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)
You mean which English translation did I use?
NOW who is doing the torturing?
Do you know Salvation?
I see quote marks.
Care to explain what His 'works' ARE?
“Do you know Salvation?”
It’s pretty well laid out here:
1 Cor 13:2
2 Tim 1:9
1 Peter 1:9
1 Cor 3:15
1 Cor 5:5
The author of the material at the link below, is quite clear on how he recovered from the errant arguments you continue to make.
In first century Greek, petros and petra did not mean small stone and large rock. The terms did have those meanings in some early Greek poetry, but by the first century, this distinction was gone and the two were synonyms (EBC 8:368).
Furthermore, the Aramaic kepa, which underlies the Greek, means (massive) rock (EBC 8:367), not small stone.
The usage of the two different terms if fully accounted for by stylistic variation. Too much repetition grates on the ears, which is the whole reason we have pronounsto avoid excess repetition. In this case, varying the term petros as petra is a normal stylistic variation to avoid repetition in the same sentence.
We would acknowledge even greater examples of stylistic variation in everyday speech in English. If I were a hospital administrator attending a fund-raiser where I planned to announce that one of my chief doctors, a man named Dr. Robert Stone, would be the chief physician of a new wing of the hospital, I might publicly say, I tell you truly, Bob, that you are a Stone, and on the rock I will build a whole new wing of the hospital. Nobody at the function would think I was referring to anyone except Dr. Stone as the rock on which the new wing is built. It is perfectly normal stylistic variation, and the etymological difference between the English terms stone and rock is ever greater than the difference between the Greek terms petros and petra.
Even supposing, contrary to the linguistic evidence, that the two terms should be read as small stone and large rock, this does not mean Jesus is diminishing Peter in the statement. The anti-Petrine argument assumes that, if there is a difference in the two terms, there must be antithetic parallelism between the statement about Peter and the statement about the rock. I.e., that Jesus is diminishing Peter by contrasting him with the rock: I tell you Peter, you are a very small stone, but on the great rock of my identity, I will build my Church. However, the assumption that the parallelism is antithetic is merely an assumption with no proof. It can just as easily be synthetic, so that the statement about the rock expands on the statement about Peter: I tell you Peter, you may look like a small stone now, but on the great rock you truly are, I will build my Church.
Fine. You were on the thread so i pinged you.
I make no arguments.
I posted Scripture that all can READ: right in front of their eyes.
You may choose to post a bunch of stuff for folks to look up themselves if you wish.
To each his own.
Golly; that's kinda 'every man his own POPE'; ain't it!
2 Corinthians 1:13-14
For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand.
And I hope that, as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Maybe as one preacher likened it...”Being settled in being unsettled”.
In Matthew 16:17-19, Jesus makes three statements. All three begin with an assertion concerning Peter. This assertion is this followed by a two-part elaboration consisting of a contrast (human/divine revelation, Christs/Satans activity, heavenly ratification of earthly binding/loosing). This elaboration develops the meaning of the principal assertion.
The exegetical structure of Matthew 16:17-19
Statement 1 17 Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona!
Elaboration: Part 1 - For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,
Part 2 - but my Father who is in heaven.
Statement 2 18 And I tell you, youare Peter,
Elaboration: Part 1 - and on this rock I will build my church,
Part 2 - and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Statement 3 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,
Elaboration: Part 1 - and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
Part 2 - and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
The exegetical structure of the passage demands that Peter be the rock:
Statements 1 and 3 have Peter as their principal subject, therefore statement 2 does as well.
Statements 1 and 3 are blessings on Peter, therefore statement 2 is as well.
The elaborations in statements 1 and 3 develop the meaning of the assertions in those statement, therefore the elaborations in statement 2 develop the meaning of statement 2.
‘every man his own POPE’
Yes, and you believe the Holy Spirit would sow confusion like that?
What do you propose the populace was expected to “read”, in the 1500 years before the printing press, not to mention the illiteracy rate?
NIV Matthew 16:13-18
13. When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
14. They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15. "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
16. Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17. Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
18. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.19. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
JESUS seemed to have NO problem READING the scroll of Isaiah - as was His custom.
I recall no schooling ever mentioned that He attended.
And yet it is EXACTLY the logic Saint Augustine takes in his explanation for those texts! Observe:
For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra; just as Christ is not called so from the Christian, but the Christian from Christ. For on this very account the Lord said, On this rock will I build my Church, because Peter had said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. On this rock, therefore, He said, which thou hast confessed, I will build my Church. For the Rock (Petra) was Christ; and on this foundation was Peter himself built. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus. The Church, therefore, which is founded in Christ received from Him the keys of the kingdom of heaven in the person of Peter, that is to say, the power of binding and loosing sins. For what the Church is essentially in Christ, such representatively is Peter in the rock (petra); and in this representation Christ is to be understood as the Rock, Peter as the Church. (Augustine Tractate CXXIV; Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: First Series, Volume VII Tractate CXXIV)
Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peters confession. What is Peters confession? You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Theres the rock for you, theres the foundation, theres where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer. (Augustine, John Rotelle, O.S.A., Ed., The Works of Saint Augustine , © 1993 New City Press, Sermons, Vol III/6, Sermon 229P.1, p. 327
In a passage in this book, I said about the Apostle Peter: On him as on a rock the Church was built....But I know that very frequently at a later time, I so explained what the Lord said: Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, that it be understood as built upon Him whom Peter confessed saying: Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, and so Peter, called after this rock, represented the person of the Church which is built upon this rock, and has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven. For, Thou art Peter and not Thou art the rock was said to him. But the rock was Christ, in confessing whom, as also the whole Church confesses, Simon was called Peter. But let the reader decide which of these two opinions is the more probable. The Fathers of the Church (Washington D.C., Catholic University, 1968), Saint Augustine, The Retractations Chapter 20.1:.
Compare Augustines argument with Metmom's facts again about the Greek of Petros and 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).
For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra;
And when was the canon of the New Testament established?
When was it assembled into a single, stand alone work?
Who had access to it?
How available was it to the common man prior to the invention of the printing press?
What percentage of the population could read up until that time?
Have you ever diagramed a sentence?
Did anybody ever teach you about prepositions and assignment of pronouns?
You see Christ’s meaning of “on this rock” is quite direct and clear.
Isaiah 44:8, "Is there any God besides Me, or is there any other Rock? I know of none."
1 Cor. 3:11, "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ,"
1 Cor. 10:4, "and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock (petras) which followed them; and the rock (petra) was Christ."
The RCC says it was Peters confession on which Christ built His church.
424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church. "To preach. . . the unsearchable riches of Christ"
Now why would you disagree with God and the church you purport to follow?
Because if it’s based on works the thief on the cross is toast. No opportunity to “do” anything but believe.