth, it must be a duty to believe the truth when it is proclaimed to the mind of the flesh. "And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?" [John 8:45-46]

    There is a faith which is not commanded in the law. In as much as it is a gift to receive the promises of God's grace, it must be a gift to believe the truth that I am in Christ when it is spiritually revealed to my heart through faith. "Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be." [Romans 4:18] "Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see." [Hebrews 11:1, 1912 Weymouth New Testament] "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." [Hebrews 11:13] "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called." [Hebrews 11:17-18]

    Okay, so let me subtract all my knowledge of the gospel, any joyful assent to it, and embrace some mystical 'Christ' without ANY concept of his person and work. Does that give me ASSURANCE??
    Saving faith cannot be a mere belief of gospel doctrine (though he that comes to God in saving faith must believe gospel doctrine).

    "Junior: But did you not feel some very sensible comfort in your soul when you first believed?

    Senior: No. Christ was the object of my faith. His salvation was the subject my faith was exercised on. I was therefore taken off myself entirely. I was not led to think concerning myself. It was no subject of importance with me what I was, or what I was not; but who Christ was, and what he had done. These, in my views, were the only subjects I had any concern with... And hereby your new birth is most clearly evidenced; as you have a real knowledge of Christ formed in your mind, and of the Father's love in him, and are drawn insensibly to yourself, by the grace and energy of the Holy Spirit, to think and meditate on Christ's salvation, and the Father's love to you in him."" -Samuel Eyles Pierce

    Saving Faith includes hope. William Styles writes on the subjective and objective nature of this hope:

    Subjectively
    Rom. 5:2, “In h. of the glory of God.”
    Rom 5:4, “Experience (worketh) h.”
    Rom 8:24, “Are saved by h.”
    Rom 15:4, “That we might have h.”
    Rom 15:13, “That ye might abound in h.”
    1 Cor. 13:13, “Now abideth h.”
    1 Thess. 5:8, “For an helmet the h. of salvation.”
    2 Thess. 2:16, “Good h. through grace.”
    *Heb 6:19, “Which h. we have as an anchor.”
    1 Pet. 1:3, “To a lively (living) h.”
    1 Pet. 1:21, “Your h. might be in God.”
    1 John 3:3, “This h. in Him.”

    Objectively.
    Jer. 17:13, “The h. of Israel.”
    Acts 26:7, “For which h.’s sake.”
    *Rom. 8:24, “H. that is seen is not h.”
    Rom 15:13, “The God of h.”
    Gal. 5:5, “The h. of righteousness.”
    Col. 1:5, “The h. laid up for you.”
    Col 1:27, “The h. of glory.”
    1 Thess. 2:19, “What is our h.”
    1 Tim. 1:1, “Jesus who is our h.”
    Titus 2:13, “That blessed h.”
    *Heb. 6:18, “To lay hold on the h.”
    *Note—In Rom. 8:24, and Heb. 6:18, 19, it occurs in both senses—subjective and objective.] (William Styles)

  18. #18
    Abraham Juliot
    Guest
    I want to make it clear that I don't see a difference between "works of faith" and "works of law".
    I expounded my definition a bit more:

    Works of faith are not commanded in the law of works and works of law and not commanded in the law of faith. The law of works promises a curse for every transgressor and the law of faith promises through sure grace the eternal forgiving and cleansing blood of Christ for the very enemies of God whom God has called by His grace before the world began. These are turned by His grace to hope in Him and love Him because He first loved them.

    Here are some commands which cannot be from the Law of Works. Notices that they are life giving commands.

    Works of Faith are any acts which are done by the assurance of hope in the mercy and grace of God through Jesus Christ.

    "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." [John 14:1-3] "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love." [John 15:9] "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." [John 15:12]

    "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." [Romans 12:1-3]

    "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." [Ephesians 4:32]

    "We love him, because he first loved us." [1 John 4:19]

    "The commands of Christ are quite distinct from the moral law, with respect to the person, and the office of the person speaking; the persons spoken to, who are his own elect; the divine power that attends his commands; his orders, his sayings, and his words, being life; and the divine aid promised and given to the evangelical servants who serve him in the newness of the Spirit." -William Huntington

    "There is a great difference between law and gospel, works and grace, the letter and the Spirit; and between a legal commandment and a life-giving commandment. The former bids us work for life, the latter bids us live: "When thou wast in thy blood, I said unto thee, live." At which command the sting of death flies, and life and immortality are brought to light." -William Huntington

  19. #19
    Abraham Juliot
    Guest

    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Quote Originally Posted by Forester07 View Post
    Abramham,

    Thanks for the clarification. I will be working on addressing all the various verses you listed to support your view. It will take some time as I have a very busy week at work this week.
    Make sure you don't spend too much time at it. I want you all enjoy personal reading and family time more than addressing my questions. The questions are more like nuggets of thought that we can address at a convenient time. If you want, you can respond on a weekly, monthly, or seasonal basis. I realize that threads can eat up a lot of time. If you need a seasonal break, that's fine to... and we can pick it up in the future. I count it a privilege to receive just 1 response. If you need to take any amount of time off the threads... just let me know. It's totally okay.

  20. #20
    Abraham Juliot
    Guest

    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Hebrews 11... Nothing is mentioned about their justification or salvation is this passage.
    The context is loaded with promises related to the hope of grace and the very beginning speaks of elders and Abel obtaining a good report. (I understand this to mean a manifestation before God and man that they were Just in that they manifestly lived by faith)

    "For by it the elders obtained a good report... By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.." [Hebrews 11:2,4]

    Who obtained witness that Abel was righteous?
    Why did God testify of his gifts?
    Was God testifying of Abel's gifts or His gifts?
    Why is "gifts" plural and not singular?

    Jas 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?
    It is important note that james is referring to the faith of devils (which cannot extend any further that what a devil may believe or profess to believe). James is not saying, "can Faith in Christ save him?" In the context, James is referring to a faith which devils can match up to. You can address this scripture in Luke at a convenient time. But, if you have trouble with James 2:14... you should have the same trouble with Luke 7.

    "And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." [Luke 7:48-50]

    "Her love was not the cause of her forgiveness, but a proof and evidence of it... 1. Her Faith did not originate her salvation. The story is, indeed, a fragment. We know not how the work of grace began in her heart, but to assert that her religious life was commenced by this her act of trust—that she constituted herself a saved person by believing in Christ—would be to falsify the narrative. There is ample evidence of an inwrought work, ere she appears in the Evangelist’s narrative. 2. The Faith referred to was the approach of a conscious or sensible (and therefore regenerated) sinner to Jesus. Her heart was evidently alive with spiritual feeling. She was one “who had heard and had learned of the Father,” and so came to Jesus (John 6:45). 3. The salvation referred to was experimental. She was actually saved when grace first moved her to forsake her sinful ways; saved when her heart first glowed with shame, and tears of penitence fell from her eyes; saved during the anxious interval which preceded the above incident; saved—but without such assurance of the fact as could afford rest to her heart. Her Faith led her to Jesus, and obtained from His lips the words of peace for which she longed: words which saved her from the sting of shame; saved her from degradation; saved her from despair, by the hope and promise of a new and purer life." -William Styles

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