Skip to comments.Who Needs Works?
Posted on 03/15/2014 5:31:38 AM PDT by DaveMSmith
It seems to be a matter of common sense to say that good people will go to heaven and evil people will go to hell. Something would be terribly wrong if God could send an innocent, sincere, charitable, helpful person to hell. Yet sometimes people suggest that a person's salvation depends upon his faith alone, and not upon the good things he does, or how he lives, or whether he obeys the Ten Commandments. The Bible never mentions "faith alone" (except in one passage which says faith alone is dead--James 2:24) The concept first came into existence during the Reformation, when Luther and other Protestants split away from the Roman Catholic Church. Luther's concept of how a person gets to heaven was different from what had been taught by the Catholic Church. Luther's phrase "faith alone" emphasized this difference.
In the early Christian Church there was no controversy about whether a person could be saved by faith alone without obeying the Lord and living well. Early Christians knew that loving the Lord meant obeying His commandments, (Matthew 19:17; John 14:21; 15:10) and that salvation depended on bearing fruit (that is, doing good works). (Matthew 7:19; 16:27; 21:43; Luke 3:9; John 5:29; 15:1-16; Revelation 20:13; 22:12) In fact there are so many passages which say that a good life is necessary, that it would be quite a contradiction if the Bible did say that faith alone is enough.
Probably the closest the Bible comes to mentioning "faith alone" is Paul's phrase, "man is justified by faith without the works of the law." (Romans 3:28) Sometimes this phrase has been used to defend or promote the idea that man is saved by faith alone. But if we look at Paul's statement in context we can see that Paul was simply saying that you can be saved without being a Jew. (Read Romans 3:28-31) Some early Christians felt that to be a good Christian, one should obey all the ritual laws of the Jewish Church. "Certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, `Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'" (Acts 15:1) Now Paul knew that it made no difference to the Lord whether a person was circumcised or not, so he made it clear that it is not necessary to keep the laws about washing, sacrifices, offerings, holy days, diet, and circumcision. (Colossians 2:16; Galatians 2; Romans 3; 2:25-28; Hebrews 8-10) "Does this blessedness then come only on the circumcised, and not on the uncircumcised also?" (Romans 4:9) "Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what counts." (1 Corinthians 7:19) "In Jesus Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working by love." (Galatians 5:6) Paul says here not "faith alone," but "faith which works by love". Faith, works and love are all necessary.
These and other references make it clear that when Paul said a man is saved by faith without the works of the law, he meant that a person is saved without circumcision and other ritualistic works. There are other laws, which relate not to ritual but to living well, as for example the Ten Commandments and laws such as "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18) Paul made it clear that it was necessary to keep these laws in order to be saved. He said, "Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, not adulterers, nor homosexuals... nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9,10; see also Galatians 5:19-20) Paul had no thought at all of doing away with the law: "Do we abrogate the law through faith? Far from it! We establish the law." (Romans 3:31) He knew that salvation depended on action, not just on faith: "Not the hearers of the law shall be justified by God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (Romans 2:13) And he taught that every loving person will obey God's law: "Love does no harm to a neighbor: therefore love is the fulfillment of he law." (Romans 13:10)
It is clear from the passages above that according to Paul, we must keep the Lord's commandments and live a good life in order to be saved. This agrees completely with what other disciples said about living well. What could be more direct that this statement of James: "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? That faith cannot save him, can it?... Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.... By works a person is justified, and not by faith alone." (James 2:14-24) John showed that you can't have faith unless you love others when he said, "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8) He also taught that we can and should obey God's commands: "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5:3)
For any Christian, the way to eternal life is to follow Jesus and do as He says. And what He says is very plain: "If you will enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17) This is not only the way to life, but the way to happiness: "If you know these things, happy are you if you do them." (John 13:17) It is the way to love the Lord: "He who has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves Me." (John 14:21) And it is the way to be His friend: "You are my friends if you do whatever I command you." (John 15:14)
Not just belonging, but possessing, entrusted with, maintaining, and polishing; too!
NOW you've SURELY aggravated the Catholics!!!
Doncha know that to get to be a SAINT, ya gotta have MIRACLES attributed to you?
And you'd be right!
Let's see if any MORMONs want to come out to play...
Just sippin' a bit of...
And downing a dram or two of...
But wait!! There's MORE!!
Is Peter the 'rock'?
As you can see, Simon was already known as 'Peter'
BEFORE the following verses came along.....
NIV 1 Corinthians 10:4
and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
NIV Luke 6:48
He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
NIV Romans 9:33
As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
NIV 1 Peter 2:4-8
4. As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--
5. you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
6. For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
7. Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone, "
8. and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for.
But, since there WAS no NT at the time Christ spoke to Peter, just what DID Peter and the rest of the Disciples know about ROCKS???
NIV Genesis 49:24-25
24. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25. because of your father's God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.
NIV Numbers 20:8
"Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink."
NIV Deuteronomy 32:4
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
NIV Deuteronomy 32:15
Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior.
NIV Deuteronomy 32:18
You deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth.
NIV Deuteronomy 32:30-31
30. How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up?
31. For their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies concede.
NIV 1 Samuel 2:2
"There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
NIV 2 Samuel 22:2-3
2. He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
3. my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior-- from violent men you save me.
NIV 2 Samuel 22:32
For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?
NIV 2 Samuel 22:47
"The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!
NIV 2 Samuel 23:3-4
3. The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: `When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,
4. he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.'
NIV Psalms 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
NIV Psalms 18:31
For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?
NIV Psalms 18:46
The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!
NIV Psalms 19:14
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
NIV Psalms 28:1
To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.
NIV Psalms 31:2-3
2. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
3. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
NIV Psalms 42:9
I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"
NIV Psalms 62:2
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
NIV Psalms 62:6
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
NIV Psalms 62:7
My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
NIV Psalms 71:3
Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
NIV Psalms 78:35
They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.
NIV Psalms 89:26
He will call out to me, `You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.'
NIV Psalms 92:14-15
14. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,
15. proclaiming, "The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him."
NIV Psalms 95:1
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
NIV Psalms 144:1
Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.
NIV Isaiah 17:10
You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
NIV Isaiah 26:4
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
NIV Isaiah 30:29
And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people go up with flutes to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.
NIV Isaiah 44:8
Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."
NIV Habakkuk 1:12
O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish.
And now you know the Biblical position!
Well; a list of loosened things might be of help here...
I wonder if these guys were examples of Good Works in the Catholic Religious Organization:
Pope John XII (955964), who gave land to a mistress, murdered several people, and was killed by a man who caught him in bed with his wife.
Pope Benedict IX (10321044, 1045, 10471048), who "sold" the Papacy
~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
In two sentences we have the matter boiled down to its essence. A lot of the strife we see is due to asking the wrong question.
What do YOU think this means?
Why are you calling these words of Christ, the slimmest of reeds?
Are you claiming for yourself infallible interpretation of Scripture?
I think I'll throw this in to the mix......
Here's the context of the passage in question....
Matthew 18:1-3 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said,.....
Now drop down to the passage in question.
Matthew 18:15-20 If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
OK, context here is that Jesus is talking about disputes between Christians (brothers) and that if one brother has something against another, he is to go and try to be reconciled. This is nothing about going to a priest to make confession, especially as the Catholic church teaches it.
So if someone offends me, I go to them to be reconciled. If we are, there is forgiveness and we agree on it and it is bound in the spiritual realm (heaven if you will). That settles the issue there and effectively closes the case. I think what happens is because it's settled, Satan can no longer access it for us in spiritual attack against either party.
The context indicates that it can be any believer because it's got to do with the parties involved. It does NOT say that we are to confess our sins to a priest to be absolved.
This twisted grammar is old and weak.
“Thou art Peter, and upon THIS rock....”
Christ is clearly continuing to refer to Peter.
This “little rock” vs. “big rock” nonsense is tortured linguistics, intended to ignore Christ’s clear meaning.
This and the rest of your argument would have us prefer YOUR “infallibility”, over that assigned by Christ Himself.
Well said and so true. No one can understand the freedom that is in Christ until they understand that premise.
Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts
1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Now you’re blaming the Holy Spirit for your bogus interpretations?
Has the Holy Spirit also guided dozens of Protestant religions in different directions, having given them each a different understanding?
As much as it did the RCC. All the Protestant churches are after all daughters of Rome.
**Has the Holy Spirit also guided dozens of Protestant religions in different directions, having given them each a different understanding?**
One Holy Spirit, One Christ, One God the Father, One Body of Christ, One Church.
That’s where the unity is.
Your copy and paste source?
No, I disagree with Lewis here. So does Paul, who insists that works have NOTHING to do with salvation: "And if by grace, it is not now by works: otherwise grace is no more grace" (Romans 11:5).
The seeming contradictions, e.g. Paul vs James, must be resolved in the clear light of Scripture which INSISTS that no flesh can be justified before God by works of the Law. One cannot be just a little bit justified. You either are or you are not! Scripture makes it clear that GOD is the One who justifies, and he does so based on BELIEVING, which is credited as righteousness.
It helps if you listen to Gods appointed apostles instead of the confused, layered cant of false teachers.
This little rock vs. big rock nonsense is tortured linguistics, intended to ignore Christs clear meaning.
This and the rest of your argument would have us prefer YOUR infallibility, over that assigned by Christ Himself.
It's not tortured linguistics. Failure to correctly translate the original Greek, which makes the distinction, is the problem
The problem is basing an entire doctrine on one mistranslated verse.
Petra Peter rock
Matthew 16:18 - http://bible.cc/matthew/16-18.htm
Jesus said that Peter was *petros*(masculine) and that on this *petra*(feminine) He would build His church.
Greek: 4074 Pétros (a masculine noun) properly, a stone (pebble), such as a small rock found along a pathway. 4074 /Pétros (small stone) then stands in contrast to 4073 /pétra (cliff, boulder, Abbott-Smith).
4074 (Pétros) is an isolated rock and 4073 (pétra) is a cliff (TDNT, 3, 100). 4074 (Pétros) always means a stone . . . such as a man may throw, . . . versus 4073 (pétra), a projecting rock, cliff (S. Zodhiates, Dict).
4073 pétra (a feminine noun) a mass of connected rock, which is distinct from 4074 (Pétros) which is a detached stone or boulder (A-S). 4073 (pétra) is a solid or native rock, rising up through the earth (Souter) a huge mass of rock (a boulder), such as a projecting cliff.
4073 (petra) is a projecting rock, cliff (feminine noun) . . . 4074 (petros, the masculine form) however is a stone . . . such as a man might throw (S. Zodhiates, Dict).
Its also a strange way to word the sentence that He would call Peter a rock and say that on this I will build my church instead of *on you* as would be grammatically correct in talking to a person.
There is no support from the original Greek for the idea that Jesus meant Peter to be that which He was going to build His church on. The nouns are not the same as one is feminine and the other masculine and denote different objects.