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Is Sola Fide unscriptural? {Open}
www.cronos.com ^ | 31-May-2010 | Self Topic

Posted on 05/31/2010 4:12:53 AM PDT by Cronos

We dance around this topic each time on the RF of FR, so let's have a focused discussion on this

Is sola fide scriptural or unscriptural?

Let's take a few verses from scripture in context:

Matthew 25:31-46 -

31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee and hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
This very clearly does not say anything about faith ALONE

John 5: 24:

 24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

 25Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

 26For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

 27And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

 28Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

 29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

This clearly points out that faith is important but not ALONE in salvation

Then James 2:14 to 26
James 2:14-26 -
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15If 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: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew 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.


Then let's look at what St. Paul says:
Romans 2
5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God "will give to each person according to what he has done."[a] 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.

12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, 15since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

1 Corinthians 3:10-17 -
3:10 "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are." Doesn't fit with Sola Fide, now does it?

Galatians 6:7-9:
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.


Then John 3: 4 to 20
4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit.
7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You[c] must be born again.'
8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

10"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?
11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[d]
14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.[e]

16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.[g]
19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."[h]

This clearly talks about baptism and how we do good deeds IN our belief. Our faith and works are tied together irreversibly.

The Church teaches that we believe and receive through God's grace. We are not adding to Christ's work, His one-time sacrifice for all time. Paul and the Church condemn works without grace as we cannot earn grace but are ALL (no conditional election) freely granted it as a gift


TOPICS: Catholic; Mainline Protestant; Orthodox Christian
KEYWORDS: catholic; protestant; rhetoricalquestion; solafide; yes
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Protestants are mis-taught about the role Catholics believe good works play in salvation: we do not perform good works in order to enter a state of justification.

The Council of Trent stated that "nothing which precedes justification, whether faith or works, merits the grace of justification" (Decree on Justification 8).

In fact, it is impossible for an unjustified person to do supernaturally good works, since these are based on the virtue of charity (supernatural love), which an unjustified person does not have. Good works therefore flow from our reception of justification; they do not cause us to enter a state of justification. Good works increase the righteousness we are given at justification and please God, who promises to give us supernatural rewards on the last day, including the gift of eternal life (Rom 2:6-7, Gal 6:6-10).

God's grace is transformational, and though outside God's grace we can do nothing, through his grace he does not only declare us righteous, but makes us righteous
1 posted on 05/31/2010 4:12:54 AM PDT by Cronos
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To: Cronos

Note —> the topic is sola fide alone. No aspersions raised on Luther, Calvin etc as persons, that’s not relevant.


2 posted on 05/31/2010 4:14:30 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: Cronos
Protestants are mis-taught about the role Catholics believe good works play in salvation: we do not perform good works in order to enter a state of justification.

The Council of Trent stated that "nothing which precedes justification, whether faith or works, merits the grace of justification" (Decree on Justification 8).

No, I don't think we're mis-taught...You guys are all over the map on this issues that once you pin down one person, another pops up and tells us something else...

The issue isn't so much justification, the issue is salvation...Eternity with God...And you're position on salvation is that you must work for it, to earn it...

3 posted on 05/31/2010 4:33:44 AM PDT by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: Cronos

Dispensational understanding will clarify those passages.

“Systematic Theology” by LS Chafer is a good place to see this explained in detail. Also, see “Reign of the Servant Kings” by Joseph Dillow and also “Once Saved Always Saved” by RT Kendall.


4 posted on 05/31/2010 4:37:40 AM PDT by fishtank (The denial of original sin is the root of liberalism.)
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To: Cronos

Sola fide (by faith alone) is scriptural.

As yourself this, could a man on his deathbed repent and be saved? If so, it’s too late for him to do good works, so he must be justified by faith alone.


5 posted on 05/31/2010 4:44:03 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: Iscool; Dutchboy88; Dr. Eckleburg; fish hawk; boatbums; markomalley; Judith Anne
The issue in this post is sola fide. The Council of Trent stated that "nothing which precedes justification, whether faith or works, merits the grace of justification" (Decree on Justification 8). That is Church teaching, has been Church teaching and will remain Church teaching, teaching given by Christ and handed down through His Apostles.

Now you can make up whatever you want about Church teachings on sola fide, but our belief is encapsulated in "nothing which precedes justification, whether faith or works, merits the grace of justification"

Where does YOUR Bible say "sola fide" and how do you prove that faith ALONE?

We say Faith is critical, but not ALONE in justification -- like everything else, these is a more complex theme.
6 posted on 05/31/2010 4:49:38 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: fishtank; CitizenUSA

I’m no Catholic, far from it. But they can’t be wrong about everything. If you love God and have faith, you will be impelled to do good works. Faith without works is a dead or dying faith. If you don’t feel the urge to do something for your fellow man or society to bring them to Christ or show your belief, you have to question are you really saved if you can’t walk the walk.


7 posted on 05/31/2010 4:56:27 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Yeah, I was in rehab. I got Hooked on Phonics. Darn that Sesame Street Gang.)
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To: Cronos

Sola gratia


8 posted on 05/31/2010 4:59:27 AM PDT by badpacifist (Life is short and hard... Bad decisions make life is shorter and harder)
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To: Cronos

Frankly, I think that the discussion is a lot of word play.

God gives us the grace to have faith. We respond to God’s grace by faith. Our faith, if it is genuine, is shown through works.


9 posted on 05/31/2010 5:01:01 AM PDT by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: markomalley

Mark: Well said.


10 posted on 05/31/2010 5:03:00 AM PDT by esquirette ("Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee." ~ Augustine)
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To: Cronos

Perhaps to get a grip on this conversation, you may need to define justification as well as salvation...And is the issue ‘faith alone’ for justification or salvation...


11 posted on 05/31/2010 5:04:22 AM PDT by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: BipolarBob
I’m no Catholic, far from it. But they can’t be wrong about everything.

Very true - after all, they don't call us 'muslims' ;)

12 posted on 05/31/2010 5:13:07 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: CitizenUSA
1. Where in scripture does it say that sola fide (faith ALONE) justifies one?
2. A deathbed repenter and believer does the work in grace of ACCEPTING Christ -- that is faith and grace and works. The repenter, by the grace of God accepts Christ's sacrifice and God does the rest to save him. Remember, good works alone cannot save you if you deny Christ. You can be Gandhi, but if you deny Christ and his grace, well, I leave that decision to God
13 posted on 05/31/2010 5:14:09 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: Cronos

Now you are saying faith is a work?


14 posted on 05/31/2010 5:18:53 AM PDT by Gamecock (If you want Your Best Life Now, follow Osteen. If you want your best life forever, don't. JM)
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To: Cronos

Sola Fide is not unscriptural, on the contrary, it is the point of beginning for the Christian life. Romans 1:17 states “But the righteous man shall live by faith”, Romans 3:28,” For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law” Romans 4:16,”It is by faith in order that it may be in accordance with grace”, Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” are just a few passages from scripture that indicate salvation is a gift that comes through faith alone. That is not to say that faith alone becomes the criteria for the Christian walk. When one is a regenerate Christian, then one is Created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph 3:8) As Christians we have a responsiblity to edify other believers and to treat our neighbors with compassion. Yet it is not the works themselves which carry the means of salvation. The good works are the fruit of the spirit defined in Galatians. If we were to consider anything apart from faith as causing our salvation, then we would be dangerously close to forming the conclusion that acts of piety are what saves you. This is clearly not biblical. Aspirations of holy living are the direct result of having had faith in Christ alone. That is what I believe is the Protestant view of sola fide. There are hyper calvinists, of course, who believe that faith alone dismisses the validity of a Christian having to do good in the world, which is preposterous. Their stance is not embraced by the majority of the evangelical Protestant world, however. Faith alone was a necessary foundational precept to establish because it emphasised that you, a sinner, can do nothing to earn your way into heaven. It is all a work of Christ imputed to those who have faith in Him. Once a sinner is justified (made righteous) by that faith, then the business of living daily as a Christian begins.


15 posted on 05/31/2010 5:19:30 AM PDT by sueuprising
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To: BipolarBob

You are certainly right. Faith without works is dead.

Remember the parable about the guy who got one talent and buried it? He didn’t produce anything, so his master was very angry. The guy with one talent was told he could have at least placed the money in the bank to gain interest. I take this to mean the guy could have at least supported those, the guys with five and two talents, who were putting their faith to work.

Nevertheless, faith is the critical first step.

“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.” -Ephesians 2:8,9

That’s why I believe a dying man can repent at the last instant of life and still be saved, by faith, without works.


16 posted on 05/31/2010 5:20:23 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: fishtank

Please could you clarify what you mean by dispensational understanding? I haven’t got either of those books at hand and it’d be some time before I get it (in the process of shifting, so actually trying to give out books for now instead of getting new ones :)


17 posted on 05/31/2010 5:23:17 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: BipolarBob; fishtank; CitizenUSA
Well, I AM Catholic, but I would like this post to be purely discussing "sola fide", focussing on the "sola" part. I do believe that faith IS critical, important, but not alone. What you've said is very succinct and true
If you love God and have faith, you will be impelled to do good works. Faith without works is a dead or dying faith. If you don’t feel the urge to do something for your fellow man or society to bring them to Christ or show your belief, you have to question are you really saved if you can’t walk the walk
18 posted on 05/31/2010 5:25:38 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: badpacifist

That’s a topic for another day. But a good and valid discussion. Let’s open up a new thread for that.


19 posted on 05/31/2010 5:26:57 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: markomalley; esquirette
God gives us the grace to have faith. We respond to God’s grace by faith. Our faith, if it is genuine, is shown through works.

Well put.
20 posted on 05/31/2010 5:28:55 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: Iscool; Gamecock
The discussion is on sola fide
The doctrine of sola fide or "by faith alone" asserts God's pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received through faith or belief alone
whereas The Church teaches that grace, which implies good works, is also necessary for salvation, Matthew 25:31-46; that is, by God's grace through faith (also a favour given by him, Matthew 16:17), Ephesians 2:8-10, and the Christian's response to it in God's grace Galatians 5:6, as faith perfected by good works, James 2:22.

At no point in time does any biblical or traditional verse state the by faith ALONE. To let grace work through you to accept Christ shows that it is not faith ALONE.
21 posted on 05/31/2010 5:34:13 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: Cronos

We are saved by the grace of God, through the death of His Son. The faith to grasp this is totally His gift.

Wprks are an outgrowth of this truth. And even our best works are not good enough. Only Christ makes them worth anything.

The original Protestant church - the Lutheran church - teaches that at the time of the break from the Roman church, the Roman church did teach salvation through works. The Lutheran church also teaches that the Roman church has since straightened that out now for the most part.

I cannot speak to what the other Christian churches teach about this topic. Many of them teach acceptance theology, which is based on salvation through works. I don’t see how they can say anything about the Roman church on the issue of sola fide!


22 posted on 05/31/2010 5:35:05 AM PDT by freemama
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To: Cronos

“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.” -Ephesians 2:8,9

I don’t think the act of accepting Christ itself is a work. Really, this discussion is irrelevant. The above scripture quite clearly states a person is saved by faith, not works. Yet, other scriptures state works are a result of faith. The two go hand in hand. All authority to decide resides in Christ.


23 posted on 05/31/2010 5:38:17 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: sueuprising
Romans 1:17 states “But the righteous man shall live by faith”,

Not faith alone by by faith.

Romans 3:28,” For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law”

Not faith alone and furthermore the verse imparts that man is justified by faith APART from works of the Law, i.e. that both are needed

Romans 4:16,”It is by faith in order that it may be in accordance with grace

Again, not faith ALONE>

Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God”

By grace we have been saved through faith, through the act of acceptance of Christ's sacrifice. This is the gift of God. Grace as exemplified through works acts with faith in Christ's sacrifice in our justification

Pray do read what The Church teaches we do not perform good works in order to enter a state of justification.

The Council of Trent stated that "nothing which precedes justification, whether faith or works, merits the grace of justification" (Decree on Justification 8).

In fact, it is impossible for an unjustified person to do supernaturally good works, since these are based on the virtue of charity (supernatural love), which an unjustified person does not have. Good works therefore flow from our reception of justification; they do not cause us to enter a state of justification. Good works increase the righteousness we are given at justification and please God, who promises to give us supernatural rewards on the last day, including the gift of eternal life (Rom 2:6-7, Gal 6:6-10).
24 posted on 05/31/2010 5:39:21 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: CitizenUSA; BipolarBob
Faith as the critical "first step". hmm... I agree with you that faith is critical. The discussion is really on the phrase faith ALONE...

A dying man who repents may still be saved by his acceptance of Christ -- he is able to accept Christ by the power of grace, the act of acceptance is the good works.
25 posted on 05/31/2010 5:42:52 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: Cronos

Yes, but that still ignores scripture. Remember, scripture specifically states you are saved by faith, not of works. Not of works means exactly that, including the potential “work” of accepting the gift. I don’t think acceptance of the gift itself is a work, otherwise the scripture wouldn’t make any sense.


26 posted on 05/31/2010 5:47:36 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: freemama

Do note that there was a rejection of Pelagianism in the 4th century. There has never been a belief in works alone. We reject “works of debt” and works of “our own righteousness” — only works done in grace are good works.


27 posted on 05/31/2010 5:50:45 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: CitizenUSA
And yet “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.” -Ephesians 2:8,9 --> as you pointed out the two go hand in hand. The discussion is on the term "sola". We both agree that it is NOT faith alone.

The act of accepting Christ is a good work done through grace.
28 posted on 05/31/2010 5:53:49 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: CitizenUSA

Come on, John 2: 24 “24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and NOT BY FAITH ONLY.”


29 posted on 05/31/2010 5:55:13 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: All

Looking through here, I’m not seeing any REAL disagreement. We all agree Faith is the first and important step. The dying repentant man who REALLY repents will be saved. Works is a partner in faith as it shows the world you really do believe and it strengthens your faith. Don’t develop a strategy that a person will wait until their deathbed to automatically switch sides. God may take you unawares or how genuine is it if you staged the whole thing? I think we’re in agreement on the gist of the topic here.


30 posted on 05/31/2010 5:55:44 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Yeah, I was in rehab. I got Hooked on Phonics. Darn that Sesame Street Gang.)
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To: Cronos

saved: To rescue from harm, danger, or loss.

justified: To demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid.


31 posted on 05/31/2010 6:05:03 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: Cronos

Romans 1:17 states “But the righteous man shall live by faith”,

Not faith alone by by faith
I would say that “by faith” means the same as faith alone. For if you are saved by faith, and not by anything else, then that is faith alone. You seem to be searching for scriptural support for the actual words faith alone which is implied. Again, “faith apart from works” which is the way a man becomes justified does not indicate that it is anything other than faith which does this justification, hence faith alone. The reformers were trying to make clear that there is nothing one can do to earn this salvation. It was over this that Luther as Catholic priest agonized until he realized it was Christ who had done all the work and that by faith the righteousness of Christ was imputed onto the believer. The council of trent seems to have been a response to what we would now call the five points of calvinism, much of which was challenged by Arminius. However, it also seems to me that to a Roman Catholic, faith is inextricably linked to the sacrament of baptism. In other words, an unbaptized Catholic is no Christian at all. Although baptism is recommended by the apostles and seems to have been the norm amongst the early Christians, as a statement of their faith, an unbaptized believer, however odd, is not exempt from eternal life. Is it not true that Roman Catholics believe that it is only through the church that salvation comes since they believe the church itself is the means by which salvation is reckoned?


32 posted on 05/31/2010 6:12:22 AM PDT by sueuprising
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To: BipolarBob

I think scripture is entirely consistent.

You are saved (rescued) by faith alone—not works.

Once you are saved, you are justified (prove you have faith) by performing works.

There’s little reason for contention here, and contention itself is counterproductive. It’s splitting hairs and doesn’t advance our cause.


33 posted on 05/31/2010 6:26:49 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: CitizenUSA

Agreed.


34 posted on 05/31/2010 6:37:56 AM PDT by BipolarBob (Yeah, I was in rehab. I got Hooked on Phonics. Darn that Sesame Street Gang.)
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To: CitizenUSA; sueuprising
How can you say that you are saved by faith alone when you have Scripture saying:

Matt 25:45-46:
45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

And John 5:29
29And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
And James 2: 24-24
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.
1 cor 3:14
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


We are saved by God's grace. As markomalley quoted "God gives us the grace to have faith. We respond to God’s grace by faith. Our faith, if it is genuine, is shown through works."

Sue -- for your last point, please check the other thread today on sola scriptura.
35 posted on 05/31/2010 6:56:43 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: Cronos

Scripture states we are justified by our works. Scripture also states we are saved by faith, not by works. If you understand the difference between the words, justification and saved, then you also understand why scripture is consistent.

Scripture does not say we are saved by works. That’s actually heresy, because it diminishes Christ’s sacrifice. If works are required for salvation, then Christ’s death is inadequate to save us. But we know that’s not true.

Everything you do after salvation proves your faith. It justifies you. If you exhibit no change whatsoever, no works, then your faith is dead.

Faith is the cause, works are the effect. If you have faith, you’ll do the works. Faith first, then works.


36 posted on 05/31/2010 7:10:07 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: Cronos

This is not an issue that is to be dealt with by cherry picking some Scriptures, and which both sides are guilty of. And while it is a subject that difficult to do here, i would like to state that while the fruit of faith can be used as a basis for judgment as revealing what manner of faith one has, it is not by any merit of faith that one is justified by, but by faith out of a poor and contrite heart.

When the Bible explicitly deals with the subject as to what exactly a soul is justified by, as regards faith versus works, it clearly explicitly teaches that “ if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. {3} For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. {4} Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. {5} But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. {6} Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,” (Rom 4:2-6) And to this many more (Gal. 3; Eph. 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; 2Tim. 1:9, etc.) explicit texts can be added, including most all of John.

However, the kind, or quality, of faith which is salvific is another issue, which James contextually deals with in seeming contradicting Paul and Gn. 15:6.. However, both confirm that saving faith is that which, like that of Abraham’s, is characterized by obedience to its Object, (Jn. 10:27,28) and which manifests “things which accompany salvation”, (Heb. 6:9) while faith without works is dead”. (Ja. 2:20,26)

Therefore, things which characterize true faith, from a poor and contrite spirit to love for the brethren, are rightly invoked as an evidential basis by which true believers are justified, (Mt. 5:1-10; Heb. 5:9; 1Jn. 2:3; Rv. 22:14) as possessing true faith, and by which believers are damned, as their works testify of their unbelief in Christ. Those who rest in Christ as Savior shall confess and follow Him as LORD. Conversely, those who rely upon their good works to justify them before an infinitely holy and perfectly just God, rather than humbling themselves before God as sinners, worthy of damnation and unable to justify themselves, shall hear those fearsome words, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Mt. 7:22)

Rom 10:10 states, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Note the confessional aspect. Abraham was indeed justified before God before (Gn. 15:6), and which Paul invokes in making his case that is most precisely faith that justifies, (Rm. 4:3) before he manifested that faith by being willing to offer up his son Issac, (Gn. 22), and which events James invokes to show that it is not a fruitless faith that justifies. Whether it is a sinner’s prayer or baptism (confessing Christ in body language), both are manifesting faith, but it is not by MERIT of works that one is justified by, but by imputed righteousness, unworthy man being humbled and redeemed on Christ’s expense and mertt, and thus God alone exalted, and which is the key conflict.

While evangelicals are often accused of preaching that a faith without works justifies (though they characteristically evidence far more than their Catholic counterparts), the Westminster Confession of Faith (11:2) states:

Faith, thus receiving and resting on Christ and His righteousness, is the alone instrument of justification; yet it is not alone in the person justified, but is ever accompanied with all other saving graces, and is no dead faith, but works by love.

In seeming contrast, the Council of Trent “infallibly” defines that

“nothing further is wanting to the justified, to prevent their being accounted to have, by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life, and to have truly merited eternal life.” (Trent, 1547, The Sixth Session Decree on justification, chapter XVI)

Canon 32 similarly states,

“If anyone says that..the one justified by the good works that he performs by the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit an increase of grace, eternal life, and in case he dies in grace, the attainment of eternal life itself and also an increase of glory, let him be anathema.” (Trent, Canons Concerning Justification, Canon 32. Also see The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1919 ed., Decree on Justification, Chapters V, VI, VII, X, XIV, XV, XVI) (emphasis mine)

The more recent Roman Catholic catechism states,

“Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification and for the attainment of eternal life (Catechism of the Catholic church, Part 3, Life in Christ, Merit, 2010)

While to some this distinction btwn faith and works may seem to be a matter of semantics, it is a crucial distinction. And although the manner of faith which justifies is to be emphasized, as the nature of man is to place confidence in his supposed merit in order to avoid the debasement and surrender necessary to be saved, that salvation is by faith must also be emphasized, and the preaching which beings souls under such conviction of their dire need for it is also critical. And this is what see in Acts, and the salvation of souls is my main burden.


37 posted on 05/31/2010 7:16:45 AM PDT by daniel1212 ("Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out " (Acts 3:19))
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To: Cronos

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” - Matthew 4:4

Good enough for me. Bless your day.


38 posted on 05/31/2010 7:20:01 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (No apologies.)
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To: BipolarBob

Well said, Bob.

I urge everyone to read Romans 4, which speaks plainly to the subject.

Abraham was a model of faith. That chapter speaks of his justification by faith, apart from works. However, it also speaks of his willing and enthusiastic obedience. Look at Abraham’s life: he confirmed his faith through action, and that is our model.

In other words, what is expected of us is an active, obedient faith, not just mental assent.


39 posted on 05/31/2010 7:43:42 AM PDT by Jedidah
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To: daniel1212

daniel1212: “This is not an issue that is to be dealt with by cherry picking some Scriptures, and which both sides are guilty of.”

I don’t really understand why this is a matter for contention between Catholics and protestants in the first place. It’s splitting hairs. Faith and works are irretrievably entwined.

Would a protestant tell someone to forget about works? I don’t think so. In fact, the Christian leaders I know are always encouraging people to do more good works.

Do Catholics tell people they have to earn their way into heaven? I’m not a Catholic, so I don’t know. However, I sure hope not.

Again, what’s the big deal?


40 posted on 05/31/2010 7:48:26 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: Cronos
The act of accepting Christ is a good work done through grace.

A person is given the Faith to Believe as a GIFT! Rom 1:17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by FAITH from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

First to last, from beginning to end, its faith, nothing else! Rom 4:5 "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness."

3.Titus 3:5: "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. . . . "

4.Galatians 3:21-22: "For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe."

How can one be promised Salvation by belief if it is also by works?

James 2:14-16: "Faith without works is dead." This passage does not teach that salvation is accomplished by any human effort, but instead that no one can see one's faith without works. James uses Abraham as his example, just as Paul did in Romans 4. However, James discusses how one's actions "justify" him before other men, and Paul discusses justification before God (how one becomes saved).

Rom 9:16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

John 6:28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."

41 posted on 05/31/2010 8:14:18 AM PDT by bkaycee
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To: CitizenUSA

We are saved by God’s grace. We are justified by that and faith plays a role in our salvation, but it is NOT faith alone —> where does scripture or tradition SAY that?


42 posted on 05/31/2010 8:16:47 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: Cronos

Where does scripture state we are saved by faith?

Rom. 3:28-30, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”

Rom. 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,”

Rom. 5:1, “therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Rom. 9:30, “What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith.”

Rom. 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

Rom. 11:6, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

Gal. 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.”

Gal. 2:21, I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.

Gal.3:5-6, “Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”

Gal. 3:24, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.”

Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. 9Not by works, lest any man should boast.”

Phil. 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”


43 posted on 05/31/2010 8:28:24 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: Cronos

I really don’t see any value in continuing the discussion. Either we are saying the same things and don’t realize it, or we have different interpretations and further discourse is unlikely to change either of our minds. God bless you.


44 posted on 05/31/2010 8:34:39 AM PDT by CitizenUSA
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To: Jedidah; BipolarBob
And yet the same author who wrote Romans 4 also wrote Philippians 2:12 which says "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"

Church teaching is that we can do nothing to merit the grace that comes to us in baptism, which is the normal beginning of the Christian life. In fact, the Council of Trent condemned anyone who taught that we can save ourselves or who taught even that God helps us do what we could do for ourselves. The Church teaches that we can be saved only by God’s grace. Following Paul, the Catholic Church teaches that justification comes by faith. Only it says that it doesn’t come through faith alone. If you look carefully at Paul’s writings, you will notice that he never says that our righteousness comes from faith alone—only that it comes from faith apart from works.

And more importantly to read the Bible as a whole we see James saying that "a man is justified by his works". Do James and Paul contradict each other? No. because Paul always talks about works through the law i.e. he always is talking about the OT law. In Galatians he is specifically talking against circumscion. Paul speaks about Christians fulfilling the law by following the command to "love your neighbor as yourself" (Gal. 5:14). He then explains that we must show the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal 5:16–26) and bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:1ff) as a way of fulfilling the "law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). All Paul’s teaching comes down to this: Our own works can never justify us, but works that grow out of faith in Christ are part of our justification. That’s why Paul says in Philippians 2:12 you must "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." And that squares with James’s teaching that works that grow from faith justify

In Romans Paul said that Abraham was not justified by works but by faith. Paul means that Abraham was not justified by keeping the Old Testament law, while James means that Abraham was justified by doing a work that grew out of his faith in God (James 2:21 ""Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?" ")
45 posted on 05/31/2010 8:46:36 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: CitizenUSA
Faith and works are irretrievably entwined.

We agree on that.

Do Catholics tell people they have to earn their way into heaven? No we do not. That grace is given by God alone.
46 posted on 05/31/2010 8:47:59 AM PDT by Cronos (Origen(200AD)"The Church received from theApostles the tradition of giving Baptism even to infants")
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To: CitizenUSA

Besides what is officially stated, that of salvation by grace through merit, that by God’s grace, received thru sacraments, man does works which merit salvation, what is effectually conveyed is that of confidence in one’s own merit and the power of the church to gain salvation by.

As said before, while we can state the theological distinction, man’s nature is one that resists the kind of abasement and surrender that results when man realizes that he is not worthy of eternal life, nor will he ever be, on the basis of any merit of his own work, or even the merit of his faith, but instead he is worthy of eternal damnation, and so must cast all his faith on the crucified and risen Lord Jesus. It is because of who Christ is and what He did that one is justified, which state is appropriated by God-given faith, one that results in works of faith, being led by the Spirit.

Salvific faith is an admission that only God is wholly holy and just, and that you are wicked and justly damned, and that the only way you can be saved is on His blood-expense, and on His righteousness. And repentance is implicit in believing, and believing in the Lord Jesus to save also implicitly attributes deity to Him.Thus God gets all the glory, and not man, and while he is saved by imputed righteousness, practical holiness will be the result.

(Rom 3:23-26) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; {24} Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: {25} Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; {26} To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

(Titus 3:5) “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;”

(2 Cor 5:19-21) “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. {20} Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. {21} For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

(2 Cor 6:1) “We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”


47 posted on 05/31/2010 9:12:24 AM PDT by daniel1212 ("Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out " (Acts 3:19))
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To: CitizenUSA

This would provide more on the subject: http://www.christiantruth.com/articles/RCJustification.html


48 posted on 05/31/2010 9:31:49 AM PDT by daniel1212 ("Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out " (Acts 3:19))
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To: Cronos

As documented above, the Reformationists did not teach that righteousness comes from faith which is alone, nor do the requirement of works as a resuit of faith teach justification is merited by them, while what Rome means by salvation by grace is that by God’s grace, dispense thru her sacraments, one does works by which they truly merit eternal life.

As regards Romans 4, this teaches imputed righteousness, not based upon a constitutional change in ones heart, while the negation of salvation by the merit of O.T. law-keeping is not limited to the Law, but that represented the standard, and negates all works are meriting salvation. (Titus 3:5) If this were not the case, imputed righteousness by faith would not be needed. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. {6} Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,” (Rom 4:5-6)

To hold that one is justified by faith apart from works, but that works merit eternal life, is inconsistent and not Biblical.

As for James, if he is indeed teaching that faith-works themselves justify, then he both contradicts both Paul and Genesis 15:6. However, if he is teaching, in reaction to antinomianism, that only a faith which is manifested in works is salvific, being not alone, then they both agree.

But such works are not the same as perfunctory professions or even good works which one rests upon for God to justify Him by. And if Rome pressed upon its people that they were in dire need of salvation due to their sins and utter inability to justify themselves and escape eternal damnation, and must cast all their faith upon the Lord Jesus for salvation and the new birth, rather than treating them as saved souls because of infant baptism thru proxy faith, then evangelicals and Catholics could have some fellowship in the Spirit.


49 posted on 05/31/2010 10:29:27 AM PDT by daniel1212 ("Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out " (Acts 3:19))
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