bkmitchell — 2017-08-10T20:29:02-04:00 — #1
In Romans it says,
"because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight . . . " (Rom. 3:20)
"for we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law." (Rom. 3:28)
"For what does the Scripture say? ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.'" (Rom. 4:3)
"Therefore, having been justified by faith . . . " (Rom. 5:1)
"But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness." (Rom. 4:5).
In James it says,
"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." (James 2:24)
" . . . so also faith without works is dead." (James 2:26).
Which is it? Are we justified by faith or by works? (link)
Or rather how do you understand the message of James in light of the message of Paul in books Romans and Galatians? Are, works meaningful or meaningless?
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-08-11T02:21:43-04:00 — #2
Observing the context, I note that
(a) Paul in Rom and Gal is speaking "works OF THE LAW" and that doing these works these does not justify a person nor make a person righteous, rather trusting (having faith, believing in) God in reference to Christ does
(b) James is speaking of FAITH and of works in connection with faith ... NOT works in connection with keeping of the Law, in other words, genuine or true trust in God and believing God will lead to corresponding action or deeds ("works") and not be "dead" (inactive, do nothing).
Eph 2:8-10 describes the matter as well .... man is saved not by doing any works of the Law but is saved because of God's grace by having faith in Christ, and THEN -- having become God's workmanship - man ought to walk in the works which God has ordained for us to walk in ( please note: these are works God ordained for the saved to walk in, these are NOT the works of the Law in order to be saved)
bkmitchell — 2017-08-11T03:05:48-04:00 — #3
Thank you, Wolfgang Schneider, for your well thought out answers. However, the tension that some feel exist between Paul's message ( found in Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians) and that of verses like: "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." (James 2:24) exist.
Notice, I used neither the word "saved" nor "salvation" for that matter. And, the writer of the question actually used "justified" not "saved" Perhapes he/she meant the same thing by the term I do not know for sure. However, my question was:
how do you understand the message of James in light of the message of Paul in books Romans and Galatians? Are, works meaningful or meaningless?
dave_l — 2017-08-11T07:31:06-04:00 — #4
James speaks of Abraham being justified by his works just as every true Christian is today. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. But Paul speaks of the works of the Law now abolished. James = works motivated by love for God. And Paul = works of the flesh constrained by the law to prevent further wickedness.
tyrone_howard — 2017-08-11T09:28:04-04:00 — #5
Works which include but are not limited to obeying his commandments in an attempt to display righteousness through obedience to the law are meaningless.
Works, which include but are not limited to obeying his commandments founded through, faith & love in Jesus Christ, being accounted for righteousness, are meaningful.