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Why Do Christians Argue Against Works?

Dorothy Mae

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The problem with posts that just quote scripture is it shows that the writer thinks that what they believe is exactly what the authors of the Bible believed. It can be a kind of self deception, this hiding behind just quoting scripture.

This is easy to see because all false teaching quotes done scripture. Where do we see if the thinking is off? By the words (or actions) of the person posting. When we write our own words, what we really think is obvious. Then one can see if the scripture quoted really matches the thinking of the poster.

An example is if a person quotes a verse but their own words later show that is not at all what they think.
 

Exeter

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The mystery of being saved by faith and justified by works is resolved by knowing the difference between being born to do good works, and becoming natural at doing good works, to become born again.
I wish I could make sense of this sentence.

I understand salvation by grace through faith, and that those saved are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, so from my perspective there isn't any mystery to be resolved.
 

Dorothy Mae

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I wish I could make sense of this sentence.

I understand salvation by grace through faith, and that those saved are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, so from my perspective there isn't any mystery to be resolved.
I laughed because I thought the same thing you put into words. I will tell you what I think of the plain “God made you to do good so get out and do it” changed to something more complex. But I will send it PM.
 

JLB

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The problem with posts that just quote scripture is it shows that the writer thinks that what they believe is exactly what the authors of the Bible believed. It can be a kind of self deception, this hiding behind just quoting scripture.

This is easy to see because all false teaching quotes done scripture. Where do we see if the thinking is off? By the words (or actions) of the person posting. When we write our own words, what we really think is obvious. Then one can see if the scripture quoted really matches the thinking of the poster.

An example is if a person quotes a verse but their own words later show that is not at all what they think.

Also I have seen those who state their opinion and tag their opinion with a scripture reference, without quoting the scripture.


JLB
 

Dorothy Mae

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Also I have seen those who state their opinion and tag their opinion with a scripture reference, without quoting the scripture.


JLB
That’s worse. They don’t even know the words or refuse to tell us the words. I’ve sometimes looked these up and they did not at all support the point being made. I suspected they hoped no one would actually look up
the reference.
 

RBDERRICK

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I wish I could make sense of this sentence.

I understand salvation by grace through faith, and that those saved are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, so from my perspective there isn't any mystery to be resolved.
Then you agree that we are justified by works, and not by faith alone.

So, you are not one of those mysteriously arguing against salvation and justification of God being through faith and works.

I simply show how Paul is not arguing against works to be justified by, but only confirming that they must be through faith, and not works of man's own righteousness.

So far as the natural man's efforts to reform himself through new works alone, until they become natural to him, then I guess you've never changed your lifestyle by the power of your own will, to the point of becoming a new person.
 

RBDERRICK

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The problem with posts that just quote scripture is it shows that the writer thinks that what they believe is exactly what the authors of the Bible believed. It can be a kind of self deception, this hiding behind just quoting scripture.

This is easy to see because all false teaching quotes done scripture. Where do we see if the thinking is off? By the words (or actions) of the person posting. When we write our own words, what we really think is obvious. Then one can see if the scripture quoted really matches the thinking of the poster.

An example is if a person quotes a verse but their own words later show that is not at all what they think.
When I see someone just talking alot, without providing Scripture for basis of their words, then I know I'm just reading personal opinions, which of course matter to that person.
 

Dorothy Mae

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Then you agree that we are justified by works, and not by faith alone.

So, you are not one of those mysteriously arguing against salvation and justification of God being through faith and works.

I simply show how Paul is not arguing against works to be justified by, but only confirming that they must be through faith, and not works of man's own righteousness.

So far as the natural man's efforts to reform himself through new works alone, until they become natural to him, then I guess you've never changed your lifestyle by the power of your own will, to the point of becoming a new person.
So you believe one is saved by grace means one does absolutely nothing including believe, repent or love because those are all WORKS.
 

Dorothy Mae

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When I see someone just talking alot, without providing Scripture for basis of their words, then I know I'm just reading personal opinions, which of course matter to that person.
When I see someone drowning their posts with isolated scripture I know I’m dealing with someone who is convinced their view is scripture whatever that view is.
 

Exeter

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Then you agree that we are justified by works, and not by faith alone.

So, you are not one of those mysteriously arguing against salvation and justification of God being through faith and works.

I simply show how Paul is not arguing against works to be justified by, but only confirming that they must be through faith, and not works of man's own righteousness.

So far as the natural man's efforts to reform himself through new works alone, until they become natural to him, then I guess you've never changed your lifestyle by the power of your own will, to the point of becoming a new person.
Why did you think there was a mystery to be resolved?

Works without faith are dead and faith without works is dead, so no mystery and nothing to be resolved.

Heb 6:1-3 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (2) of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (3) And this we will do if God permits.

Jas 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Jas 2:24
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
 

Dorothy Mae

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Why did you think there was a mystery to be resolved?

Works without faith are dead and faith without works is dead, so no mystery and nothing to be resolved.

Heb 6:1-3 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (2) of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (3) And this we will do if God permits.

Jas 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Jas 2:24
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
It’s a “mystery” for those who refuse to make themselves do good in obedience to God. For those who regularly obey, it’s no mystery.
 

RBDERRICK

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So you believe one is saved by grace means one does absolutely nothing including believe, repent or love because those are all WORKS.
I believe the opposite, since no one is saved by grace alone, nor through faith alone, which is dead.

The answer to works is that all works of man are spiritual in nature, since man is a spiritual being: works of man, even as with God and the angels begin spiritually: they begin withy thoughts and intents of the heart and imagination of the mind, which is the spiritual kingdom.

The only difference being whether they are the works led of God's Spirit, and so walking after the Spirit of God by faith, or they are the works led by the spirit of the world, and so walking after the flesh by lust.

Salvation is first by the spiritual works of God's Spirit within the heart and mind to be purified from unrighteousness within:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Falling from the grace of God therefore begins within the heart:

Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

The work of Christ begins with being born of God by His perfect seed and Spirit: His power is thus given to purge the soul of lust of the world and unrighteousness of the devil: all sinning is first within the heart, before it is ever done with the body.

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Salvation therefore begins with spiritual works within the heart, and justification concludes by righteous spiritual works with the body: doing the righteousness of God is a spiritual work that beings inwardly and is manifest outwardly. The fruits of the Spirit are produced within, and the works of faith are done without.

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.

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

And so the Scripture of Jesus Christ is fulfilled: to save the soul inwardly by His faith and Spirit, and to justify every man by works of His faith in the flesh.

Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

The Scriptures of Paul and James confirm the salvation and justification of God by Jesus Christ is first within, that it may also be true outwardly: no man is saved by his own faith without works of God's righteousness outwardly walking in Jesus' steps, and no man is justified with God by his own works of the flesh without Jesus living within the heart.

Our faith must be in Jesus Christ with the heart first, so that our works may be by His Spirit according to His commandments:

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

We live because of Jesus within, and we live forever by living through Him in this life and the next to come: we have eternal life by His faith within, and we keep ourselves eternally alive by doing His faith daily:

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

When I see someone drowning their posts with isolated scripture I know I’m dealing with someone who is convinced their view is scripture whatever that view is.

1. Are you saying that quoting Scripture, and then giving our sense of it, as I do above, is somehow wrong? Like our view of Scripture is disallowed? Scripturally, that is how we are supposed to teach the doctrine of God:

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

2. Or are you saying you get offended by anyone who offers their interpretation of Scriptures in an authoritative manner? You prefer things offered as opinion only, such as "Well, I think that...but of course, I may be wrong..."? That's not how our example Jesus taught the truth of Scripture:

For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

The notoriety of the Jewish Scribes, and also with Christians later, is not that they continually discuss matters of faith, but that they do so from opinions and conjecture of their own minds, without Scriptural proof. They become endless debators of their own opinions which never end in anything firm and true to live by:

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

Fables are the vain imagination of people who rely upon their own opinions for things of God, rather than proofs of sound doctrine by Scripture: just thinking and talking about things does nothing good in life, except perhaps for feeling good about ourselves, but being doers of the word is profitable in all things.

3. Or are you saying, that the Scriptures being offered, with my running commentary of them, are 'isolated' in that you personally have never considered them to be 'connected' to one another?

And if you don't like the results, because you don't already think it, or you don't understand clearly what is being offered, then you dismiss it as rambling views of isolated Scriptures plucked up for show?

Here's how I offer a teaching with Scripture supporting it. Sometimes it is a simple sense of one or two verses. Sometimes it is the same sense of many verses running together, that are not necessarily from the same place of Scripture.

Paul did the same thing in his chapters: He would begin with a declaration of doctrine of Christ, and during the course of his explanation, he would include Scriptures from any area of the OT books, where they perfectly fit to prove the truth.

It merely shows how God's wisdom in Scripture is that all Scripture is from His Spirit and all Scriptures agree with one another without contradiction to any verse anywhere in the Bible.

Take what I offer above about salvation and justification through spiritual works of faith: if you disagree with any point made in it, then correct it by offering a better sense of it than mine, and/or by bringing in other Scripture to do so.

But, if you are only looking for what you already believe, or you don't like it with authority and conviction of the truth, then I'm not one you want to be reading.

It’s a “mystery” for those who refuse to make themselves do good in obedience to God. For those who regularly obey, it’s no mystery.
The mystery is arguing against works, which is by those who refuse to believe works have anything to do with their salvation and justification with God: by faith alone only completely separate from any works at all.
 

RBDERRICK

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Why did you think there was a mystery to be resolved?

Works without faith are dead and faith without works is dead, so no mystery and nothing to be resolved.

Heb 6:1-3 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, (2) of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (3) And this we will do if God permits.

Jas 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Jas 2:24
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Perfect. Now tell that to someone who believes you are pushing self-righteous boasting into salvation and justification that is by faith alone, and only by faith alone. :angry

The mystery is why Christians even argue against works at all.

It is resolved in showing Paul was not arguing against works themselves to be saved and justified of God, but that works, as you show, must be by faith, and not by our own righteousness: And those works of faith are our necessary part in being saved and justified by Jesus Christ.

Specifically Paul was arguing against the Jewish manner of seeking righteousness and justification of God by works first, which would then become their salvation with God, when those works become natural to do by power of their own will: they become Jews by nature of their own training and will, not by the faith of Abraham in the God of Abraham. Because they sought the righteousness of God by the power of their own will, they were offended at Jesus that we must be born again first; otherwise, all our hard work at doing right naturally is as filthy rags:

Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.


They thought to be justified like Abraham by their naturally learned works, rather then first by the faith of Abraham.

It's the same Chrsitianized 'fake it till you make' doctrine of 'progressive' sanctification of God through life.

They turn the instant and complete sanctification of God by the Spirit of grace into a 'process' of Christian willingness to conform to His outward standard of righteousness and true holiness: It's becoming more and more willing to live like Him outwardly, rather than being by grace like Him now in all things.

Being conformed to His image by power of the Son is instant within and outwardly: we don't become born again and saved, and then go on in process of time to become more like Him, by doing better and better and sinning less and less.

That is the work of natural man seeking to be justified with God by power of one's own will in life:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The opposite error, as you show, is to think to be justified with God by dead faith alone and apart from any works at all.
 

Exeter

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Perfect. Now tell that to someone who believes you are pushing self-righteous boasting into salvation and justification that is by faith alone, and only by faith alone. :angry

The mystery is why Christians even argue against works at all.

It is resolved in showing Paul was not arguing against works themselves to be saved and justified of God, but that works, as you show, must be by faith, and not by our own righteousness: And those works of faith are our necessary part in being saved and justified by Jesus Christ.

Specifically Paul was arguing against the Jewish manner of seeking righteousness and justification of God by works first, which would then become their salvation with God, when those works become natural to do by power of their own will: they become Jews by nature of their own training and will, not by the faith of Abraham in the God of Abraham. Because they sought the righteousness of God by the power of their own will, they were offended at Jesus that we must be born again first; otherwise, all our hard work at doing right naturally is as filthy rags:

Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.


They thought to be justified like Abraham by their naturally learned works, rather then first by the faith of Abraham.

It's the same Chrsitianized 'fake it till you make' doctrine of 'progressive' sanctification of God through life.

They turn the instant and complete sanctification of God by the Spirit of grace into a 'process' of Christian willingness to conform to His outward standard of righteousness and true holiness: It's becoming more and more willing to live like Him outwardly, rather than being by grace like Him now in all things.

Being conformed to His image by power of the Son is instant within and outwardly: we don't become born again and saved, and then go on in process of time to become more like Him, by doing better and better and sinning less and less.

That is the work of natural man seeking to be justified with God by power of one's own will in life:

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The opposite error, as you show, is to think to be justified with God by dead faith alone and apart from any works at all.
Yes, well, continuing our dialogue, there is this gem with its long sentence that includes a reference to the mystery of God's Will, and it being made known to us (v.9) . . .

Eph 1:3-14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; (4)
  • even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without defect before him in love; (5)
  • having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, (6)
  • to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely gave us favor in the Beloved, (7)
  • in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, (8)
  • which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, (9)
  • making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him (10)
  • to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him; (11)
  • in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who does all things after the counsel of his will; (12)
  • to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ. (13)
  • In him you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, (14)
  • who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.
Happy Days.
 

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Yes, well, continuing our dialogue, there is this gem with its long sentence that includes a reference to the mystery of God's Will, and it being made known to us (v.9) . . .

Eph 1:3-14 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; (4)
  • even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without defect before him in love; (5)
  • having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, (6)
  • to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely gave us favor in the Beloved, (7)
  • in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, (8)
  • which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, (9)
  • making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him (10)
  • to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him; (11)
  • in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who does all things after the counsel of his will; (12)
  • to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ. (13)
  • In him you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, (14)
  • who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.
Happy Days.
The mystery is that God speaks within the heart, so that His simple and no longer a great mystery. Every born again believer has the small still voice to hear.

The carnal minded seek to physically hear God, when all the while with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, any man by His faith can hear Him within, and know indeed that it is He that speaks from heaven:

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3)

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach. (Rom 10)


But if we are not guarding our hearts from unrighteous and vain thoughts of the devil, then His voice of wisdom and will to do His pleasure is drowned out. If we give ourselves once again to being the unrighteous, then His voice is silenced:

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. (Heb 12)

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened...

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts. (Rom 1)


Wisdom cries in the streets for any man to hear, but only them born of the Spirit know that it is indeed the Lord Himself that speaks His will from within.

It is no longer a great mystery to try and unravel with the mind or to see with physical eyes, but now simply a matter of doing the word of faith spoken within.
 
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I find that generally Christians don't argue against works UNLESS the other side is trying to make a case that one is justified by works. Good topic.
 

RBDERRICK

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I find that generally Christians don't argue against works UNLESS the other side is trying to make a case that one is justified by works. Good topic.
Such as quoting James that we are justified by works and not by faith only.

The error is thinking imputed righteousness is God declaring someone to be righteous, just because they believe He is God.

God already knows He's God. He doesn't need man to confirm it for Him.
 

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Such as quoting James that we are justified by works and not by faith only.

The error is thinking imputed righteousness is God declaring someone to be righteous, just because they believe He is God.

God already knows He's God. He doesn't need man to confirm it for Him.
Yes, without becoming regenerate. New life doesn’t come by reciting the four spiritual laws by rote.
 

JLB

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I find that generally Christians don't argue against works UNLESS the other side is trying to make a case that one is justified by works. Good topic.

It depends on which "work" you are referring to.

We are not justified by the works of the law.

We are not justified by work that earns a wage.

We are not justified by good works.

The ONLY way a person is justified is by obedience: the obedience of faith.

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? James 2:21


The obedience Abraham performed was to offer his son Isaac on the altar, in response to God's word (Voice) to him:
the word by which he received faith.


Abraham's faith was activated, or "made alive" when he responded in obedience to God's Voice, and thereby his faith was able to justify him.

This principle is shown throughout the scriptures and is 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 KJV



JLB
 

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It depends on which "work" you are referring to.

We are not justified by the works of the law.

We are not justified by work that earns a wage.

We are not justified by good works.

The ONLY way a person is justified is by obedience: the obedience of faith.

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? James 2:21


The obedience Abraham performed was to offer his son Isaac on the altar, in response to God's word (Voice) to him:
the word by which he received faith.


Abraham's faith was activated, or "made alive" when he responded in obedience to God's Voice, and thereby his faith was able to justify him.

This principle is shown throughout the scriptures and is 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 KJV



JLB
Wouldn't loving your neighbor be an example of obedience?
 
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