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.

JeffLogan's picture

get in then get to work

In response to the post: JW said, Say what we will .
Submitted by Mike Kirby on Tue, 2010-03-23 09:27.

Mike,

You are right. "Get in then get to work." But I would like to frame it this way -- "Believe in Jesus then don't resist the Holy Spirit" -- simply to place the emphasis on who is doing the work in us.

We must be in Christ in order to do the works of Christ--those that are pleasing to God. We cannot work our way in but must be given to Christ by the Father. The method He has chosen is faith (belief and trust).

Just to cite a few examples:

1) Jesus told Mary her sins were forgiven her and she should go and sin no more.

2) Jesus told the lame man to take up his bed and walk.

In both of these cases we find that the work could not be done until it was known what to do. And after knowing what to do it could not be done without first having faith in Jesus--that His words had power to heal. Mary could not have done anything to justify herself any more than the lame man could have stood up and walked. Only after hearing the command of Jesus and placing belief and trust in His words could either do the works commanded them.

Some claim again and again that faith and works are necessary but they do not understand how to present it correctly. While the claim is true we must not forget that the work required of us cannot be done before faith nor without faith. Therefore, any teaching which places the burden upon the man to do something, even in the least degree, in order to be accepted of Christ is a works-oriented gospel which spurns God's grace in order to placate man's ego.

The truth of the gospel which excludes man's works from the equation is a threat to those who would desire to have something of which to boast of in themselves. Without their works contributing at least somewhat in the smallest measure toward earning God's approval they have nothing to distinguish them from the common and weak sinner who must rely totally upon Christ. But that work is too humiliating to them and so they reject it and propose another method which does not require self to be destroyed nor abased.

Here is where the secret to the church's power resides. She gives men the best of both worlds. 1st, she relieves them of obedience to God by substituting obedience to herself. 2nd, she provides tidbits as rewards to satisfy those who would please themselves with their accomplishments. Some would say this is prejudice or hatred. But I would answer that I also hate tobacco and alcohol for the same reason. Yet, I hate them less. For while these can steal the mortal life they cannot destroy the soul.

    ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
    "Where two or three are gathered together in my name,
    there am I in the midst of them." Voilà! Church!
    (Matt 18:20 (KJV))


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    “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."




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