The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

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The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Glovzz on Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:16 am

People often quote from James' epistle and present it as a proof for a works-based Gospel. Isn't this the opposite of what we know to be true?

James 2:21 it says,
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

This issue keeps coming up on a forum I go to. I am uncomfortable with James' writings for other reasons as well and I was hoping someone could help me.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:19 am

Hi Glovzz and welcome.

Tell me, if you say you have faith yet you abide in unbridled sin day to day, what does that tell me about your faith?

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by clark thompson on Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:40 pm

Faith is seen thru works.

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"saved...not of works" is out of context

Post by AVoice on Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:13 pm

Glovzz wrote:People often quote from James' epistle and present it as a proof for a works-based Gospel. Isn't this the opposite of what we know to be true?

James 2:21 it says,
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

This issue keeps coming up on a forum I go to. I am uncomfortable with James' writings for other reasons as well and I was hoping someone could help me.

If works don't have anything to do with salvation (entering into eternal life in the end) then repentence is not necessary, neither prayer, baptism, seeking and receiving the Holy Spirit, denying self, nor continuing in his word. The oft used quotes from Paul are ALL out of context that are used to oppose what James wrote. Paul and James were on the exact same page.
James, when speaking positively about works was merely referring to obligatory sound Christian works. Paul, when speaking negatively about works, (they don't justify etc.) was speaking about the OT system as opposed to the new and the attempt to hold on to OT-based practices that the NT abolished.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:20 pm

Ahhh...I see you got my message.

Welcome to the forum AVoice.

Quiet here.  study

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Paul and james were on the same page

Post by AVoice on Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:42 pm

The reason people even refer to a "works based gospel", as if that were something evil,  is because they have been misinformed what the gospel is about.

Check this out.
You come upon a couple who have fallen into a deep pit [think Adam and Eve/mankind] and who will surely die of thirst if you do not save them.
They beg you for help and even offer to pay you for getting them out. But you decline payment and assure them that their salvation, which you are providing, is a free gift. You say that you know where a ladder is and that you will be back shortly.

When the ladder is let down they jump and shout and say "we are saved, we are saved". But then they stop and think for a while and say "hey, you said it was free. You lied!"
"You bring us a ladder and now we have to do the work of climbing up the ladder, step by step, until we get all the way out!! This aint free, you are making us work for our own salvation!!"

When they should be bursting with thankfulness and be only too happy to climb out, they resort to this stupidity.

Similarly, the initial thankfulness for the means of salvation has been replaced with the absolute unthankfulness by today's "Christians" as illustrated in their accusing God of their having to save themselves, when in reality, the required work of 'climbing' is the means provided by God in order to reach the top and be COMPLETELY saved.
Sure, having the ladder let down is good reason to rejoice for the provided salvation; "we are saved, we are saved", but then being persuaded that climbing is not necessary is a good analogy of modern foolish Christianity that thinks being given the ladder is in and of itself all that is necessary.

Jesus said we must continue in his word. If we do not continue in his word we cannot be his disciples.

James 1:
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Being a Christian is in and of itself, a work. 'Climbing', or using what he has given, his word, to get all the way out and all the way to the top (heaven) again illustrates the ultimate salvation as compared to the initial salvation. The initial state of salvation, (having the ladder let down/coming to understand that salvation is available) is only the beginning. To be worthy of actually entering in, and with an angelic body, requires climbing, which he will give the strength to do if we have a willing heart, willing to deny ourselves and be his disciples.

James 2:
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Rev 22:
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Matt 24:
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Gal 5:
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:38 am

It's a good analogy AV.

The point needs to be made that not only does God provide the ladder, He also provides the strength and will that allows a person to climb it. And the fact that they did climb it...was only because God decided it to be so....even before they fell into the pit.

Basically, anything good that you do is due to God. All glory rightly goes to Him.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by clark thompson on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:24 am

James teaches that our faith will show to people by our works.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by AVoice on Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:55 pm

If you agree that works, which are the result of faith, are as closely related to one another as a body and its spirit, then it should be agreed that a person is saved/justified by works as well as by faith. When James asked "can faith save him", the answer is a clear no, of course not; not anymore than a body can live without its spirit. "Ye see then brethren how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only." The Christian is to walk before God with a clean and pure conscience. That cannot be done without consciously abiding in obedience to Jesus' commandments. The defiled will not inherit the kingdom of God.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:43 pm

AVoice wrote:The Christian is to walk before God with a clean and pure conscience. That cannot be done without consciously abiding in obedience to Jesus' commandments. The defiled will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Obedience to Jesus' commandments does not make a Christian undefiled.

Jesus sacrifice, his cleansing blood washes a Christian clean. It is with Jesus righteousness that we stand before God not with our own.

All of us being sinners (we all agree that each and every one of us sins every day right?), we don't have much chance of standing before God undefiled based on our works. We are found 'not guilty' of our sins thanks to the Lord Jesus.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by AVoice on Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:31 am

It is not the Christian message that Christians are sinners like everyone else without Christ in their lives. You say a Christian is washed clean then you say each and everyone one of us sins every day. What is it?

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:06 pm

We are washed clean of our sin.

We break the law, but are found not guilty.

We are saved, even though we are undeserving of salvation.

This is the Gospel, the good news.

You're not telling me you are perfect...are you?

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:15 pm

AVoice wrote:It is not the Christian message that Christians are sinners like everyone else without Christ in their lives.

You are right. A sinner without Christ in their life will pay the ultimate price for breaking the law. They will receive the wages of sin, which is death.

Conversely, a Christian who sins will have their slate wiped clean because they are saved by Grace through faith, and have Jesus righteousness accounted to them in the eyes of God.

So in that sense, Christians are not "found guilty" of their sin. They are acquitted, and counted as spotless and undefiled. Not because we are undefiled ourselves but because Jesus was. This was the whole point of His sacrifice....He died for our sin. He was made sin for us (was a sacrifice for our sin) so that we could be reconciled with God. The atonement.

AVoice wrote:You say a Christian is washed clean then you say each and everyone one of us sins every day. What is it?

It is both. We sin, we ask forgiveness in the name of Jesus. We are washed clean. We are counted as Saints. As divinely righteous, as perfect....we are reconciled with God...because Jesus died in our place. He paid the price for us.

Amen.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by zone on Tue Apr 01, 2014 4:10 pm

AVoice wrote:It is not the Christian message that Christians are sinners like everyone else without Christ in their lives. You say a Christian is washed clean then you say each and everyone one of us sins every day. What is it?

are you claiming you do NOT sin daily Question 
i say you are deluded or lying.
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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by AVoice on Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:22 am

I am saying that Jesus died to save us FROM our sin. That doesn't mean save us in spite of being continually bound to sin. In John 8 Jesus speaks of being freed from sin as opposed to being a servant of sin. To sin daily means the person is backslidden. They are not abiding in the saving grace that keeps them from the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:27 am

Being FREE FROM sin means, we are found not guilty in the eyes of God for the trespasses we commit each and every day because we have the righteousness of Jesus attributed to our account. The slate is wiped clean (we don't deserve it) by the Grace of God through faith.

That's why we ask forgiveness for our sins in prayer, like the Lord's prayer.

Again, the question to you...do you say you have no sin? Are you spotless and undefiled according to your own works?

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by AVoice on Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:34 am

That is a defeatist gospel. It denies the power of godliness Paul referred to. There is regenerative power in the blood. People are changed dramatically.  Whoever started that junk about the Christian has to sin every day, that he has to be the servant of sin, that person was in serious error. 
That gospel acceding to defeat has got to be abandoned. Sin is from Satan. Jesus' purpose for dying for us was to deliver us from Satan's grasp and power.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:42 am

Who is denying regenerative power? Who says people arn't changed dramatically? Not me.

Again, the question to you...do you say you have no sin?

It's either yes OR no.

Do you or do you not sin?

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by AVoice on Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:06 am

Your question seems to be declaring that despite what the scriptures say, my personal situation determines what the truth is. Paul spoke of being kept from evil and having fought a good fight. If walking in the Spirit the person does not yield to the lusts of the flesh. They that do the things that Paul lists as sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. The wages of sin is death. That reality is not suspended for believers. Sin having control of a believer is what is suspended or overcome by the regenerative power of the Holy Ghost. The extent to which we resist temptation by yielding to the Spirit and denying ourselves is the extent that we love God.
If I live in sin then I am backslidden. If I walk in the Spirit, which God's grace is able to give his followers the ability to do all the time, then I will do like Galatians says, I will not do the things that my flesh wants to do.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:10 pm

They can never answer the question.

If you answer it honestly then you may begin to discover that the scriptures don't say what you think they say.

Or you can continue living a delusion.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:14 pm

Let's take your personal situation out of it and take a general viewpoint.

After a Christian believes, must he reach sinless perfection in his life on Earth in order to be saved?

If so, can you name a single Christian in history who has done so?

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by AVoice on Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:00 pm

You are still asserting that my personal perception of honesty determines what the truth is instead of the preserved written word.

Temptation is not a sin. Jesus was tempted. If a definition of 'sinless perfection' means not even being tempted then of course, no one can attain to that. Jesus did not even attain to that. The bottom line is a genuine good conscience in alignment with what the NT says is right. We all experienced that when we received the Holy Spirit; our past sins were forgiven and we loved the joy of walking in cleanness. Believers have to maintain what was freely given them like Adam and Eve maintained the garden that was freely given them. If we make a mistake, or much worse, if we backslide in to sin, we go to God in prayer and make it right and so return to the confidence of a good conscience. Sin is NOT the norm to the born again. Sin is backsliding and allowing Satan to have control. Jesus died to destroy his work of sin in our lives.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:09 pm

AVoice wrote:If we make a mistake, or much worse, if we backslide in to sin, we go to God in prayer and make it right and so return to the confidence of a good conscience. Sin is NOT the norm to the born again. Sin is backsliding and allowing Satan to have control. Jesus died to destroy his work of sin in our lives.

Do you love God with all your heart and soul and might each and every second of the day 24 hours a day 365 days per year?

If not, then sin IS the norm to you.

You are a sinner my friend, do not try and delude yourself any different. And don't try and lower God's divine standards to a level that any human can attain. It's impossible. This is not defeatist. It's realist.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by On the Edge on Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:28 pm

Some people think "not sinning" outwardly is the big issue here, but when one sees a chance to do good and doesn't do it, is that not a "sin" also, not to mention all those little fleeting thoughts that need brought under control!

None of us are without sin. Not in this life anyway.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:35 pm

AVoice wrote:Jesus died to destroy his work of sin in our lives.

Nope, Jesus died to be sin for us. He took our place and suffered the punishment for sin in our place so that we might be accounted righteous, as He was totally righteous, apart from our own works.

2 Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by Strangelove on Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:37 pm

On the Edge wrote:Some people think "not sinning" outwardly is the big issue here, but when one sees a chance to do good and doesn't do it, is that not a "sin" also, not to mention all those little fleeting thoughts that need brought under control!

None of us are without sin. Not in this life anyway.

Exactly. God's divine law is at a divine standard! The only person who was capable of keeping that law was Himself divine.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by zone on Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:38 pm

Strangelove wrote:

Exactly. God's divine law is at a divine standard! The only person who was capable of keeping that law was Himself divine.
oh and how many want to bring down that standard and say they match it. ri-i-i-i-i-i-i-ght.
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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by SarahM777 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:01 am

zone wrote:
oh and how many want to bring down that standard and say they match it. ri-i-i-i-i-i-i-ght.
Never mind that Jesus actually RAISED the bar and took down to the motives of the heart. Which is the point He was trying to make with the rich young ruler and the sermon on the mount. 
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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by AVoice on Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:56 pm

His purpose for dying FOR us was so we could die to the old man and not allow the prince of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience to continue to control us. Grace leads to righteous living. When we were yet without strength, Christ died for us. To have grace is to have strength. Hence the righteous living Christians experience is not of themselves lest they should boast, but rather it is of grace, that element in a believers life that changes them for the better. So the believer glories in the Lord for the strength and new desire to stay away from the vomit of their past lives. His purpose for dying for us was to bring an end to Satan's influence in our lives. Sin is Satan's influence. A Christian may be tempted (Jesus was also tempted) but by grace they can endure the temptation  (like Jesus did) and so express, by that endurance, their love to God.

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Re: The epistle of James and works- based Gospel

Post by AVoice on Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:03 am

Sarah, Jesus did indeed raise the bar. The New Testament, providing the new birth/regeneration, was capable of doing that, not like the OT law that could not provide the solution for the heart issue, which plagues mankind that has not grace. The bar is raised and by grace the Christian can abide in that which is expected of him under this higher standard. Truth is always higher than mere law.

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