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There is no such thing as blind faith in the Bible, it is knowledge

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Q. Is there a contradiction between Paul and James? Paul says that we are justified by faith but James says that faith alone doesn’t save you and faith without works is dead.

A. There is no contradiction between the two. Whenever you read the Scriptures you have to keep in mind the context in which it was written.

Paul, for instance, was writing to people who thought that self-justification was attainable by their Torah observance. This, of course, is never taught in the Torah itself. A man can never be justified before God by works.

But, just like some denominations today, the Jews had a well developed system of works righteousness and Paul had to deal with that everywhere he went. He says in Rom 9.32 that the Jews did not pursue righteousness by faith but by works.

They thought that when they obeyed God they earned righteousness and that is just not the case. That’s why Paul says that we are not "under the Law." Now, that term in Greek is "upo nomou" and it means that we are not subject to a system of works righteousness.

He also says that we cannot earn righteousness through "works of the Law." That term in Greek is "ergo nomou" and that means a system of works righteousness. You cannot earn righteousness through obedience to God nor are we subject to a system that says we do.

We approach God through "emunah" or faith.This Hebrew word is related to the word "amen" which means "so be it" or "let it be done." Now, faith is action and it is made up of three components. First, "ahav" or love. You obey the Lord because you love him.

You must have the right attitude. Secondly, there are "mitzvot" or commandments. This word can also be translated "works." We should obey the Lord because we love him and let our good works shine, which glorifies our Father in Heaven. Third, we have "da’at" or knowledge. God tells us to do something and we act. There is no such thing as blind faith in the Bible.

So, biblical faith is made up of love, works and knowledge. So, Paul is saying that a man is not justified by works but he does not say you shouldn’t have any.

James is saying the same thing. James is dealing with an audience that was anti-nomian, which means they were forgetful hearers of the Law.

James is saying that if a person has genuine faith he will have genuine works as evidence of that faith. He is not saying that you need works to be saved, he’s saying that you will have works when you are saved. Now, these works are not what man says are good works, it is what God says are good works and those works are described in the Scriptures.

Paul and James are not contradictory but answer the question of how a component of faith (works) fits into salvation. Paul says that good works does not earn righteousness because that is a free gift of God and James is saying that one who is truly saved will have good works following as evidence of that saving faith.


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Margarita Pierce 02/25/2012 21:22:35
I feel like faith in Jesus Christ does save us of course.. without having faith that Christ is the Savior and that he in deed did die for us.. we can in no way be saved...and I do agree that once you are saved... you should have works.. but I also do believe that it is possible that one can be saved..meaning that this person is a believer... but he or she can live their lives as a Carnal Christian.. and I believe that James is talking about a different salvation.. Once we are saved.. I believe that salvation comes in three tenses.. our works after that we are saved is what purifys our souls..and I believe this is the salvation that James is talking about.. and having our souls purified has to do with recieving our rewards.. I believe that all saved will not recieve all the rewards or even maybe none... In 1st Corinthians 3: 11-14.. I very clearly see here two groups of Christians.. I see the Spiritual Christian. which has the Gold, Silver and Precious Stones pretaining to how he lived his life after that he was saved...in other words., this is his righteous works.. and I also see a Carnal Christian.. which is the one with Wood, Hay and Stubble.. and this is one ..who has no righteous works.. this also pertains to how he lived his life after that he was saved.. and I also see that it states that he will suffer loss.. but that he shall still be saved..as thru by fire..So I feel like this loss has to do with the prize that Paul talks about and this person will not recieve this prize.. but he still does have the "free gift " which is his salvation.. Also paul says in 1st Thesslonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray your whole Spirit, and Soul and Body be preserved blameless unto the comong of our Lord Jesus Christ. So I see here .. were santification has to do with how we do live our lives after that we are saved.. And we recieve Justification when we first believe...
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