Skip to comments.Why I Hate "Faith Alone"
Posted on 10/13/2013 12:01:40 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson
Expounding on the importance of our actions for salvation is, I suppose, my primary thing. I have been in so many informal debates over the issue that I have started to lose count of them. I have written about the topic many times. And often, I become angry (like God in 1 Kings 11:9-10) at the mere thought of sola fide (faith alone), because I know that it is completely contrary to what the Lord [has] commanded. But why?
Faith alone was, without a doubt, the primary reason that I left Protestantism. Even though I was ill-educated in theology at the time, I knew that it was illogical.
I like to think of sola fide in terms of criminal law. Imagine that someone went before a judge and was proven guilty of heinous crimes, but then pleaded to the judge that he believed in the judge's authority to convict him and so the judge should not do so and had that as his only defense. Should the judge convict him to any degree or should the judge completely let him off, and then give him a reward?
Do you find the faith alone argument compelling in such an instance? I do not. Of course, a faith alone-r would say that there is some sort of significant difference between such a scenario in terms of temporal law and such a scenario in terms of eternal law, but there really is not. Protestant arguments for the belief simply do not stand in the face of such scenarios or substantial scrutiny.
I strongly believe that sola fide is at the heart of many Western problems. Self-professed Christians have used it as an excuse to not care for the disadvantaged, to engage in profane sexual activity, etc. the list goes on and on.
Martin Luther told his followers to sin and sin boldly (among other things, as I have documented) because he taught that we are saved solely by our faith in the power of Jesus Christ, apart from our actions. This method of thinking has been adopted by millions of Protestants since his time. But is it supported by the Bible? No. See Hebrews 10:26-27:
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
Faith alone has had a terrible impact on society. People often now shy away from discussing religion or morality with others, fearing conflict. Take, for example, something that transpired between a Lutheran family member and me. After I privately and politely informed her that she had committed a grievous sin (like we are called to do see Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1, and Ephesians 4:15), she immediately jumped to the Who are you to judge? defense and paired it with the Jesus paid the price line. I am sure that, for many Catholics, such occurrences are unfortunately familiar.
God has written in our hearts (Romans 2:15) that we should serve Him and others, not our selfish desires -- and we will be punished if we defy Him. The necessity of both good works and abstinence from grave sin gives our lives concrete meaning. If someone takes away the eternal significance of our actions, they rob us of any real purpose: we all just become random, faceless, unimportant beings.
Sola fide does not work either logically or practically; it fails on all counts. Now, you know why I hate it.
(All verses are from the NASB translation.)
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A good read is by the great English essayist Hillaire’s Belloc’s “Heresies.” He explains convincingly and lucidly why outside of Catholicism, all the other faiths are sheer heresies.
This silly article has many assertions, straw-men about Christians being “bold” sinners, and poorly researched accusations against Luther, but the one thing it doesn’t have is an actual argument against Sola Fide, nor an explanation of how one actually IS justified based on the scripture.
Without that, all this article is begging us to do is to educate someone who is self-confessed as “uneducated.” I’d rather begin when the other individual explains what it is he actually believes in detail, if he believes in anything.
>> Even though I was ill-educated in theology at the time, I knew that it was illogical.
Here is a man who is “leaning on his own understanding”, and not GOD’s.
Because he can’t wrap *his* head around GOD’S plan and fit GOD’s design for salvation into *his* logic, why then, there must be something wrong with GOD’s simple proclamation that faith alone is required!
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithand this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.” Paul, in EPH 2:8-9
“”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (As recorded by His prophet Isaiah, 55:8
It is impossible to nail a Catholic down on that point. They haughtily tell you you don't understand but won't explain it to you.
How do you read :shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
The key text is Habakkuk 2:4,
But the just shall live by faith. It is
quoted in Romans 1: 17, Galatians 3: 11
and Hebrews 10: 38.
In Hebrew there are two words that are commonly translated as, “faith.”
The first is “emunah” and the second, “bitachon.”
Emunah is faith in your mind (think ‘concept’ or ‘theory’) and bitachon is faith based on one’s everyday life and actions.
A better translation of bitachon is the word, “trust.”
More here about bitachon.
More about both emunah and bitachon.
This should help in the discussion.
Squabbling over the interpretation of “divine scripture” has a rich irony which is often lost to most.
So, when that's upcoming name change for the blog gonna happen?
Faith with works is much more than just helping the poor, it is studying God and His logic. It is living the crucifiction. Helping the poor is nice, but it does not tell the story, although it will teach one about stories of persecution similar to those happening to Christ.
Too many times we help the poor in ways that shuts them up. Don’t give me a sandwich, give me a platform to talk about the unjustices done to me by myself and others, in repent, that lead me to be so persecuted and lost. The sandwich is only to keep me going and talking and elucidating about it, it is not the goal, it is meant both as a tool that is burned in my flesh to raise the voice of God loud, as well as a sweet byproduct of the exercise in righteousness and its blessings, mostly symbolic.
Thanks for the posting.
It seems the best way to approach this topic is to lay out the proper dichotomy.
It’s not a choice between faith and works, or a choice between this proportion of faith and works vs that proportion of faith and works.
The choice is between spirit and flesh. Faith is spiritual, not material. Have faith in the Spirit of Truth.
When you are full of the spirit, the rest will follow. Think of works as the fruit you will bear. Spreading God’s word and loving others.
That is a joke.
A good read is by the great English essayist Hillaires Bellocs Heresies. He explains convincingly and lucidly why outside of Catholicism, all the other faiths are sheer heresies.
I’m sorry but not only is that deeply offensive but it is butt nekkid wrong.
Really. I have heard lots of rationalization about why sin is not sin, but I don;t seem to have ewer heard anyone claim Faith - alone as a basis for sinning.
Plus you are taking Luther comments about sin and sin boldly out of context.
If you are a preacher of Grace, then preach a true, not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. For he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here we have to sin. This life in not the dwelling place of righteousness but, as Peter says, we look for a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. . . . Pray boldly-you too are a mighty sinner." (Weimar ed. vol. 2, p. 371; Letters I, "Luther's Works," American Ed., Vol 48. p. 281- 282)
You have left out any discussion of 1) admitting that we are all terrible sinners who must acknowledge our sins; 2) REPENT from those sins; 3) Ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins that is totally undeserved.
Now if I truly did all three of those things, then that should be a game changer for me. If I honestly and truthfully admitted sinfulness, repented from that sinfulness & asked for forgiveness from Jesus Christ, then why would I ever want to go out and SIN LIKE CRAZY consciously??? That would be a terrible disconnect, and I would likely not be saved at all if that were my behavior after my alleged salvation. I would want to do good deeds as a change in my heart as God wants me to do. And what I do will be different than what you do, so we can’t judge each other on our gifts.
Faith Alone means that I cannot attain God’s Grace through my “good deeds” - it is a gift from God, not something I can earn...because I never could. Roman Catholics and Mormons on the other hand have a moving target of salvation, which produces many troubled souls as well.
For me, “faith alone” is how I take my belief in Jesus’s gift of sacrifice for our salvation. By faith and works is how I need to live to practice my faith.
By “faith alone” is NOT a license for a sinful life after acceptance of Christ’s gift.
For me, “faith alone” is how I take my belief in Jesus’s gift of sacrifice for our salvation. By faith and works is how I need to live to practice my faith.
By “faith alone” is NOT a license for a sinful life after acceptance of Christ’s gift.
“The following links lead to posts that should pretty much cover 1) why I disagree with “faith alone,” and 2) the Catholic teachings on grace & faith & works “
To be honest, I have no interest in watching a bunch of your videos and giving your blog traffic. If you’re going to make a claim on this forum, I shouldn’t be forced to benefit your blog-pimping just to find out what is behind your lame assertions.
Please make your argument here in this thread, and not elsewhere. It’s not difficult. I almost do it every day myself.
LOL! You’ve got to be kidding me, FRiend!
No way I’m going to wade through all of that.
That’s the purpose of this forum — for you to advance a position and then defend it.
Not on your blog.
You can’t give me a succinct argument right here? I provided such for *you*...
I’m not sure your point other than saying you “hate” sola fide.
Thank you for your constructive comments.
Dominus vobiscum (”The Lord be with you”).
I don’t care if you hate it-I LOVE by Grace through Faith alone!~ The Bible preaches this, and I was saved by it, so I will ~never~ try to save myself by works..they happen after one believes, as the Holy Spirit works in one’s life!
I will always believe what the Bible says and not man’s opinion.
heh... great minds think alike, although yours is thirty seconds more supple than mine.
Shall we judge the Judge?
God forbid! I can only have faith in His merciful progative.
The root of all sin is the treasonous peeping denial against God the honor of His Divinity, who is blessed forever Amen.
God has given all of us a seed to seek and find salvation. It is upon every individual to find it. They may refuse for a time. He has risen and proved the hereafter. If not, show me the body of Christ. You cannot. We are not the judged. Christ is.
There. A minor change fixes it so it's actually true. :-)
I look forward to meeting this Hillaire Belloc character! After he (she?) gets over the shock of seeing this quite imperfect Methodist up there in Catholic heaven, we'll have all eternity to discuss his essays and why he (she?) thought those things while living in the flesh.
If one is truly saved,
The Holy Spirit is within,
It is not possible to Persistently deny It's Work within us
That might be construed as
“Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”
The ONLY Unforgivable Sin
I believe that the MOST IMPORTANT THING is
our Living in Christ, that the discussion on Faith/Works is
Subservient to THE ONE THING.
if the Faith/Works issue is a stumbling block,
it can be safely superseded by
Mark 12:30-31 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' 31"The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these
The richer irony is that a self-described atheist such as yourself routinely shows up on threads that involve religious discussions, when as an atheist you'd have painfully little to contribute to the discussion to begin with.
Maybe you'd like to consider adding "An atheist" to your tag line "An Australian" just as a matter of full disclosure, so folks on religious discussion threads readily recognize from the start that whatever you think you have to add to the discussion has nothing in common with those who actually hold to their faith.
If nothing else at least you'd appear to be less of an imposter.
Here, watch: since you posted links I will post one with the simple message of the Gospel.
I am sure can’t disagree:
The title of this article rouses up Christians who hold to salvation by grace through faith.
While the Bible calls Christians to lovingly correct each other, it also admonishes Christians to not stir up contentious arguments amongst the faithful.
“1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,
2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
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;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”
2 Timothy 3
“1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
I Corinthians 14:37: If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
I Thessalonians 4:2: For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
Faith alone in Christ is FULL and COMPLETE justification for our salvation: Gal. 2:16 and 3:26. Inside Gal. 3:26, God reckons, counts us, all as children of God by faith in Christ.
Galatians 2:16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians 3:26: For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Since God reckons us all as children of God by faith in Christ, it cannot get any simpler than that Scripture.
Now if we consider the Word of God, we must consider all these as the Words of God (I Cor. 14:37, I Thess 4:2, Gal. 2:16 and 3:26) which were DIRECTLY REVEALED to our Apostle Paul to write unto you regarding for today the new commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 14:37, I Thess 4:2). Failing to receive these commandments from the Lord Jesus Christ and to recognize that the epistles have grace commandments from the Lord Jesus Christ, will be turn out to destruction, exactly what Peter wrote about people or religious organization that reject these things -
II Peter 3:15: And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
II Peter 3:16: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
If someone fights against these, as Peter so revealed, then they also fight against God and His Words in the entire Bible, but especially in God's epistles - which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
True. You shall also love one another.
That is the greatest command ever afforded our humble life.
God never said be unhappy. He wants everyone to know he is there and waiting. Our world is here to enjoy and not be fighting.
God never commanded to be a sitting duck for evil either.
Satan does reside here.
Give that which belongs to Caesar, and that which belongs to the Lord.
Why can’t you just explain it to me?
I am a Protestant by birth and upbringing. I have recently discovered that I am a Pentecostal Protestant. My faith is not just in Jesus Christ, it is faith in the vicarious atonement by the Son of God who voluntarily allowed himself to be tortured to death on our behalf. This satisfied and finished the rebellion started by Adam. Adam separated us from God, God sent his own Son to give us the way back. We don’t have to accept (believe) it, but I have chosen to.
I am allowing myself to accept this gift. The Law still applies. With the connection to God restored for me through Jesus’ final incarnate act, I am MORE able to abide by law and LESS liable to sin than before.
Sola Lex with no faith and acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice is eventually futile.
>> Why cant you just explain it to me?
Because just explaining it here doesn’t get blog hits, and blog hits can be exchanged for valuable “works” tokens that count towards salvation!
“Faith alone was, without a doubt, the primary reason that I left Protestantism. Even though I was ill-educated in theology at the time, I knew that it was illogical.”
This is an illogical statement on its face. If your theological understanding comes from ignorance then it is best of you don’t comment.
And p.s. in case you hadn’t noticed YOU are not god, hence being angry ‘like God’ is a meaningless statement
Actually, the only place Scripture uses the words faith alone is where Scripture DENIES IT!
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. James 2:24
I would suggest that those with the required mental state will as a consequence have a very strong disposition toward doing good works and avoiding sin, but that possession of the required mental state does not guarantee perfection in either regard. Those who have their eyes properly set on the prize, and work as well as they can toward it, will find their reward even if in their earthy existence they stumble quite a bit. Conversely, those who set their eyes short of the prize, achieve those goals, and then consider them "sufficient", are apt to ultimately be found wanting.
I would further suggest that what is needed is a recognition that no matter how bad or good one has been in the past, salvation will depend upon one's striving to improve oneself going forward. Nobody is so bad that they cannot turn themselves around and achieve salvation, and nobody is so good that they no longer need to improve. Instead, people's salvation depends not on their past actions, but rather the extent to which they embrace the continuing need to improve.
If it takes 10 web sites and a million words to explain it there’s something wrong with “it”.
Mathew 11:25: At that time Jesus said, I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
The comment I made is perfectly valid in the context here.
As for the rest of your advice, no sale.
Miriam Webster's definition reads like this:
(1) : an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought...
God being a jealous god, all prayer and worship belong to Him. For a Christian, it would be heretical to address our prayers to anyone other than the eternal God.
So just remember that the next time you pray to Mary, you are robbing God of the worship due to Him alone.
However, in order to receive the Spirit of God in the first place (to get born again), FAITH ALONE is all that is required.
Unless of course, you consider actually getting up out of your seat and going to the altar an act of works ..?? But then, you would have to account for the weak and infirm who only called the name of Jesus. Which I suppose could be considered an act of works ..??
Certainly, after being saved (saved by grace - which doesn’t require works), there were no earthly WORKS which could save you.
So .. it seems that it is FAITH ALONE which saves.
However, when we have been saved and begin to learn the teachings of Jesus, then and only then are we accountable for our “works”. Our works validate our faith.
I have always believed that “works” meant doing something for someone else .. while salvation is doing something for ourselves.
Thus there are three main "paths" to God in the Sanatan Dharma - action, wisdom, and devotion. From these, there are finer and finer branches that represent deeper and deepr focus.
So, from the Hindu point of view, the difference between "faith alone" and taking refuge in saints and sacraments is merely one of a person's chosen path. Jesus even said in Matthew 13:11-13, "To you [disciples] it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."
In other words, Jesus spoke to the people in parables because that's what worked with them - that's what they could understand. If He spoke to them plainly, as He did to the disciples, they wouldn't understand. And worse, they'd get confused and misunderstand, and therefore "from the one who has not [understanding], even what [understanding]he has will be taken away." But to the disciples, He spoke plainly, and He no doubt spoke to them without words, through direct spiritual experience.
But Jesus never, ever said one was superior to the other, that one mode of learning should be accepted and the others destroyed. And also, think about what a parable accomplishes - it is a story many people hear and each takes away from it what it says to them. Does Jesus belabor his parables with strict instructions as to what they mean? No - His power is that when a person contemplates one of His parables, he reaches out to them and gives them the understanding they need through it.
That difference in need for the form of spiritual teachings and practice is what the Sanatan Dharma acknowledges. One is not better or worse than another, as long as all are focused on reaching God, and all are respected. But the Sanatan Dharma also teaches that one must be extremely careful in how one treats another's path. For if the other person is genuinely trying to reach God, one who interferes with them will receive damage to their own path, and their own ability to open up to God's love. Again, Jesus spoke of this when he said in Matthew 18:6 "If anyone causes one of these little ones - those who believe in me - to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."
And look at the author of this article. After stating how "Self-professed Christians have used [sola fide] as an excuse to not care for the disadvantaged, to engage in profane sexual activity, etc. the list goes on and on" - in other words, completely gutting the entire legitimacy of every Protestant as a Christian in the entire world, he then hypocritically states "If someone takes away the eternal significance of our actions, they rob us of any real purpose: we all just become random, faceless, unimportant beings."
There are two modes of thought on this kind of behavior - either the author knows this is exactly what he just did, and is hypocritically declaring his victims have done what he just did to them in order to hide his actions against them through cognitive dissonance, or he has become so blind to his own hypocrisy that he can no longer see it (personally, I believe there's a third mode of sociopathy that combines both of these explanations).
In any event, erasing the "eternal significance of [someone's] actions... robbing [them] of any real purpose" is profoundly hateful, and this driving emotion is confirmed by the final statement of the author: "Now, you know why I hate it."
And yet, though the hate is admitted, its reason is not. The real reason for hate is that Christianity has devolved into not merely separate beliefs about the teachings of Jesus - but the dependency of each mode of Christianity to exist alone, and to negate, destroy or defeat any other beliefs about the teachings of Jesus. This isn't about faith - it's about politics. It's about getting enough votes for your religion to "beat" the other religions, and gain the most world power through the number of your believers. And it's wrong.
And I believe God is punishing Christians, and American Christians especially, because of this nonsense. Yes, punish - the steady march of socialism and now parts of communism is punishment. The election of an openly communist president is a punishment. The destruction of our school systems and the encroachment of murderous sharia law is an punishment. The stomping of our economy through the manipulations of corporate communism is a punishment.
People love to refer to Jesus as "infinite." But they also love to hate - literally hate, in Jesus's name - another person who actually believes that Jesus, in all of His infinitude, might be reaching out to them in a different way. Not in an unAmerican way. Not in a lawless way. Not in an abusive or murderous way. Just differently then them. Infinitely powerful Jesus couldn't and wouldn't do such a thing. So - hate.
And as these Christians argue and fight, the liberals and Leftists and treacherous muslims and illegal Mexicans and communists and Democrats and RINOs laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.
And Jesus weeps.
>> Everything depends upon what is meant by “faith”. &etc
A profitable and well-written post. Thank you!
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, Go in peace; keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, You have faith; I have deeds.
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe thatand shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,[e] and he was called Gods friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
So if we take this whole portion in context. A change in heart (faith) preceded the deeds of those who believed. Belief comes (and not just belief), but a saving faith that leads to repentance and doing God’s will (which can only come about by being “born of water AND the spirit”).
Bottom line: only God can draw us to Himself by convicting us of your sin (which we are totally wicked Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”), that we need a savior and need to God to cause us to be “born again” and to submit to His lordship and then receiving salvation.
We are saved by Grace through Faith. And it doesn’t contradict James 2:14-25. We know that God never lies (unlike us) so He cannot contradict Himself.
You’re exactly right, but WE need to pray for those who are confused and blinded that God would open their eyes, not condemn them.
Let’s love this fellow ;)!