God's Promise vs. Man's Efforts

Thread starter #1

NoOne

Senior Member
“For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath…” (Rom. 4:14,15).​

This should be self-evident to us all. If blessing is gained by the works of the Law, it is earned. This is why Gal. 3:18 says: “If the inheritance be of the law it is no more of promise, but God gave it to Abraham by promise.”

The Apostle Paul, God’s great apostle of grace, declares in Rom. 4:4,5:

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”​

But let’s go back to that phrase: “the law worketh wrath.” Many people somehow do not see this. Even some clergymen tell us that the Law was given to help us to be good. But God Himself says, “the law worketh wrath.” Every criminal knows this, and every sinner should know it. God certainly places strong emphasis upon it:

“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions” (Gal. 3:19), “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought in guilty before God” (Rom. 3:19). “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20).​

If we come to God expecting eternal life because of our good works, are we not offering Him our terms, which He can never accept? He will never sell salvation at any price, and certainly not for a few paltry “good” works, when our lives are filled with failure and sin.

Our only hope? God has promised to give eternal life to those who trust in His Son (John 3:35,36; Acts 16:31; etc.).

“The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).​

Pastor C.R. Stam
 

Madman

Senior Member
Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
 
Thread starter #3

NoOne

Senior Member
Ephesians 2:8-10 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 3:5-7 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
 

Madman

Senior Member
James 2:20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
 
Thread starter #5

NoOne

Senior Member
James 1:1 "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the TWELVE TRIBES which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Romans 11:13 "For I (PAUL) speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office
 

Madman

Senior Member
James 1:1 "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the TWELVE TRIBES which are scattered abroad, greeting.
Maybe written to Jewish Christians but definitely to Christian Jews.

James 2: 1 My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.

and

James 5:7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.
 
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Madman

Senior Member
I enjoy reading these post and the insinuation that Catholics (of all stripes) believe we are SAVED by works. The constant ignorance that is espoused is humorous if not out right sad.

No Catholic, not even Roman Catholics, believe we are saved by our works.

The Church has ALWAYS taught and continues to teach that we can do nothing to merit grace that comes to us in baptism.

The Church teaches we are saved only by God's grace, and that justification comes through faith.

Please pay close attention to Paul's writings, he never says our righteousness comes from faith alone, he says it comes from faith apart from works.

Martin Luther chose to change Holy Scripture when he added the word "alone" but we see in James 2:24 that justification by faith alone is denied.
"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
 
Thread starter #8

NoOne

Senior Member
Galations 2:1-9

Then fourteen years after I (PAUL) went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

And I went up by revelation (FROM THE LORD JESUS CHRIST), and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised (PART OF THE LAW OF JUDISM)

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage (THE LAW):

To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (GENTILES) was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (JEWS) was unto Peter;

(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision (JEWS), the same was mighty in me toward the (Gentiles)

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived (COME TO UNDERSTAND) the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen (GENTILES), and they (THE TWELVE) unto the circumcision (JEWS)
 

Madman

Senior Member
Galations 2:1-9

Then fourteen years after I (PAUL) went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

And I went up by revelation (FROM THE LORD JESUS CHRIST), and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised (PART OF THE LAW OF JUDISM)

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage (THE LAW):

To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (GENTILES) was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (JEWS) was unto Peter;

(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision (JEWS), the same was mighty in me toward the (Gentiles)

And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived (COME TO UNDERSTAND) the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen (GENTILES), and they (THE TWELVE) unto the circumcision (JEWS)
It is always enjoyable, NOT, to simply see who can out proof text the other.

I am not sure what you are trying to say because you simply cut and paste articles and cut and paste Scripture. No remarks, no thoughts, no context.

Can't have a discussion with cut and paste.
 
Thread starter #10

NoOne

Senior Member
The Body of Christ, The Mysteries

 
I enjoy reading these post and the insinuation that Catholics (of all stripes) believe we are SAVED by works. The constant ignorance that is espoused is humorous if not out right sad.

No Catholic, not even Roman Catholics, believe we are saved by our works.

The Church has ALWAYS taught and continues to teach that we can do nothing to merit grace that comes to us in baptism.

The Church teaches we are saved only by God's grace, and that justification comes through faith.

Please pay close attention to Paul's writings, he never says our righteousness comes from faith alone, he says it comes from faith apart from works.

Martin Luther chose to change Holy Scripture when he added the word "alone" but we see in James 2:24 that justification by faith alone is denied.
"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”
Martin Luther had quite a problem with the book of James because he did not rightly divide the truth of scripture(s). (He wanted to remove the book of James because of his misunderstandings!)

The "James justification" comes in focus with these words of Christ:

This is the work of God,
to believe in the One He has sent. Jn 6:29 - emphasis mine

This is the new covenant work of faith, by grace. Consider, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness"

Any works out of this faith are fruit of His Spirit Life, not our fleshly efforts to keep the GIFT of 'faith' going!

Notice in the Titus 3 verse it says our works are profitable for people - not for our relationship with God. This truth is prevalent throughout scripture ...
8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works.
These things are excellent and profitable for people.

The problem arises when we start to confess both works and faith as a means to the Life of God (salvation) within, something that a single work (Christ's) finished and sealed.
 
Thread starter #12

NoOne

Senior Member
The body of Christ and the Mysteries

 
Thread starter #13

NoOne

Senior Member
The Body of Christ and the Mysteries continued

 

Madman

Senior Member
Martin Luther had quite a problem with the book of James because he did not rightly divide the truth of scripture(s). (He wanted to remove the book of James because of his misunderstandings!)

The "James justification" comes in focus with these words of Christ:

This is the work of God,
to believe in the One He has sent. Jn 6:29 - emphasis mine

This is the new covenant work of faith, by grace. Consider, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness"

Any works out of this faith are fruit of His Spirit Life, not our fleshly efforts to keep the GIFT of 'faith' going!

Notice in the Titus 3 verse it says our works are profitable for people - not for our relationship with God. This truth is prevalent throughout scripture ...
8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works.
These things are excellent and profitable for people.

The problem arises when we start to confess both works and faith as a means to the Life of God (salvation) within, something that a single work (Christ's) finished and sealed.
Striper, I've been thinking about your response and found I was in full agreement with you, at least the first sentence.

"Martin Luther had quite a problem with the book of James because he did not rightly divide the truth of scripture(s). (He wanted to remove the book of James because of his misunderstandings!)"

But it brought up more questions, how do I know, or how do you know, that we are "rightly dividing the truth of Scripture"?

According to you Martin Luther missed it, we probably agree on some others who have missed it, how do we know that we have not missed it?
 
Thread starter #15

NoOne

Senior Member
The Mysteries revealed to the Apostle Paul to the Gentiles

 

Madman

Senior Member
Martin Luther had quite a problem with the book of James because he did not rightly divide the truth of scripture(s). (He wanted to remove the book of James because of his misunderstandings!)

The "James justification" comes in focus with these words of Christ:

This is the work of God,
to believe in the One He has sent. Jn 6:29 - emphasis mine

This is the new covenant work of faith, by grace. Consider, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness"

Any works out of this faith are fruit of His Spirit Life, not our fleshly efforts to keep the GIFT of 'faith' going!

Notice in the Titus 3 verse it says our works are profitable for people - not for our relationship with God. This truth is prevalent throughout scripture ...
8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works.
These things are excellent and profitable for people.

The problem arises when we start to confess both works and faith as a means to the Life of God (salvation) within, something that a single work (Christ's) finished and sealed.
So you can rightly divide Scripture but Martin couldn't, how about Calvin, did he get it all correct?

If ones fruits are good does that determine their ability divide Scripture?

Some would claim Martin Luther had the best of all fruits, he had a huge part in the reformation.
 
Striper, I've been thinking about your response and found I was in full agreement with you, at least the first sentence.

"Martin Luther had quite a problem with the book of James because he did not rightly divide the truth of scripture(s). (He wanted to remove the book of James because of his misunderstandings!)"

But it brought up more questions, how do I know, or how do you know, that we are "rightly dividing the truth of Scripture"?

According to you Martin Luther missed it, we probably agree on some others who have missed it, how do we know that we have not missed it?
Sorry for late reply to your great question, 12 hour shifts at age 62 tend to leave me exasperated some days, even when off work!

I think the short answer is in the context of the passage. And in most cases the divide between old and new covenants. Or faith, contrasted with works, where Luther had issues with the faith and works passages in James, without understanding the "work of faith" was to rightly believe on Christ for the believer to be made whole, not in the outer demonstration of that saving faith.

I'll admit, the James passage may have many a religious one shaking their heads. But if such is contrasted with the basis of grace and the new covenant (by grace thru faith), the passages take on a harmony. We can be encouraged by Rahab the harlot, who welcomed the Jewish spies in peace to her home, protecting them, because of the faith she had in the God whom she believed would also save her.

Talk about remarkable faith! But this is where we need to dig into the true meaning and purpose of scripture. The outer show of Rahab's belief, protecting the spies, was just a momentary hint of the transformation of her beliefs. THAT is the big deal.

A faith worth understanding before an applauding of the work of faith which came after.

So in answer to your question, we desperately need the revelation of God both before we have received Christ, as well as when we begin to follow Him, and take into account the time, place, people of the writings, not to over analyze ... but to enjoy the freedom and peace of Christ.

That's something of an intro to the answer that I hope helps. I wrote some more below for some share back.

(Thank you for the Q&A brother. God bless!!)

================================

Of dividing and gleaning ... my reflections, Emphasis mine:

1) In Matt 11:28-30 Jesus is discussing the benefits of the future New Covenant when He makes the incredible claim of giving believers rest.
"Come to me, all who are laid low and burdened beyond measure by your sin, and I'll come and I'll be the one to exchange your yoke (of the law of sin & death) and replace it with MINE, giving you REST - from laboring in self sufficiency, law/sin emphasis, to emphasis on my work to produce life and union with Me."
The audience is us, as well as all who see that they have no hope to rescue themselves from their sin inherited from Adam and their spiritual death.

2) Contrast that with another audience. Jesus upped the severity of the law of Moses to self sufficient, self righteous Pharisees of His day from the sermon on the Mount. His harsh words said to show them they had no chance to create life in themselves without Him. Consider a church service where people fulfill the command to remove body parts as an attempt to stop their lawlessness (see link to Matt 5:29-30 here).
If we were that serious about sin, wouldn't our services become an amputee ward? Yes, what a ridiculous idea! But it brings to bear that the CONTENT and AUDIENCE of ANY verse in scripture is essential, CRUCIAL ... if the verse is going to bring clarity to the reader or not. The law was amplified by Christ so that no one would be the source of their sin overcoming, and the good tutor that the law (of condemnation) is ... it turns us to trust in Christ alone for (eternal) Life - for the life to come, AND the Godliness of the gift of His grace ... for the present - since the giver of Life now lives within those who recognized their need of Him.

A passage in Hebrews that talks about those who only "taste" of the heavenly gift but do not "drink" of the life of Christ, and go on sinning continually, these refer to the Jews continuing in unbelief. In fact, that is the only sin that is discussed in the context.
18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?
19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
Heb 3:18-19.

Peace!
 
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Just saw this,
So you can rightly divide Scripture but Martin couldn't, how about Calvin, did he get it all correct?

If ones fruits are good does that determine their ability divide Scripture?

Some would claim Martin Luther had the best of all fruits, he had a huge part in the reformation.
We're growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord daily. We each are on a different page of our faith journey. For many years mine was a self sufficient passage that made the works of the flesh, however good they looked, to be my main path. When the books of Galatians, Romans and Hebrews were opened to me by wise instructors, much of that old yoke was taken away and peace started to emerge.
Like Paul, I haven't arrived in all the understanding of such incredible grace. But now the journey has been deepened with understanding just what grace & the new covenant did for me and to me.
I believing more and more daily that my old chains were taken away by the greatest love ever freely given.
 
Thread starter #19

NoOne

Senior Member
How to be part of the Body of Christ....Your Religion will not save you

 

Madman

Senior Member
Sorry for late reply to your great question, 12 hour shifts at age 62 tend to leave me exasperated some days, even when off work!

I think the short answer is in the context of the passage. And in most cases the divide between old and new covenants. Or faith, contrasted with works, where Luther had issues with the faith and works passages in James, without understanding the "work of faith" was to rightly believe on Christ for the believer to be made whole, not in the outer demonstration of that saving faith.

I'll admit, the James passage may have many a religious one shaking their heads. But if such is contrasted with the basis of grace and the new covenant (by grace thru faith), the passages take on a harmony. We can be encouraged by Rahab the harlot, who welcomed the Jewish spies in peace to her home, protecting them, because of the faith she had in the God whom she believed would also save her.

Talk about remarkable faith! But this is where we need to dig into the true meaning and purpose of scripture. The outer show of Rahab's belief, protecting the spies, was just a momentary hint of the transformation of her beliefs. THAT is the big deal.

A faith worth understanding before an applauding of the work of faith which came after.

So in answer to your question, we desperately need the revelation of God both before we have received Christ, as well as when we begin to follow Him, and take into account the time, place, people of the writings, not to over analyze ... but to enjoy the freedom and peace of Christ.

That's something of an intro to the answer that I hope helps. I wrote some more below for some share back.

(Thank you for the Q&A brother. God bless!!)

================================

Of dividing and gleaning ... my reflections, Emphasis mine:

1) In Matt 11:28-30 Jesus is discussing the benefits of the future New Covenant when He makes the incredible claim of giving believers rest.
"Come to me, all who are laid low and burdened beyond measure by your sin, and I'll come and I'll be the one to exchange your yoke (of the law of sin & death) and replace it with MINE, giving you REST - from laboring in self sufficiency, law/sin emphasis, to emphasis on my work to produce life and union with Me."
The audience is us, as well as all who see that they have no hope to rescue themselves from their sin inherited from Adam and their spiritual death.

2) Contrast that with another audience. Jesus upped the severity of the law of Moses to self sufficient, self righteous Pharisees of His day from the sermon on the Mount. His harsh words said to show them they had no chance to create life in themselves without Him. Consider a church service where people fulfill the command to remove body parts as an attempt to stop their lawlessness (see link to Matt 5:29-30 here).
If we were that serious about sin, wouldn't our services become an amputee ward? Yes, what a ridiculous idea! But it brings to bear that the CONTENT and AUDIENCE of ANY verse in scripture is essential, CRUCIAL ... if the verse is going to bring clarity to the reader or not. The law was amplified by Christ so that no one would be the source of their sin overcoming, and the good tutor that the law (of condemnation) is ... it turns us to trust in Christ alone for (eternal) Life - for the life to come, AND the Godliness of the gift of His grace ... for the present - since the giver of Life now lives within those who recognized their need of Him.

A passage in Hebrews that talks about those who only "taste" of the heavenly gift but do not "drink" of the life of Christ, and go on sinning continually, these refer to the Jews continuing in unbelief. In fact, that is the only sin that is discussed in the context.
18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?
19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
Heb 3:18-19.

Peace!
Thank you for the answer. I know about it being more difficult to work those long hours this late in life.

I suppose what it comes down to for me is that the Holy Scriptures were given into the care of the Church and are valuable for the teaching and edification of the saints.

It is good and reasonable for me to read Holy Scripture and make personal applications to my life, however, since there are many deeper things that need be defined and interpreted, it is good to leave those to the Church which has been at it for 2000+ years and is still in agreement.

God's Peace.
 
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