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Paul, James and Sotereology

wondering

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We have a new member, Degas that believes Paul and James do not agree on how we become born again, or how we stay that way.

Every now and then we hear this from a member.

Did Paul and James agree?

Why or why not.

I believe they were in agreement, but I'd like to hear other's belief.

Did they both believe in faith for salvation?
What about works?
 

JLB

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Degas


Welcome brother.


Glad you are here.


Share with us what you believe about Paul and James teaching opposing doctrine.



JLB
 

Walpole

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I mentioned this in another thread, but the reason some believe Sts. Paul and James are in contradiction is because of the false premise that St. Paul was an adherent of the Protestant doctrine of sola fide.

As a reminder, the ONLY place in Scripture where the words "faith alone" appear are a condemnation of it. (James 2:24)
 

JLB

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I mentioned this in another thread, but the reason some believe Sts. Paul and James are in contradiction is because of the false premise that St. Paul was an adherent of the Protestant doctrine of sola fide.

As a reminder, the ONLY place in Scripture where the words "faith alone" appear are a condemnation of it. (James 2:24)

Faith alone if it doesn’t have the corresponding action of obedience is dead. The whole book of Romans is contextually framed with this principle of faith; the law of faith.


It’s called the obedience of faith.


But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: Romans 16:26


That’s why we see both the admonition to believe as well as obey the Gospel. If a person hears the Gospel command “repent”, which means turn to God (in submission to Jesus as Lord) and they don’t repent by confessing Him as Lord, then their faith they received by hearing the Gospel is dead and can not save them.


But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:16-17




JLB
 

Walpole

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Faith alone if it doesn’t have the corresponding action of obedience is dead. The whole book of Romans is contextually framed with this principle of faith; the law of faith.


It’s called the obedience of faith.


But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: Romans 16:26


That’s why we see both the admonition to believe as well as obey the Gospel. If a person hears the Gospel command “repent”, which means turn to God (in submission to Jesus as Lord) and they don’t repent by confessing Him as Lord, then their faith they received by hearing the Gospel is dead and can not save them.


But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:16-17




JLB


And if you believe man is saved by faith alone, then you must believe a dead faith, that is, FAITH ALONE - WITHOUT ANYTHING ELSE - is a salvific one. (cf. James 2:26)

As you state, a living faith, by definition, is not FAITH ALONE and instead is contra to it.
 
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Episcopius

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I think Martin Luther wrote in his translation of a German Bible that we are saved by faith ALONE - and I think he spoke out of school when he did that.

One poster on another board went ballistic at me for suggesting Paul and James were at odds with each other about things, but frankly - they were.

At Antioch, Paul and Barnabus and Peter had been eating with Gentiles - until CERTAIN FROM JAMES arrived - then Peter drew back from it - causing Paul to oppose him to his face.

James made the stipulation about eating things sacrificed to idols in Acts 15 - Paul later wrote in an epistle to eat "whatever is sold in the shambles".

Look at the beginning of James' biblical book -
Jas 1:1
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

I'm a Gentile - is James' letter even to me? Of course it is Scripture and must be to me - but James is an unusual character in the Bible - seemingly a half-brother of Jesus - he was not a follower of Jesus at first, and once went to try to talk sense into Jesus, thinking He had a screw loose. Then later James is a Pillar - one of the Top Dogs in the Jerusalem Church.

But later on, James is still NOT WITH THE PROGRAM about eating with Gentiles at Antioch - and seems to be somewhat of a Judaizer about things - and Paul had trouble with Judaizers at various times.

People do have a point that Paul and James didn't see eye to eye - no two ways about it.
 

Walpole

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I think Martin Luther wrote in his translation of a German Bible that we are saved by faith ALONE - and I think he spoke out of school when he did that.

One poster on another board went ballistic at me for suggesting Paul and James were at odds with each other about things, but frankly - they were.

At Antioch, Paul and Barnabus and Peter had been eating with Gentiles - until CERTAIN FROM JAMES arrived - then Peter drew back from it - causing Paul to oppose him to his face.

James made the stipulation about eating things sacrificed to idols in Acts 15 - Paul later wrote in an epistle to eat "whatever is sold in the shambles".

Look at the beginning of James' biblical book -
Jas 1:1
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

I'm a Gentile - is James' letter even to me? Of course it is Scripture and must be to me - but James is an unusual character in the Bible - seemingly a half-brother of Jesus - he was not a follower of Jesus at first, and once went to try to talk sense into Jesus, thinking He had a screw loose. Then later James is a Pillar - one of the Top Dogs in the Jerusalem Church.

But later on, James is still NOT WITH THE PROGRAM about eating with Gentiles at Antioch - and seems to be somewhat of a Judaizer about things - and Paul had trouble with Judaizers at various times.

People do have a point that Paul and James didn't see eye to eye - no two ways about it.
St. Paul did not confront and correct St. Peter about a matter of doctrine, but rather for his hypocrisy...

Gal 2:14 ---> "But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, 'If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?'"
 

wondering

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I think Martin Luther wrote in his translation of a German Bible that we are saved by faith ALONE - and I think he spoke out of school when he did that.

One poster on another board went ballistic at me for suggesting Paul and James were at odds with each other about things, but frankly - they were.

At Antioch, Paul and Barnabus and Peter had been eating with Gentiles - until CERTAIN FROM JAMES arrived - then Peter drew back from it - causing Paul to oppose him to his face.

James made the stipulation about eating things sacrificed to idols in Acts 15 - Paul later wrote in an epistle to eat "whatever is sold in the shambles".

Look at the beginning of James' biblical book -
Jas 1:1
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

I'm a Gentile - is James' letter even to me? Of course it is Scripture and must be to me - but James is an unusual character in the Bible - seemingly a half-brother of Jesus - he was not a follower of Jesus at first, and once went to try to talk sense into Jesus, thinking He had a screw loose. Then later James is a Pillar - one of the Top Dogs in the Jerusalem Church.

But later on, James is still NOT WITH THE PROGRAM about eating with Gentiles at Antioch - and seems to be somewhat of a Judaizer about things - and Paul had trouble with Judaizers at various times.

People do have a point that Paul and James didn't see eye to eye - no two ways about it.
This is also for Walpole ... I think JLB will agree.

The reason some believe Paul and James do not agree on doctrine regarding salvation is due to the fact that somehow,
perhaps during the 1950's, an idea sprung up that once we are saved, we will be saved forever.
That faith alone saves us and continues to save us.

This is different than what happened in the reformation when Luther came to believe that we are saved by faith alone and felt enlightened when he read Ephesians 2:8-9 one time and realized what it meant, and, at that time, I do not believe the CC was teaching justification by faith alone.

Faith alone is also called Cheap Grace or Easy Believism...these are terms used by preachers that do not adhere to Faith Alone.
Protestant preachers.

Some have come to like this idea because it relieves them of all responsibility for their own salvation.
They believe you get faith one time in life and that's it --- nothing more required.

Not all protestant denominations believe this, and, of course, they are the ones that are correct.
That idea is not taught in the bible...not by Paul or James.

Paul teaches how we are to live and behave in every epistle he wrote...but he writes often of how we are saved by faith alone
and so this has become a catch phrase. Paul speaks of works since our behavior is a work....James teaches the same but says it much more clearly.

If we want to get down to the last line,,,I believe we could say that both Protestant denominations and the CC agree that we are saved by faith alone....with works following soon after and which are necessary for a life-long goal of sanctification.
( the soon after is immediate).

It's not true that the CC requires works and other denominations do not.

And, I'd say that the reformed believe in works more than any other church since only at the end of their life will they know if they were truly "chosen" to be saved IF they continued in works all their life.

As to the 12 tribes scattered abroad:
If this letter is not for us....
maybe the O.T. is not either???
 

Hopeful

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We have a new member, Degas that believes Paul and James do not agree on how we become born again, or how we stay that way.

Every now and then we hear this from a member.

Did Paul and James agree?

Why or why not.

I believe they were in agreement, but I'd like to hear other's belief.

Did they both believe in faith for salvation?
What about works?
I don't believe they opposed each other at all.
It is those who think men will be saved without corresponding actions, who abhor good works...or more precisely, continuous obedience to God, who think they oppose one another.
 
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wondering

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I don't believe they opposed each other at all.
It is those who think men will be saved without corresponding actions, who abhor good works...or more precisely, continuous obedience to God.
Amen!
Exactly what I believe.
(except it took me more words to say it in post no. 8 --- nothing new!)
 

Walpole

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This is also for Walpole ... I think JLB will agree.

The reason some believe Paul and James do not agree on doctrine regarding salvation is due to the fact that somehow,
perhaps during the 1950's, an idea sprung up that once we are saved, we will be saved forever.
That faith alone saves us and continues to save us.

This is different than what happened in the reformation when Luther came to believe that we are saved by faith alone and felt enlightened when he read Ephesians 2:8-9 one time and realized what it meant, and, at that time, I do not believe the CC was teaching justification by faith alone.

Faith alone is also called Cheap Grace or Easy Believism...these are terms used by preachers that do not adhere to Faith Alone.
Protestant preachers.

Some have come to like this idea because it relieves them of all responsibility for their own salvation.
They believe you get faith one time in life and that's it --- nothing more required.

Not all protestant denominations believe this, and, of course, they are the ones that are correct.
That idea is not taught in the bible...not by Paul or James.

Paul teaches how we are to live and behave in every epistle he wrote...but he writes often of how we are saved by faith alone
and so this has become a catch phrase. Paul speaks of works since our behavior is a work....James teaches the same but says it much more clearly.

If we want to get down to the last line,,,I believe we could say that both Protestant denominations and the CC agree that we are saved by faith alone....with works following soon after and which are necessary for a life-long goal of sanctification.
( the soon after is immediate).

It's not true that the CC requires works and other denominations do not.

And, I'd say that the reformed believe in works more than any other church since only at the end of their life will they know if they were truly "chosen" to be saved IF they continued in works all their life.

As to the 12 tribes scattered abroad:
If this letter is not for us....
maybe the O.T. is not either???

I think many Protestants equate "the Gospel" with their theology of justification by faith alone. For example...

Faith alone is the gospel ---> https://www.ligonier.org/blog/standi...n-faith-alone/

Faith alone is the gospel ---> https://www.gotquestions.org/justification-by-faith.html

Faith alone is the gospel ---> https://carm.org/oneness-pentecostal/what-is-the-real-gospel-message/



Furthermore, in many Protestant denominations, faith itself means belief in their doctrine of justification by faith alone. In other words, salvific faith means you believe salvation is by faith alone. For example...

Faith = belief in the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone —--> https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devot...nd-confession/

Faith = belief in the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone —--> https://www.desiringgod.org/intervie...by-faith-alone


Hence the problem James 2:24 poses to their theology.
 

wondering

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I think many Protestants equate "the Gospel" with their theology of justification by faith alone. For example...

Faith alone is the gospel ---> https://www.ligonier.org/blog/standi...n-faith-alone/

Faith alone is the gospel ---> https://www.gotquestions.org/justification-by-faith.html

Faith alone is the gospel ---> https://carm.org/oneness-pentecostal/what-is-the-real-gospel-message/



Furthermore, in many Protestant denominations, faith itself means belief in their doctrine of justification by faith alone. In other words, salvific faith means you believe salvation is by faith alone. For example...

Faith = belief in the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone —--> https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devot...nd-confession/

Faith = belief in the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone —--> https://www.desiringgod.org/intervie...by-faith-alone


Hence the problem James 2:24 poses to their theology.
Walpole,
Every link you posted is Calvinistic !
Except for desiringgod which I'm not familiar with.

I have a little problem discussing this with my Catholic friends because the CC doesn't make a clear-cut distinction
between justification and sanctification.

In this regard, I like the Protestant understanding of it better because it's clearly delineated.

Justification is by faith alone and is an act of God which is brought about by the faith acquired by a person.
Faith...belief in God.

Sanctification is a life-long undertaking to live by God's commands, being a disciple of Jesus, and living to please God, to the best of our ability. I mean that the CC just lumps the two together....

Of course sanctification begins immediately after justification and I think this is what separates the Catholic teaching from that of the Protestant teaching.

Other than that, my understanding is that we really agree with each other.

(notwithstanding the "agreement" made with the Lutheran church in 1999).
(in which, due to the footnote, nothing really changed).
 

wondering

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I think many Protestants equate "the Gospel" with their theology of justification by faith alone. For example...

Faith alone is the gospel ---> https://www.ligonier.org/blog/standi...n-faith-alone/

Faith alone is the gospel ---> https://www.gotquestions.org/justification-by-faith.html

Faith alone is the gospel ---> https://carm.org/oneness-pentecostal/what-is-the-real-gospel-message/



Furthermore, in many Protestant denominations, faith itself means belief in their doctrine of justification by faith alone. In other words, salvific faith means you believe salvation is by faith alone. For example...

Faith = belief in the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone —--> https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devot...nd-confession/

Faith = belief in the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone —--> https://www.desiringgod.org/intervie...by-faith-alone


Hence the problem James 2:24 poses to their theology.
P.S.
If someone reads the N.T. on their own and without any preconceived ideas,,,,
I don't know HOW they would come away thinking that faith alone saves.
It's impossible to end up with that notion...
 

Quantrill

 
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P.S.
If someone reads the N.T. on their own and without any preconceived ideas,,,,
I don't know HOW they would come away thinking that faith alone saves.
It's impossible to end up with that notion...

I find that a strange statement.

But...I have considered it. And I come to this conclusion. What are you looking for when you come to Scripture?

Are you looking for faith plus works because you believe your works and life exhibit such approval from God?

Or, are you looking for faith plus nothing, because you know you have nothing to offer? Myself, I am in this, the latter category. (Luke 18:13)

I am looking for grace. I want only the righteousness of Christ by faith. (Philipians. 3:9)

Quantrill
 

Degas

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Faith alone is also called Cheap Grace
Ah, ah! I had never heard of that phrase but it sums up how I feel! The funniest part is that this cheap grace can even be given to babies who have no idea what is going on, as if a few drops of holy water could save anyone.

[speaking about Paul and James] I don't believe they opposed each other at all.
It is those who think men will be saved without corresponding actions, who abhor good works
Fine by me.

or more precisely, continuous obedience to God, who think they oppose one another.
You are overlooking two crucial points:

1- even if you want to obey God, it isn't that easy. Can anyone on this forum tell me they have never sinned, not even once, since their conversion? Does anyone on this forum have absolute certainty they will never sin again, not even in their heart? As far as I'm concerned, I'm not even sure trying to convince you isn't arrogant hence a sin in itself.

2- One may argue that Paul agrees with James on salvation but I'm still saying faith, even if supported by obedience, isn't enough since John the Baptist refused baptizing Pharisees and Sadducees unless they would produce fruits worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:7-9; Luke 3:7-8) which clearly means that, according to John the Baptist, believing and repenting is not enough and even not ever sinning any more wouldn't be enough: one also has to make it up for the sins they committed before they converted.

Now, to illustrate Matthew 3:7-9 and Luke 3:7-8, I'd like to ask all readers of this post a very pragmatic question: would you allow a convicted pedophile to babysit your children provided they sincerely repented? Tell me! What would become of your beautiful principles if they weren't mere ideas to share on a forum but real actions to take in real life?

If I was asked that question, I would say that I would be fine with a pedophile babysitting my children provided he would be constantly supervised. After how many years of probation would I trust a pedophile to babysit my children unsupervised -- the equivalent of salvation in my metaphor? I honestly have no idea but God does know and this is when He gives grace, this is when he saves a Christian, when he knows they are able to walk their talk without ever tripping.

And please, for the love of God, do not throw another Bible verse at my face unless you answer the three questions I emphasized in red because being a Christian is not about knowing it all, it is about how we behave in real life.
 

wondering

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I find that a strange statement.

But...I have considered it. And I come to this conclusion. What are you looking for when you come to Scripture?

Are you looking for faith plus works because you believe your works and life exhibit such approval from God?

Or, are you looking for faith plus nothing, because you know you have nothing to offer? Myself, I am in this, the latter category. (Luke 18:13)

I am looking for grace. I want only the righteousness of Christ by faith. (Philipians. 3:9)

Quantrill
Hi Quantrill,

You ask what we're looking for when reading scripture....we're speaking of the N.T.

You considered it and ask if we're looking for faith plus works or faith plus nothing.
Or, are we looking for grace.

When we first read the N.T. we're not supposed to be looking for anything except what
God wants us to know.

If someone knows about faith plus works, then they have already been influenced as to what to believe.

Persons that read the bible and are not influenced come away with these concepts:
We all sin
God does not like sin
God can forgive us
He expects something in return...our obedience

If you want to call that faith plus works,,,that's fine with me.
Jesus did His part...
now we must do ours...
our part is to be obedient to all that He taught.

1 John 5:3 NLT
3Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.
 

wondering

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Ah, ah! I had never heard of that phrase but it sums up how I feel! The funniest part is that this cheap grace can even be given to babies who have no idea what is going on, as if a few drops of holy water could save anyone.


Fine by me.


You are overlooking two crucial points:

1- even if you want to obey God, it isn't that easy. Can anyone on this forum tell me they have never sinned, not even once, since their conversion? Does anyone on this forum have absolute certainty they will never sin again, not even in their heart? As far as I'm concerned, I'm not even sure trying to convince you isn't arrogant hence a sin in itself.

2- One may argue that Paul agrees with James on salvation but I'm still saying faith, even if supported by obedience, isn't enough since John the Baptist refused baptizing Pharisees and Sadducees unless they would produce fruits worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:7-9; Luke 3:7-8) which clearly means that, according to John the Baptist, believing and repenting is not enough and even not ever sinning any more wouldn't be enough: one also has to make it up for the sins they committed before they converted.

Now, to illustrate Matthew 3:7-9 and Luke 3:7-8, I'd like to ask all readers of this post a very pragmatic question: would you allow a convicted pedophile to babysit your children provided they sincerely repented? Tell me! What would become of your beautiful principles if they weren't mere ideas to share on a forum but real actions to take in real life?

If I was asked that question, I would say that I would be fine with a pedophile babysitting my children provided he would be constantly supervised. After how many years of probation would I trust a pedophile to babysit my children unsupervised -- the equivalent of salvation in my metaphor? I honestly have no idea but God does know and this is when He gives grace, this is when he saves a Christian, when he knows they are able to walk their talk without ever tripping.

And please, for the love of God, do not throw another Bible verse at my face unless you answer the three questions I emphasized in red because being a Christian is not about knowing it all, it is about how we behave in real life.
You're in the THEOLOGY forum.
In this forum we're SUPPOSED to throw verses in each others face.
IOW...what does Matthew 3:7-9 and Luke 3:7-8 state?
Not everyone knows the bible this well.
And, you don't have to list verses in some posts, but please don't ask us NOT to do this!

As to the pedophile...
How would YOU know he "sincerely" repented?
Only God can know our heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
7But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
 

wondering

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Ah, ah! I had never heard of that phrase but it sums up how I feel! The funniest part is that this cheap grace can even be given to babies who have no idea what is going on, as if a few drops of holy water could save anyone.
You never heard of cheap grace?
It's not when a baby gets baptized.
It's when someone makes God's grace cheap because they feel that Jesus did it all and they
need to do nothing at all to please God.....
Jesus didn't preach/teach for over 3 years so we could feel like we have nothing to do.
Jesus said to count the cost of discipleship.
Luke 14:25-30
The Cost of Being a Disciple

25A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, 26“If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.

28“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’



*****************************************************************************************
D. Bonhoeffer, First quoted Cheap Grace:

“Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?...

.........

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.

source: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/423945-cheap-grace-means-grace-sold-on-the-market-like-cheapjacks
 

Walpole

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If someone reads the N.T. on their own and without any preconceived ideas,,,,
I don't know HOW they would come away thinking that faith alone saves.
It's impossible to end up with that notion...
Indeed. Thus the reason why many truncate the Gospel, reducing it to series of a few one-liners.
 
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