Faith Alone = Faith and Works

Just like to pose a statement regarding that age-old argument between faith alone and faith and works. Apparently, those who teach that faith alone brings salvation, but salvation isn't a one-time thing, but one must have the fruit of that faith to justify his/her faith as true, is actually talking about Faith and Works.

From Merriam Webster we read the definition of Alone:

Alone (Adjective)

1: separated from others : isolated
2: exclusive of anyone or anything else : only <she alone knows why>
3 a: considered without reference to any other

And the definition for work/s.

Work (noun)

1: activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something: a: sustained physical or mental effort to overcome obstacles and achieve an objective or result b: the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood c: a specific task, duty, function, or assignment often being a part or phase of some larger activity

Work (verb)

4: to set or keep in motion, operation, or activity : cause to operate or produce <a pump worked by hand> <work farmland>
7 a: to carry on an operation or perform a job through
9 a: to get (oneself or an object) into or out of a condition or position by gradual stages

intransitive verb

1 a: to exert oneself physically or mentally especially in sustained effort for a purpose or under compulsion or necessity b: to perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations <worked all day over a hot stove> c: to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary <works in publishing>
2: to function or operate according to plan or design

Faith and Works:
http://www.tecmalta.org/tft219.htm

The balanced Christian view on justification has to listen to both apostles. Together they present the whole picture. That they are good friends can be proved as follows:

1. James does not contradict or deny Paul's doctrine (Romans 3:28; 4:5; Galatians 2:15-16, etc.), for both were guided by the same Spirit of truth (John 16:13-14).

2. James does not speak about how a man is reckoned as righteous before God, but rather about the justification or validity of his faith in the eyes of men (James 2:18: "Show me your faith....").

3. We are justified by faith alone, but works justify our faith, and declare that we are justified. Men cannot see our faith, except by our works (cf. Luke 7:47,50). If you have faith, demonstrate it. The only evidence visible to human eyes is the deeds of obedience. Though God can read the heart, our only view of the heart is by the sight of outward fruit.

4. James treats the question, "What kind of faith is saving faith?" The obvious answer is that faith without works cannot save, something Paul wholeheartedly believed too. Faith that yields no deeds is not saving faith. The New Testament does not teach justification by the profession or the claim to faith; it teaches justification by the possession of true faith. Calvin said: "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone." Both Paul and James would have agreed to this statement.

5. Both Paul and James conveniently take Abraham as their example, the former appealing to Genesis 15 while the latter draws his point from Genesis 22. His offering up of Isaac demonstrated the reality of his faith (chapter 15). Yet Abraham's obedience was not the meritorious cause of his salvation; it added no merit to the perfect and sufficient merit of Christ.

6. Thus James is attacking all forms of antinomianism that seek to have Jesus as Saviour without embracing him as Lord. Just as Paul demonstrated that trusting in one's own works is deadly, so James teaches that resting on empty or dead faith is fatal. They complement each other: James deals with antinomianism, Paul with legalism.

From http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/FAWORKS.htm

During the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, a familiar term regarding salvation was "sola fide," Latin for "by faith alone." The reformers, at that time, accused the Catholic Church of departing from the "simple purity of the Gospel" of Jesus Christ. They stated it was faith alone, without works of any kind, that brought a believer to eternal life. They defined this faith as "the confidence of man, associated with the certainty of salvation, because the merciful Father will forgive sins because of Christ's sake."

This view of salvation is a crucial issue because it strikes at the very heart of the Gospel message eternal life. Roman Catholicism teaches that we are not saved by faith alone. The Church has taught this since 30 A.D. as part of the Divine Revelation. The truth of the Catholic Church's teaching can be demonstrated from Sacred Scripture alone.

All who claim the title "Christian" will be able to agree on the following two truths: salvation is by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8) and salvation is through Christ alone (Acts 4:12). These biblical facts will be our foundation as we explain the teaching of the Catholic Church.
If we take a concordance and look up every occurrence of the word "faith," we come up with an undeniable fact the only time the phrase "faith alone" is used in the entire Bible is when it is condemned (James 2:24). The epistle of James only mentions it in the negative sense.

The Bible tells us we must have faith in order to be saved (Hebrews 11:6). Yet is faith nothing more than believing and trusting? Searching the Scriptures, we see faith also involves assent to God's truth (1 Thessalonians 2:13), obedience to Him (Romans 1:5, 16:26), and it must be working in love (Galatians 5:6). These points appeared to be missed by the reformers, yet they are just as crucial as believing and trusting. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) should be heeded by all it's certainly an attention grabber.

Paul speaks of faith as a life-long process, never as a one-time experience (Philippians 2:12). He never assumes he has nothing to worry about. If he did, his words in (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) would be nonsensical. He reiterates the same point again in his second letter to Corinth (2 Corinthians 13:5). He takes nothing for granted, yet all would agree if anyone was "born again" it certainly was Paul. Our Lord and Savior spoke of the same thing by "remaining in Him" (John 15:1-11).

Paul tells us our faith is living and can go through many stages. It never stays permanently fixed after a single conversion experience no matter how genuine or sincere. Our faith can be shipwrecked (1 Timothy 1:19), departed from (1 Timothy 4:1), disowned (1 Timothy 5:8) wandered from (1 Timothy 6:10), and missed (1 Timothy 6:21). Christians do not have a "waiver" that exempts them from these verses.

Do our works mean anything? According to Jesus they do (Matthew 25:31-46). The people rewarded and punished are done so by their actions. And our thoughts (Matthew 15:18-20) and words (James 3:6-12) are accountable as well. These verses are just as much part of the Bible as Romans 10:8-13 and John 3:3-5.

Some will object by appealing to Romans 4:3 and stating Abraham was "declared righteous" before circumcision. Thus he was only saved by "believing" faith (Genesis 15:6), not by faith "working in love" (Galatians 5:6). Isn't this what Paul means when he says none will be justified by "works of law" (Romans 3:28)? No, this is not what he means. He's condemning the Old Covenant sacrifices and rituals which couldn't justify and pointing to better things now in Christ Jesus in the New Covenant (Hebrews 7-10). A close examination of Abraham's life revealed a man of God who did something. In Genesis 12-14 he makes two geographical moves, builds an altar and calls on the Lord, divides land with Lot to end quarrels, pays tithes, and refuses goods from the King of Sodom to rely instead on God's providence. He did all these works as an old man. It was certainly a struggle. After all these actions of faith, then he's "declared righteous" (Genesis 15:6). Did these works play a role in his justification? According to the Bible, yes.

The Catholic Church has never taught we "earn" our salvation. It is an inheritance (Galatians 5:21), freely given to anyone who becomes a child of God (1 John 3:1), so long as they remain that way (John 15:1-11). You can't earn it but you can lose the free gift given from the Father (James 1:17).

The reformer's position cannot be reconciled with the Bible. That is why the Catholic Church has taught otherwise for over 1,960 years.

Where does our assistance come from to reach our heavenly destination? Philippians 4:13 says it all, "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me."

From: http://www.catholicapologetics.org/ap020800.htm

There is perhaps no greater confusion among Roman Catholic Christians and Evangelical Protestant and Pentecostal Christians than that held over the controversy of faith versus good works. This controversy best warrants the balance of scriptures necessary in reading the Word of God to understand what God means for us to know.
The Bible is clear that faith holds a first and prominent role in the salvation of every person.
Heb 10:38
But my just one shall live by faith ...
Heb 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him (God) ...
The Bible is equally clear on the saving role of good works in the lives of the faithful.
1 Pet 2:12
Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that if they speak of you as evildoers, they may observe your good works and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Rev 2:2
I know your works, your labor, and your endurance ...
Mt 5:16
Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
Mt 16:27
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.
Mt 25:34-36
Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'
The Bible makes it clear that there must be a balanced relationship between our faith and its expression in good works.
James 2:14-18
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
1 Cor 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Heb 6:10
For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
James 2:20-22
Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.
Mt 16:27
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.
1 Cor 3:8
The one who plants and the one who waters are equal, and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.
Col 3:23-24
Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance.
The Bible indicates that it is wrong to disturb the balance of works expressing a life of faith. Man is not saved by faith alone.
James 2:24
See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
James 2:26
For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
Nor is man saved by works alone.
Rom 9:31-32
Israel, who pursued the law of righteousness, did not attain to that law ... because they did it not by faith, but as if it could be done by works.
Gal 3:11
And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for "the one who is righteous by faith will live."
The Bible declares that salvation is a gift of God alone and constantly reaffirms that faith has a primary role in that salvation.
Eph 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.
Heb 6:1
Therefore, let us leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity, without laying the foundation all over again: repentance from dead works and faith in God,
Heb 9:14
... how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
2 Tim 1:9
He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began,
Titus 3:4-5
... the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy.
Rom 3:27-28
What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith. For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Gal 2:16
(We) know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

The constant teaching of the Roman Catholic Church on these Scriptures was clearly restated on January 13, 1547.

Council of Trent, On Justification, Ch. VIII
When the Apostle says that man is justified by faith and freely, these words are to be understood in that sense in which the uninterrupted unanimity of the Catholic Church has held and expressed them, namely, that we are therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, "without which it is impossible to please God" and to come to the fellowship of His sons; and we are therefore said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things that precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace of justification. For, "if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise," as the Apostle says, "grace is no more grace."
The Council also reiterated the relationship of good works to man justified by faith.

Council of Trent, On Justification, Ch. XVI
Therefore, to men justified in this manner, whether they have preserved uninterruptedly the grace received or recovered it when lost, are to be pointed out the words of the Apostle: "Abound in every good work, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. For God is not unjust, that he should forget your work, and the love which you have shown in his name"; and "Do not lose confidence, which hath a great reward." Hence, to those who work well "unto the end" and trust in God, eternal life is to be offered, both as a grace mercifully promised to the sons of God through Christ Jesus, and as a reward promised by God himself, to be faithfully given to their good works and merits.
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Comments

  • StonyclubStonyclub Laylay Ka! PExer
    As I read the long inputs here of mr irsyffe. It is very clear that man can be save alone by faith . This is the MEANS to be save - by faith alone. As taught by Romans 3:23 and it is clear to me that is exactly what the Council of Trent concluded. There is no way that the Council of Trent stated that good works is to be added to the faith in the initial exercise of trust in Jesus of Christ being the personal Savior.

    The apostle James is not talking about the MEANS of salvation (which is faith only). He is talking about the EVIDENCE of true faith which is good works. Why did the person who have true faith in the first place, have good works after his submission to God as his / her Savior. He had it when? after the Holy Spirit was given to him that resulted for him/her to have good works. 2 Corinthians 5:17 explicitly declared that a person who is in Christ is a new creation after the exercise of his trust in Christ. In theology they called it REGENERATION. In Tagalog it simply means BAGONG BUHAY. This explains why the apostle James is reiterating that the EVIDENCE (not talking whatsoever about the MEANS) of true faith is good works.

    This also explains that any person who profess his faith only in Christ is not genuine if his lifestyle shows he is still the same old man who commit sins daily continually and no change of character and attitude whatsoever happened because the Holy Spirit was not given to Him by God because his/her faith was not genuine in the first place.
  • john 5:39john 5:39 Member PExer
    Stonyclub wrote: »
    This also explains that any person who profess his faith only in Christ is not genuine if his lifestyle shows he is still the same old man who commit sins daily continually and no change of character and attitude whatsoever happened because the Holy Spirit was not given to Him by God because his/her faith was not genuine in the first place.

    This only explains the outside physical reformation that even some of the GOD unbelievers can attain. How about the first and foremost change that has to happen, a person's spiritual reformation within himself.

    Faith in GOD shouldn't be that simple to be within a human being's spirit for him/her to enter the Kingdom of GOD.

    Is it just calling and believing GOD because of the plain reading that faith is a gift so that anyone couldn't boast. Absolutely by accepting this as a gift after hearing and hearing of the Word and next by not boasting are already works that were done.

    The keys are indeed written only from HIS Words that HE commanded to be published.
  • apartheidapartheid Member PExer
    Stonyclub wrote: »
    As I read the long inputs here of mr irsyffe. It is very clear that man can be save alone by faith . This is the MEANS to be save - by faith alone. As taught by Romans 3:23 and it is clear to me that is exactly what the Council of Trent concluded. There is no way that the Council of Trent stated that good works is to be added to the faith in the initial exercise of trust in Jesus of Christ being the personal Savior.

    The apostle James is not talking about the MEANS of salvation (which is faith only). He is talking about the EVIDENCE of true faith which is good works. Why did the person who have true faith in the first place, have good works after his submission to God as his / her Savior. He had it when? after the Holy Spirit was given to him that resulted for him/her to have good works. 2 Corinthians 5:17 explicitly declared that a person who is in Christ is a new creation after the exercise of his trust in Christ. In theology they called it REGENERATION. In Tagalog it simply means BAGONG BUHAY. This explains why the apostle James is reiterating that the EVIDENCE (not talking whatsoever about the MEANS) of true faith is good works.

    This also explains that any person who profess his faith only in Christ is not genuine if his lifestyle shows he is still the same old man who commit sins daily continually and no change of character and attitude whatsoever happened because the Holy Spirit was not given to Him by God because his/her faith was not genuine in the first place.

    Is that so? Why did Martin Luther try to remove the epistle of James from the protestant bible?
  • redhakawredhakaw hated the job PExer
    ^because he wanted to. so?
  • apartheidapartheid Member PExer
    redhakaw wrote: »
    ^because he wanted to. so?

    because if contradicts his "sola fide" doctrine
  • StonyclubStonyclub Laylay Ka! PExer
    apartheid wrote: »
    Is that so? Why did Martin Luther try to remove the epistle of James from the protestant bible?
    What an out of order questions? tsk..tsk. Imagine asking present generations about an old history for whatever personal reasons (if ever his remarks is true) that; 'Why did Martin Luther try to remove the epistle of James from the protestant bible?' All answer will be speculative in nature and only God's knows the exact answers.

    We should rather focus more on the positive thoughts that Marin Luther finally and correctly understood, that men are to be saved by faith alone in Christ. Which is in direct agreement with the basic teaching in the Bible especially by the apostle Paul, in the book of Romans.
  • redhakawredhakaw hated the job PExer
    apartheid wrote: »
    because if contradicts his "sola fide" doctrine

    well, yeah.

    what if you have faith and you worked your a$$ for Jesus

    but Jesus did not choose you.

    are you still saved?
  • apartheidapartheid Member PExer
    Stonyclub wrote: »
    What an out of order questions? tsk..tsk. Imagine asking present generations about an old history for whatever personal reasons (if ever his remarks is true) that; 'Why did Martin Luther try to remove the epistle of James from the protestant bible?' All answer will be speculative in nature and only God's knows the exact answers.

    We should rather focus more on the positive thoughts that Marin Luther finally and correctly understood, that men are to be saved by faith alone in Christ. Which is in direct agreement with the basic teaching in the Bible especially by the apostle Paul, in the book of Romans.

    Out of order? you don't want to tackle protestant history but you always mention RCC's past mistakes.
  • apartheidapartheid Member PExer
    redhakaw wrote: »
    well, yeah.

    what if you have faith and you worked your a$$ for Jesus

    but Jesus did not choose you.

    are you still saved?

    I do not believe in predestination or the likes of it, so my answer is YES
  • redhakawredhakaw hated the job PExer
    ^so you're will is greater than of the son of god?
  • apartheidapartheid Member PExer
    redhakaw wrote: »
    ^so you're will is greater than of the son of god?

    I don't get you:rolleyes:
  • redhakawredhakaw hated the job PExer
    well Jesus did not chose you to be saved, but you still insist that you are saved because of just believing and just doing good works.

    does your faith and good works nullify Jesus' will?
  • apartheidapartheid Member PExer
    redhakaw wrote: »
    well Jesus did not chose you to be saved, but you still insist that you are saved because of just believing and just doing good works.

    does your faith and good works nullify Jesus' will?

    what will?
    elaborate please
  • redhakawredhakaw hated the job PExer
    that he did not chose you to be saved?
  • apartheidapartheid Member PExer
    redhakaw wrote: »
    that he did not chose you to be saved?

    can you give me a verse?
    Are you talking about predestination the calvinist way, or predestination the catholic way?
  • apartheidapartheid Member PExer
    im out for a while, be back soon, our discussion will lead us to OSAS..
    you may want to check that doctrine..
    thanks
  • StonyclubStonyclub Laylay Ka! PExer
    apartheid wrote: »
    Out of order? you don't want to tackle protestant history but you always mention RCC's past mistakes.
    Simple apartheid. Your question is very specific; 'WHY' not what. okay?
  • redhakawredhakaw hated the job PExer
    Are you talking about predestination the calvinist way, or predestination the catholic way?

    predestination in the bible. the supposedly pure word of your god.
    you may want to check that doctrine..

    sure, no prob.
  • StonyclubStonyclub Laylay Ka! PExer
    apartheid wrote: »
    Out of order? you don't want to tackle protestant history but you always mention RCC's past mistakes.

    Simple apartheid. Your question is very specific; the 'WHY' of a personal act of a specific person who happened to be Martin Luther, which nobody but the person involved can give the exact answer to that. As previously pointed to you, any answer will be speculative in nature and as of today, only God knows the real answer. But the RCC's historical mistakes is something very observable, 'the what of, what was the act'?, okay?[/QUOTE]
  • apartheidapartheid Member PExer
    redhakaw wrote: »
    predestination in the bible. the supposedly pure word of your god.

    You talk to me as if im a pastor:D
    i told you i personally do not believe in predestination.
    who cares if it is biblical or not? in some cases you must follow logic.

    Why would God create me, if im not given any chances for salvation?
    Is that a fair God?

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