Author Topic: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"  (Read 17308 times)

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Offline Seth

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There is a debate among all Christians, but I have noticed especially among those who believe the truth of universal salvation. It has to do with what people call "works based salvation." So I thought I would approach this subject according to a small study I did regarding this issue. Before I post the scriptures, I will say that the guiding principle I will use is the clear statement of the Angel of God concerning Christ's mission.

Matthew 1:21
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.


Now we know that Jesus means (Jehovah saves). This shows us that the reason our Lord is named Jesus is BECAUSE he shall save his people from their sins. That is the motivating operator for everything Jesus does concerning the salvation of the world. When I was coming out of the ET circle, one of my confusions centered around "if not hell, then what are we saved from." People kept using the word "saved" and "salvation" but I never really knew what that meant anymore.

I didn't need to guess. The Bible tells me that Jehovah will save his people from their sin, and that through Jesus Christ. What I think we in the truth of the Gospel should probably start talking about is a VERY important distinction in the New Testament concerning "works."

There are "good works"
There are "works of the law"

Take a look:

"GOOD WORKS"

Romans 13:3
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1 Timothy 2:10
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

1 Timothy 5:9-11
No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds. As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry.

1 Timothy 5:25
Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

1 Timothy 6:17-18
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

2 Timothy 3:16-18
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Titus 2:7
In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity

Titus 2:14
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 3:8
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Titus 3:14
And let our's also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works

1 Peter 2:12
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.



---------------

"WORKS OF THE LAW"

Romans 9:32
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone

Galatians 2:16
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3:2
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:5
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:10
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.



----------


First of all, for all the folks that teach a duel evangel gospel, just take notice of how many of the "good works" scriptures are verses from the Epistles of who? That's right PAUL!!!  :LH:

Isn't that interesting? Curiously enough, I don't hear many people who teach the duel evangel theology discussing the importance of "good works" certainly not to the degree of the grace teacher, Paul. Could there be something about "grace" and "salvation" that that Paul understood, which is not often discussed? I think so.

Notice the difference in tone between the "good works" scriptures and the "works of the law" scriptures. It looks like good works seems to be of a HIGH priority to Paul, where works of the law are warned against.

So my question is to the forum is this: what do you think the difference is between "good works" and "works of the law?" If we are to be saved from sin, what part do you think that "good works" plays in salvation from sin?

I actually think one scripture presses the point home:


Galatians 3:5
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?


Ah ha! That's the answer. THAT is why and HOW righteousness comes by faith. Righteousness is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. The spirit.....WORKETH. You see? But the Spirit does not WORKETH by works of the law, but the hearing of faith!

That is how righteousness given as a gift:

Philippians 3:8-9
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith





Offline WhiteWings

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2009, 09:30:02 AM »
I think the theory is fairly simple but in everyday life it gets blured a bit.

If you goto church every sunday because that's needed to stay out of hell then you are working for profit.
If you goto church every sunday because you want to honor God that little bit extra because you really love Him is works of love.

Jesus healed on Sabbath out of love. Others let the sick be sick because they where earning heaven at that day.

It's, IMO, the intention of the act. Not the act itself.

Monks that asked a question about smoking.
Q: May we smoke during prayer?
A: No! You should concentrate during prayer.

The second group of monks asked the same question differently.
Q: May we pray during smoking?
A: Of course you may! It's always good to say an extra prayer.

It might seem an odd example at first but I think it perfectly describes this topic.
The act of smoking/praying is the same but the intentions not.
One group wanted to smoke to make praying more plesant.
The other group wanted to worship a little extra during smoking.
A vistor would just see 2 groups doing the same. Namely smoking during prayer.
But the intention is different.
Could that be the simple key/answer to this post?


1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 09:39:55 AM »
Forgot to add. I started my post with:
Quote
I think the theory is fairly simple but in everyday life it gets blured a bit.
Example of that. I used to give to charity once in a while. Just to help people. That was a simple fact.
But once I started nosing in the Bible I give more. But the fact is no longer simple. Have I become a better person because I give more (good works) or am I trying to bribe God?
I truely do not know the answer.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

aspiring son

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2009, 04:07:37 PM »
I think the theory is fairly simple but in everyday life it gets blured a bit.

If you goto church every sunday because that's needed to stay out of hell then you are working for profit.
If you goto church every sunday because you want to honor God that little bit extra because you really love Him is works of love.

Jesus healed on Sabbath out of love. Others let the sick be sick because they where earning heaven at that day.

It's, IMO, the intention of the act. Not the act itself.

Monks that asked a question about smoking.
Q: May we smoke during prayer?
A: No! You should concentrate during prayer.

The second group of monks asked the same question differently.
Q: May we pray during smoking?
A: Of course you may! It's always good to say an extra prayer.

It might seem an odd example at first but I think it perfectly describes this topic.
The act of smoking/praying is the same but the intentions not.
One group wanted to smoke to make praying more plesant.
The other group wanted to worship a little extra during smoking.
A vistor would just see 2 groups doing the same. Namely smoking during prayer.
But the intention is different.
Could that be the simple key/answer to this post?




Good post WW.

Matthew chapters 24 and 25 deal with the slothful servant. The ten virgins, five diligent in keeping their lamps buring, five who did not. And for those who did not the bridegroom says " I never knew you...."

As Eph 2-10 states we are called "unto good works". This is apart of the spirit of God working within us. If we do not feel the urge to in some way help someone in need than maybe we need to look a little harder at where we are in him.

As for the difference between this and works of the law? I read this just this morning.

"Which (water) in manner corresponding does now save you also even immersion, NOT A PUTTING AWAY OF THE FLESH,BUT THE REQUEST UNTO GOD FOR A GOOD CONSCIENCE 1 peter 3-21

Works of the law are simply trying to make the flesh perfect, which is prideful.

I think we all wonder if we are doing enough for him sometimes. But I feel that as WW posted it's about intent. No, I don't think we are all called to sponsor a starving child from a third world country. Maybe your neighbor down the street could use that extra 20 dollars? It's all about the works he has called us to do. I've given sporadically to charities, some because I felt the need, and admitedly sometimes just because I felt I wasn't doing enough. But I don't feel that God wants us to fell that way. If we pray for less of us so that he shines through more, than just as all of the above verses state, then we will be about our Father's business, and he will take care of the rest.

Grace and peace,

Brandon

Jerm

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 04:48:56 PM »
I think Martin Luther is to blame for alot of the confusion here.  Although I think he got the basic idea right, "Justification by Faith Alone" was a horrible name for his docrtine because the only place in Scripture where the phrase "faith alone" or "faith only" is written in James and it has a big NOT right in front of it. (Then again, that's why Luther wanted James taken out of the canon)  Something I've had to come to grips with is the fact that justification is by faith and works.  HOWEVER THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE EARN OR MERIT SALVATION.  What James is saying here is works are required for justification because they are the natural outcome and thus natural evidence of a true transformation. Salvation is so much more that going to heaven when you die.  When we recieve the Spirit, it is from then on constantly at work in us, molding us into the image of Christ, so yes, the natural outcome is going to be a gradual transformation of who we are and how we live our lives.  Seeing this truth as well as the fact that when Paul says we are justified by faith apart from works of the law he meant the Jewish Torah has erased alot of errornous thinking from my mind, especially considering the Hyper Dispensational (Dual Gospel) ideaology.

Offline Raggedy Anne

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 06:33:58 PM »
From some of the things I've read about Martin Luther, it seems he might have used his "discovery" of faith alone as an occasion for the flesh to rule.   That's why I don't see him as a hero of the faith.

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Offline Seth

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2009, 08:12:36 PM »
I think Martin Luther is to blame for alot of the confusion here.  Although I think he got the basic idea right, "Justification by Faith Alone" was a horrible name for his docrtine because the only place in Scripture where the phrase "faith alone" or "faith only" is written in James and it has a big NOT right in front of it. (Then again, that's why Luther wanted James taken out of the canon)  Something I've had to come to grips with is the fact that justification is by faith and works.  HOWEVER THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE EARN OR MERIT SALVATION.  What James is saying here is works are required for justification because they are the natural outcome and thus natural evidence of a true transformation. Salvation is so much more that going to heaven when you die.  When we recieve the Spirit, it is from then on constantly at work in us, molding us into the image of Christ, so yes, the natural outcome is going to be a gradual transformation of who we are and how we live our lives.  Seeing this truth as well as the fact that when Paul says we are justified by faith apart from works of the law he meant the Jewish Torah has erased alot of errornous thinking from my mind, especially considering the Hyper Dispensational (Dual Gospel) ideaology.

Jerm, great point. One of the major confusions comes with the term: justification. It comes from the word "dikaioo" which means "righteous." Check this out:

Romans 3:28
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified (righteous) by faith without the deeds of the law.


Compare to James:

James 2:21,24
Was not Abraham our father justified (righteous) by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Ye see then how that by works a man is justified (righteous), and not by faith only.


Now if James and Paul are talking about the same kind of works, then it is a clear contradiction. But they are not talking about the same kind of works. Paul is talking about not being made righteous by "works of the law." James is talking about "good works" which are works that come by obedience to faith. That is what Martin Luther did not understand.

The dual-evangel folks think that they resolve this by claiming that James is talking to Jews and Paul is talking to Gentiles, meaning that Jews must have faith and obey the law too. GARBAGE! The law NEVER brings righteousness and ALWAYS holds people in bondage. Paul actually agrees with this statement: "by works a man is justified (righteous) and not by faith only"

Romans 4
 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
 6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
 7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
 8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
 9Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
 10How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
 11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
 12And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also WALK....IN....THE..... STEPS....OF....THAT.....FAITH of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith


We should see the distinction being made here regarding "good works" and "works of the law." Abraham WALKED in steps of faith, he didn't just HAVE faith. That is what James means when he says

James 2
19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
 23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
 24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.


Paul and James are talking about the same thing: walking in steps of faith, not just having faith. And that walking by steps of faith is CONTRASTED to works of the law. Yes, when we have faith, THAT faith is counted to us for righteousness, but when WE WALK in STEPS of faith, then WE are imputed righteousness. John agrees:

1 John 3
 5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
 6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
 7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness (justification) is righteous (justified), even as he is righteous (justified).
 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
 9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
 10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.



Offline rosered

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009, 08:46:56 PM »
 

  well thought out   posts !  guys 
 love it
  makes me think !
   good Job , Seth! 
 good  thoughts WW , Bradon  and Jerm !
 
  one  thing I thought of  while reading this 

   was how the works /dees and the Labour  can be in vain or it can be in love 
 the labour of love is mentioed by Paul as a good thing/work
  and the labour in vain is something  that is NOT new under the Sun /Son
 so I got to thinking  , we first must die to  our desires for the true desire of the Lord to manifest within us ..
  just some more thoughts while on this I have considered  :icon_flower:
 
  God bless yas all  :HeartThrob:  rose
 
 
KJVRev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. 
 
  TNIV 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
       "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."

Jerm

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2009, 09:15:41 PM »
I think Martin Luther is to blame for alot of the confusion here.  Although I think he got the basic idea right, "Justification by Faith Alone" was a horrible name for his docrtine because the only place in Scripture where the phrase "faith alone" or "faith only" is written in James and it has a big NOT right in front of it. (Then again, that's why Luther wanted James taken out of the canon)  Something I've had to come to grips with is the fact that justification is by faith and works.  HOWEVER THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE EARN OR MERIT SALVATION.  What James is saying here is works are required for justification because they are the natural outcome and thus natural evidence of a true transformation. Salvation is so much more that going to heaven when you die.  When we recieve the Spirit, it is from then on constantly at work in us, molding us into the image of Christ, so yes, the natural outcome is going to be a gradual transformation of who we are and how we live our lives.  Seeing this truth as well as the fact that when Paul says we are justified by faith apart from works of the law he meant the Jewish Torah has erased alot of errornous thinking from my mind, especially considering the Hyper Dispensational (Dual Gospel) ideaology.

Jerm, great point. One of the major confusions comes with the term: justification. It comes from the word "dikaioo" which means "righteous." Check this out:

Romans 3:28
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified (righteous) by faith without the deeds of the law.


Compare to James:

James 2:21,24
Was not Abraham our father justified (righteous) by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Ye see then how that by works a man is justified (righteous), and not by faith only.


Now if James and Paul are talking about the same kind of works, then it is a clear contradiction. But they are not talking about the same kind of works. Paul is talking about not being made righteous by "works of the law." James is talking about "good works" which are works that come by obedience to faith. That is what Martin Luther did not understand.

The dual-evangel folks think that they resolve this by claiming that James is talking to Jews and Paul is talking to Gentiles, meaning that Jews must have faith and obey the law too. GARBAGE! The law NEVER brings righteousness and ALWAYS holds people in bondage. Paul actually agrees with this statement: "by works a man is justified (righteous) and not by faith only"

Romans 4
 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
 6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
 7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
 8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
 9Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
 10How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
 11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
 12And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also WALK....IN....THE..... STEPS....OF....THAT.....FAITH of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith


We should see the distinction being made here regarding "good works" and "works of the law." Abraham WALKED in steps of faith, he didn't just HAVE faith. That is what James means when he says

James 2
19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
 23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
 24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.


Paul and James are talking about the same thing: walking in steps of faith, not just having faith. And that walking by steps of faith is CONTRASTED to works of the law. Yes, when we have faith, THAT faith is counted to us for righteousness, but when WE WALK in STEPS of faith, then WE are imputed righteousness. John agrees:

1 John 3
 5And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
 6Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
 7Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness (justification) is righteous (justified), even as he is righteous (justified).
 8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
 9Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
 10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.




Great post Seth.  An awesome read that really helped me here is Justification by N.T. Wright.  I seriously read the whole thing in 2 days (would have been one day but I started in the car while we were on vacation and ran out of light once the sun went down  :laughing7:)  Anyways, I definately recommend it to anyone and everyone.  I don't agree 100% with everything Wright says but nonetheless I give it Five Stars.

Tim B

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2009, 11:24:08 PM »
So, it seems that "good works" come from the heart (through the Spirit, I would assume), and "works of the law" are doing things because "it's the law," or perhaps, to get blessings. Is this, a bit of the idea you're getting at Seth?

And on another, but similar, note:

Is it not interesting that it seems there's more non-Christians that do "good works" than Christians? It seems Christians generally do "works of the law" as opposed to "good works."

Some people might insist that non-believers cannot do "good works." But who says that the Spirit is not moving in them too? I see no reason to limit God to just working in those that call themselves Christians. Non-believers (who once "when to church" or called "Christian" by their parents) might not realize it yet, but is it coincidence that many "believers" leave "the faith" and turn agnostic, atheistic, or go after a different belief system, because orthodox Christianity has horrid, anti-Christ doctrines such as eternal torment? I don't think so. God's Spirit is alive in more people than we think. After all, it's in God that ALL men live, and move, and have their being.

Offline WhiteWings

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2009, 11:35:02 PM »
Is it not interesting that it seems there's more non-Christians that do "good works" than Christians? It seems Christians generally do "works of the law" as opposed to "good works."

Some people might insist that non-believers cannot do "good works." But who says that the Spirit is not moving in them too?
Gods laws apply to all people.
So if helping the needing is good works for a Christian it's alos good works for an atheist.
If that's not true then murder and adultary are not sins when done by atheists....

I even think the good works of atheists very often are more pure because they have no religion forcing them to act nice.
1 Timothy 2:3-4  ...God our Savior;  Who will have all men to be saved...
John 12:47  And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous ...

Offline Beloved Servant

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2009, 11:46:47 PM »
Man, the first creation, is capable of incredibly good works and horrendous evil works; the fruits of the tree they ate from.
Not! to be confused, though, with the works of Satan; those works of Satan are completely different.
He stands as the accuser of man to God.

Offline Molly

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 01:26:14 AM »
Quote from: Jerm
I  think Martin Luther is to blame for alot of the confusion here.
Although I think he got the basic idea right, "Justification by Faith Alone" was a horrible name for his docrtine because the only place in Scripture where the phrase "faith alone" or "faith only" is written in James ....


What's this? Chopped liver?


17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
--Rom 1


And this?

9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

--Phil 3


And more?

30What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith;

--Romans 9



Whistling with Martin Luther, now--

30And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

--1 Cor 1



And singing a new song with the church of the firstborn--

2To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

--1 Cor 1

Tim B

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2009, 04:42:50 AM »
Is it not interesting that it seems there's more non-Christians that do "good works" than Christians? It seems Christians generally do "works of the law" as opposed to "good works."

Some people might insist that non-believers cannot do "good works." But who says that the Spirit is not moving in them too?
Gods laws apply to all people.
So if helping the needing is good works for a Christian it's alos good works for an atheist.
If that's not true then murder and adultary are not sins when done by atheists....

I even think the good works of atheists very often are more pure because they have no religion forcing them to act nice.

Nice post, WW! I especially like the last part. It's extremely true.

Yet we have (many) orthodox evangelists going out and telling these very same atheists, these (often times) KINDER PEOPLE, that they're going to an eternal Hell hole if they don't accept Jesus. Sheesh!

Reminds me of Jesus words: "and you make them twice the sons of Gehenna that you are!"

Offline Molly

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2009, 09:03:34 AM »
James states the obvious when he tells us that faith without works is dead.

But what are works?

We look at that word and can get easily led astray--


"works"

G2041
ἔργον
ergon
er'-gon
From ἔργω ergō (a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act: - deed, doing, labour, work.


The Protestant Reformation took this word and ran with it.  Works is hard work, labour, toil, the sweat of your brow.   Not that there's anything wrong with hard work.  But is this what we are talking about here?

It is Adam who was condemned to working hard, bringing forth fruit by the sweat of his brow, not us.  We are the second Adam.

It took me a long time to figure this out because I am naturally a very hard worker.

James himself goes on to illustrate what works are, using Abraham as his example.  Abraham believed God and acted on it [obedience].  So it is the belief and then the act based on that belief    that qualifies as faith and works.

But, could Abraham have believed God without that seed wherein all the nations of the world would be blessed? 

Works is toil, labour, even if it is just the fruit of the Spirit biting your tongue--yes that is works, too.

But we are not the ones who labour--He is.  He does all the work.  And, if we are yoked together with him, his yoke is easy because we are along for the ride of our lives.  He does the pulling, the heavy lifting, the impossible, the miracle, the toil, labour, and hard work--not us.  Faith belongs to Him, and so do works.



36And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

 37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.


--John 4



« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 09:15:51 AM by Molly »

Offline Seth

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2009, 06:55:54 PM »
So, it seems that "good works" come from the heart (through the Spirit, I would assume), and "works of the law" are doing things because "it's the law," or perhaps, to get blessings. Is this, a bit of the idea you're getting at Seth?

And on another, but similar, note:


This is the key, the bolded blue.

There are all kinds of works that seem good. That is why it is called "our RIGHTEOUSNESS" as being dirty rags. It is the righteousness that comes through faith which is the righteousness of God that is acceptable to him.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.


Paul understood that the righteousness of God comes by faith when he said:

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: [yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.


Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; color=red]yet not I
, but Christ liveth in me[/b]: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.[/color]

He acknowledged that he was the vessel, yet in the next line, cancels himself out and acknowledges this:

Phi 2:12
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for [it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.


That is the meaning behind "I, yet not I." It's not "I plus God." It is I.....yet NOT I. It's all credit to God who is the very worker and willer through his people.

That is why if you maintain "I, yet NOT I" in your life, you will have no reason to boast and you will be giving all glory to Christ.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 07:16:05 PM by Seth »

Offline Seth

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2009, 07:18:52 PM »
Quote from: Jerm
I  think Martin Luther is to blame for alot of the confusion here.
Although I think he got the basic idea right, "Justification by Faith Alone" was a horrible name for his docrtine because the only place in Scripture where the phrase "faith alone" or "faith only" is written in James ....


What's this? Chopped liver?


17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
--Rom 1


And this?

9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

--Phil 3


And more?

30What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith;

--Romans 9



Whistling with Martin Luther, now--

30And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption,

--1 Cor 1



And singing a new song with the church of the firstborn--

2To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:

--1 Cor 1


To the bolded blue, no of course not. The righteousness that comes by faith is exactly what this thread is about, which you explain later in #14.

The righteousness that comes by faith is described in great detail in 1 Corinthians 12.

Offline Cardinal

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2009, 11:20:14 PM »
James himself goes on to illustrate what works are, using Abraham as his example.  Abraham believed God and acted on it [obedience].  So it is the belief and then the act based on that belief that qualifies as faith and works.

 :cloud9: Amen Molly........belief = hearer, act based on that belief = doer. Be both a hearer and a doer of the Word. Blessings...

"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline Seth

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2009, 11:40:49 PM »
James himself goes on to illustrate what works are, using Abraham as his example.  Abraham believed God and acted on it [obedience].  So it is the belief and then the act based on that belief that qualifies as faith and works.

 :cloud9: Amen Molly........belief = hearer, act based on that belief = doer. Be both a hearer and a doer of the Word. Blessings...



Yes, amen!  :thumbsup:

Romans 1
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just (Gk - dikaios - righteous, holy) shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;


So this goes back to my earlier question considering my question: If we are to be saved from sin, what part do you think that "good works" plays in salvation from sin? What IS the power of God, and how is it unto salvation?

Mark 6:7
And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits

2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


James makes the statements that works make our faith perfect/complete. Faith is INCOMPLETE without works, because works are the entire point of salvation from sin, a change of works from EVIL to GOOD (from murderer to healer, from liar to truthspeaker, from prostitute to Christ-in-marriage)...

That is how the just LIVE by faith.

Offline rosered

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2009, 11:48:39 PM »
James himself goes on to illustrate what works are, using Abraham as his example.  Abraham believed God and acted on it [obedience].  So it is the belief and then the act based on that belief that qualifies as faith and works.

 :cloud9: Amen Molly........belief = hearer, act based on that belief = doer. Be both a hearer and a doer of the Word. Blessings...



Yes, amen!  :thumbsup:

Romans 1
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just (Gk - dikaios - righteous, holy) shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;


So this goes back to my earlier question considering my question: If we are to be saved from sin, what part do you think that "good works" plays in salvation from sin? What IS the power of God, and how is it unto salvation?

Mark 6:7
And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits

2 Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


James makes the statements that works make our faith perfect/complete. Faith is INCOMPLETE without works, because works are the entire point of salvation from sin, a change of works from EVIL to GOOD (from murderer to healer, from liar to truthspeaker, from prostitute to Christ-in-marriage)...

That is how the just LIVE by faith.

  amen Living faith , I can see the difference now between the DEAD works and the  good ones  :thumbsup:

  James speaks of dead works  LACKING FAITHor faith lacking works   or one without the other  :icon_flower:
 two places in hebrews on the dead works /lacking faith
 Hbr 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 
Hbr 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 


 Jam 2:18   Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 


 Jam 2:19   Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 


 Jam 2:20   But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 


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


 Jam 2:22   Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  


 Jam 2:23   And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 


 Jam 2:24   Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 


 Jam 2:25   Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent [them] out another way? 


 Jam 2:26   For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.  

 cool stuff guys  :HeartThrob:  rose

Offline Seth

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2009, 12:14:59 AM »
Amen Rose

Romans 14
 17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
 18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
 19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.






Offline Cardinal

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2009, 12:20:52 AM »
 :cloud9: Amen Seth, and those are not just attributes, but the nature of a PERSON; the PERSON IS the Kingdom. Blessings....
"I would rather train twenty men to pray, than a thousand to preach; A minister's highest mission ought to be to teach his people to pray." -H. MacGregor

Offline Beloved Servant

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2009, 01:28:51 AM »
Amen Cardinal, and the Kingdom has no end.

Offline rosered

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2009, 02:06:38 AM »
Amen Rose

Romans 14
 17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
 18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
 19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.


  Cool Seth Card and Beloved !
 Romans 14 is a  fav of mine  :thumbsup:
 
  love ya all  :HeartThrob:  rose




« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 02:23:58 AM by rosered »

Offline Molly

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Re: the critical difference between "good works" and "works of the law"
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2009, 02:21:25 AM »
One more thing--

The carnal mind cannot understand the things of God, which is why we need faith [Spirit] to do works of God.   Look at the illustration James uses for works.  How could we ever explain to anyone why Abraham would agree to sacrifice his own son for God,  or why we would worship such a God?  The carnal mind makes no sense of it. It doesn't look like good works.   It just looks pagan and brutal.

But those in dialogue with God through faith to faith can see the eternal purposes of God in this story, the shadow of the Christ.


13And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

 14And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.


--Gen 22


H3070
יהוה יראה
yehôvâh yir'eh
yeh-ho-vaw' yir-eh'
From H3068 and H7200; Jehovah will see (to it); Jehovah-Jireh, a symbolical name for Mt. Moriah: - Jehovah-jireh.


« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 02:29:17 AM by Molly »