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Faith and Works

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We know that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. James says that I will show you my faith by my works. But Paul says something about faith coming apart from works.

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. [1]

Gal 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  [2]  (Read V 6)

The NIV says, “Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?” [3] (Gal 3:5 NIV)

Eph 2:8-9  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.” [4]

Read James 2:14-26

NIV 14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless  a ? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”  b and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

[5]

AMP James 2:21-22  Was not our forefather Abraham [shown to be] justified (made acceptable to God) by [his] works when he brought to the altar as an offering his [own] son Isaac?  [ Gen. 22:1-14 .]

22  You see that [his] faith was cooperating with his works, and [his] faith was completed and reached its supreme expression [when he implemented it] by [good] works. 

[6]

So did Paul and James agree in doctrine? Yes they did.

1Thes 1:3 (KJV)

AMP Says, “Recalling unceasingly before our God and Father your work energized by faith and service motivated by love and unwavering hope in [the return of] our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).”[7]

2 Thes 1:11 says, (KJV) “ Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count  c  you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: [8]

NIV says, “every act prompted by your faith.”

and every work that finds its source in faith with power, inorder that the Name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified[9]  (Wuest)


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[1]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Ga 2:16). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Ga 3:5). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ga 3:5). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[4]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Eph 2:7-9). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

 a Some early manuscripts dead

 b Gen. 15:6

[5]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Jas 2:14-26). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[6]The amplified Bible, containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. 1987 (Jas 2:21). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

[7]The amplified Bible, containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament. 1987 (1 Th 1:3). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

c count: or, vouchsafe

[8]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (2 Th 1:11). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[9]Wuest, K. S. (1997, c1961). The New Testament : An expanded translation. First published in 3 vols., 1956-59, under title: Expanded translation of the Greek New Testament. (2 Th 1:11). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

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