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5 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2008 - 11:39AM #1
Anesis
Posts: 1,542
Hi everyone.

According to what I have read on numerous sites, the five solas are integral to Evangelicals. I have never questioned this, and it has also been my belief.

I came across this yesterday, though:

James 2:22, 24
You see that his (Abraham's) faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did....You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

So I need to understand this. We are supposed to be justified by faith alone (through grace alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone and by scripture alone)...so then why does James 2 suggest that we are also justified by our works? Or is works just the manifestation of our faith?

Thanks for your insight
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 07, 2008 - 5:19PM #2
tawonda
Posts: 4,367
If you don't mind a response from a non-Evangelical: From a Lutheran perspective, good works are  not a prerequisite for God's grace -- by definition if it ain't free it ain't grace -- but rather a living out of God's grace into the world. Good works proceed, ultimately, from faith; from the God who inspires them.
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 10:59AM #3
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

Anesis wrote:

Hi everyone.

According to what I have read on numerous sites, the five solas are integral to Evangelicals. I have never questioned this, and it has also been my belief.

I came across this yesterday, though:

James 2:22, 24
You see that his (Abraham's) faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did....You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

So I need to understand this. We are supposed to be justified by faith alone (through grace alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone and by scripture alone)...so then why does James 2 suggest that we are also justified by our works? Or is works just the manifestation of our faith?

Thanks for your insight



I think James is saying works is the manifestation; but is going a step further and questioning the authenticity of the faith of those who proclaim they believe but have no works as evidence-hence, his reference to devils that believe

Non Quis, Sed Quid
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 10:59AM #4
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

Anesis wrote:

Hi everyone.

According to what I have read on numerous sites, the five solas are integral to Evangelicals. I have never questioned this, and it has also been my belief.

I came across this yesterday, though:

James 2:22, 24
You see that his (Abraham's) faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did....You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

So I need to understand this. We are supposed to be justified by faith alone (through grace alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone and by scripture alone)...so then why does James 2 suggest that we are also justified by our works? Or is works just the manifestation of our faith?

Thanks for your insight



I think James is saying works is the manifestation; but is going a step further and questioning the authenticity of the faith of those who proclaim they believe but have no works as evidence-hence, his reference to devils that believe

Non Quis, Sed Quid
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 1:21PM #5
Anesis
Posts: 1,542
It sounds like you are both saying that works are the evidence of faith. So it is also our works that justify us, since they are what gives our faith substance....
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 1:48PM #6
tawonda
Posts: 4,367
No; God justifies us.
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 1:54PM #7
Anesis
Posts: 1,542

tawonda wrote:

No; God justifies us.



Yes, it is God who justifies, but the verse says "we are justified" (by God - ?) by what a man does and not be faith alone.

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5 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 3:44PM #8
tawonda
Posts: 4,367
I disagree.

As soon as you put conditions upon God's saving action, you're at worst removing grace, for all intents and purposes, from the picture; or, at best, implying that there is some mysterious "works quotient" (like the equally mysterious "age of accountability," perhaps) that, when combined with God's grace, gets you on the God bus. What would that be, then? 50/50? 90/10? 10/90?

As soon as you put meritorious conditions upon the Gospel, you turn it into Law.

Right now I'm reviewing Paul's Letter to the Romans. And one of the major thesis points of Paul is the primacy of God's saving action. In Paul's theology, we absolutely do not "earn points by doing stuff."
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 3:57PM #9
Anesis
Posts: 1,542
I'm not talking about earning points by doing stuff....but rather because the works are the substance - or manifestation - of our faith, that is perhaps what James says in 2:24....?

The Bible is not contradictory, so there has to be a reason James suggests that a person is justified by works and not faith alone.
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5 years ago  ::  Dec 08, 2008 - 5:18PM #10
birwin4
Posts: 552
[QUOTE=Anesis;943533]I'm not talking about earning points by doing stuff....but rather because the works are the substance - or manifestation - of our faith, that is perhaps what James says in 2:24....?

The Bible is not contradictory, so there has to be a reason James suggests that a person is justified by works and not faith alone.[/QUOTE]

If we view faith and works as each part of the same parcel, we see one as responding to the grace of God in acceptance and the other as living out the grace of God by doing what he expects of us. We can never look to either our faith or our good works as any reason for being saved as this is by grace alone. After God has saved us by his grace we then accept this salvation and go on to live as one who truly has been saved by the grace of God.. As i read over this it sounds repetitious but I hope it helps.
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