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Faith or Works? — 33 Comments

  1. My joy in the Lord was realized when i finally became the Hearer and Doer of all His Commandments. For a long time, i was just intellectually knowledgeable with the Truth but lacking and fall far short of its application to my life. Therefore my joy in the Lord was always somehow limited to those moments of spiritual excitements and all else failed with no one to turn to.
    I am 55 yrs old, and i can say without a shadow of doubt.... Life without Christ is all vain. Trust in God above all doubts and fears, and take God at His word. Cheers!!!

    • I am still learning to put my intellectual faith in to active, working faith. and yes, praise God my joy is overwhelming when my faith is active and living.

  2. I have always concluded that Paul and James were perfectly united about faith. Both were addressing those who focused on their own works, while failing to love their neighbor as themselves. Paul addressed those caught up in meaningless ceremonies and beliefs, while James addressed those focused on their own particular formalism and beliefs (paying tithe, keeping the Sabbath, preaching "truth", etc). Neither audience had true faith with it's resulting works of righteousness, being stuck with mere belief and outward practices they felt were sufficient. It seems James' audience acknowledged salvation by grace through faith, but did not exhibit this saving faith, while Paul's audience believed their belief in God and their formal works were why they were saved, though the sin of "self" still lived in the hearts of both audiences.

    This is the result of harboring even one known sin. (Remember, the Holy Spirit faithfully convicts "the world" of sin, righteousness and judgment)

    Notice how Paul sounds just like James here: "For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?"

    And: "(For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; ) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel."

    Also: "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

    Both audiences were lacking the "righteousness of the Law" while following their own idea of formalities based on intellectual beliefs, and not true saving Faith, which transforms the self-centered into a Christ-centered love for others.

    Saving faith brings transformation(sanctification) of the heart, which is seen by others in how we live with the same words and acts as Jesus our Example.(Ps 40:3) This results from taking His yoke and learning of Him, and surrendering fully...which is how we exercise true faith.

    Paul and James agree with each other perfectly, and to me, are speaking of the same genuine Faith that works by love and transforms the heart of sinners by the power of God, according to the Gospel, exhibiting the righteousness of the law (fulfilled by love) in the daily life. (Rom 1:16; 8:3,4; 12:1,2, James 3:17,18; 4:7-10)

  3. The type of faith doesn't seem to be the issue in comparing James and Paul.
    The issue as I see it, is the affect that Faith has in plan of salvation.
    James judges or characterizes Faith as a visual demonstration of ones justification for salvation. Paul on the other hand in the 3rd chapter of
    Galatians, that is titled, Justification by Faith, in my Bible, explains how and why Faith is given to us. Did the 12 Apostles demonstrate their faith? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Jesus' evaluation was not flattering. O' ye of little Faith, and Faith that is smaller than a mustard seed. In trying to apply James' Faith, shown by works comment, for some it becomes a list keeping process. For others an effort in futillity. For many theologians this been an on going controversy for many years, including Martin Luther.

    • Paul, Galatians 3 does not say anywhere that faith is given to us, only the Spirit (vs 2). Faith is our choice of acting on God's evidence given to us in His Law, works and promises. Faith believes and acts on that belief. This allows the transformation of our lives by the Spirit to take place, called sanctification. Abraham's faith was revealed in actions, as will ours.(Mark 2:5)

      Yes, like the disciples our faith can be active one day and missing the next. Elijah experienced this in one day when boldly facing the prophets and priests of Baal alone in the afternoon and then fleeing Jezebel's threats that evening. Yet we are encouraged by the example of Jesus and others to experience constant advancement by faith.

      Faith is one of only two responses we can have to the promises of God. The other is unbelief. God provides the evidence for us to act on and we choose which response.

      Galatians 3 tells how we receive God's blessings and Spirit by faith, and not through following some ceremonial customs to earn them. It was the Judaizers who brought this other gospel(and it's works) to Galatia after Paul's efforts there, making void their faith through focusing on works to be justified before God.

      • Robert you are right. Galatians 3 does not say faith is given to us like it does in Romans 12:3, except Gal 3:22 does say we are given the promise by means of faith and not by the law any longer. Gal 3:25 says "faith has come," indicating there was a time when faith was absent. Where did it come from? Do we generate our own faith? Romans 12:3 and 1 Cor 12:9 say no. Both texts say they are given. Romans 10:17 says faith comes from God. I overlooked putting Romans 12:3 in that post. I had used it in another post that I don't see now. The reference in Gal 3 was about justification by faith rather than by works as in James 2

        • James is only telling us that saving faith will be seen in our works of faith. The works reveal true faith, but the works do not justify anyone. The faith is ours to exercise or not. It comes from conviction through the evidence God gives us. Read in Early Writings, the chapter: "Prayer and Faith". Faith comes from making a choice based on the evidence given.

          I understand the scriptures you cite, but I believe you misunderstand what faith is and how it comes. If God truly gave faith itself, we are no longer choosing for ourselves, and all should be saved. He gives ample evidence and nothing more. This is seen as "giving" faith, though it is our choice to trust or not trust. Faith is an active trust that comes from believing the evidence/truth given. Peter writes; "add to your faith...", John writes; "and this is the victory that overcomes the world; even our faith." Jesus often said; "O ye of little faith", and "If ye have faith, and doubt not,..." etc. Jesus also taught that "whosoever believeth in Him...". God cannot and will not make us believe (exercise faith), and Satan would protest loudly if He did. Jude writes of "the faith once delivered to the Saints", which is the evidence of God's greatness on Sinai, and the Law of God. Both were convincing evidence for all to exercise faith.

          God does not choose for us, and faith or unbelief are our two choices.

          • I think the lesson author minimizes the difference between Paul and James. If you read the letters of Paul, you will find references to men who came from James (e.g. Gal 2:12) and created problems in the congregations Paul established by their emphasis on works - specifically the practice of Jewish rites and traditions.

            That said, I agree that works reveal true faith, because when we truly trust God, we will do what He says. Salvation is about a relationship, and faith is a relationship word.

            I don't know who understands or misunderstands "what faith is." But I do know that we can not manufacture faith. It is the gift of God. (See 1 Cor 12:9; Eph 2:8)

            It is probably best not to explicate the Scriptures on the basis of individual words, because the words (of the original writers and/or the translators) were human words and not inspired. Only the thoughts were inspired. And so we must always take the broader context into account.

            As I understand it, the only thing we can really do is to choose to serve Christ, to choose to exercise the faith that He gives. If we could manufacture faith, then we would be the agents of our own salvation, because Paul tells us that we are saved by grace through faith. ((Eph 2:8) The theme that we are helpless to do anything to save ourselves runs throughout all the writings of Paul - which is the major portion of the New Testament. It is only by the grace of God that any of us are saved We can choose to accept or reject that grace.

            Luther was no mean theologian, and he had his reasons for calling James an "epistle of straw." If that's all we had regarding the way of salvation, we would be in a sorry state. It is only in the context of the rest of the New Testament that the letter of James has something relevant to say regarding our salvation, and I believe Marcos said it well.

        • Paul, from "What to Do With Doubt" in Step to Christ, page 105;

          "God never asks us to believe, without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. His existence, His character, the truthfulness of His word, are all established by testimony that appeals to our reason; and this testimony is abundant. Yet God has never removed the possibility of doubt. Our faith must rest upon evidence, not demonstration. Those who wish to doubt will have opportunity; while those who really desire to know the truth will find plenty of evidence on which to rest their faith."

        • Inge, in Ephesians 2:7-9 the subject/object is grace, not faith. Faith is the action of receiving this gift of eternal life which is offered through the grace of God. As you suggest, the context gives us the meaning, but the individual words were chosen to reveal the inspired thought. Jesus' death is the gift isn't it? Isn't this what God was moved to give to the world He loved?(John 3:16) Doesn't this fill the great need of sinners? Isn't this the object in Rom 3:25? Also, the word for gift in Eph 2:8 refers often to the sacrificial gifts, where in Eph 4:8 the word used there speaks of gifts as you would give your children or that God gave to the church in gifts of the Spirit. In 1 Cor 12 a different word altogether is used for free "gifts" of grace. In this passage the faith given is only for some, so it must refer to something other than the action required to receive the gift of Salvation which must come before any gifts of the Spirit can be received.

          From the Pulpit Commentary: "And that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Which of the two things is meant - salvation or faith? The grammatical structure and the analogy of the passage favor the former view, "Your salvation is not of yourselves," though many able men have taken the latter."

          My comment: if we must choose between the two as to which is "the gift"(singular), why faith, which is merely our consent versus our rejection through unbelief? Salvation is the true gift for sinners who must otherwise die. Paul calls this salvation of eternal life through Jesus "the gift of God". (Rom 6:23)

          When you say we cannot manufacture faith, what exactly is being manufactured? Isn't faith simply to accept, agree and adopt? The only thing we can do is hear God's word, and surrender to it's convicting power, allowing God to do all He has promised to do, and the results of His grace to sanctify is the proof of our faith.

          No, we cannot manufacture our salvation by exercising faith, we only take hold of what God is freely offering by His grace, just as taking a gift from a friend does not say you manufactured their gift. You only received the gift through the graciousness of your friend. Your friend paid for it, perhaps at great cost, and gives it freely, while you simply take it and appropriate it according to the intentions of your friend. Faith is nothing more than an accepting action. Would we say our acceptance of the friend's gift is also a gift from them? It's simply our choice to accept or reject the actual gift. Faith is not a thing, it's an action, which is why faith can be seen. A lame man stands, and blind man washes, an afflicted lady touches, and many more examples. (Don't ask to to explain how a dead person exercises faith to be raised from the dead! Perhaps the faith of those asking for the sake of their deceased one? However, that request was never made as no one ever expected such a thing, and the resurrection was only granted due to the need somehow. Only God can explain this.)

          I would recommend "Faith and Works" along with "Steps to Christ" to see how faith is to be understood. It's simply how we show our acceptance or rejection of God's gracious gift of Salvation which is life eternal. In the Proverbs, Wisdom makes her appeal to be received, while rebuking those who reject "her" gift. No one is made to accept against their will.

          Luther was called for a specific purpose, and lived on with several grievous errors(from our perspective and understanding today), and he clearly did not understand James well enough. If he lived today with the same ideas, he would not be an SDA. But that was not his calling, which was to address the greatest needs of his day, not ours. He cannot be seen as a valid commentator on James. I have not read James without all of scripture, but we could say the same of nearly any book of the Bible couldn't we? Revelation would be a collection of unsolvable puzzles without much if not most of the Old Testament. But even so, the harmony among all the books is clearly Divine, and James fits right in with the Gospel truth of salvation which justifies/sanctifies the sinner with the "wisdom from above", by faith.

        • Hi Robert,

          Thanks for your reply.

          The way I see it, in Eph 2:8, Paul refers to salvation as a gift, and that includes both grace and faith. In 1 Cor 12:9 "faith" is clearly mentioned as one of the gifts of the Spirit. It is not something we originate. And according to Romans 12:3 God gives to each a "measure of faith," similar to the "talents" in the parable of Jesus. It is up to us to choose what to do with the gift. We may reject it. We may choose not to exercise it - which isn't that different from rejecting it (consider the man who buried his "talent). Or we may choose to act on the faith God has given us, in which case He increases our faith. And the way I see it, the "faith" referred to as a particular gift of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:9) is an exceptional measure of faith.

          We could discuss the use of these words in book-length form, but in keeping with my belief that the words were not inspired, but the thoughts were, I believe we need to look at the larger picture. And it seems to me that you define faith differently than I see it. You appear to see "faith" the same as I would see "choice," and I do not equate the two (more below).

          The important recognition, in my view, is that all of salvation is His doing, and I trust that we are agreed on that. Ours is only the choosing. Even the the "works" we may do are His (Eph 2:10)

          It is from Paul's writings and from Ellen White that I gained the understanding that all that I can do is the choosing.

          Yes, both Faith and Works and Steps to Christ are very helpful in understanding the relationship between faith and works. And I recommend reading and re-reading these books and marking them up thoroughly, as I have. 🙂 (Although I love to read ebooks, I still like some books in real paper that can be marked up. ;))

          I have found this passage from Steps to Christ to be very powerful:

          Many will be lost while hoping and desiring to be Christians. They do not come to the point of yielding the will to God. They do not now choose to be Christians.

          Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in your life. By yielding up your will to Christ, you ally yourself with the power that is above all principalities and powers. You will have strength from above to hold you steadfast, and thus through constant surrender to God you will be enabled to live the new life, even the life of faith. (Steps to Christ, p. 48 )

        • Inge, unless you have something different to add, I don't see our views so different. Our choice is yielding, which I believe is through faith. It is our exercise of faith that leads us to surrender, trusting that God's ways are "great and marvelous" (Rev 15:3) and we pray for God to teach us His ways (Ps 119:33-40). Notice who is doing what in this passage. We ask, God does, if we ask in faith.

          I like this from 5T, 158; "It is by contemplating Christ, by exercising faith in Him, by experiencing for ourselves His saving grace, that we are qualified to present Him to the world."

          As you say, all that is accomplished in our justification/sanctification is of God, and not of ourselves, and I like how it's brought out so simply and clearly in Ps 40:1-3. This is the complete experience of the redeemed in a beautiful and brief analogy. The patient waiting in verse 1 can only be through faith in the exceeding great and precious promises. Peter writes in his 2nd epistle about how we are to "add to your faith..." which finally leads to the love of God planted within. 2 Peter 1:5-7.

          The adding to faith come from the experience that 5T 158 highlights; contemplating Christ, exercising faith, and the resulting experience that faith will bring us.

          I believe that faith is seen in surrender at every step, since we are sinners and the experience is always pressing toward the mark of our high calling, which is God's working in us to will and do. (Ellen has an interesting comment on that passage from Philippians)

          Whatever our differences, I believe these dialogues are helping to bring us all to a perfect unity soon. It must take place!

          Yes, the SC quote is remarkable and edifying.

      • All the characteristics, powers and virtues that are related to salvation are gifts from God. "For it has been given to you on Christ's behalf not only to believe in Him,but also to suffer for Him..."Phil 1:29. The thief on the cross turned from cursing Christ to trusting a dying condemned 'man' for eternal salvation. That was a wonderful amazing gift from our loving Lord. Praise the Lord!

        • Kenny it seems that we have similar views about what is given to us. Faith is what is under discussion. I am told that I do not understand what the source of our faith really is. Even though I have referenced text that tell us in simple language. If they are not valid, then I ask, where does our Faith come from? If we go back to Eve in the garden. Was she not created with a certain amount of faith that she chose to ignore in the face of Satans temptation?

  4. Marcos, I like what you say in your article not because I have occasionally said about the same thing but because I have gotten rather tired of hearing the same ol same ol that there is no difference between James and Paul. To me our tired out old response is a knee jerk reaction to thinking that the Bible is being dismantled by those who say there is a difference.

    Now that I have said that I do think James and Paul saw faith and works differently. The Jews had a profound problem in understanding the relationship between faith and works. To me that is one of the things Paul had to wrestle with before he could write many of his letters. I think initially on the road to Damascus he was confronted with the concept of Jesus as the Messiah and after he got over that hurtle I think God was able to give him a much deeper understanding of where the cross enters into the picture on a theological basis and because of that the place of works in the Christian's life.

    I am not sure that James had all of that understanding and from what Acts gives us it seems to me that James was basically a typical Jew given the responsibility of overseeing the church especially at Jerusalem where they were immersed in the law (Acts 21:20) that was being propagated to other regions throughout the Roman empire (Acts 15:1; Gal 2:12). Being of that mindset, it is only logical that when the law was being bypassed to some extent through Hellenistic philosophy in the church coupled with Paul's rather strong stance concerning works as a means of salvation that James would have been horrified by the whole scene. Paul did not undo law but I think many in the church saw it that way regardless of which side of the issue they were on.

    I don't think James was arguing with Paul on a theological basis. I do, however, think he was simply trying to correct a fanatical view of works that was literally turning the church into the common worldly organization of sin so often seen in that time of history.

  5. The Faith/works issue often comes to the crunch for Seventh-day Adventists on the issue of Sabbath-keeping, particularly when we talk to other Christians. Unfortunately we get ourselves into a lot of defensive double-talk so that others interpret our Sabbath-keeping as salvation by works. It would be worth us rethinking some our presentation of the Sabbath to others, so that Sabbath-keeping is seen as a response to our salvation, rather than its root. Sabbath-keeping is an opportunity for a creative response to our Saviour's grace, and an expression of our faith. It should not be seen as simply "Church on Saturday".

    • Maurice, I think we all have had struggles over the Sabbath doctrine at one time or another and I think that we need to internalize what you are saying. I don't think it benefits anyone for us to present the Sabbath as a response to our salvation while not believing it ourselves - people can see through that thin veneer of hypocrisy and I think it disgusts them. We need to live, breathe, and fully believe that what we do is because we love the one who saved us rather than doing it in fear of not being saved.

  6. Paul was clear that faith does not "void the law" rather it is "established" through faith. James is saying the same thing. Faith produces works or the keeping of the law and doing good as a natural result of a new heart.
    Paul's concern was the METHOD of salvation i.e., grace through faith alone. James' concern was the EVIDENCE of salvation i.e., works. "You show me your faith and I will show it by my works."

    • Eddie, a couple of weeks ago John Jones of La Sierria University said something similar to what you are saying during the streaming live Loma Linda Sabbath School. What he said was that Paul was viewing the problem from the pre-conversion side while James was viewing it from the post-conversion side. I found that quite interesting as I do your comment.

  7. Great discussion here everyone. I would like to comment on the topic of faith as gift/ response. Romans 12:3 tells us “God gives to every man a measure of faith”. Ellen White commented on this when she wrote, “Faith that enables us to receive God’s gifts is itself a gift, of which some measure is imparted to every human being”(ED 253). So the idea that we somehow conjure up faith on our own is not true. Faith is a gift, not something we manufacture. However, she goes on to rightly state that “It grows as exercised in appropriating the word of God.” So while God gives to each of us the gift of faith he does not force us to use the gift. Using the gift, which results in the gift growing, is our responsibility. And while God enables us to use it along the way he never forces us to use it. In the same vein repentance and confession are gifts from God as well. Romans 2:4 tells us “it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance” and Ellen White repeats this concept when she wrote “Repentance is no less the gift of God than are pardon and justification, and it cannot be experienced except as it is given to the soul by Christ” (NL 20). And confession, which is the result of responding to Gods conviction (John 16:8) of sin plus repentance is too a gift of God. If God did not convict us we would never see our sin and if we never saw our sin with the gift of repentance we would never confess. Thus all 3 conditions for salvation: faith, repentance, and confession are gifts from God. None of them come from our selves – they all come from above. The only thing God does not do is say “yes” on our behalf. That part is up to us (work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: Phi 2:12). And yet even then, it is not up to us alone for “it he who works in and through us to will and to do according to his purpose” (Phi 2:13). Wonderful God!

    • Marcos you and I have the same understanding about faith,confession, and repentance being gifts. EGW" That I May Know Him pg 109" is another reference. Mans evil mind clear back in Gen.6:5 was not a propensity to exhibit anything acceptable to God. Mans mind in our generation is very much the same. The Plan of Salvation, the greatest gift of all, demonstrates God's determination to save as many as possible that are willing. He supplies every necessity that is needed to accomplish His desires and purposes. Our part is a thankful heart and a closer relationship based on love for God and our fellow man.

    • Here is something from Lift Him Up, pg 340,(yes, today's reading) that explains my understanding:

      "Every individual, by his own act, either puts Christ from him by refusing to cherish His spirit and follow His example, or he enters into a personal union with Christ by self-renunciation, faith, and obedience. We must, each for himself, choose Christ, because He has first chosen us. This union with Christ is to be formed by those who are naturally at enmity with Him. It is a relation of utter dependence, to be entered into by a proud heart. This is close work, and many who profess to be followers of Christ know nothing of it. They nominally accept the Saviour, but not as the sole ruler of their hearts."

      Notice that it is by our "own act", which, if we accept all God sends as evidence/conviction(previous paragraph), is described as "self-renunciation, faith, and obedience." In the light of what Marcos shares from the book Education, our actions are also "gifts" that are received when we make a choice, while admitting our need for help to make it and follow it. I can understand and accept this easily as a sinner. It places the responsibility on us, and the ability on God. Our choice, His power. This makes perfect sense and reality confirms the truth of all this doesn't it? Nothing arbitrary is imposed, but first the evidence is given, then the ability when the evidence is received and acted on. No one will be "made" faithful, unless they desire and pray for it. Faith then is never imposed. The measure given to every man is simply the faith that "enables us to receive God’s gifts", and not the faith that acts in obedience, which comes once we receive. So if obedience is missing, we have not yet received this gift. Doesn't this confirm James' argument? The sanctified life reveals faith, while claims alone reveal nothing, even if it is only 1 out of the 10 commandments.

      Reading further in Education, on page 255 it states: "Such a shield, faith, if cherished, will bring to every soul."

      Though given a measure, it becomes powerless if not cherished. Again, this places the choice with every soul.

      This seems to answer the questions I had from this discussion.

      • James is right when he said faith without works is dead. The problem is his choice of the word, works. Exercise might have been a better choice in our vocabulary, and understanding of the intent.
        If we lay in one position for months or years at a time, our muscles will eventualy deteriorate to the point that they are useless. We interpret works as a must in order to have faith. That puts the emphasis on works not faith. If our faith is never exercised and I emphasize Never,it will die. Either by choice, or neglect. Hebrews 12:2 however as I understand "author and finisher of our faith" to mean, Jesus is responsible for our faith at all atages. The Greek word for- finisher, means the state of or completenesss of. Beginnig to end. The discussion is about the source of our faith. We are responsible for our actions and will be judged on them, whether good or bad.

        • Paul, works is a definite description of what faith does. Faith itself is an action, and in some translations, words like action and deeds is used. If you read Matt 25 where Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and goats, what is it that the sheep are judged worthy of salvation for? Works; of kindness, mercy, sympathy, compassion, etc. Not just words, but actions that help in practical ways. Feeding, clothing, healing, visiting and such. The goats are void of such "works" in their experience.

          Jesus went about doing good works, and said of His followers that they would do greater works. In Revelation the white robes represents the righteous acts/deeds of the saints. Of the 3 men on Jericho road, only one had the works of faith, while the others made bold profession, and probably would not have looked highly on the one who actually stopped to work for the helpless dying man's cause at great cost and risk to himself.

          If our religion/faith isn't practical, can it be anything?

          If there is no exercise and resulting works, there is no faith. You cannot have faith that isn't exercised, for faith is the act of exercising trust that obeys. Anything less is a mere profession only, and useless to anyone.

          James has it stated perfectly and agrees with Paul that doers of the law will be justified.

    • This is my understanding as well.

      Faith is a gift--probably at every stage. What we do is accept it.
      We cannot even take credit I think for the growth of our faith.

        • When the lord Jesus said to the man at the pool of Siloam, crippled for 38 years, “Rise, take up your bed and walk”, that faith to use his legs to stand up and walk came through the word of Christ to him. The word of Christ impelled and enabled him. It was impossible that that faith originated from him because all he knew was that he was in the same condition as he had been for 38 years and would respond that he was waiting for the water to be troubled. Abraham would not leave his established home in response to a voice from heaven or attempt to sacrifice his heir. Paul would not yield to the same person, Christ, he hated and attempting to get rid of. God gives us the “ears” to hear and the “eyes” to see. Paul heard the voice and “understood” it. His companions understood nothing. Whatever has to do with our salvation is given of God. Indeed we are chosen from before the foundation of the world. Imagine the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Almighty God formulated an Eternal Plan but it’s Effectiveness is absolutely dependent on our choice or willingness!! It has no Power apart from our willingness or choice?? Those dry bones of Ezk.37 are us!! God saves everyone of his own; "not one will be missing"Jer 23:4.

  8. Our part in the plan of Salvation is to respond positively to the divine initiative.

    Divine Initiative: The LORD calls us
    Our Response: Speak LORD for your servant hears you

    Divine Initiative: Would you like to enter into a Covenant relationship of Love with me?
    Our Response: Yes, thank you

    Divine Initiative: Would you like me to re-create you in My image?
    Our Response: Yes, please

    Divine Initiative: Please let everyone you meet how much I love them also.
    Our Response: Yes LORD, I will.

    • I agree that we should respond positively to a divine invitation. The invitation that the majority of christians know is Jhon 3:16-18,36. Johm 16:8,9 The invitation or desire that God wants, is Beliefe. No I am not suggesting that is all, and spare me "the demons beieve", but the Pharisees doctrins are an example that should not be emulated. Love of God and fellow humans are the major part of the beliefe that God instructed.

  9. James is simply saying that if you ‘say' you are a Christian, then there had better be some appropriate works manifested, or your faith is false. This sentiment is echoed in 1 John 2:4 which says, "If you say you have come to know Him, yet you do not keep His commandments, then the truth is not in you and you are a liar."

    Apparently, there were people who were saying they were Christians but were not manifesting any of the fruit of Christianity. Can this faith justify? Can the dead ‘faith' that someone has which produces no change in a person and no good works before men and God be a faith that justifies? Absolutely not. It is not merely enough to say you believe in Jesus. You must actually believe and trust in Him. If you actually do, then you will demonstrate that faith by a changed and godly life. If not, then your profession is of no more value than the same profession of demons: "We believe Jesus lived.


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