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Thread: Article: James 2:14-26

  1. #21
    Abraham Juliot
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    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?
    In Genesis 15 we read that Abraham "believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." Why does James relate the fulfillment of this verse to Abraham's work of faith in Genesis 22? "And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." [Genesis 15:6] "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 2:23] The fulfillment of Abraham living in the assurance of faith is noted in Genesis 15. This event occurred way before Abraham offered up Isaac. However, it may be said that this scripture is fulfilled in every instance when Abraham walked by faith and embraced the assurance of God's grace. It is important that we understand that righteousness was not imputed because of Abraham's faith. Nor was the assurance of faith a one time fulfillment.

    Righteousness is imputed because of the love of God through the blood of Christ and our personal assurance of God's grace is through faith. When we understand that Genesis 15 is speaking of Abraham's assurance of being justified in Christ, we may also understand that this scripture is fulfilled in every instance when Abraham walked by the assurance of faith in God's grace. "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness." [Romans 4:20-22] Notice the Paul says, "...therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness" and relates it to Abraham being "strong in faith, giving glory to God." Abraham offered up Isaac by faith in God's grace. It was a work which could only be wrought by faith in God's grace. When we understand this, we will understand that Abraham's work was not a deed in the Law of works. For the Law does not command anyone to live and walk by faith in God's sure promises of grace for you. Nor does it command anyone to love and fear God because of His sure promises of grace for you.

    Romans teaches that we are not declared righteous by works of the Law in the sight of God or by works of the law in our own conscience. In simple terms, we cannot obtain assurance of being righteous by works or deeds of the law... and no one shall be declared righteous in the sight of God by deeds of the law. If we cannot be declared righteous by works of the law in the sight of God, then be sure that we cannot be declared righteous by works of the law in the sight of men, and be assured that we cannot be declared righteous by works of the law in the sight of our own consciences. Romans does not contradict James when we understand that: 1. James is not teaching that works of the law or works of faith are the ground and cause of our justification. The blood of Christ is the ground and cause of our Justification and James does not contradict this blessed hope. 2. James is not teaching that we obtain personal assurance of our justification by works of the law. [1] The law does not address us as brethren and direct us to love our brother and sister by faith in God's grace. (See James 2:15-16) [2] The law did not command Abraham to offer Isaac his son upon the altar by faith in God's grace. (See James 2:21) [3] The law did not command Rahab to receive the messengers, and send them out another way by faith in God's grace. (See James 2:21)

    Blessings


    Side Note

    Justification simply means "declared righteous." When we are justified we are declared righteous through faith on the ground of the blood of Christ alone. (not on the ground of our faith) By faith we receive the comforting assurance that we are justified freely by God's grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus. The word imputed (in Romans 4) can also be translated "purposed." As we read through Romans 4, there are numerous verses which speak of "faith" being imputed? Read through at take notes. A common reformed interpretation is to make these verses say "the object of faith was imputed." I believe it is better to understand what "imputed" in relation to faith being imputed. It is better read that Faith is "purposed" for righteousness and specifically the assurance of our justification by Christ. The very first verse uses the word "Found". Clearly the context is about how we find that we are justified and Faith is purposed for the assurance of righteousness. There is my quick take on Romans 4. I've never met anyone with a similar interpretation. But, the other option is to interpret faith as "the object of faith"... but the object of faith and faith are two very different subjects (though related).

  2. #22
    Abraham Juliot
    Guest
    When we understand that Genesis 15 is speaking of Abraham's assurance of being justified in Christ, we may also understand that this scripture is fulfilled in every instance when Abraham walked by the assurance of faith in God's grace.
    This scripture came to mind.

    "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] Righteousness is not revealed one time. It is revealed from faith to faith and we continually live by this faith. We stumble from living if our faith is not receiving the revelation of His righteousness.


    "...from faith to faith; that is, as say some, from the faith of God to the faith
    of men; from the faith of preachers to the faith of hearers; from the faith of
    the Old to the faith of the New Testament saints; or rather from one degree
    of faith to another; for faith, as it grows and increases, has clearer sights of
    this righteousness, as held forth in the Gospel. For the proof of this, a
    passage of Scripture is cited, as it is written, (Habakkuk 2:4)." -John Gill

  3. #23
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    Re: Article: James 2:14-26

    Abraham,

    I think it is most appropriate at this point to just surrender mutually and admit that we're not going to agree! Nothing less, nothing more. We have different views as to what constitutes the substance and essence of the true gospel.

    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.

    When the author speaking in the name of James states that men are justified NOT by faith only but by faith + works, he CLEARLY is not referring to DEAD FAITH but is exercising a polemic against Paul. So we are back to the old issue of dead faith + works is what justifies; which argument I will not have again. This argument about faith is so foreign to the rest of the New Testament that I can only pray earnestly that any reader will bow in prayer to ask of God what gospel truth really is.

    I am finished with this discussion.

    --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

  4. #24
    Abraham Juliot
    Guest
    I think it is most appropriate at this point to just surrender
    You can surrender.... but I still have important unanswered questions of which I will not overlook.

    I am finished with this discussion.
    Thanks for your time. Be aware that most of my responses have not been addressed (including my recent responses to your statements).

    As I stated numerous times, the justification by works of faith which James is referring to is not in the conscience or for personal assurance. (by faith only and by works of faith are 2 different manifestations of our justification. One is personal and in the conscience, and the other is openly before God and man). I am not contradicting Paul on the assurance of justification in the conscience. James is arguing that the manifestation of our faith before others [God and man] is not a mere profession/confession (which devil's can mimic), but rather a living faith which lives on gospel promises and acts according to them. This does not mean that God looks to our works of faith as the ground of our justification. (neither does He look to our faith alone as the ground)

    God will not openly declare us righteous before others apart from works of faith. Read Matthew 25... Why were the sheep pronounced righteous openly? what was the manifestation that they were truly righteous? Their works are works of faith toward the brethren of Christ and thus toward Christ Himself... (works which the law does not command).

    Personal justification is by faith only (faith is the assurance - not the ground), but we are also justified (declared righteous) openly and manifestly outside of our conscience before others by works of faith (works of faith is the manifestation - not the ground). The finished work of Christ at Calvary is the only cause and ground of our justification, yet I am constantly being represented as though I differ from this.

    I think it is most appropriate at this point to just surrender mutually and admit that we're not going to agree!
    I've been aware that we don't agree for some time now before I started the discussion. I have also been aware that there are inconsistencies in many of the arguments in these articles. Much of the arguments will not stand in the light of dozens of other scriptures... which I brought up. (most of which, I still wonder if you have taken the time to prepare an answer)

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