Faith Justifies . . . and Works Sanctify and Perfect

jwmcmac's picture

I heard at least two Scripturally based sermons this week which seemed to say . . . to me . . .

that Faith Justifies us . . . giving us an advance on Saving Grace . . . so to speak . . .

But then . . . this revelation of Scripture did not seem to be left 'alone' . . . seeming to be followed by this . . . about 'Works' . . .

'Works' are the 'Actions of Faith' done in Love . . . which Actions 'if done with Love' . . . Bring us to 'Perfection' and 'Sanctification' . . . in that order . . . I mean Faith coming before the other two . . .

. . . perhaps this being why . . . as James says in Scripture . . . that . . . 'Faith without Works is Dead'.

Just as soon as Abraham 'Believed' the LORD . . . followed by Abraham's Receiving the Advance on Grace which 'freely' Justified him in GOD's eyes . . . following this . . . Abraham then set out working for and doing . . . exactly and promptly . . . what the LORD had commanded him to do.

It is not 'hearers of the Word . . . but . . . doers of the Word' . . . these 'Doers of Word' are they which 'please GOD'.

. . . two small examples . . . one from the New and one seemingly referring to the Old testament but in the New . . .

James 1:

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Romans 2:

13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

It seems to me that GOD requires ACTION . . . GOD requires a Response of Action . . . done in Faith and in Love.

Faith alone is Dead . . .

. . . even if . . .

. . . even if . . .

. . . even if . . . Justification came to us by Faith Alone . . . so to speak . . . as an advance . . . as an advance of Grace which gives us the power to . . . ACT . . . the power to Act in LOVE . . . to be 'Doers' of the Faith which we profess to Believe . . .

Faith alone . . . is Dead . . . as James says . . . but why ? . . .

. . . if there is no Action which proves our Faith . . . which brings our Faith to Life by Action . . . which Incarnates our Faith with Actions of Love . . . then . . .

. . . even if we have Faith that can move mountains . . . without Actions of Love . . . it is as clanging cymbals . . .

. . . even if we have Faith that can work miracles . . . but without Actions of Love . . . which Actions Prove and Incarnate our Faith . . . without those Actions of Love (Obedience being a big part of Love) . . . then . . . even if we have Faith of great proportion . . .

. . . then the advance on Grace which we have received . . . even this will be taken away . . .

. . . but if we 'invest' this Grace through Actions of Love . . . Faith in Action . . . so to speak . . . then the Grace which we have Received by Advance . . . will grow and grow in us and in the Life of those around us too . . .

***

It also seemed . . . to my ears . . . that Justification was not the same as Salvation.

Justification of and by Faith . . . merely seemed to dispose us to Receive Salvation . . . is what it seemed to be saying to me . . .

It was our Response to this Grace of Justification . . . our Response of Grace to Grace . . . or is it our Response of Nature to Grace . . . or both . . .

. . . Grace working on our Nature . . . demands a Response of our Nature by this Gift of Grace to this Sanctifying Grace . . . a Response of Faith in Actions/Works of Love . . . becoming Doers of what we Profess to Believe . . . and doing this for the motive of Love . . . which means Obedience.

Enough . . .

Say what we will . . . Believe all we want . . . but also . . . 'Do' HIS Will . . . in Love . . . in Obedience . . . Serving GOD . . . Serving our neighbor.

GOD Bless us all.

Mike Kirby's picture

Hello Patrick, I quoted

Hello Patrick,

I quoted Galatians 3 because I thought you were implying that justification was something that happens by faith but sanctification was perfected by works. Something that Paul was correcting the Galatians for.

By the way, that Word (Galatians 3) is very applicable to us (you and I)today because there is a propensity in us that tends to trust in our works for God's favour.

I may have misunderstood you, forgive me if I did.

JW said,

Oh foolish it perhaps is . . . that every time the word 'Works' is used . . .

. . . that some automatically believe this to be in reference to the 'works of the law' of the old testament . . . they purposely or mistakenly failing to notice that when a Catholic uses this word . . . and when James used this word . . . it should be . . . and usually is . . . and was . . . in reference to the Works of Faith in Love . . . we 'doing' what we Believe . . . Actualizing our Faith . . . by our 'doing' the Will of the ONE WHO made us.

Mike says,

"Works of the Law" in the OT do not exclude "Works of Faith in Love". This is not a new concept. So when Paul makes reference to "works of the Law", he does not exclude works of faith in Love, it is actually included.

Paul doesn't say that say that works are bad and neither do I, neither did Luther and neither does the protestant church.

Works just can't accomplish what faith does.

Think of the Virgin Mary.
What "work" did she perform to complete the incarnation?

None whatsoever. The seed was planted in her according to her faith. Once the Life was planted in her, she needed to work at keeping her body healthy and fit for childbearing.

And so it is with you. The Life is planted in you by grace through faith and your duty is to keep that vessel clean.Your wonderful works do not create Life anymore than Mary's works.

And Eternal Life is what you need BEFORE you die because Eternal Life is not given after death.

JW said,

. . . but rather . . . James was talking about a new kind of 'Work' . . . the Work of Faith in Love . . . commonly referred to as Obedience . . .

Mike says,

Works of faith in Love or obedience are not NT concepts, read Hebrews 11.


Will you share with us if possible the sermons that stirred you so?

Mike
-----
"Divine Grace is not opposed to effort ...
it is opposed to earning "
— Dallas Willard

Mike
-----
"Divine Grace is not opposed to effort ...
it is opposed to earning "
— Dallas Willard




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