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Who Needs Works?
What The Bible Says About ^ | Rev John Odhner

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)

TOPICS: Ministry/Outreach; Other Christian
KEYWORDS: commandments; faithalone; newchurch
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To: Salvation

I agree. Who isn’t sharing? The majority of Christians in America are Protestant/Evangelical. America is the most giving country in the world.

So was the sharing and giving in Acts a function of fearing God’s Wrath or a function of emulating the Love Christ had for us?

61 posted on 03/15/2014 1:52:37 PM PDT by redleghunter
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To: metmom

The verse neglected is the one right before:

James 2:23 NKJV

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

62 posted on 03/15/2014 1:54:12 PM PDT by redleghunter
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To: G Larry

go play fish with someone else

63 posted on 03/15/2014 1:55:26 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: redleghunter
Acts 16 does indeed show the Power of God - a miracle which impressed the jailer. Such miracles do not happen today and if they did, would probably not result in lasting faith.

For me, I read the Bible and many books on theology but was stuck that I could not break free of sin (which included Paul's 95 plus behaviors to avoid). I could not seem to grasp what repentance was all about. I believed in the Lord, but nothing seemed to work.

Finally, I started working a 12 step program, then things started to happen. I had to trust God and surrender to Him. I had to begin a self examination process and list my bad behaviors, who I held resentments to, my fears and sexual conduct. I had to admit these to God, myself and my sponsor. I had to ask God to remove these. I had to resist temptation to repeat these bad behaviors and change my life, with the Lord's help. I consider this hard work and it is the very definition of the repentance process.

Over a period of several months, I was tested and tempted, but I spoke about these things to my sponsor and worked through them. The Lord was finally working in my life and Scripture and my faith came alive. I believe this is followed by reformation then regeneration.

Before I could receive the Lord, I had to clean house. Again - work. Self examination was the hardest thing I ever did - much easier finding fault in others. My faith teaches:

TCR 3[2] "The particular details of faith on man's part are:

1 God is one, in whom is the Divine Trinity, and He is the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ.

2 Faith leading to salvation is believing in Him.

3 Evil actions must not be done because they are the work of the devil and come from him.

4 Good actions must be done because they are the work of God and come from Him.

5 A person must perform these actions as if they were his own, but he must believe they come from the Lord working in him and through him.

The first two points deal with faith, the second two with charity; and the fifth deals with the joining of charity with faith and thus of the Lord with men."

That's my testimony.

Psalm 44:8 NKJV
In God we boast all day long, And praise Your name forever.

64 posted on 03/15/2014 2:06:37 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Evil Comes from Falsity, So Share the Truth)
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To: DaveMSmith
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. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~∞ That is the most ridiculous explanation of Sola Fide I have ever read. Is this weak article the best you could find?
65 posted on 03/15/2014 2:19:07 PM PDT by Gamecock
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To: DaveMSmith

Thank you for your testimony. I don’t think there is a “canned” way one is led to the cross and empty tomb. However your testimony shows Who was leading you out of darkness into the Light. Repentance involves a change of heart and a transformation of the mind. All the work of God.

What you call hard work indeed Paul would agree as he mentions warring with the flesh. Salvation is Christ’s work indeed. Those who submit to Him as Lord have a lot of work to do as the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

66 posted on 03/15/2014 2:27:27 PM PDT by redleghunter
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To: Gamecock
Try this: Salvation
67 posted on 03/15/2014 2:27:37 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Evil Comes from Falsity, So Share the Truth)
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To: Salvation

Correct. Works justifies or confirms what your inner condition is. Fruit confirms/justifies the nature of the tree. Good works are the result of faith. Faith is not the result of good works. Paul had plenty of ‘good works’ but without true faith those works were as filthy rags. After Paul had established a true relationship with God his faith allowed God to do good works thru him(Paul). Paul’s good works came not for need of approval or for reward but because of his changing nature, a nature which produced ‘good works’ naturally. A nature which was now becoming occupied by Christ.

68 posted on 03/15/2014 2:44:34 PM PDT by yadent
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To: DaveMSmith

Isn’t that what I said? :)

That’s what being reprobate means, not being able or willing to repent.

69 posted on 03/15/2014 3:30:06 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: DaveMSmith; Jonty30; Pan_Yan; .45 Long Colt; Nifster; AppyPappy; Loud Mime; Joe 6-pack; ...

The issue of faith versus works is relatively simply: Rm 4 is not simply saying one can be saved without becoming Jewish, but that they are saved without the works-merit system of the Law, thus he also tells Greeks "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;" (Titus 3:5)

God justifies the UnGodly by faith, not by making them morally perfect, but like as helpless Abraham could not begat a vast nation, but believed God and it was counted for righteous, so God imputes faith as righteousness for the unGodly, but regenerates them so they will live Godly — and repent when convicted of not doing so.

For saving faith is a living faith that cannot help but confess the Lord, and which confession is confirmatory of saving faith. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10) "We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;" (2 Corinthians 4:13) "But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak." (Hebrews 6:9) "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)

And baptism under water is the normative initial confession of Jesus as Lord, but which is not essentially different from confession with the mouth insofar as it is a volitional act.

And thus works of faith by the Spirit are necessary for salvation in the sense that without such works there is no faith. And which (contrary to the Roman Catholic straw man of sola fide) reformers preached:

In his Introduction to Romans, Luther stated that saving faith is, “a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly...Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! [] “

This is what I have often said, if faith be true, it will break forth and bear fruit. If the tree is green and good, it will not cease to blossom forth in leaves and fruit. It does this by nature. I need not first command it and say: Look here, tree, bear apples. For if the tree is there and is good, the fruit will follow unbidden. If faith is present works must follow.” [Sermons of Martin Luther 2.2:340-341]

Contemporary evangelical theologian R. C. Sproul writes,

The relationship of faith and good works is one that may be distinguished but never separated...if good works do not follow from our profession of faith, it is a clear indication that we do not possess justifying faith. The Reformed formula is, “We are justified by faith alone but not by a faith that is alone.”[[“Essential Truths of the Christian Faith,” Google books] More.

And as faith in effect is synonymous with works, then like as Christ said, "Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?," (Mark 2:9) so to believe is to obey. And thus Abraham can be said to be saved by works, as that is faith in action, justifying him as one that truly does believe and is saved. (Ja. 2)

HOWEVER DaveMSmith evidently has you all believing that he is arguing like a Catholic versus Protestant, or as a Christian, when in realiyy DaveMSmith belongs to occult led by a man vainly "puffed up by his fleshly mind" and who almost makes Joseph Smith looks sober, and with whom we have dealt with before: (and see links) That cult being Swedenborgism. And it is his expressed desire to use FR to post his deceitful Bible studies

He tried this already and was exposed by more than me, yet he simply tries it again. There was a reason i distinctly said he rejects half the Bible as being the very wholly inspired word of God, for Borg rejects Biblical books that in his supreme cultic judgment have an i”nternal sense.” Which Smith will deny despite being shown the evidence. And as told said, quoting things from sources that affirm some truths, as Paul in quoting pagans twice, does not mean they are Scripture.

For as shown before, Borg himself states in his verbose Arcana Coelestia (10325):

The books of the Word are all those which have an internal sense; and those which have not an internal sense are not the Word. [eph. mine]

The books of the Word in the Old Testament are the five books of Moses, the book of Joshua, the book of Judges, the two books of Samuel, the two books of Kings, the Psalms of David, the Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi;

and in the New Testament the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and Revelation. -

Consistent with this criteria by which Born rejects sacred books of the Bible, he writes,

Solomon composed the Song of Songs, a book that is not a sacred one because it does not inwardly contain heavenly and Divine matters forming a continuous train of thought, such as sacred books contain.- Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 9942

And the Borg did and does lead a church, the "new church," as even while he did not personally establish it, yet he foretold it, prepared for it, and his words required it, and is the leader of it thru his teachings that they follow it. However, Christians follow Christ, who foretold of His church, and began it after his resurrection, and whom real believers follow thru the Scriptures. Borg is simply another deluded antiChrist. May God grant you repentance unto surrender to Christ the Lord.

"It will be seen that there is not a single genuine truth remaining in the church, and also that unless a new church shall be raised up in the place of the present one..." "...the beginning of a new church, is now at hand." " " ..there is at this day an end of the former church and the beginning of a new church.." "Also that blessed are those that come to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9). This took place on the nineteenth day of June, 1770". - Swedenborg, "True Christian Religion;"

70 posted on 03/15/2014 3:40:39 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: daniel1212; DaveMSmith

Swedenborgism? That flaky cult? So he’s like a Proto-Mormon. I bet they get along.

71 posted on 03/15/2014 3:44:05 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans; Alex Murphy
So he’s like a Proto-Mormon.

He reminds me of Smith, and in fact a faithful Mormon scholar, Craig Miller has wrote a lengthy paper titled "Did Swedenborg Influence Mormon Doctrine?." Miller lists 19 unique similarities between Swendenborg's fantasy of a "Celestial Kingdom" and that of Joseph Smith's imagination.

72 posted on 03/15/2014 3:59:42 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: daniel1212

The Borg? Are you on drugs?

73 posted on 03/15/2014 4:30:46 PM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: Salvation; .45 Long Colt
>>Jesus talked about "works" a lot.<<

Only once, when He was asked.

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:28-29

Evidently what you think are works and what He said are works are at odds.

74 posted on 03/15/2014 4:30:52 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: daniel1212

Differences in Catholics/Protestants viewpoint

Difference 1: Faith Is Not Enough - Catholic/Orthodox teaching says certain works (rituals or sacraments are needed to be saved. Protestants say sincere faith is all that is needed.

“What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?...You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith without deeds is dead.” (Jas. 2:14-26)

Difference 2: Salvation Is A Process. - Catholic/Orthodox teaching emphasizes the process of salvation. Protestants emphasize salvation as an event. Catholics emphasize a process of salvation while Protestant teaching more often refers to salvation as an event in time when we were forgiven (justification) followed by the process of becoming holy (sanctification)

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone it roams through arid regions searching for rest but finding it none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.” But upon returning it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there and the condition of that person is worse than the first.” (Lk 11:24-26)

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” (Phil 2:12)

Difference 3: No Assurance of Salvation. - Catholics believe that there is no assurance of Salvation which is why we have the Sacrament of Penance. We recognize that the love of Christ requires that we remain obedient to His commands. Jesus, as perfected in the Beatitudes, spoke very clearly about the way we needed to conduct our lives in order to attain heaven. Mainstream Protestants, by contrast, emphasize that since their salvation rests wholly on the mercy of Christ and that they can be sure they are going to heaven as long as they continue in repentance and faith. Some Protestants differ even more radically with the belief in the Perseverance of the Saints, the claim that once saved Salvation cannot be lost or forfeited by actions, sin or lack of works. ”

“It is the one who endures to the end who will be saved.” (Mt 10:22, 24:13)

Difference 4: Justification Combined With Salvation. - Catholics often treat justification and sanctification as one thing. Protestants treat them separately. Orthodox teaches that justification (forgiveness) and sanctification (becoming holy) are one process which they call theosis. Catholic Teaching, combines justification (forgiveness of sins) with sanctification (becoming holy): justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.

Difference Five: There is no Salvation outside the Church. - The Catholic Church teaches that there is no Salvation outside the Church. Protestant doctrine is the antithesis of this. The teaching that one cannot be saved outside of the Catholic Church is founded in every Scripture passage citing Jesus Christ, and the the Church He founded as necessary for salvation. Prior to the Protestant Reformation in the 1500’s and from the time of Christ, all Christians who were not practicing heretical or pagan beliefs were members of the Catholic Church.

75 posted on 03/15/2014 4:40:18 PM PDT by G Larry (There's the Beef!)
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To: Salvation

Yes. I agree with what Paul said about the Law in his letters (that he learned from the risen Lord).

Do I understand it all? No. But by faith I believe it.

76 posted on 03/15/2014 4:49:43 PM PDT by avenir (I'm pessimistic about man, but I'm optimistic about GOD!)
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To: G Larry; Nifster
>>“Faith without works is dead”<<

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:28-29

Jesus Christ

77 posted on 03/15/2014 4:49:55 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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To: G Larry
Catholic/Orthodox teaching says certain works (rituals or sacraments are needed to be saved.

Difference 6. Protestant faith saves just like it says in the scripture Eph 4. Catholics say the above, but leave out the requirements of faith in certain dogmas of the church.

Difference 7. Protestant believes the Bible contains all that is necessary to be wise unto salvation, 2 Timothy 3:15. Not surprisingly, so does scripture. Catholics believe that the extra-scriptural means, tradition, dogmas etc etc are required. Protestants agree with God on this, Catholics with their church.

78 posted on 03/15/2014 4:51:28 PM PDT by xone
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To: AppyPappy
The Borg? Are you on drugs?

As it came to be called for short during our past extensive expose of Swedenborg. And it is him that might as well have been on drugs. As you one of his followers?

79 posted on 03/15/2014 4:53:59 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: Salvation; yadent
>>“Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?” James 2:24<<

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:28-29

80 posted on 03/15/2014 4:54:16 PM PDT by CynicalBear (For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ)
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