Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Faith and Works


 
“But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?  Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” – James 2:18-26

“The faith that does not produce works of charity and mercy is without the living principle which animates all true faith, that is, love to God and love to man. 
They had faith, such as a man has who credits a well-circumstanced relation because it has all the appearance of truth; but they had nothing of that faith that a sinner, convinced of his sinfulness, God's purity, and the strictness of the Divine laws, is obliged to exert in the Lord Jesus, in order to be saved from his sins.

Your pretending to have faith, while you have no works of charity or mercy, is utterly vain: for as faith, which is a principle in the mind, cannot be discerned but by the effects, that is, good works; he who has no good works has, presumptively, no faith.
It is well to believe there is one only true God; this truth universal nature proclaims. Even the devils believe it; but far from justifying or saving them, it leaves them in their damned state, and every act of it only increases their torment; they shudder with horror, they believe and tremble, are increasingly tormented; but they can neither love nor obey.

Here is a proof that faith cannot exist without being active in works of righteousness. His (Abraham’s) faith in God would have been of no avail to him, had it not been manifested by works; for by works-by his obedience to the commands of God, his faith was made perfect-it dictated obedience, he obeyed; and thus faith had its consummation. Even true faith will soon die, if its possessor do not live in the spirit of obedience. He believed God; this faith was never inactive, it was accounted to him for righteousness: and being justified by thus believing, his life of obedience showed that he had not received the grace of God in vain.
As among friends everything is in common; so God took Abraham into intimate communion with himself, and poured out upon him the choicest of his blessings: for as God can never be in want, because he possesses all things; so Abraham his friend could never be destitute, because God was his friend.

It is evident from this example that Abraham's faith was not merely believing that there is a God; but a principle that led him to credit God's promises relative to the future Redeemer, and to implore God's mercy: this he received, and was justified by faith. His faith now began to work by love, and therefore he was found ever obedient to the will of his Maker. He brought forth the fruits of righteousness; and his works justified-proved the genuineness of his faith; and he continued to enjoy the Divine approbation, which he could not have done had he not been thus obedient; for the Spirit of God would have been grieved, and his principle of faith would have perished. Obedience to God is essentially requisite to maintain faith. Faith lives, under God, by works; and works have their being and excellence from faith. Neither can subsist without the other, and this is the point which St. James labors to prove, in order to convince the Antinomians of his time that their faith was a delusion, and that the hopes built on it must needs perish.
There can be no more a genuine faith without good works, than there can be a living human body without a soul. Where true faith is, there is God; his Spirit gives life, and his love affords motives to righteous actions. The use of any Divine principle leads to its increase. The more a man exercises faith in Christ, the more he is enabled to believe; the more he believes, the more he receives; and the more he receives, the more able he is to work for God. Obedience is his delight, because love to God and man is the element in which his soul lives.” – Adam Clarke

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s OBEDIENCE many will be made righteous.” – Romans 5:19
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of OBEDIENCE leading to righteousness?” – Romans 6:16

“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  And this commandment we have from Him: that HE WHO LOVES GOD MUST LOVE HIS BROTHER ALSO.” – 1 John 4:20-21
“The faith that does not produce works of charity and mercy is without the living principle which ANIMATES ALL TRUE FAITH, that is, love to God and love to man.“ – Adam Clarke

“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us GO ON TO PERFECTION, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,” – Hebrews 6:1
“But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.  For God is not unjust to forget your work and LABOR OF LOVE which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,  that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through FAITH AND PATIENCE inherit the promises.” – Hebrews 6:9-12

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