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Author Topic: Faith w/o works is....
Michael Harrison
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It hurts so much to hear it. So many just don't get it. It is time they do!

John Hagee on a most recent broadcast used the verse, "Faith without works is dead." This he said to justify 'doing'. His message included the mention that one is to go out and to 'do' this and that, and it would 'show' that one has faith.

It is universal. This verse in James is usually used to back up that supposition that faith is evidenced by doing things. It is used over and over again to motivate believers to demonstrate their faith. It is however a trick of the devil. Nuff said! But not really.

Now, I am not picking on John Hagee. Nor do I want to start a clamor against any preacher. I will say however that of those claiming to be Christians, there is almost not a pulpit from which one will not hear the verse used in this way. However, I will assert to you again today, that faith is not doing. The doing is transparent. So it is not about getting out and purposing, and therefore, 'doing'. That leads to very dead works, even if they are well intended. Instead, faith is about 'having'. And herein is the true understanding of the verse. What James meant when he stated this was that 'having' is the evidence of faith. That is because "I AM" is, and HIS promises are true. Therefore they lead to one's 'having'. And faith, believing that one has, will lead to 'works' being manifested.

And what is important about this is that one's Cross is in having. Why? Because, if you purpose to 'do' it, you do it 'for' God. And that is the sacrifice of Cain. Sounds so good doesn't it? But did God accept the sacrifice of Cain? And why not? Because Cain, purposed!

This can be amplified till one is numb, but just let me say that the definition of evil is that you think and act separately from God. That amounts to you obeying your lusts, and not the Spirit. That is called 'evil'. And good intentions are a substitute for the purpose of God. And His purpose was for us to 'have', and not to labor to. Therefore when we labor to, we insult grace.

But faith says that one 'has, of God' according to His provision. That - is the love of God. It is why HE sent His Son to die on the Cross.

The faith of Abraham was that he 'had'. He did not have to go out and cause what God had promised, to happen. In fact, we see what happened when he did. He begat a nation of beligerants, from his calculated sin. But who will learn from this? For they keep preaching to go out and do, when Jesus says one is to "seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all of these things will be added on." That sounds a lot like 'having' to me!

So when James says that faith without works is dead, he means that if you do not believe that you 'have' then you will not see the provision of God manifested. You 'do' things to prove you have faith. But you do them before men, and not God. The works that you then 'do' are the works of the law. But the law is not of 'having', but of doing (See Galations).

So, how far can you repent. The answer is all the way; that is, until it is no longer you who live but Christ, and Christ is doing it! Else one is alive to self, working the works of Cain.

If God is not real to you, you will not be able to understand this.

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Michael Harrison
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I would like to repost this here from the topic of "The righetousness of God is imputed, not earned":

The title to this topic says it all, but it it in the understanding thereof. For it says: "The righteousness of God is imputed, not earned."

So the discussion invariably turns to what one 'does' or 'does not' do. After all, since it is not earned, people cannot comprehend not doing anything. And then an argument ensues. For the devil makes the everyday servant to feel guilty, as though he is not 'doing' enough. And the key here is that the devil makes the one to feel guilty. Then he has been successful at discrediting the word, and the power of God; and the result is that the servant carries on "in works of the flesh," with well meaning zeal, to so-called, please, and serve God.

But this occurance is exactly what one poster says does not exist in a Christian. I guess they mean by default. But it does. For that working alone is carnal, making the Christian so, not to mention if there are added; anger, strife, bitterness, and all the things that come from 'not' trusting God, in the perfection of His will.

quote:
So if there is NO condemnation to those who are IN Christ, walking according to His Spirit, then there must be Condemnation to those who Are NOT in Christ and walking according to their own flesh. Carnal.
quote:
Yahswey

The trouble with this comment is one of presumption. Does one presume he is 'walking' according to the Spirit? It is most common. It is a blindness, inherent in the 'unyielded' believer. Yet, while this verse is properly viewed as written, if viewed from a perspective of being Christian as reflected off of, or as it pertains to being non-Christian, it fails otherwise due to this fact: Paul was writing 'to' Christians, about Christians, always. And the condemnation 'is' to Christians who 'are' walking according to the flesh, instead of the Spirit. And that is the point of his sermons. That is the very point of every sermon of Paul:

Because believers 'presumed', and they erred. And that is one of the imaginations that Paul was predisposed towards 'casting down'. It was their presumption. It was their presumption which allowed them to 'abide' in the flesh, and work the works of the flesh, while serving Christ, therefore polluting the Spirit. What this means is that they weren't 'sanctified' therefore. They were not because the works of the flesh were manifest, which should not be if one is 'sanctified' as he or she claims.

Want evidence that they were Christians who were in the flesh?

  • 1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?


So the key then is in righteousness being imputed! The question is, is it? Scripture says it is, therefore that would be the end of the discussion, however, there is more being implied here. So the question now is, if one would not be presumptuous, is: is he who says he believes, receiving what is imputed? For if he is, then he is sanctified, and walking in the spirit.

But let's look back. Paul, we just read, told the Corinthians that as they behaved as they did, they were not receiving what was imputed. In other words, they were not participating with God. They were not 'receiving' the gift. That necessarily made them carnal. It made them babes. For babes in Christ are carnal, and here is the only 'growing process' one will see, is when one grows from being carnal, to spiritual.

Now just because the Spirit indwells one does not make him properly spiritual. For one has to 'abide' in the Spirit. It is a choice!

quote:
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
And this verse says it all in one sentence, "who 'walk' not after the flesh!" But notice that it says before that, "There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ, whowalk not after the flesh." In other words, to those who are in Christ, there is no condemnation, if..... There is a condition. And it is to those who are 'in Christ'. Therefore we see that he who is 'in' Christ, can walk according to the flesh, or the spirit.

And so oneinchrist said:
quote:
If the bible says that I need to repent in order to be forgiven I think to myself that I have to be willing to face the truth that I have sin and will struggle with it till I die, but at the same time I must declare sin to be my enemy. I must forsake it, renounce it, grow to hate it, and turn from it. OneinChrist
quote:
oneinchrist

That is sanctification! Yet, is it? For he does not accomplish it who purposes, yet the intent is the beginning of it. But the accomplishing of it is of the Lord. Therefore, if it is 'imputed', and we receive it, then we can therefore, "walk in it." Then we are 'walking inthe Spirit', and not in the flesh.
code:
  


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Michael Harrison
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So, I have said it before, as strange as it sounds, you do not have to 'do' what you have! In other words, you do not have to 'do' what HE gives. All you have to 'do' is to walk in it and your old man will be slain!
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bluefrog
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MICHAEL....Can I tell my friends that I know you? hehe Well said. I tried to say about the same thang just today, but in a different way.

I have a great book on the subject of righteousness. It is called NOT GUILTY, by Dr. Creflo A. Dollar (sub: experience God's Gift of acceptance and freedom) 305 pages

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yahsway
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MH, Romans 8:8

"So those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

This verse is talking about unbelievers.
Those that are IN the flesh is different than those who are walking in the flesh.

Those that are "in the flesh" is a stronger description than the activity of "walking according to the flesh".

Verse 9 is talking to Believers, it is a contrast from verse 8 who is about non-believers.

verse 9 "But you Are not IN The Flesh but in the Spirit, IF indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. And if anyone does Not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

verse 13 Paul does warn believers that they can from time to time live "according to the flesh"

but if the are just "In the flesh" as verse 8 speaks, then they are Not His.

I believe that Paul percieved that he was probably talking to both Believers and non-believers and i get this belief from what He (Paul) stated in this verse:

verse9 "But you are not "in the flesh" but in the Spirit "IF INDEED THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU"

So that tells me if the Spirit of God does not dwell in someone they are A Non-Believer.

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Michael Harrison
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No yahs! He is talking about 'Christians' who are in the flesh, whether you want to accept it or not. Indeed, he is talking indirectly about the unsaved. It does apply to them, but nevertheless he is talking about Christians. In other words, there are Christians who are not 'abiding' in the Spirit. It is not that they are not saved. They are not 'sanctified' unto Christ, through faith. They are (sorry for the bold text) carnal. God love you dearly sister.
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Michael Harrison
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quote:
verse9 "But you are not "in the flesh" but in the Spirit "IF INDEED THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS IN YOU"
quote:
yahswey

You see, yahswey, you are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if the spirit of God dwells in you. But it is a two way street. You must dwell in HIM. Jesus addressed this by saying, "If you abide in me, and I abide in You. Or perhaps I could have emboldened the first part of the sentence. But in other words, we must abide in each other, simultaneously. It is essential. And it takes understanding.
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Michael Harrison
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Ok! The Spirit of God dwelt in me before I learned to 'abide' in Him. I was 'Spirit filled', and yet, though I didn't know it, I had one foot in the world, and one in the Kingdom. In other words, I needed to be broken that I would discover what it means to 'abide' in Him. And just because I was Spirit Filled (and you know what I mean), I was not necessarily 'abiding' in Him.

In other words, there is something to be discovered here. It is not insignificant.

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Michael Harrison
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And one more time, just for the sake of clarity: The Spirit can abide in you, but you can cover HIM up. It is a muddy water thing. If the heart does not see, then even though HE abides in you, you might not see clearly to understand what it means to abide in Him. It is another step to realize what it means to abide in Him. It is the completion of our sanctification that realizes Christ our Life. It is the completion of our sanctification that realizes that Christ IS our life. It is profound, to say the very least.
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yahsway
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Thank you MH, this is a good discussion. I need to ask you though, How is one "broken to discover what it means to abide in Him?" Again, thanks. Shalom
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Michael Harrison
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yahsway, blessed one, you have asked the right question. He has led you to ask, and HE will meet you with understanding.
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oneinchrist
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To my friends in the Lord,
I am beginning to think that James, in using the expression, "faith without works is dead", had the purpose/intent in mind to motivate believers into actively living out their faith, as opposed to just sitting around philosophizing about their faith. Nothing wrong with that, is there?

With love in Christ, Daniel

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bluefrog
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Did ya know that in the NT the word "works" is used about 300 times. I got tired just reading them. rivit

I looked up some of the scripture comments that related to Faith and Works or Salvation and Works. These are notes from some of the books:

Basicly, Paul says Faith is Faith.

James says Salvation is faith that works, or works demonstrates salvation as real. In John it says that for works sake, works have evidential value to the unsaved. Greater works are ministries to the world. Working in God's name (In My Name) is as an agent performing greater works and works of God.

In Eccles we receive works as a gift from God. In Hebrews intercessory work of Christ is for the Christians. In Philip, to Work Out your salvation means to take salvation to it's logical conclusion for yourself and for the sake of others benefit. In Jonah God does a work in the life of an individual. In Romans Abraham nor David were justified by works but by faith. Works may be something to boast about, but not to God.

In John it says God can complete the good work of eternal life begun in the believer. And in 1 Cor it says because of the Fathers work, are ye in Jesus Christ. All riches of salvation exist in Him.

Good Works are usually considered to be moral or righteous acts performed by human beings. The NT makes it clear that NO acts performed by us merit God's favor. Salvation can not be earned but is a Gift. Eph 2:8-9

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

Ephis 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.

In James 2:14-26 it says Moral and righteous acts are never a way to earn salvation, but they are fruit that salvation is expected to produce.

The original scripture suggested was James 2:20
But will thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

It is pretty clear in James 2:14-26 what is meant by works or doin.

Something else to mention...Those saints who survive the Tribulation period, meaning did not give in to the Anti Christ or Satan, some will be placed in positions to serve during the millinium period prior to the second coming.
The non believers will be judged by their lack of works but the believers awarded according to their works. At least that is how I understand it but I don't want to or need to dual in the sun over it. rivit

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yahsway
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Daniel, very good observation. James 1:21-27

Having recieved the new birth thru a Word of God (v18), we should recieve it (v21) and do it (v22).

True religion involves not only Hearing but doing (vv22-27).

The entire letter of James emphasizes Deed over Creed, Action over Profession, and this is the usual Jewish approach (Hebrew thought) to religion, morals and life.

For example, in Revelation 1:3 we read
"Blessed is he who reads and those who HEAR the words of this prophecy, and KEEP (TO DO) those things which are written in it; for the time is near."

Readers...hearers. Like Paul (Co 4:16), John expected what he wrote to be read aloud to the congregations.

Hearers...obey. Learning is supposed to lead to doing. In Hebrew thought there is action, not just thought or as you stated "philosophies." That is Greek, Hellenistic way of thinking that has permeated the Church sense the time of Constantine.

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bluefrog
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So, what is your opinion ?

Do you think you need to do good works?

What kind of good works, if any ?

Why?

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Michael Harrison
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quote:
True religion involves not only Hearing but doing (vv22-27).

The entire letter of James emphasizes Deed over Creed, Action over Profession, and this is the usual Jewish approach (Hebrew thought) to religion, morals and life.
quote:
yahsway

Yahsway, you misled me. That is not good. I have in only a single post already given up on you. Name for me one single righteous thing you can do. You may be self-assured that you can, but if you could, then HE wouldn't have needed to die. So let me put this in bold: We don't walk in doing. We walk in done. And every good work that is manifest is His work, and His working. Else you would take credit for it. And He doesn't allow that.

You see, on the seventh Day, HE rested. And we walk in the finished work, having HIS will done in our life. (And I should say 'when' we walk in the finished work, we have HIS will done in our life.) And this is what leads one if he is led of the Spirit. (For they who are led by the Spirit are the Sons of God.) So if one is led, works will occur. I say that because some feel certain that I am saying for one to sit on his ast, and to let God do it all. But I said before that the 'doing' is transparent. I am not saying one is to sit on his ast, for there is participation, which is of FAITH, which allows the power and glory of God to be manifest! Pay real close attention. I said participation, which is of faith. And is that not what James is saying, that the works will demonstrate your faith. But your works, which are a "shew of will worship," (Col 2:23) do not 'cause' anything, or show faith. In fact, that is why we have such a falling out of people with the 'name it and claim it crowd', and 'fanatics', is because they are, being inspired of course, trying to perform works, but HE isn't in it. They are just hoping they will get lucky. But actually they bring a reproach on the church. You are Pentecostal. You know what I am speaking about.

Bluefrog:
quote:
In Philip, to Work Out your salvation means to take salvation to it's logical conclusion for yourself and for the sake of others benefit.
quote:
bluefrog

That is brilliant. I dig it!

quote:
Good Works are usually considered to be moral or righteous acts performed by human beings. The NT makes it clear that NO acts performed by us merit God's favor. Salvation can not be earned but is a Gift. Eph 2:8-9
quote:
bluefrog[quote]
The same.

quote:
Ephis 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.[quote]bluefrog

Do we see that? How beautifully stated, "that we should walk in them." Can anyone see that it does not read that we should DO them." We can 'have' them done, by faith, which is to believe, which is the same as to receive them. He will perform. Therein is God glofified. Here is the reason why Jesus said, "Greater things than these will ye do because I go to my Father." But until we STOP leading God, we will only see dribble (because HE loves us enough to commit to that) but not GUSH! We will not see GREATER things because we are too PIOUS in trying to do HIS work for Him.

Now every self-righteous soul who is convinced he can 'do' for God, go right on. In the mean time understand that you are breaking HIS heart, and tying HIS hands.

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bluefrog
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Michael...Thank You.

I thought I knew what you were saying but I had to read your opening post about 4 times.

It isn't easy to understand when you say such as:

The doing is transparent.
Getting out and purposing...doing.
Faith is about having.
Having is the evidence of faith.
Ones cross is in having.
Faith says one "has", of God.

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Eden
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oneinchrist wrote
quote:
James wrote ... to motivate believers into actively living out their faith, as opposed to just sitting around philosophizing about their faith.
Who is sitting around "philosophizing about their faith"? Do you mean that 3 friends sit in the living room "philosophizing" about their faith or about faith in general?

Even if they were "philosophizing about their faith or about faith", that is still a LOT BETTER than say, "philosophizing about how to rob a bank", or "philosophizing about sports", or whatever.

The fact is, that God is pleased with ANY discussion of His faith, as Paul says that even when the name of Jesus is being maligned, even THEN we should REJOICE for the name of Jesus is being mentioned:

Philippians 1:18
What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.

Or, oneinchrist, perhaps you think that WE are "philosophizing about faith" when we decide to participate in these discussions, including but not limited to, faith.

But I don't think that the people who participate in these discussions are philosophizing, but I think that everyone who is willing to participate is HELPING TO FURTHER THE WORK OF GOD in that we are DISCUSSING THINGS FROM THE BIBLE, and that is a LOT MORE than a LOT of other people are doing (if it were a matter of boasting about our works for God, we have whereof to boast, even if it is not always very pretty or easy to undestand).

Hebrews 5:11
Of whom we have many things to say and hard to be uttered, seeing you are dull of hearing.

2 Peter 3:16
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Acts 17:11
Now, these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

But it is NOT "philosophizing about faith"; even TALKING about faith is good:

Malachi 3:16
Then they who feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them who feared the LORD and who thought on His name.

And so oneinchrist wrote
quote:
James wrote ... to motivate believers into actively living out their faith, as opposed to just sitting around philosophizing about their faith.
Yes, I agree that James was probably out to motivate believers, but please know that what WE are doing by even participating on this bbs bible forum is "not just sitting around philosophizing".

love, Eden

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yahsway
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Bluefrog and MH,
The doing is feed the hungry, cloth the naked, visit the sick, visit those in prison, ect..

This is not for salvation, salvation is not earned of course, but just confessing you are saved(Creed) is not enough. There is the fruit of it, is there not?

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bluefrog
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YAHSWAY...Howdy...Subject: Faith without works is dead.

You are so right with your comments, last script.

Attempting to be Christ like is not for salvation. Salvation has been already received.

I look at it this way...When I see a need I ask myself, "What would Jesus do ?" You can call it works if you like but isn't it sorta like scratchin an itch ? It also relates to sanctification because you are acting in response to the Spirit and performing as Jesus would. A lost person might take a situation and ask "What can I do and not get caught"?

Stuff like that.

Many church members are singing "Standing on the Promises" are just sitting on the premises.

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Michael Harrison
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yahsway, there are passages that are thrown in here and there that just seem to confound. Per this given discussion, that seems to be one. However, in light of the verse, there is a chapter in Corinthians, famously called '13'. In it we read that 'doing' without love, is as an out of sync cymbal sound, or even better, as the uncertain sound made by a trumpet which the hearer doesn't understand. And the point of 13 is that 'doing' things just out of good feeling, and good will, while not necessarily wrong, is not necessarily accomplishing HIS will.

God IS love, and HE has a purpose. His works are perfect in number. He doesn't make accidental, random mistakes. He moves with deliberateness. And when we are in tune with Him, we don't do random things, supposing to please Him. When Moses struck the Rock, Moses didn't go out and find a rock, then propose to himself that if he did strike the rock, that water would come out. In other words, Moses didn't 'determine'. Moses followed.

Now, that is considered the faith of 'hearing'. "For faith cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word (voice) of God." And It was the 'fruit' of relationship, which is understanding what HE will (or wants to) do. But what some call hearing is mismotivated, and Paul exposes this as being carnal, immature, as one listening to the flesh! And why mismotivated? God wants people to seek HIM first, and not jump up, and run out and try to change the world on their own. That is why 1 Corinthians 13 reads that, "If I have not love, in whatever I do I am a tinkling cowbell, where there is no cow." And love is not something we have. Love is something HE IS. And if we are attuned, HIS love will 'move' us into action. It will not be our own carnal 'good' intentions.

And needless to say, when love moves us into action, things happen because HE is in it. That, for example is why Peter looked at the beggar and said, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give unto the. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise and walk!"

The trouble is that we get excited and want to perform for God, but that hinders God, who wants (longs, yearns to) perform.

It is in HIS "Rest" that we find His perfect will.

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oneinchrist
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Hi Eden,
I was in no way insinuating anything about anyone on this board. I was simply stating what I believe to be James' objective in declaring "faith without works is dead". I certainly agree with you that there can be (and indeed has been) much positive gained by our fellowshipping here on bbs. I just read James again last night and I couldnt help but notice the emphasis on the compasssion and mercy that we ought to be demonstrating in our lives. In a way, it seems like James could be implying......faith without love is dead.

With love in Christ, Daniel

Posts: 1389 | From: Wind Lake, WI | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
becauseHElives
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wheat and tares look identical growing in the field but only wheat puts on fruit......

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Strive to enter in at the strait gate:for many, I say unto you will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. ( Luke 13:24 )

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bluefrog
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Subject: Faith without works is dead.

One more way to compare Faith without works is dead, is Love. Believers are anxious to show their love for Jesus in all sorts of ways and what it is that you do can be called works.

Think about your first flesh love. Consider the ways you wanted to impress or delight that person, when in your own mind you weren't all that much. Now, think about the time when you finally met Jesus. You fell in love with Him also. You turned over your Everything to Him.
It didn't matter, you wanted to show Him your love and tell others about Him. If not it was just puppy love. You got a warm feeling but it didn't last. You didn't act on it.

Jesus wants it ALL !

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