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Spirituality

Spirituality

  1. Standard member Removed
    11 Mar '18 14:46
    I don't visit here much anymore but came across a great commentary in my studies that helps explain the position that I think, Rajk holds about works and decided to share it here. I agree with it wholeheartedly.
    Rajk, if this commentary articulates your position, then I apologize and admit you were right all along.
    Take care and God bless.....CB

    You see that by works a person is declared righteous, and not only by trust.

    You see that by works a person is declared righteous, and not only by trust. James begins this section (James 2:14-26) with a rhetorical question, “What does it profit, my brothers, if someone says he has trust but does not have works? Is that trust able to save him?” (James 2:14). Previously, James had asserted that believers are to be not only hearers of the word, but doers of the word as well (James 1:22-25). In addition, “religion that is pure and undefiled” is caring for those in need, such as orphans and widows (James 1:27).

    In connection with his description of “true religion,” James now considers how showing favoritism does not cohere with having trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. He sketches an incident where a person professes to trust in Jesus but then fails to live according to the law of love taught by Jesus. Such behavior is inconsistent and hypocritical. Favoritism is incompatible with genuine trust in Jesus (James 2:1) and fails to demonstrate adherence to the law of love (James 2:9). And thus, James’ admonition is to “speak and act as people who are going to be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12).

    James’ rhetorical question at the beginning of James 2:14 is directed at a simple premise: how can trust be authentic if it is not revealed through a person’s actions? Furthermore, James goes one step further and draws out the conclusion of his premise: “Can trust that does not result in a change in behavior actually be a trust that saves a person?” This question gets to the heart of the matter that James is addressing: “What does genuine trust look like when it is demonstrated in the life of a believer?”

    James asserts that if a person believes (i.e., trusts in Jesus) but does not have “works,” that person’s trust is dead. (James 2:17). In combination with James’ claim that “by works a person is declared righteous, and not only by trust” (James 2:24), the reader might be confused about what James is talking about. How are “works” tied in to a saving trust in Jesus? Moreover, these statements by James likely bring up many questions in connection with the writings of the Apostle Paul where Paul has made the exact opposite claim: “For we maintain it is by trust that a person is declared righteous, apart from works of law” (Rom. 3:28).

    So, does this mean that James is contradicting Paul? The simple answer is “No, he’s not.” The presupposition that most readers bring with them when reading the letter of James is that when James uses words like “trust” and “works,” he is using them with the same connotation and meaning Paul does. But this is the error in logic that brings the tension between James and Paul in the first place: a logical error called “the fallacy of equivocation.” However, when the mistake of equivocating the usage of these words in Paul and James is clarified, it will help the reader to see how James is making an entirely different point than Paul and using the same terms but in a completely different context, and thus assigning them a different meaning.

    Unlike Paul, James’ argument in this section is not about the means or merit of salvation. While Paul’s argument in passages like Romans chapter 3 and Galatians chapter 3 is preoccupied with delineating the basis for salvation, James’ focus is rather on what authentic trust in Jesus looks like in practical terms—that is, what does trust look like in a person’s life?

    Both Paul and James use the word “trust” (Gk. pistis) to refer to “belief, confidence, or reliance upon something” but they use it in totally different contexts. Paul is differentiating between “trust” and “works” as the basis for salvation, whereas James’ attention is to express how “trust” and “works” are interconnected and cannot be divorced from each other. This comparison might seem confusing until it is understood that Paul’s use of the word “works” is always with a view to “works of the law,” whereas James’ use of the word “works” is not in reference to law-observing works, but to “works of trust,” i.e., works that issue from having trust in Jesus. This critical distinction between the contexts of Paul and James is the crux of the tension that is often presumed to be between the two writers.

    With that clarification made, what is James actually saying about how a person is justified “by works…and not only by trust”? (James 2:24). First, James’ contrast in James 2:18between a person who has “trust” and a person who has “works” is not a comparison between “trust” and “works” themselves, but instead between a person who has “trust” and yet does not live according to that trust, and a person who trusts and then lives according to that trust. In conjunction with James’ exhortation in James 1:22-25, the first description refers to those who hear the word and believe but never actually obey the word they hear. The second description refers to those who hear the word and then do the word by obeying. So, when James speaks about the one who has “works,” he is speaking about the person whose actions (i.e., their works) reveal that they truly believe and trust the word they have heard, and thus, they genuinely trust in Jesus as their Lord and Christ.

    To prove his point, James makes the striking claim that even demons believe in God but never have works that show their trust in the truth they know (James 2:19). They understand the truth and “believe” that God is real and Jesus is the Christ, but their manner of conduct (i.e., lack of obedience to God) reveals that they do not have genuine trust. Instead, they simply are afraid of God because they know their judgment is inevitable. This exemplifies how “trust apart from works is barren” (James 2:20), because if a person’s trust is authentic, it will be accompanied by the type of actions which prove its genuineness. To put it succinctly, trust without transformation is fake trust. James’ point is that a person can mentally assent to a fact, but if no action is taken in light of their belief, it is not true trust—trust is proven to be real through the demonstration of one’s actions (i.e., works).

    James takes the lives of Abraham and Rahab as illustrations of his argument. They both trusted in God, but James highlights how that trust was proven to be real by their actions (works). Abraham obeyed God’s commandment to bind his son Isaac and sacrifice him on Mt. Moriah (Gen. 22:1-19), and Rahab believed in God and showed her allegiance and trust by hiding the Israelite messengers when they came to Jericho (Josh. 2:2-21).
    The “good works” shown by their obedience and submission to God’s authority proved their trust was genuine—they trusted and thus obeyed. And that is why when James says a person is justified “by works” and “not only by trust,” he is claiming that if a person’s life does not demonstrate the obedient action that results from true trust, then it is not true trust. Mere “trust” (belief) like demons have does not justify a person. Only genuine trust, which is proven by one’s actions, is a trust that saves and is the evidence that a person is a doer of the word, and not a hearer only.

    Commentary for:
    James 2:24
  2. 11 Mar '18 15:15
    Originally posted by @checkbaiter
    I don't visit here much anymore but came across a great commentary in my studies that helps explain the position that I think, Rajk holds about works and decided to share it here. I agree with it wholeheartedly.
    Rajk, if this commentary articulates your position, then I apologize and admit you were right all along.
    Take care and God bless.....CB

    Y ...[text shortened]... e that a person is a doer of the word, and not a hearer only.


    Commentary for:
    James 2:24[/b]
    If I may say, and correct me if I'm wrong, in other words, salvation is by trust and works of obedience are the evidences of genuine trust.
  3. Standard member Removed
    11 Mar '18 15:19
    Originally posted by @secondson
    If I may say, and correct me if I'm wrong, in other words, salvation is by trust and works of obedience are the evidences of genuine trust.
    That's the way I see it too. I had to think about this for some time, but it sounds right, logical and simple.
  4. Subscriber Rajk999
    Enjoying
    11 Mar '18 15:57
    Originally posted by @checkbaiter
    I don't visit here much anymore but came across a great commentary in my studies that helps explain the position that I think, Rajk holds about works and decided to share it here. I agree with it wholeheartedly.
    Rajk, if this commentary articulates your position, then I apologize and admit you were right all along.
    Take care and God bless.....CB

    Y ...[text shortened]... e that a person is a doer of the word, and not a hearer only.


    Commentary for:
    James 2:24[/b]
    Most interesting. Thanks. No apology necessary pal. We discuss and we learn and we move on more enlightened. .. sometimes No doubt I learned a few things from you as well so we are even stephen.

    And yes, I have raised these very same points in the article, but it fell on deaf ears. But God is good, and I am not deterred. God through the teachings of Christ gives all knowledge and it is our duty to share this as accurately as possible as we learn. So my advice to you is to tell this information to as many Christians as you can who do not yet understand.

    Funny how several unbelievers understood and believed these concepts.. funny indeed.

    My only problem with the article is that Paul also preached that faith without works is dead if the whole letter to say Ephesians is read an understood. The idea that man can proclaim faith, can be saved, be born again, and still not have eternal life is stated by Paul. And the reason is sin and evil works.

    Thanks for your post. Let me say that Im pretty sure that there are Christians who would come across similar writings in their studies but they will not share it. Makes you wonder.
  5. 11 Mar '18 16:02
    Originally posted by @checkbaiter
    That's the way I see it too. I had to think about this for some time, but it sounds right, logical and simple.
    Well, I doubt you'll get a response from Rajk since he's over in another thread denying the existence of an actual being called Satan, and subsequently, I suspect, denying the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Works follow after salvation. How can one do good works without first trusting? It's the logical sequence.
  6. Subscriber Rajk999
    Enjoying
    11 Mar '18 16:06
    Originally posted by @secondson
    Well, I doubt you'll get a response from Rajk since he's over in another thread denying the existence of an actual being called Satan, and subsequently, I suspect, denying the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Works follow after salvation. How can one do good works without first trusting? It's the logical sequence.
    Did you read the article? Read it over.

    Tell me about Job. Job got salvation and then he did good works?
  7. 11 Mar '18 16:37 / 1 edit
    In the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry, Jesus sets the standard for "works of obedience".

    Luke 6
    43 “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44“For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. 

    Given that "there is no good tree which produces bad fruit", clearly a good man with the good treasure of his heart always bring forth what is good and never brings forth what is evil. In short, he does not commit sin.
  8. 11 Mar '18 16:38
    Originally posted by @rajk999
    Did you read the article? Read it over.

    Tell me about Job. Job got salvation and then he did good works?
    Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith comes first, then salvation, and works follow.

    Without salvation one is dead to doing good works. Before salvation one is merely a "whited wall" incapable of doing good works.

    Read carefully James 1:26
    "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

    Without salvation there is no spirit. Without the spirit one cannot do the good works which are the evidence of faith.

    Faith. Salvation. Spirit. Works. In that order.
  9. 11 Mar '18 17:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @thinkofone
    In the gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry, Jesus sets the standard for "works of obedience".

    Luke 6
    43 [b]“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit
    . 44“For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a br ...[text shortened]... bring forth what is good and never brings forth what is evil. In short, he does not commit sin.[/b]
    In your opinion, what is the consequence if someone doesn’t follow Jesus’ words?
  10. Subscriber Rajk999
    Enjoying
    11 Mar '18 17:07
    Originally posted by @secondson
    Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith comes first, then salvation, and works follow.

    Without salvation one is dead to doing good works. Before salvation one is merely a "whited wall" incapable of doing good works.

    Read carefully James 1:26
    [b]"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."


    Wit ...[text shortened]... e good works which are the evidence of faith.

    Faith. Salvation. Spirit. Works. In that order.[/b]
    Regurgating church doctrine without using your common sense.

    I will pass and leave you in you ignorance.
  11. Standard member Romans1009
    Cretinous Mutterings
    11 Mar '18 18:00
    Originally posted by @rajk999
    Did you read the article? Read it over.

    Tell me about Job. Job got salvation and then he did good works?
    Job was a few thousand years before Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and Resurrection. Surely you knew that.
  12. Standard member Ghost of a Duke
    Zen Master
    11 Mar '18 18:02
    Originally posted by @romans1009
    Job was a few thousand years before Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and Resurrection. Surely you knew that.
  13. Subscriber Rajk999
    Enjoying
    11 Mar '18 18:08
    Originally posted by @ghost-of-a-duke
    The guy is a dunce.
  14. Standard member Romans1009
    Cretinous Mutterings
    11 Mar '18 18:21
    Originally posted by @rajk999
    The guy is a dunce.
    You’re claiming Job didn’t obtain salvation in the way salvation-by-faith Christians contend it is obtained today, correct?

    FMF, who purported to be a learned Christian at one time, didn’t know Ecclesiastes was in the Old Testament and now you apparently don’t know Jesus Christ’s arrival on earth was after Job lived by a few thousand years.

    Sad!
  15. Standard member Romans1009
    Cretinous Mutterings
    11 Mar '18 18:22
    Originally posted by @ghost-of-a-duke
    Typical troll post by the Head Troll Emeritus.

    You’re really trolling like your old self and showin’ the young uns a thing or two about trolling.

    Just don’t over-exert yourself!