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The tension between works and faith

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by zoidar, Aug 5, 2021.

  1. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have thought about this quite much. What is needed to be saved, faith only, faith and works?

    The conclusion I have come to is that there is a tension between faith and works. The idea is that we are saved purely by faith, but if we don't have works/obedience in our life, our faith is not saving faith.

    So like the sermon on the mount is a call for us to be obedient, living for Christ, and at the same time we know it's not our works but faith that saves us. Therefore the tension, if we don't have obedience/works we are not to feel secure by our faith. But if we have obedience, we can trust our faith saves us.

    I think obedience is to be radical, the sermon on the mount is radical, yet we are also human beings that are imperfect, but we are to strive towards living in uthermost obedience.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. TzephanYahu

    TzephanYahu Active Member

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    Hi @zoidar

    I think you're definitely on the right track but...
    What do you mean by this? What is your definition of a radical? As another could interpret it as jihad!

    Peace
     
  3. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    Jas 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
     
  4. Jesus is my Superhero

    Jesus is my Superhero Zealot

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    Christianity has always been counterculture. I don't mean hippies and free love either.:holy: Agape love.
    A person practicing Christianity will stand out after a while because her/his actions are not the norm.
    If you don't stand out, you need to ask yourself, why? ...Or perhaps you are constantly surrounded by Christians. :)
     
  5. Danthemailman

    Danthemailman Well-Known Member

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    In James 2:14, we read of one who says/claims he has faith but has no resulting evidential works (to substantiate his claim). That is not genuine faith, but a bare profession of faith. So when James asks, "Can that faith save him?" he is saying nothing against genuine faith, but only against an empty profession of faith/dead faith.

    So James does not teach that we are saved by works. His concern is to show the reality of the faith professed by the individual (James 2:18) and demonstrate that the faith claimed (James 2:14) by the individual is genuine.

    Man is saved through faith and not by works (Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; 2 Timothy 1:9); yet genuine faith is substantiated, evidenced by works. (James 2:14-24)

    Christ saves us through faith based on the merits of His finished work of redemption "alone" and not based on the merits of our works. (Romans 3:24-28)

    It is through faith "in Christ alone" (and not based on the merits of our works) that we are justified on account of Christ (Romans 3:24; 5:1; 5:9); yet the faith that justifies does not remain alone (unfruitful, barren) if it is genuine. (James 2:14-24) upload_2021-8-5_4-31-22.gif
     
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  6. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The way it works, God brings your dead human spirit to life in the new birth. From that point on, you have a faithful nature and good works of love follow. So it is the New Birth that saves with faith and works as the evidence for it. No faith or works? Probably not born again (saved).
     
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  7. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was born again 2010, since then I have had periods of living in disobedience and sin, and periods of obedience. What does than mean?
     
  8. Jesus is my Superhero

    Jesus is my Superhero Zealot

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    Or like a sine wave. Up and down. I 've been there and for me, I was being a fence sitter. refusing to repent of my favorite sins.
     
  9. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    Ephesians 2:8 is all you need to know. But as has been mentioned above, a born again believer who came by faith from the heart will have a changed life. You enter sanctification and that's a slow process where the Holy Spirit works on us to become more Christ like,to look to Jesus, engage in His example. It's truly a life long work. As we do that we become more and more willing though, to do good works and then desiring to do good works. In this life we still walk around in our old bodies and this can cause conflict and even double mindedness. We have scripture to help is navigate that. We have prayer and the Helper, we have the body of Christ too which is why fellowship is important. But in the next life we will be free of that baggage.
     
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  10. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    By radical, I mean taking the words of the sermon on the mount seriously, and live by them.
     
  11. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I repost what I wrote to Dave L:

    "I was born again 2010, since then I have had periods of living in disobedience and sin, and periods of obedience. What does than mean?"
     
  12. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess I was a fence sitter for a while as well, but I have never questioned the truth of the cross.
     
  13. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The middle verse of Dan Schutte's song "Glory and Praise to our God", has the words "Though the power of sin prevails".

    The Christian life is one long battle with sin. A few, the saints, make a pretty good go of it, but then they might find like Padre Pio that they then get caught up in a literally physical battle with the devil.

    DEVIL

    You're not in that category.
     
  14. SabbathBlessings

    SabbathBlessings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The word you are missing here is love.

    We are saved by grace, through our faith. We are judged based on our works (our actions). When we love God with all our hearts we want to obey Him. There should be no tensions if you love God and want to do God's will. The tension comes in when you are not willing to give up your will.

    I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” Psalms 40:8
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
  15. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It means you need to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Here's Paul's remedy.

    “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:5) (KJV 1900)

    We censor every impure thought or imagination. And change the channel in our thinking on any thought that does not conform to obedience to Christ.

    And we replace it with:

    “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

    Knowing Jesus is God and God is love, Jesus is Lord of our lives when love rules our thoughts and actions.
     
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  16. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Unfortunately the tension you speak of is the result of misunderstanding how Apostles preached about the Kingdom of God. Stylistically they are different however, the message is exactly the same.
    Salvation is by faith with the fruits of that salvation realized through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, aka works.
    Blessings
     
  17. Jesus is my Superhero

    Jesus is my Superhero Zealot

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    "I guess I was a fence sitter for a while as well, but I have never questioned the truth of the cross".

    Along with what other posters have written, which is very good, The self is desperately delusional concerning itself. Trust God's word and not your own justifications.

     
  18. zoidar

    zoidar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree, but I like to add: When the love of Christ rules our thoughts and action. It's not just love, there are all kinds of love, but the love that is in agreement with Christ.
     
  19. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for your input. It's the love of (from) Christ we're speaking of.
     
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  20. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I agree, though I want to add to this, that salvific faith is not also 'works' —it is the work of God, not man— and cannot save us if it is something WE generate. Nevertheless, we do feed it, add to it, and so on as we grow in faith. But the reality of our salvation is what God does, and therefore, absolutely sure —it does not depend on us.
     
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