Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We are Not Christians By Faith Alone

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day,and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?

So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, "You have faith and I have works." Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works.Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called "the friend of God."

See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route?

For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. James 2:14-26.
The Book of James is quite often discarded or completely forgotten. America is pretty much a Protestant Nation and subscribes to Sola Fides (Faith Alone), but that is not what the Church taught nor was it ever espoused by the disciples of Christ. Any interpretation of St. Paul that comes to that conclusion is at the expense of excluding text - using only text that supports the position. Jesus did not say "I don't care what you do to the least of my brethren as long as you declare me your personal savior." As with what occurs with any heresy it is half truth. We have to have faith in order to be "saved" and yes we can never merit heaven - not a single one of us. It is by God's grace alone that we have any chance of salvation. But because we cannot merit it on our own, does not mean that we will not be judged on our lives and what we did.
How about Matthew 12:35-38
"A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."

He did not say " It really doesn't matter what you say as long as I am your personal savior"
Matthew 13:41-43
The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.
In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar. The Rich man is sent to the netherworld (hell) for not caring for Lazarus.

"faith without works is dead"

1 comment:

Tina said...

I love your blog. Thank you very much for this post. I have a question for you regarding this topic. May I email you privately?
Thank you,
Tina Mahar