The Highway

Justification through Faith

Posted By: Tom

Justification through Faith - Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:35 PM

I realize this topic has been discussed before on the Highway.
However, I would like to ask a question concerning what James said about faith in James chapter 2 and what Paul talks about.
Was the faith that Paul talked about and the faith that James talked about the same?

This is regarding something that has come up recently, where quite a few supposed Reformed Christians say it is not the same.
Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Justification through Faith - Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:20 PM

Originally Posted by Tom
.Was the faith that Paul talked about and the faith that James talked about the same?

YES! There is only one faith. It is a believing faith which flows out of the new nature which the Spirit gives in regeneration. It is also a faith which is expressed both inwardly and outwardly; mind, affections and will in progressive sanctification. The faith which is the instrument used to embrace Christ unto justification is the same faith which strives after holiness, aka: sanctification... it is a living faith.
Posted By: Tom

Re: Justification through Faith - Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:55 AM

Thanks Pilgrim
Exactly what I believe and basically what I said. The reply I got back, was that it is the imputed righteousness of Christ that saves, not faith that works through love and proves we are Christians.

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Justification through Faith - Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:05 AM

Originally Posted by Tom
The reply I got back, was that it is the imputed righteousness of Christ that saves, not faith that works through love and proves we are Christians.

It is indisputably true that it is the imputed righteousness of Christ AND His shed blood/death together that saves. His passive obedience, His death was a propitiation (appeasement of wrath by the removing of the offence; sin and enduring the penalty for that sin) and His active obedience (perfect conformity to the law out of love) Faith is the instrument/means which embraces CHRIST (not just simply assenting to what He did as is so popularly taught today) and unites the believer with HIM. However, the evidence of having been justified is a living faith which works through love and strives to be conformed to the image of Christ through the motivation, strength and guidance of the indwelling Spirit (Phil 2:12,13; Matt 7:16,20; Jh 1:12; et al).
Posted By: Tom

Re: Justification through Faith - Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:14 AM

Pilgrim just to be clear when you said [quote]Faith is the instrument/means which embraces CHRIST...[\quote] were you referring to Justification by faith alone in Christ alone?

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Justification through Faith - Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:22 AM

Originally Posted by Tom
Pilgrim just to be clear when you said [quote]Faith is the instrument/means which embraces CHRIST...[\quote] were you referring to Justification by faith alone in Christ alone?

Yes. [Linked Image]

1. My point in emphasizing CHRIST... was it is popular beyond measure and it has been so for many decades, even before Billy Graham corrupted the biblical Gospel of grace, to tell people to believe that "Jesus died for you", or to believe "that He died for sins", etc., some of which, excluding the first statement of course, is certainly true. But the true Gospel points sinners to the PERSON of the Lord Christ. The believer is united to HIM and and becomes one with HIM due to His atoning work, both active and passive. Saving faith is far more than believing certain facts, even true facts about Christ. Even the demons believe the truth about God, etc. (Mk 1:24; Acts 16:17, 19:15; Jam 2:19). True faith flows from the quickening of the spiritually dead soul encompassing the whole man; intellect, affections and will.

2. And again, this same faith that unites the sinner to Christ unto justification is the very same faith which strives by the indwelling Spirit to be conformed to Christ. There is but only ONE faith which brings salvation from justification through sanctification to glorification for all eternity.
Posted By: Tom

Re: Justification through Faith - Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:15 PM

Agreed true faith in Christ alone is more that just believing certain facts. Christ is the object of our faith and if He is not Lord of our lives, He is not our saviour either.
When Ii talked about justification by faith alone in Christ alone, to those supposed Reformed Christians. I was quite surprised at the response I was getting. I have discussed this issue for years on various boards and until now, the only ones I received opposition from were Roman Catholics. But that was expected.

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Justification through Faith - Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:14 AM

So what exactly are these "Reformed Christians" proposing that is different than what the confessions and catechisms state?
Posted By: Tom

Re: Justification through Faith - Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:38 AM

Just what I said earlier concerning imputed righteousness.

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Justification through Faith - Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:05 AM

Originally Posted by Tom
Just what I said earlier concerning imputed righteousness.

So, they are saying that there are two totally different "faiths"? Is this some novel attempt someone dreamed up in order to defend sola fide against those who believe that justification=faith+works? The correct and biblical answer such nonsense is that the word "justified" used by James in 2:24 (Grk dikaioutai) has a different meaning than when Paul wrote about "justification" in his epistles. Why is it so difficult for people to recognize that a single word can have several different meanings which must be understood by the CONTEXT in which it is found? igiveup
Posted By: Tom

Re: Justification through Faith - Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:15 AM

Actually, they have not responded to anything I said after that. I kind of wish I had quoted from one of the Reformed confessions, instead of using my own wording. That way, if they had a problem it would not be against me it would be against their own confession. Of course, there is always a chance that they would accuse me of a misunderstanding of the confession.
I think I am done with that conversation.

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Justification through Faith - Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:11 AM

That might be a good idea. grin

I would like to clarify something I wrote in case someone is confused by it. Above I wrote, "There is but only ONE faith which brings salvation from justification through sanctification to glorification for all eternity.". It is true in every language and it is certainly true in the language(s) of Scripture, that words may have and often do have different meanings depending upon the context. I mentioned this too in regard to the word 'justify'. The same is true for the word 'faith'. For example, there is a true saving faith, there are myriad false faiths, faith can mean doctrinal standards (cf. Jude 1:3), etc. Now, the faith that justifies which Paul certainly wrote much about, even more than any other of the biblical writers, is the same which James wrote about, i.e., the faith which justifies. The difference between Paul and James is NOT in regard to 'faith', but rather how they use the word 'justify'. Paul most everywhere focused upon faith as the instrument that brings one in union with Christ, being reconciled to God by the instrument of faith resting upon the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and consequently His righteousness being imputed to the believer's account. James, on the other hand, again has the very same faith in mind, but he focused upon the fullness, the evidence of that faith, i.e., James in his second chapter was writing about sanctification, which is evidence of one possessing saving faith. Looking at this from another perspective, James was simply saying, one is warranted to claim to be a believer and one can be recognized and received as being a believer, i.e. as James actually wrote, "
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
". James is arguing against "Easy Believism" (and some of you think this started with Charles Finney and/or Robert Sandeman), which is perspicuously wrong when one reads the CONTEXT of what precedes verse 24 of chapter 2. James focused upon the expected expression of a true saving faith, which is evidenced in how a person lives and is thus 'justified' by their profession of faith. A person is excommunicated because their life is not consistent with their profession of faith, i.e., their profession to have believed upon Christ and thus they are justified, is contrary to what they believe doctrinally and/or how they live and therefore they are not justified in claiming to be a true believer.
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