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Featured Please explain this.

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by H. Richard, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

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    James 2:20-21
    20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
    21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
    (NKJ)

    Okay, then how do you explain this?
    He was accounted righteous before God several years earlier, BEFORE the birth of Isaac, and before he had done anything to "prove" his faith in God. Check it out in Genesis 15;4-6 below..

    Genesis 15:4-6
    4 And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir."
    5 Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."
    6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
    (NKJ)

    It seems that God accounted him righteous solely for his faith in His Promises, and not by anything that he did. There is nothing in Genesis 15 that mentions any works that Abraham did. Paul accurately reports this. It seems that James did not consider the account in Genesis 15. It was not until Genesis 22, many years after Isaac was born, when Abraham was well over 100 years old, that he agreed to offer Isaac.

    James writes:
    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," and he was called God's friend.
    24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

    Neither of those last two statements are in the Genesis 15:4-6 account.
    Nowhere does the OT Scripture say that Abraham "was called God's friend" BECAUSE he was willing to offer up his son Isaac. In Isaiah 41:8 it states that God called Abraham His friend but nowhere in the context of the chapter does He say it was because Abraham offered up his son Isaac.

    What James wrote, as shown above, are direct contradiction of the Gospel that Paul taught and the account given in Genesis 15:4-6. Abraham was righteous before God solely because he believed God’s promises.

    The religious who advocate works can argue this until they are blue in the face but it does not change the FACTS as shown in Genesis.

    In my opinion the book of James is devoid of the gospel of grace as taught by Paul.

    However, it was compatible with the law of Moses. Since the word of God has to be based on truth, I find the book of James is not based on FAITH in Christ’s work on the cross but only on works of the law and is not for this age of God’s grace. The very fact that it was addressed to Jews (James 1:1) is more proof that it was only for the Jews who were under the law.

    It remains to be seen that the religious will try to destroy what I have written by attacking me, personally, and it will show that they want people to believe we are under the law in this age of God’s grace. They can easily attack me but they can not say that the scriptures I have presented do not say what I have reported them to say.

    Under grace a person must place their faith (belief) in God’s promise of salvation based on their belief in what He (Jesus) did on the cross where He paid for the sins of the whole world. Through the gospel of grace that was given to Paul God, Himself, paid for the sins of the world and a person has to believe it to have salvation. If they do not then they are condemned because they do not believe God.
     
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  2. "ByGrace"

    "ByGrace" Well-Known Member

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    Amen. Good post. Agree.

    But do not expect too many 'amen's they wont come.

    I have not quite worked out what part of 'LOVED the world' people don't like.
    But , they don't.
     
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  3. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    Hi Richard,

    I'm thinking that if we consider what is being justified to whom?

    I hear James saying that I can tell you I have faith, but you can't see my faith, you can only see my works.

    In that God already knows whether we have a true and saving faith, that we've been born again, I understand Him to be telling us that we can tell the sort of our faith by what we do, and that many can say they have faith, even the demons believe! But we know Rahab's faith was real because of what she did.

    That's how I see it.

    Much love!
    Mark
     
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  4. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they were two separate incidences and God had already accounted righteousness to Abraham through faith,and faith alone. We can say this is true because Romans 4 says that it was without works. Not only that, it's pretty clear about it.

    Furthermore Hebrews 11:11 says that Sara herself had faith concerning this. Yet, the funny thing is that she laughed within herself when she heard that she would conceive. But despite that, she conceived because she judged God faithful.

    What's even more... They actually tried to help God by having the promise through Hagar. But that wasn't what the promise was. By all accounts they did have some doubt and did try to "work". Yet, it wasn't the promise. It doesn't even sound like they had faith, but God said they did.

    Now concerning what James was talking about (offering up Isaac), that wasn't a work either. He didn't kill Isaac, though he had no hesitation to do so. He fully intended to do it, and was of the belief he would raise Isaac from the dead. So he was tried, but no work was going to be done because God saw what he already knew: that Abraham had faith.

    Personally, I believe God just wanted the account to happen so it could used as an example.
     
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  5. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    So are you saying that the testimony in the NT that this is so is invalid?

    This can be explained by Romans 4:2. Abraham was justified by works before men; but not before the Lord God. Before God, Abraham was justified by his faith alone. But his "work" of offering up Isaac is the evidence to those who only see with their eyes, that Abraham had a genuine, living faith in the promise that the Lord had given him. We know that Abraham truly believed God's promise that He would give Abraham many descendants through Isaac, because of Abraham's willingness to offer up Isaac. Abraham believed that based on God's promise, Isaac would be raised from the dead if he were to die prematurely, in order that the promised seed might come into existence. Thus Abraham's behaviour reflected the faith that was in his heart. I think that this is all that James is saying: that if you have a genuine faith, your behaviour will reflect what you truly believe in.

    Even if James is primarily a treatise on the law, it is still for the age of God's grace; because the law is given as a schoolmaster to lead men to Christ, so that they can come to God through faith. After faith is come, we are no longer a schoolmaster. But the Bible is not written to believers only; it is also written to unbelievers: and to them the law is laid down to show them that they are sinners in need of a Saviour.

    We are indeed under the law to Christ in this age of God's grace, even as was Paul the apostle (1 Corinthians 9:21). My theological document addresses this subject:

    Wet Paint Principle (Freedom)
     
  6. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

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    I have said what I have said. Your slanting it does not make it what I,I,I,I,I said.

    I have said that the book of James was not written to the Gentile grace church. To say it is, is to say the Holy Spirit got it wrong.

    I am uneasy with a conversation with you because I do not trust you to be honest with me. Your trying to make me say what you want it to seem that I said is a work of Satan, not God. or maybe a Democrat. LOL
     
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  7. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    This conclusion comes from a misunderstanding on your part of what grace is.

    Paul said IF we put to death the deeds of the flesh...we will live. That's all James was saying. Same as Paul. Even if we trust the good sounding verses up to our eyeballs, if we live according to the flesh we will die...as per Paul.

    So then Paul said...put to death the flesh and the sins of the flesh...and you must call Paul's gospel one of works because you don't think it's possible to stop sinning.

    But the gospel of grace WORKS. :)

    What you are trying to teach leaves people the same way they always were...dead in sins. There is no alive IN sins. The presence of God and sin don't mix....now or ever.
     
  8. firstthings1st.

    firstthings1st. Well-Known Member

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    James 2 KJV
     
  9. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    God is sovereign and He can judge as He wishes. But the text never says that Abraham justified himself because he believed in God as so many are doing today. God has absolutely no part in it if we are doing the claiming for ourselves.

    And people seem to prefer that.

    There is a marked difference between God justifying a person...and claiming to be justified ourselves for whatever reason.

    One is righteousness (when God declares it as such)....and the other is SELF-righteousness (when God is silent concerning every person NOT written about in the bible yet people still claim to be such).

    And if Abraham was among us for a visit, he would never claim to be righteous as people do today. He would claim to be a simple servant who was unprofitable to God.
     
  10. ScottA

    ScottA Well-Known Member

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    If anything, I am surprised that there are not more such would-be contradictions. It's not that there are contradictions though, but rather the greatest of contrary directions. If we do not have the understanding and perspective that the time in which these things were written was the great apex of God's salvation plan, we should. It is the dividing line between "the dead" and "the living" (in Christ).

    So, then, if one [James] stood at the mountain top and spoke as he did, and one [Paul] stood just over the rise and spoke as he did...they are not contrary with regard to truth, but rather to context and fold.

    As for those who use the one to preach the other, has not God sent both James and Paul out? Indeed, He has, and for good reason. But those who speak against the finished work of Christ, we would do well not to do as they do, but then in end thank them for prolonging the day in which we were born. That is the reason...until the times of the gentiles are fulfilled.
     
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  11. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    You are still persisting in this error. Why not give it up and move on, since you may mislead some (or many)?

    The example of Abraham is rather simple. Abraham was justified by grace through faith long before he was asked to sacrifice Isaac. But his obedience to God in the matter of Isaac became an outward confirmation of his faith. Justified means "declared righteous" but in the eyes of men it means "demonstrated to be righteous".

    If you tell some that you have been justified by grace through faith, but do absolutely nothing to obey God and do good works, then you are simply deceiving yourself. There must be an outward manifestation of an inward reality.
     
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  12. ScottA

    ScottA Well-Known Member

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    Has H.R. spoke against the value of doing good works by those who have been saved by grace through faith? Because here he has not. On the contrary, by this thread alone, it would seem that his only gripe is against those who advocate works as being necessary for salvation.

    To be clear, if one is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ one moment, and dies the moment after, without doing any good works...he is still saved.
     
  13. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    Yea...

    Do you really think I haven't read it?
     
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  14. FHII

    FHII Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Abraham was righteous cause God said he was.
     
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  15. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    or I would say, if it is an internal reality, there will be an outward manifestation.

    Much love!
     
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  16. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    But it appears to me that you have said that the epistle of James is invalid. You are free to clarify your position.

    When have I ever been dishonest with you? There is no need to resort to insulting me in a public fashion. I think that you are out of line.
     
  17. firstthings1st.

    firstthings1st. Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I knew that you read it, but you stated that, works was not together with faith, which Faith and works goes together, wouldn't they?
     
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  18. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    His threads were showing that his gripe was with James whose epistle is indeed Scripture. He simply cannot abide the fact that James was writing under grace to those who were under grace.
     
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  19. ScottA

    ScottA Well-Known Member

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    I don't see that here, but rather a legitimate question about two very different statements that appear to contradict each other. It's a worthy topic of discussion. But thanks.
     
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  20. stunnedbygrace

    stunnedbygrace Well-Known Member

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    [
    Yes! I agree with you and Enoch here. I think maybe...real Gnosticism is a disconnect from reality. I have heard men called Gnostics who were quite clearly explaining a spiritual thing, when really, it was the man leveling the charge against another who was the Gnostic! If a spiritual thing is true, we will see its effects on earth, won't we?

    So its a disconnect from reality to think it's effects won't be seen here.
     
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