If James contradicts Paul, then James also contradicted himself.

For a long time I struggled with the second chapter of the letter of James. I had great difficulty reconciling what James was saying with the rest of Scripture. I would listen intently to any preacher who was expositing this chapter of James for an explanation but their answers never seemed to satisfy me regarding the seemingly irreconcilable views James taught.

I know that I was not alone in this quandary as I’ve often heard the declaration that when it comes to the issue of justification, “James contradicts Paul.”

The most vocal proponents of James’ alleged doctrine that faith and works are required for justification are known as the works-righteousness crowd. (Think: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Roman Catholics.)

Whenever the subject of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone comes up, these groups immediately run to James chapter two as their proof-text that you must do your part in conjunction with God’s part in order to bring about your redemption.

And granted, they do make a convincing argument, for it appears that’s precisely what James is saying. However, the opposing argument (faith alone through grace alone) can be made with equal tenacity based on a plethora of Paul’s teaching.

In relation to the totality of all of Scripture, this polemic goes beyond just Paul and James, but the gist of the debate can be summed up most succinctly by the following two verses:

James:

“You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” – James 2:24

Paul:

“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” – Romans 3:28

These two axioms really only leave us with three possible options:

A). James is teaching that salvation is by faith and works (and conversely, so is Paul).

B). Paul is teaching salvation is by faith apart from works (and conversely, so is James).

C). The two men contradict one another and thus, the Bible contradicts itself.

If “C” is the answer to this dilemma, then the Bible is worthy of the trash heap and we should all get together to eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

For those of us who understand that “C” is not a viable option, we’re only left with options “A” and “B.” So, to determine which is the correct interpretation we must resort to the old practice of letting Scripture interpret Scripture.

In this post I will attempt to prove—in eight points—that not only do James and Paul agree that salvation is by faith apart from works (i.e. alone), but that if James is actually teaching that your obedience to the law and/or your practicing of good works contributes to your salvation, then he would not only be contradicting Paul, but he would also be contradicting himself!

Let’s begin.

Point 1: Context matters.

The most important component of proper biblical interpretation is context. If you get the context of James’ letter wrong, then you will not be able to understand what he’s saying regarding faith and works, and you will inevitably misconstrue the point of his letter. And as with any reading of Scripture, what matters is the author’s original intent.

When taken as a whole—not extracted from the letter to stand alone and on its own—we see that James chapter two is comparing a dead faith with that of a living faith. He’s contrasting an empty profession of faith versus a true, born again, regeneration which is then evidenced by outward signs, namely good works (see James 2:14, 2:17, 2:20, 2:24, 2:26).

James White adds:

“James is not discussing how one is made righteous before God, how one finds forgiveness of sins. The whole book is not written to unbelievers, nor is it its purpose to discuss how unbelievers are made believers. Instead, James’ book is primarily moral and ethical in nature. It is an exhortation to Christian living, directed solely to people who already name the name of Christ.”

Any attempt to build a theology on the letter of James (or any book of the Bible for that matter) without first understanding the context of that particular book means you’ve already begun building on a faulty foundation and your conclusion will not be what the original author intended.

Point 2: Does James agree with Paul elsewhere in James’ own writings?

In James 1:17-18, he writes that “we were brought forth by the excellence of God’s will, as every perfect gift comes from God.” James is speaking to those who are already Christians, and in these verses he shows us two things of great importance: 1). God is sovereign over His creation, even over the conversion of the sinner and 2). Every perfect gift comes from God.

1). God is sovereign over His creation in the miracle of conversion (an act where God takes a dead man and makes him alive). Believers have been “brought forth,” not by our might, power, or will, but by God’s power, sovereign ability, and will. If we could work towards accomplishing our own conversion/salvation then it becomes an act of the will of our flesh and our will, and it is no longer an act solely of God’s will (and consequently we rob God of His glory).

John 1:12-13

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Romans 9:14-16

What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

Additionally, if we could work towards earning our salvation then grace would no longer be grace.

Romans 11:6

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.

2). When you receive what you’ve worked for, then you’ve earned it. When you receive something that you haven’t worked for that’s called a gift, and that’s why in Scripture grace is never referred to as a wage, but it is often referred to as a “gift.”

Romans 4:4-5

Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Romans 5:15-17

But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

What is a more perfect gift from God than eternal life?

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Remember, in James 1:17-18 he calls our being “brought forth” (salvation) a gift, just as Paul so often does in his writings.

Point 3: What kind of faith is James talking about?

James clearly shows us that he is not referring to saving faith in James chapter two, but instead he’s putting a mere profession of faith on trial when he says in verse fourteen:

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

It is crucial for us to understand the definition or context of “that faith” because it is foundational to everything James builds upon thereafter.

Verse 2:14 illustrates that the subject’s profession of faith is alone, specifically, that it is not accompanied by proof.

Furthermore, James says, “But” (meaning that there’s a problem), “he has no works.” This means the man displays a continual absence of works. In the life of this man who professes faith in Christ, he has a lifestyle that bears no fruit of being truly born again (1 John 3:7-10).

Equally important to note, James asks, “If someone says he has faith” (“But” there’s no proof of that faith evidenced by a lifestyle which continually lacks works), then “can that faith save him?

James is being very specific when he asks if someone says he has faith, if that faith (that he claims to have) can save him.

There will be many on the Last Day who profess with their mouths to know Christ, even calling Him Lord, but they are not His and they will be cast into Hell. They all have a profession of faith, but that faith was unable to save them because Christ was not the author of that faith (Hebrews 12:2). For if He had been, then He would have known them and not rejected them (Matthew 7:21-23).

Point 4: An interesting comparison.

In verses 2:15-17, James compares words of compassion with acts of compassion.

If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

When James penned this he was not going off on a tangent. It’s no coincidence that James would include this illustration of caring for the needs of others in the middle of his message on faith and works because the context of James’ letter is dead faith versus living faith.

Empty words of compassion—like empty professions of faith—are dead, and reveals that the absence of compassionate acts is a sign of a false compassion. Conversely, when actual acts (works) are present—which come after the initial compassion—then this is the best evidence of a genuine compassion.

The feeling of compassion comes first which leads to (and is evidenced by) the acting out of that compassion by helping those in need. In regards to genuine salvation, the foundation of faith comes first which leads to (and is evidenced by) the acting out of that faith.

James is showing that compassion without action (works) is the same as faith without action (works). What use are either of these? What use is there in saying that you have compassion yet there’s never any proof that you have the compassion you claim? What use is there in saying that you have faith, but there’s never any proof that you have the faith you claim?

Committing acts of charity doesn’t cause you to become compassionate; your compassion causes you to practice charity. Likewise, committing good works doesn’t give you faith unto salvation, nor remove your sin, nor impute God’s righteousness to you; it’s your genuine faith that leads you to salvation which leads to the practice of good works.

The acts of compassion (charity) are born out of a true and living compassion, just as the acts of works are born out of a true and living faith. This is why we’re never told to have repentance that’s consistent with our acts, but we are told that we should have acts that are consistent with repentance.

Matthew 3:8 and Luke 3:8

Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

Acts 26:19-20

. . . repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.

Point 5: Head faith vs heart faith.

In James 2:19-20, we see that the person James is talking about has correct doctrine (head knowledge) but he does not have saving faith. If he did, then there would be external evidences of conversion, not just a cognitive grasp of sound biblical orthodoxy. Even an Atheist can be trained to regurgitate correct doctrine, but that mere head knowledge (just like with the demons exampled in this verse) will not save him on the Day of Judgment.

Point 6: How was Abraham actually justified?

In verse 2:21, James says that “Abraham was justified by works,” and he points toward Abraham’s offering up of Isaac as Abraham’s “work.”

This, says the works-righteousness groups, “proves” that our faith and works—working together—brings about our justification.

If we isolate this text, then yes, we can easily ascribe to it that James was teaching works are necessary for one’s salvation. However, this was not the point James was trying to make, and it’s fairly easy to prove it.

Firstly, if James was preaching in verse 21 the necessity of works in the bringing about of our salvation, then he immediately contradicted himself in verse 23 when he quoted Genesis 15:6, “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

No works; no law; just faith.

If faith plus works was necessary for justification, then James did himself no service by quoting Genesis 15:6. It just so happens that this verse from Genesis was also quoted by Paul (the one James’ is supposedly contradicting) in order to prove that Abraham was not justified by works:

Romans 4:2-3

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

Paul quotes Genesis 15:6 again in the very same chapter of Romans, verses 19-25:

Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

Paul once again quoted Genesis 15:6 in his letter to the Galatian Church (in Galatians 3:5-7):

So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.

All of these references by Paul of Genesis 15:6 were in proclamation and defense of the biblical pillar that a man is justified apart from the works of the law.

Secondly, Abraham’s “work” of offering up Isaac happened long after his belief in God (faith) was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac was the fruit (proof) not the root (origin) of his faith.

So when James says in verse 21, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?” he could not possibly have been teaching that Abraham’s offering of Isaac was what justified him because he was already declared righteous before this event ever took place. And not only was Abraham declared righteous before offering up Isaac, but Abraham was declared righteous even before Isaac was born. So Abraham couldn’t have been justified by faith and works because the object of that “work” (his son Isaac) hadn’t even been born yet.

Thirdly, not only was Abraham declared righteous long before Isaac was born, but Abraham was declared righteous hundreds of years before the law was given to Moses. In fact, Abraham was already dead before Moses was born. Since the law came down from God to Moses, Abraham couldn’t have been justified by his faith and the observance of the law, for the law had not been given till long after Abraham died.

Those who employ James’ verse on Abraham as an example of works being necessary to facilitate our salvation are invoking someone who could not have done what they are saying he did (and demanding that we do) since his justification came before his work was performed and before the law was given.

Point 7: Perfected faith.

Another way of illustrating what James is saying is if we imagine that our faith is like a tree and our works are like the fruit of that tree. Then we can better understand that it’s our fruit/works that proves what kind of tree/faith we have.

Jesus not only said in John 15:8 that our fruit would prove that we are His disciples (not that our fruit cooperates with our faith in making us His disciples—the fruit follows/comes after our faith in Christ), but He also urged us to judge a tree by its fruit (judge a man by his works) in Matthew 7:15-20 so that by judging that fruit we’d know what kind of tree we’re dealing with.

So when James says in verse 22, that “faith was perfected,” again, he is not saying that faith and works were somehow working in tandem to bring about our being declared righteous, he was showing that our good works proves our genuine faith. You cannot have a genuine faith that never produces works anymore than you can have a genuine apple tree that never produces apples (the apples produced by the tree perfects the tree). A tree can be called an apple tree, but without the bearing of its fruit it is good for nothing but to be cast into the fire (John 15:6).

Never forget that in order for us to even bear the fruit that God had prepared beforehand for us to bear (Ephesians 2:10) we must first be abiding in Him and He in us (John 15:1-6). The bearing of fruit comes after the abiding in Christ, not as part of the means by which we abide in Christ, otherwise we’re putting the cart before the horse.

John 15:16

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

Colossians 1:9-10

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

You will obtain greater clarity of this illustration if you simply substitute the word faith with tree and the word works with fruit. Also apply this to James 2:24 and James 2:26.

Luke 3:9

Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Point 8: If James contradicts Paul, then James also contradicts himself.

My final point will hopefully put to rest all further arguments about what James was saying in the second chapter of his letter.

In Acts 15:1-29 we have a window into the Jeruslam council in which James and Paul are in agreement (along with the council) against the Judiazers. Who were the Judiazers? The Judiazers were a nefarious group in the first century who were preaching that faith and law/works were required for salvation, exactly like those today who teach that faith and law/works are required for salvation (and try using James chapter two as a proof-text).

The Judiazers were who Paul was talking about in his letter to the Church in Galatia. Some men within that church were introducing another gospel: a gospel that consisted of faith in Jesus Christ and required circumcision and adherence to the law. This is exactly what works-righteousness groups teach today except they’ve exchanged circumcision for baptism (or a myriad of other requirements). It’s the same road to anathema, just with different scenery.

If James believed that law and works were required to merit favor with God in addition to grace and faith (as Roman Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses believe) then James would have opposed Paul at this council, and conversely, he would have sided with the Judiazers. However, James concurred with Paul, not the Judiazers.

Additionally, James agreed with Peter (as well as Paul) at this council when Peter suggested that they not burden the new believers with the requirements of the law by “placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear.” Yet this is the very yoke Rome, Salt Lake City, and Brooklyn place on the necks of their people all the while calling it “Christianity.”

Peter also said at the same council (in the presence of Paul and James) that our “hearts are cleansed by faith,” and that “we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 15:9, 15:11).

If works and law were also necessary for salvation then this would have been a crucial time for James to mention it. However, James does no such thing. Instead he agrees with Peter, Paul, and the rest of the brethren.

These Apostles and elders in the Jerusalem council (which included James) then sent a letter with Paul and Barnabas to lay no greater burden on the new gentile believers than a few exhortations (Acts 15:22-29). Exhortations—not in order to attain salvation, because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified (Romans 3:20, Galatians 3:11)—but exhortations that they “will do well” (Acts 15:29).

These exhortations to fellow believers (those already born again) are not unlike Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesian believers in Ephesians 5:1 through Ephesians 6:19. In both cases these exhortations were given to believers to encourage them in doing well and to prevent offense to their Jewish brothers and sisters. In both examples these exhortations were given to fellow believers as a guide to encourage them in the faith, not as a guide to unbelievers to direct them on how to attain justification.

If James was preaching that faith plus works were necessary for forgiveness of sins in chapter two of James, then he undermined and contradicted his own position on the matter during the Jerusalem council as recorded in Acts chapter fifteen.

Summary and Conclusion

Here’s the crux of the issue: Roman Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that James is saying that it’s faith and works—working together—that brings about salvation. Christians, however, believe that James was not preaching faith plus works equals salvation, but that he was contrasting the difference between a living, active faith and a dead, empty faith and that good works is a byproduct of a true, living, and active biblical faith.

How can the examples James cited for Abraham’s works have cooperated with Abraham’s faith to bring about his justification if he was already declared righteous before the works were done? Abraham’s works were done after he already had righteousness credited to him. Abraham already had God’s righteous imputed to him long before he was circumcised, long before Isaac was born, and long before the law was given to Moses.

If the works-righteousness interpretation of James chapter two is correct, then what work and what adherence to the law did Abraham perform and follow in order to become righteous and to be a recipient of God’s promises? The answer is woven throughout all of holy writ: He had faith in the living God!

And in Hebrews 11:17-19, we see that Abraham was already a recipient of God’s promises:

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.

Only one of these interpretations of James chapter two can be true, and the eternal destiny of your soul hinges on the accurate interpretation. Either the Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses have it right, or biblical Christianity has it right. They both cannot be correct.

If our guide is to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture (and not church tradition, ongoing revelation, new light, etc.), then James chapter two simply cannot be read as a formula for salvation. James’ response to the Judiazers’ “gospel” of works as recorded in Acts chapter fifteen leaves no room for his intentions in James chapter two to be interpreted any way other than what he intended it to be: as a contrast between a dead faith and a living faith.

Mike Gendron writes:

Paul is dealing with the nature of justification and James is dealing with the nature of faith. James is asking professing Christians, who have not shown any evidence for their new life in Christ, to “show me your faith” (James 2:18). . . . Since faith can not be seen, the best way to prove one’s faith is to be “doers of the word and not merely hearers” (James 1:22). . . . Faith alone justifies but faith that justifies is never alone.

The biblical Christian view of James’ letter is the only correct interpretation. All other views—which render Christ’s sacrifice insufficient because according to those views we still need to do our part to add to God’s finished work on the cross—are merely the “other gospels” Paul warned us about in his letter to the Galatian Church.

The Judiazers in the Galatian Church were teaching faith + works = salvation.

The Roman Catholics teach faith + works = salvation.

The Mormons teach faith + works = salvation.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach faith + works = salvation.

The Judiazers of Galatia were accursed for preaching another gospel because they preached a formula of faith + works = salvation. Do we honestly think that what was anathema in the first century is now “Christianity” in the twenty-first century?

The accursed Judiazers were the precursors of today’s works-righteousness religions and they prove—as Solomon said—that there’s nothing new under the sun.

Romans 5:1

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:16

A man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

Romans 4:2-5

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”  Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.

Titus 3:5-7

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being made justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

55 thoughts on “If James contradicts Paul, then James also contradicted himself.

  1. “If our guide is to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture (and not church tradition, ongoing revelation, new light, etc.), then James chapter two simply cannot be read as a formula for salvation.”

    That is the money statement – folks get into Trouble, with a capital T and that rhymes with D and that stands for Deception – when they pull a passage out of the Bible and examine it without the balance of God’s Word on the issue.

    As Gregory Koukl puts it, “Never Read a Bible Verse” – http://www.str.org/site/DocServer/NRBV_booklet_1.pdf

  2. Respectfully, you speak repeatedly that “Roman Catholics” believe that works are required. What you state directly contradicts what we believe and what we are taught.

    Catholics believe we are saved only by God’s grace working in us. Thus we are justified, transformed from the state of unrighteousness into a state of holiness and the sonship of God, on account of Christ. Justification is the merciful and freely given act of God which takes away our sins and makes us just and holy in our whole being. This justification is given to us in the sacrament of baptism. Justification is the beginning of our free response to God, that is our faith in Christ and our cooperation with the grace of the Holy Spirit. Thus Catholics believe in salvation by grace alone, solely on account of the work of Christ. However, neither Catholics nor Orthodox accept the reformation concept of forensic justification or “justification by faith alone.”

    Please note this difference. You are correct that James does not contradict Paul. Your understanding of the Catholic faith, however, does contradict the reality of Catholic and Orthodox viewpoints.

    We are all brothers in Jesus Christ, please spend time understanding and learning that we who choose Catholicism are not so different from you. Grace and Peace.

  3. brother Michael says:

    Dear Llyod – Thank you for your response to the post above. You response actually highlights the vast difference between abiding in the faith of Christ and his righteousness imputed to an unrighteous sinner, and one who is seeking to be justified before Christ through his/her works. The differences are as stark as night is from day.

    You wrote

    This justification is given to us in the sacrament of baptism. Justification is the beginning of our free response to God, that is our faith in Christ and our cooperation with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

    This is the exact problem that I hope to briefly speak to. Catholicism is a give and receive faith. That is, you as the sinner go before God and give him something, such as your “free response” and your “faith in Christ and cooperation with the grace of the Holy Spirit” and then God, in response to your action(s) and cooperation rewards you, not with salvation, for that would be the sin of presumption, but with further grace to help you come back with more works for future rewards. It is always grace infused through works. Works that must continue unto the day you die where even then you never really now if you have “made the grade.” This is why the vast majority of Catholics are not destined for the kingdom of heaven, but rather the excruciating fires of purgatory (possibly for thousands of years) to have those final vestiges of sin eradicated.

    As far as works for “salvation”, this is why the sacraments are preached as necessary for salvation; grace is received from your actions. Grace being the reward for what you do and for specifically abiding faithfully in the teachings of Rome. You do this such as go to Mass, and God gives you a deposit of grace. You pray the rosary, and again more grace supposedly flows your way. You go to a trip to a designated site worthy of indulgences, and presto, more grace to be given unto you. All of this is totally and completely antithetical to what is taught in the Scriptures.

    This is also why you have all the holy days of obligation and must go to Mass, must take the Eucharist, must go to penance, etc. I know Lloyd as I am from a multi-generational Roman Catholic family. I was raised in the teachings of Rome from infancy and went through High School being taught by her nuns and priests. I grew up in it and I know this to be so. And I know it to be dead, rote religion that has no power to transform the sinner from within. All it does is conform them to an external religious system where the person constantly lives under the heavy hand of Rome worrying about how they must do this and do that lest the anger God and become a castaway. And all the while they have no true life within them but rather an external “righteousness” through their actions that distinguishes them from their unbelieving neighbors. Never worrying much if at all about the fact that their heart actions and lifestyles mirror those of their unbelieving neighbors because they are faithful Catholics and at the end of they day they are told, this is all that matters.

    None of this is taught in the Scriptures. Christianity is not a give and take faith. It is God who does it all where his children abide in what HE is doing in them. For it is he who works in his saints (this is all true believers) both to will and to do according to his good pleasure. Our works merit us nothing before God as far as justification goes for if a man seeks to be justified by any law or works he knows not grace and states by his actions (regardless of his words) that Christ died in vain. No man shall be justified by any law or any work for it is written that the just shall live by faith and the law/works are not of faith.

    Finally, we are not all brothers in Jesus Christ. Because while the words one may use such as grace, justification, born again, etc., are the same, the definitions are completely different. Definitions are important; definitions are key for they define the theology behind the words. For it is totally false and illogical to compare the text book definitions of Catholicism with those of Biblical Christianity and say they are the same any more than it would be to do this with the Jehovah Witnesses or Mormons.

    I know you believe what you wrote and hold it to be true but I do pray you consider what Pilgrim wrote above and take the time to read the Scriptures praying that the glasses of Catholicism might be removed so you see things as they are written.

    bro Michael

  4. Lloyd,

    I have a simple question for you: what purpose does baptism serve? Is it not (According to the Vatican) to bring the person into the “state of grace”? If so, then the very fact that one must go through baptism in order to enter into that “state of grace” shows that the Vatican does not consider grace to be freely given by God, but must be earned by the believer through the “work” called baptism. Therefore, since this grace is based on a person’s work, then grace is no longer grace.

  5. Sean says:

    Interesting question. This is the explanation published by Jehovah’s Witnesses on this “apparent contradiction”.
    “The harmonious answer from the Bible is that both are correct.
    For centuries the Law that God gave through Moses had required Jewish worshipers to make specific sacrifices and offerings, to observe festival days, and to conform to dietary and other requirements. Such “works of law,” or simply “works,” were no longer necessary after Jesus provided the ultimate sacrifice.—Romans 10:4.
    But the fact that these works performed under the Mosaic Law were replaced by Jesus’ superlative sacrifice did not mean that we can ignore the Bible’s instructions. It says: “How much more will the blood of the Christ . . . cleanse our consciences from [the older] dead works that we may render sacred service to the living God?”—Hebrews 9:14.
    How do we “render sacred service to the living God”? Among other things, the Bible tells us to combat the works of the flesh, to resist the world’s immorality, and to avoid its snares. It says: “Fight the fine fight of the faith,” put off “the sin that easily entangles us,” and “run with endurance the race that is set before us, as we look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus.” And the Bible urges us not to ‘get tired and give out in our souls.’—1 Timothy 6:12; Hebrews 12:1-3; Galatians 5:19-21.
    We do not earn salvation by doing these things, for no human could ever do enough to merit such an astounding blessing. We are not worthy of this magnificent gift, though, if we fail to demonstrate our love and obedience by doing the things that the Bible says God and Christ want us to do. Without works to demonstrate our faith, our claim to follow Jesus would fall far short, for the Bible clearly states: “Faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself.”—James 2:17.” (see Watchtower of 1996 Feb 1, p. 8).
    So the short answer is that although we cannot “earn” salvation, if we make the claim of having faith in God, there SHOULD be evidence of it. (ie: Matthew 5:16) “Likewise let YOUR light shine before men, that they may see YOUR fine works and give glory to YOUR Father who is in the heavens”. A claim to have faith, without any evidence of it, would indicate a false claim. As you say, contaxt of a verse is very important.
    Also, as a side point, your intro stated “that justification by grace alone through faith” .. etc. Actually, Roman Catholics now translate the word “grace” (ie: Luke 1:28-Douay version) as “highly favored” in their modern Jerusalem Bible and the New American Bible. So do Jehovah’s Witnesses in the New World Translation. Jehovah’s Witnesses have never used the word “grace” but feel that the expression “loving kindness” is more accurate in modern english. (ie: Psalms 107:8) “O let people give thanks to Jehovah for his loving-kindness and for his wonderful works”. Notice that it is by God’s WORKS that we recognise that God loves us, He doesn’t just offer lip service. Of course these are works in general and not with reference to the Mosaic Law. Shalom!

  6. Dear Pilgrim:

    I can testify to the rise of the “Judaizers” in the past half-century within our culture. I agree with your article. Clear teaching on our own misunderstandings, based on the fact that we don’t understand why and in what situations this letter was written.

    On my own blog, as I have proclaimed these truths of Scripture–in particular that we are saved by grace through faith, and that is has nothing to do with our own strivings, I have come face to face with the modern version of the Pharisees in new garb. The hypocrisy of trying to add to our salvation, or earn it in even the smallest way, cannot be overemphasized, as many are being led astray these days by these same old heresies. From the first century until now, religious zealots have been working to take the Kingdom of God by their own efforts, and in the process, are loading burdens on men’s backs they refuse to help carry.

    Saving faith results in good deeds, for which we were prepared “beforehand” by the Father. Not one thing emanates from our own flesh that is worthy of the Kingdom. Christ indwelling the believer does the good, as He pointed out to us when He said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” He was talking about bearing fruit. The tree bears fruit without effort because of the flow of life within it. So we bear the fruit of the Spirit, which translates into love for others, and so we fulfill the law of God written on our hearts by the same Spirit of Christ. Our works are a natural outflow of Christ within. We no longer live, but Christ lives in us, doing His wonderful works.

    Stay strong, brother, in your declaration of the truth.

    In Christ,
    A. Brother
    The Narrow Gate

  7. Kaydee says:

    Brother Michael, Fourpointer, or Pilgrim,
    I am fully convinced as well as you that the Roman Catholic teaching about grace coming through the sacraments is a false teaching according to the scriptures. However, there are plenty of Protestant teachings going around that maintain that grace can be obtained through various disciplines, such as prayer and fasting, scripture study, etc… (The Spiritual Disciplines). This is basically the notion that while we are saved (justified) by grace through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, we are sanctified by works. I also reject this. I’m wondering if you could elaborate a bit on the question of means of grace AFTER initial justification takes place in a believer’s life. I have a feeling that this is a stupid question, but at the expense of showing myself ignorant, I ask anyway. I am still cleaning out the attic of my brain from years of arminian influence… Anyway, I am of the opinion that the only “means of grace”, whether unto justification or sanctification, is the Word of God, excluding Holy Communion and Baptism. What do you say?

  8. Mickey Merrie says:

    Most “Calvinistic” followers I run in to have a dead faith based upon their system of belief or receipe for salvation based upon John 3:16 and Eph. 2:8-9. Thus they are doing EXACTLY what your fine article points to as error. Jesus can’t be bound by a single scripture. On the other hand, most “Charismatic” followers hold to a “my works justify my salvation” receipe.
    Jesus say’s “Depart from me, I never knew you, you workers of inequity.” Thus there is no RELATIONSHIP with Him as the head. Salvation is by God’s grace alone. No dead man can have an epiphany and realize he/she needs a Savior. That goes for Calvinistics receipe proponents and my works justify me receipe proponents. Both Paul and James, when viewed in context propound God’s saving grace, which bears the fruit of good works, as in “Christ through me.” The biggest part of that growth comes from Jesus as Lord/Head now, and for the rest of my life. The Jesus franchises, all 37,000 in the Protestant world today are for the most part lead by Diotrophese like men who gather for themselves sheep, who they teach a form of godlyness that denies Christ’s power to circumcize the heart of men, through the Holy Spirit, using the Word in context. Thus we have steeple houses, called the church, and the sanctuary, filled with tares and goats, propounding salvation receipes who will one day hear Christs damnigng words even as they cry Lord LORD!! (for the first time in their lives I might add) we did all these things in your name!

    Hey! Does my Avatar have 3 eyes?!?! LOL
    By the way…”Jesus cannot be bound by a single scripture” would better read “Jesus cannot be bound by a single scripture used out of context.”

  9. papapatriot says:

    I printed on paper and read it at work today (on break) and was impressed by what you wrote.
    I never thought about what James said in Acts 15 but only peter and Paul, great point!

  10. Joe says:

    Pilgrim,
    Good post and it is definitely an often misunderstood passage in James 2.

    Another point that can be made is from 2 Corinthians 5:17 it states “that if we are in Christ, they are a new creation.” So if we have a “living faith” we will be a different person because He is living in us and thus the “works” will be produced. The works are through the Holy Spirit that now lives in us, as believers, not because we are now good people. We are still sinners but good works will become the fruit of our lives because of Him.

    God bless.

  11. Joe, you said:

    So if we have a “living faith” we will be a different person because He is living in us and thus the “works” will be produced. The works are through the Holy Spirit that now lives in us, as believers, not because we are now good people.

    I say, “Amen.”

    Papapatriot:
    Thanks. By the way, did you leave it on the breakroom table for someone else to find? :o)

    Mickey Merrie:
    There are more “formulas” that do nothing more than inoculate people from the true gospel of Jesus Christ than you can shake a stick at. We’ve dealt with some of these “formulas” over the years here on DefCon. We recognize it is a huge problem, but it’s nothing new under the sun.

    Kaydee, you said:

    There are plenty of Protestant teachings going around that maintain that grace can be obtained through various disciplines, such as prayer and fasting, scripture study, etc . . .(The Spiritual Disciplines). This is basically the notion that while we are saved (justified) by grace through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, we are sanctified by works. I also reject this.

    You are absolutely correct, and we reject these “formulas” too as means to justification and sanctification as much as those “formulas” offered by Rome, Salt Lake City, and Brooklyn.

    Paul asked the Galatians,

    “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Gal. 3:3)

    Kaydee, you also asked:

    I’m wondering if you could elaborate a bit on the question of means of grace AFTER initial justification takes place in a believer’s life. I have a feeling that this is a stupid question, but at the expense of showing myself ignorant, I ask anyway. I am still cleaning out the attic of my brain from years of arminian influence.

    Although not as well versed in these matters as I would hope to be (still removing the scars from my arms and legs from the shackles of being in Charismatic churches) I would have to agree with you when you said:

    I am of the opinion that the only “means of grace”, whether unto justification or sanctification, is the Word of God, excluding Holy Communion and Baptism.

    A. Brother, you said:

    Saving faith results in good deeds, for which we were prepared “beforehand” by the Father. Not one thing emanates from our own flesh that is worthy of the Kingdom.

    And I say, “Amen.”

    Fourpointer:
    Exactly right!
    But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. (Rom. 11:6)

    Sean:
    Remember, the use of JW “words” just like the cleverly devised “words” of Romanism and of Mormonism, they are paper thin. What they “say” is contingent upon the definition of the words they use. Grace, justification, salvation, etc. may all sound like biblical Christian terms when used by cults and false religions, but they have drastically different meanings.

    Case in point: Lloyd’s attempt to say that my summation of Rome’s view of works being required for justification. Well sure, using Rome’s altered definitions, he could be right. But when using the genuine definitions of these terms in their biblical context, then no, Rome still believes in salvation by works.

    Borther Michael:
    Spot on (as always).

    Lloyd:
    There’s nothing else to add to this that Brother Michael didn’t already cover other than to respond to your comment:

    However, neither Catholics nor Orthodox accept the reformation concept of forensic justification or “justification by faith alone.”

    It’s not the “reformation concept” of forensic justification, but the biblical concept of forensic justification. It just took the Reformation to make this glorious truth known to the peasants and common people whom Rome had shut it off to; just like the elitist Romish mindset of Jesus’ time:

    But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. – Matthew 23:13

    To everyone else who wants a more pronounced line between what Rome alleges they teach and what Rome actually teaches, I recommend that you take this test to see if you’re a Christian or a Roman Catholic. Then listen to the message found here that explains the differences.

    - Pilgrim

  12. You kept hitting around it.

    Imagine this conversation:
    Paul: We are saved by faith alone and not by work, lest no man shall boast
    Romans 4:3-5 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

    James: I get that. But what about the guy who says, “Uh, I have faith.” and yet the fruit of the Spirit, by which you’ve written about (Galatians 5:22-23), is not evident in their lives. I suggest this: faith without works is dead.
    James 2:14-26 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 is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

    But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

    Paul: Oh absolutely, I totally agree with you. I would contend for that as well. What we have to keep in mind that while we are not saved by good works, we are saved to good works. In other words, because of the will of the Father through the bloodshed and broken body of Jesus Christ by the power of the Spirit, we get to do good works.
    Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

  13. Joseph,
    I love your “conversation.” Thanks for sharing! In fact, with your permission I’d like to repost it to my website, Grace Online Library (www.graceonlinelibrary.org). Warmest regards, Brian

  14. Beatty says:

    I don’t see how anyone who is even semiliterate can read the New Testament and not understand that how we live has something to do with our salvation.

    That leaves lots of room for theological clarification of grace, justification, and sanctification, but if you can’t admit that works have something, somehow, to do with salvation, I’m afraid that whatever’s primarily guiding your thought isn’t the Bible.

    I think sometimes when people talk about this they get so caught up in proving their preconceptions right that they forget about seeking the Truth. Catholics like me should ask, “well, does part of me really believe that I can earn my way to Heaven?” And evangelicals should ask, “well, do I really take to heart ALL of the Scriptures?” Maybe those aren’t exactly the right questions. But I wish we could stop being so defensive and just look at our Scriptures for guidance. They are very clear on two points.

    1. We are saved by Christ, not our works, and no work of the Law can save.
    2. We each make a decision for or against Christ, and that decision is made primarily in how we live our lives – what we DO – not in some catchphrase or slogan.

    You can’t read Romans without realizing the first. You can’t read Matthew 25:31-46 without realizing the second.

  15. cassie says:

    since i apparently havent had a lifechanging encounter, does that mean i’m wasting my time? should i just do what i do and if god grabs hold of me, he grabs hold of me, and if not, i was never his and im going to hell anyway?

  16. LInda says:

    cassie dear lady, you are torturing yourself.. I cannot say whether you are truly saved or not based on whether you had some kind of life-changing encounter… Our experiences don’t prove whether we are saved or not… I had a dramatic Paul experience and it would NOT be fair to compare what happened to me with others.. My mother on the other hand was saved when she was a young girl and had no dramatic experience whatsoever…

    We ARE however going to see a change in our attitude and in our lives as evidence that we are indeed saved. We will begin to hate sin and love holiness. The things in our lives that used to be our “gods” that we used to show affections for such as money, popularity, sex, our cars, you name it that used to be important to us will take the back seat in our lives and all that pleases God will take the driver’s seat in our hearts. We will begin to be aware of a person in our lives-Jesus that we have holy affections towards and want to please. There’s an awareness of knowing him on a personal level of intimacy rather than just knowing facts (about) him and no longer is he some far away distant in the universe We will have a hunger and thirst for righteousness and the word of God in our lives like new born babies crave their mother’s milk..

    The bible says- “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

    All I can do is ask you kindly, have you ever truly repented. Not just say I’m sorry or feel bad over your sins. Have you truly had a contrite and broken heart before God? Being sorry and repenting are NOT the same things.. And btw, a person who is truly born again DOES continue repentance his whole life. NOT because he’s fearful of losing his salvation but because he truly loves the Lord and does not want to displease him..

    “We have to make a distinction in theology between what we call attrition and contrition.

    Attrition is turning away from your sin or from your guilt by a motivation simply to escape punishment. The child has no remorse about stealing cookies until he’s caught with his hand in the cookie jar and the mother comes with the paddle. There’s something suspicious about that kind of repentance. It’s the repentance to avoid punishment—what we would call a ticket out of hell. (True repentance goes beyond the fear of hell.) True repentance goes beyond a mere fear of punishment to what we call contrition. When David’s heart was broken before God and he said, “O God, a broken and contrite heart you will not despise, “he felt real sorrow, a godly sorrow. True repentance is an awareness that we have done wrong, and it brings us to a choice to turn from our wrong”. R.C. Sproul

    God is no longer our Judge when we make peace at the cross because Jesus IS our peace with the Father. Once we surrender our lives to him by repenting God by applies the shed blood of Jesus who paid for our sins at the cross to what separates us from a Holy God–our Sins..Once God saves us he will forever be our Father our Abba Daddy and no longer will he EVER be our Judge…

    There is no fear because perfect love casts out fear

    Hope and pray this helps

  17. Rev Limiter says:

    Hi Cassie:
    Sorry I’m in a rush but let me stress this point. Your relationship with God is one of faith – period! Your faith will grow as you study his word! In Jn. 20 the writer makes this statement;
    “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Don’t live your life in Christ by emotions or experience! We walk by faith, not by sight!
    God bless you!

  18. RS says:

    cassie:
    Linda gave a most wonderful comment, to which I wholeheartedly agree. Most Christians that I have ever known (thousands personally), have NEVER had a life-changing encounter. What they do have is faith and trust in what God says in His Word (for no other reason than it is God’s Word and He is the Almighty God of all creation, so we can trust it above all else, even over our feelings). Keep on asking, and expressing your thoughts, and many here will be more than willing to help you.

  19. cassie says:

    LInda,
    You are talking to someone who constantly questions her motives. i have no idea what or why i do things. One minute i love God and Christ and next im angry at the world.

    Also by life changing expirience, I mean that i the holy spirit brings me to true repentance the way you guys are talking about. ive repented. a million times. but it doesnt stick, so obviously its not true repentance. i really feel what james is saying when he says a doubleminded person is unstable in all his ways

  20. Linda says:

    cassie you dear woman,,, you are in a viscous cycle and the devil is having a hay day with you… Believe the TRUTH…. IT is DONE at the CROSS. Stop looking at your failures and stop repenting a million times… Fix your eyes on Jesus and believe the TRUTH that it is Christ’s RIGHTEOUSNESS imputed TO YOU. God loves you with an everlasting love and he loves you as much as he loves his SON. It is FINISHED… You are forgiven..

    “There is NOW NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus for in Christ Jesus the spirit of the law of life set me free from the spirit of sin and death” -Romans 8:1..

    Do you believe this truth?

    btw cassie ONLY a saved person would be so concerned as you are. Think about it an unbeliever doesn’t CARE… Unbelievers don’t act like this. The ONLY time a believer may question things and get confused is because of some sin that has enslaved them. It’s called Discipline from the LORD and those sins make us very dull and we become very fearful.. Sin has an effect on our spiritual ears and eyes and makes them very DULL…

    Here’s something I wrote down after I came out of a time of temporarily going down the wrong path and I hope that it will be of help to you Cassie:

    Lord, you are my Confidence and my Peace. You calm the raging waters in my life and they cease. You said “be Still and KNOW that I am God”. Surely, YOUR unfailing love will rescue me. When I fail you, Your love never fails because your love endures forever. Your tender mercies are higher than the heavens are above the earth and your grace abounds beyond the deepest depths of my soul. LORD, You silence me and I don’t hear you. Surely, you will level the mountains and fill the valleys in my life where I am hopeless with your immeasurable love. I look at all that I placed my hope in around me and you shut my mouth when those idols are crashed to pieces. Your hand is heavy on me and for that I am grateful, so I can truly see that God alone is my only HOPE and true JOY. How else can I really know you unless you strip away the false hopes and dash the false securities and emptiness in my life? ONLY your way is good. I have no good in me. I look to YOU and finally see that the only good is “Christ in me the hope of glory.” Have mercy on me according to your unfailing love. Let my mouth be silent and may I wait upon you. “I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute, who cannot open his mouth; I have become like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer NO REPLY.”-Psalms 38:13-14…Oh Lord when I turn to you and repent of the sacrifices and offerings that you do NOT accept, I am silent and my mouth is shut. I know my Hope is in YOU and only your mercies and grace can I plead. Do not withhold your mercy from me and may your love and your truth direct me and be my Fortress. I am empty as you cause me to be, so I ONLY thirst after you. Create in me a Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness for YOUR names sake. Only YOU are worthy of any Good. For you alone are good. I look to Your Unfailing love and tender mercies Lord, because you have closed my heart. I cried out to you for mercy and you opened my mouth and put your words of truth on my tongue. You lifted me up and put a new song in my mouth. My heart wants to be pure and trust in you with fear and reverence you continue to mold me to NEED you. To need you is true Joy and Peace. May the meditations of my heart be motivated by your grace and mercy? May your unfailing love be the Strength that shines through me to show YOUR Mighty works are clearly from your Hand alone? May victory be yours and yours alone in the demolishing of deceptions in men’s hearts that tear down the walls?

  21. While I appreciate the sincerity of all the posters, and the author of the article, I think it’s important to note a major hiccup in your positions. Several people mentioned looking at all of the scriptures, yet I can infer (perhaps mistakenly) that you do not actually look at all of scripture. As the Tanakh, what christianity calls the “old testament”, makes very clear that the law (properly read the instructions) is not going anywhere except from tablets of stone to our hearts and innerbeing.

    I frequently encounter well meaning believers that suggest they are not under the law because that was the “old covenant”, whereas they are under the “new”. The problem is that the new covenant is defined in Jeremiah 31:31-34, and makes VERY clear that the law is not going to be removed. Also, the words of Yahushua (Jesus as he is called within christianity, though that name did not come into common usage until well into the 1600′s), clearly state the law is brought to its full meaning in him, not abolished. Somehow christianity defines fulfill and abolished as the same, even though the messiah himself said they were opposites.

    The commands are in no way gone, nor do they not apply to Gentiles. Why? Well, if you are a believer then you are not a Gentile, at least you ought not be. We read in the Tanakh that in the last days YHWH will go to war with the Gentiles, should we seek to be known as they are?

    I find that people often argue using Paul’s teaching first and define the rest of the bible through that lense, when it should certainly be the other way around. Matthew 5 records the words of Yahushua, and he talks of works, the law, and doing good deeds. Also, Matthew 7 also talks of fruit that bears testimony of our faith, in other words works. Pay close attention to 7:23-26, he talks of doing or not doing his words/teaching. In verse 23 that lawlessness/iniquity is torahlessness. Being without the commands. Christianity has denied that the commands have any place in the life of a believer, and we are told that it is THAT deception that will lead to the destruction of many. Matthew 24:12. Read that in Revelation 12:17 it is those that keep the commands and the testimony of messiah that are being fought. Also Revelation 14:12 paints a similar picture.

    Yahushua affirms the commands throughout the Gospels and in the letters to the churches in Revelation. Yet christianity turns its back on the teaching of its own messiah, and uses someone that never spoke with him to do it. This is not to say that Paul’s teachings have no value, they do, but Paul is not the authority on the matter. Let me put it to you this way, all of the writings of Paul (giving him Hebrews which is a question mark) make up a mere 7.5% of the bible. Yet his writings are used to counter both the messiah and YHWH Himself! So, 7.5% of the bible is used to interpret 92.5% rather than the 92.5% that agree that the commands stand interpreting the 7.5% that seem to suggest the opposite.

    Also, Acts 15 absolutely upholds the commands. The issue was whether to require circumcision before counting them as brothers, the decision was not to burden them right away. As verse 21 attests they are expected to learn the laws of Moses at the synagogues, and yes they went to the synagogues.

    But let’s say christianity is right in that Paul and the other apostles turned their back on the law, where did they get they authority to make that decision? YHWH said His law was forever and that there was only ONE law that governed both Israelite and Gentiles who yoked themselves to the Elohim (God) of Israel in faith. One law. To put the matter to bed, Yahushua came and affirmed the law! So we have the testimony of both the Father and the son that the law stands. That’s good enough for me, and I would think it should be for everyone else too. Otherwise we do not follow YHWH or His messiah, but rather someone else that somehow gained the authority over both of them.

    One final thought regarding the law and salvation. It is christianity’s assertion that it is impossible to perfectly keep the law. In Romans 3:4 Paul says that we should let YHWH be true and everyman be found a liar. Well, in Deuteronomy 30, especially verse 11, we are told that the commands are NOT too difficult for us to keep. That idea is confirmed in 1 John 5, specifically in verse 3 he states that the commands are not burdensome or too difficult. So now you must decide, having heard this truth, whether you will follow the messiah and keep the commands to obtain life. Both faith and works are required for salvation, this is clear if you follow the logic. Faith without works is dead, so no works equals no faith, and without faith it is impossible to please YHWH. Works without faith is also likely to be lifeless and just going through the motions. To be sure, part of the law is to have faith, do good, and love YHWH with every fiber of our being, as well as loving our neighbor as ourselves. But love as defined in the bible IS to keep the commands, read 1, 2, 3 John, and the Gospel of John for that matter.

    I hope that someone can hear the words that were spoken and see the truth. Narrow is the path that leads to life and few are those that find it. Narrow means afflicted or troubled, look it up, so do not expect to be received with open arms if you embrace this message. You can reach me at lawislife4usall@gmail.com with questions or if you need encouragement on this lonely journey!

  22. The name “Yesous” (Jesus) was in existence in the New Testament, long before the 1600s. If someone makes a point out of things like this (especially when manifestly wrong), he is probably a divisive heretic.

    The writings of Paul are Scripture (Peter said so). All Scripture is God-inspired and true. When someone suggests disagreement between Paul’s writings and Jesus, or minimises his authority because Jesus “never spoke with him,” you pretty well know he’s a false teacher.

    Christ came to fulfil the Law and all righteousness. His righteousness (including fulfilment of the Law) is imputed (credited) to us when we believe. Imputed righteousness is in the Law (Genesis 15:6), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:6), and many other places. It is correct that complete fulfilment of the Law is necessary. By God’s grace, that was done on our behalf. The Saviour did not merely remove our sins, He gave us His righteousness, which is unto all and upon all that believe. To say that we have to do what Christ has already done on our behalf means a person is accursed.

    TorahEqualsLife is a false teacher, a wolf. He doesn’t mention it here (perhaps it would let the sheep’s clothing slip too much), but his own website says he doesn’t believe Jesus is God.

    Divisive teaching. Undermining Scripture. Perverting the true Gospel. Denial of Christ’s true nature as God. Add it up, and you have a false teacher, a wolf. II John says not to have anything to do with him. He doesn’t even deserve to be debated, which is what he wants to stir up here. It’s probably an attempt by the evil one (even if this man doesn’t know it himself) to divert attention from the series Chris is giving us on the front page. Wouldn’t Satan just love it to have us not be proclaiming the Gospel because we’re too busy arguing with this apostate.

  23. fleebabylon says:

    “TorahEqualsLife says: ”

    Jesus equals life, you are a liar and a devil. You are dead in your sin and accursed under the law. The wrath of God abides upon you. Jesus said of your type that you will look for him but die in your sin. You have been hardened by God himself and will one day wake up in hell… nothing but a small vapor of time stands between you and that eternal reality.

  24. Thank you both for your responses, I appreciate all feedback regardless of whether it be positive or negative. All input and counsel helps us to grow in some way.

    I do not wish to stir up debate, cause division, or lead anyone astray. Thus I will address the issues that I felt I need to spoken of and be at peace from there.

    To the name of Jesus, you are right that I did not clarify why I wrote that. I did not mean it to be “you are wrong for using that name”, but rather I think most people (like I did until recently) take for granted that he was always called Jesus. I apologoze for and ask your forgiveness in this offense.

    Paul not speaking to Yahushua, I think I stated that I do not discount his teachings, but maybe there I was not clear either. Sometimes when I write I can get so wrapped up in what I am saying that I don’t clarify what I mean. With this I was saying that the other disciples, James and John especially, saw the commands as being an integral part of the life of a believer. I absolutely believe that Paul did as well since he claimed at the end of his life to have never offended against the Jews or the Law. I just think that as Peter stated in the same reference you gave, people twist Paul’s writings and the rest of scripture, to their destruction.

    The divinity of Yahushua. Again, I must apologize for any hint of deception. That was certainly not my intent. I didn’t bring that up because it wasn’t relevant to the topic, not desire of deception. I will shout from the rooftops the fact that I do not believe that Yahushua HaMashiach was YHWH. In no uncertain terms do I take the stand that Jesus was NOT God. I make no attempt to hide this fact, nor do I apologize for my position. The same way that you are convinced that there is a trinity, I am convinced those same scriptures teach that YHWH alone is the One True Elohim (God). That it is only the Father that is God, not the son. I realize that this offends a great many people, but I am not basing my faith upon whether or not it is the accepted and popular form of worship. I did not respond to the article with the intention of espousing my belief on THIS subject, hence I left it out and attached my email and website.

    That brings me to the issue of the article, and my final say on the subject at hand. To take the stand that the Law is gone because Jesus fulfilled it is to stand against Jesus. He stated very clearly and firmly that the Law would not end, or be fulfilled in the sense that christianity says it is, until heaven and earth have passed away and all things have been fulfilled. Obviously that has not yet happened, so you do not defy me (for I am no one anyway) but rather Jesus. Also, Matthew 5:19 tells us that anyone that nullifies (makes void) the commands or teaches others to do the same is least in the kingdom. Whereas the one that keeps (affirms) the commands and teaches others to do the same is greatest in the kingdom. Those are the words of the messiah, the son of YHWH, NOT my words. I encourage everyone to look at how the law is described in the Tanakh and see how many times it is called a curse. More importantly, look at how many times it is called Life, a Blessing, Light, etc.

    I also want to say that I commend you on your application of 2 John in not extending to me the hand of brotherhood and affirmation. If you truly believe that I am in error, and it is obvious that you do, then you have no other choice but to do so. Again I do not wish to engage in nor have anyone engage me in debate. If anyone has questions they can reach me at the contact information I have provided. May we all abound more and more in the knowledge of YHWH and His love, so that we may love each other in truth!

  25. Jesus is THE Good Shepherd, not a good shepherd. He is our Shepherd, we are His sheep and hear His voice. Jehovah / YHWH is my Shepherd. Jesus is Jehovah / YHWH.

    John the Baptist is the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of Jehovah / YHWH.” John was preparing the way of Jesus. Jesus is Jehovah / YHWH.

    Jehovah / YHWH said that He created “by myself” (Is. 44:24). Jesus is the Creator (John 1, Hebrews 1, Colossians 1). Jesus is Jehovah / YHWH.

    I could go on, but like I said, this is likely to be a distraction. If anyone wants further Scriptural evidence, click on my name and use the “Contact” page on my blog and I’ll email you more.

    ***
    Jesus was always called Jesus (Matthew 1).

    ***
    The Gospel is not that the Law has been nullified, nor is it gone. I did not say so. Nor has it been fulfilled in its entirety, because there are things in the Law that foreshadow the return of Christ. But its fulfilment is in Christ alone, who alone is righteous and able to complete it. By the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified in His sight, for all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. His perfect fulfilment is credited to our account.

  26. uru says:

    “Scripture to interpret Scripture (and not church tradition, ongoing revelation, new light, etc.)”

    so according to that logic can cars drive themselves?

  27. Richard says:

    (sorry i’m mixed in this only now, for this is the first time i’ve read this discussion)
    For me as a Catholic, I have to following response. Good works are, of course a concequence of faith. But this doesn’t mean however that we are not judged by it. We can be judged by the lack of doing good works. Here’s why:

    Roman 2:6-8:

    “For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.”

    to render means to pay the man according to his works.

    This is however a postive way how we can be rewarded by doing what He says. There is however also what Jesus Himself says, on what wil happen if we don’t do these works:

    ‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” shall enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 7:21).”

    So, if we don’t DO what our Lord tells us, we will be judged by it. By doing it, it can help us in a positive way, and if we don’t do it, it will be bad for us.

    Then what do James 2:24 and Paul in Romans 3:28 mean.

    Beginning with Romans 3:28. Now of course, Peter would not contradict himself by first saying that we are payed by our works (Romans 2:6) and after this, by saying we are saved by faith apart from works of the law.

    Now what does Paul mean when he says ‘by faith apart from the law’? Paul was speaking to a group of people who thought, circumcision was still necessary for salvation, and that keeping the commands in the New Covenent only was not enough. How do we know that Paul was ONLY speaking about circumcision? We know for a fact that when Paul spoke about circumcision he meant not physical circumcision but spiritual.

    In Romans 4:5-10 Paul says:

    And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness . . . Is this blessing pronounced only upon the circumcised, or also upon the uncircumcised? We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised.

    Remember, this was said to the people who were not Christian yet (pratically only believed in the old law, and were NOT baptised to be able to be saved through Christ.)

    Then what should we do when we become baptised in Christ?

    “Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness” (Romans 6:16)

    Now what does that mean? It means that we should be a slave to obedience. That means DOING in what Jesus asks us (or what he asks us NOT to do)

    We can only do good if we have faith, no doubt about that. But we must still CHOOSE to obey. When I read arguments like ‘faith alone’ is creating a big hole fot people who want to believe, but do not want to change their lives accordingly, and keep a willfully sinful life.

    To return to Abraham. He chose to obey Him, not to only believe. That’s why he was declared as ‘righteous’. So doing works is more than only a byproduct, one has to choose to doing good works.

    Now, what does James mean by “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” and “Faith without works is dead”. Both have to be seen in context of the whole book of James.

    James 2:14 says that what is it worth to have faith, but not to work it out?
    Meaning, if we do not work it out, our faith will be empty, and it isn’t true faith after all. We have to profess our faith to others, to let them see we really believe. This can only be done by working it out, and not by faith alone. I think it is clear to say that when people say they believe, they are not automatically involved in working it out, that’s where James is talking about. So, faith + works are both required for the real faith to work, before we can receive Grace, which is the very thing that saves us. When having a dead faith (meaning believing without doing works) will not bring us Grace, because it isn’t the real faith Jesus is asking from us. We may receive Grace if faith + works are complementing each other, not by themselves.

    That is what is meant in Ephesians 2:8-9.: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast.”

    Ephesians doesn’t mean it doesn’t help by doing good works, but that it doesn’t help by doing good works without having faith.

    You see, your interprertation isn’t that far off from Catholic understanding, as it is shown as above. But it is a key element that doing works (works that complement faith) is absolute necessary in our salvation. That is what the Catholic Church teaches. Faith alone isn’t enough in the sense that we still have to work our faith. Without these works, faith is dead. But is unmistakenly needed before we are able to receive Grace.

    So my conclusion is that all passages you regard as proof of ‘faith alone’ only express the meaning that doing good works WITHOUT faith are the kind of works that won’t bring us grace, and by no means that there isn’t such thing as ‘works’ that will bring us grace.

    passages that proof works are required for grace:

    Philippians 2:12-13 (Work out your salvation with fear and trembling…)
    Ephesians 2:10 (We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works..)

    In Matthew 19:17:19 Jesus Himself says that we should keep the commandments: You shall not kill, you shall not comit adultery, you shall not steal, etc. you shall honor you father and mother. That is ‘works’

    And by these words Jesus cannot be clearer about works playing a part in salvation:
    Matthew 12:37: “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
    (Words are a type of work, obviously)

    I hope this will give you some things to think about.

  28. Richard – do not overlook that it is the Spirit of God, Who indwells every believer, that wills and works in each believer to do good works (Phil 2:13). The redeemed person chooses to believe and chooses to speak and do good does ALL these things because the Spirit of God changes the nature of the person who was spiritually dead, makes him a new creature in Christ, which changes his desires such that he desires righteousness more and more. No man can do anything good unless the Spirit of God has made him new in Christ and given him godly desires. Man CANNOT do this of himself. He must be saved, born again, regenerated, justified, etc. before he can anything good.

  29. Richard says:

    You’re absolutely right Manfred, that it is the Spirit of God who makes all of this possible. But also do NOT forget that we are only saved at the moment of our death. There is always a possibility to fall away from the faith. It is a huge mistake to think that after being born again after baptism (and receiving the Spirit) you will not sin again anymore (and creating the possibility to fall away from Grace). We are only free of sin after death. One very important part from scripture to realize this, is Phil. 2:12. ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling’ and I Cor. 9:27 which says that Paul may also be rejected. So we must surrender ourselves everytime, everyday, to be sure. We CAN fall away from the faith. By choosing to sin (in the end EVERYONE sins) we fall away from Grace and we have to choose again for Him. God gives us that free choice, even after receiving the sign of the Spirit. We have to think for ourselves all the time. It’s not like saying ‘ive made it, i’ve had baptism and i’ve received the holy spirit so i’m completely sure of my salvation’. Choosing the way of Christ everyday will only make us sure of that. But every sinner will have to come to realize that they fail in one way or another. We are all sinners, even the people who have received the trugh.

  30. Richard – you err in thinking a Christian can fall away in the sense of losing his status as a child of God and, therefore, would have to choose to get saved again. This is classic Arminian error, which the Roman Catholic Church is built on. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit as an earnest deposit. Since the Lord Jesus declared that He would lose NONE of those given to Him by His father, our confidence is to be continually and only on the Lord and never on or in ourselves. No man can save himself or chose to have himself saved. There are none who seek after God, none who do good – no not one.

    Christian can grieve the Spirit of God by sin – no man is without sin. But sin does not condemn the Christian (Romans 8:1). One who sins continually without godly sorrow, without repentance – he is like the rocky or weed-crowded soil that did not endure; a false convert.

  31. Richard says:

    Everyone is child of God, even if we don’t choose to do so. The Roman Catholic Church is not an Arminian heresy, althrough we agree on some parts. But that is the case with most of the heresies. The Catholic Church is WAY earlier than Arminianism.
    If you want to know what Arminianism is, here is a good explanation:

    http://socrates58.blogspot.nl/2006/11/primer-on-semi-pelagianism-and.html

    Shortly said, we can loose our salvation in agreement with the following parts from scripture:

    1 John 5:16:17
    16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

    Doing sin that will lead us to death, will drive us away from God of course.

    Galations 5:19-21
    19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    This means for everyone. In combination with this:

    Ephesians 5:3-5:
    3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a]

    With doing one of these deadly sins described here, we cannot inheret the Kingdom of Christ. We can still choose do do these sins, even after receiving baptism and the Spirit, of course.

    Col. 3:5-6
    5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[a]

    Revelation 22:19
    19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

    1 Cor. 9:27
    27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control,[a] lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

    I KNOW that when really looking into things, you will find there is no error in Catholic teaching and none of them are contradicting scripture. There are however some doctrines not mentoined in the Bible. But as the Bible itself says (I’m not exactly where, but in one of the Gospels) not all things that happened are recorded in scripture.. Above answers I have from the really good answer in this topic on catholic answers:

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=456999

    I must admit in the past I was like you, I believed there could not be a true church, because everyone is saying something else. But after I started researching a few years ago, that is not how Christ intended it to be. The Holy Spirit does not learn different truths. There can be only one Church from the beginning Christ started with the apostles, with Peter as the head of the apostles. There is only one Church which exists from then to today, the Catholic Church, with a complete line of heads of the church (under Christ), namely the popes.

    If you want to know what the Catholic Church really teaches and how it coincides with scripture, don’t listen to anti-catholics but listen to what they have to say themselves and then make up you own mind in comparison with the BIble. That’s the only way to find truth. When I was searching for truth, I opened myself for everything, looking into forms of protestantism (which I didn’t give much credit at that point, because everyone disagrees, without any fform of authority saying if something is against scripture or not) and therefore 99 out of 100 denominations must be wrong at LEAST. I looked into Jehova Witnesses, and luckily enough I found out that anti-Catholics were saying things about things were doing (praying to statues etc.) are all misplaced and nothing more than prejudices. I KNOW that when something is trying to teach me that something in the Church is in contradiction with Scripture, there is a way to prove it isn’t so. Of course, sometimes I have my doubts as well, but I ask the Lord for help, and He will always help me. Searching for truth is all that matters.

    If you have questions about some things that might be contradictory to scripture in the Catholic Church please let me not. And please, don’t come with things like the bad popes etc, because in the end we are all people. But luckily we have the Holy Spirit guiding the Church ‘not even Hell will prevail’ to protect it, and you will find out that in the past 2000 years there may have been added official doctrines (which may find their origin way before declared so, and implicity was known already before it has been made official) and you will find out that nothing can change basic dogma’s, as Jesus intends it to be.

    That’s enough for today for me :). I wish you good luck and pray that you may be opened for wisdom and looking further than the usuals borders people have generally and are always looking to find truth

  32. fleebabylon says:

    “The Roman Catholic Church is not an Arminian heresy”

    It is however the satanic/harlot counterfit of the bride of Christ that Jesus is going to destroy when He returns.

  33. Richard – You quote Socrates to determine who is a child of God? No wonder you are confused. Every human is made in the image of God – but all are born by nature children of wrath. That’s only according the Word of God, not a pagan philosopher.

    Whatever the sin unto death that James is talking about is, as you know, physical death and does NOT mean one has lost what Jesus says He will never lose – the souls of the elect. Of course, when Christians sin we grieve the Spirit and Father – but Christians are adopted by God the Father as His children and will never be cast out. Those who are chastised by God for their sin know this comes from their Father’s love for them. One is not chastised by God is a bastard and not a true child. That’s the Bible, again.

    In Galatians, Paul is describing the reprobates, not Christians. The Apostle is contrasting the lifestyles of those who hate God with those who are loved by God and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.

    When you cite Ephesians, you show yourself polluted by Rome’s false teaching of “deadly sins”. ALL sins are deadly,. Christ took the sin of the elect upon Himself and died the death we should suffer. He drank the dregs of the cup of wrath due those the Father chose unto eternal life. There will be not a soul lost. When Christians sin, we have an advocate with God the Father – Jesus Christ! No phony priest or pastor can stand in His place. There is one mediator between man and God – Christ Jesus!

    You cite lots of passages and blindly assume they apply to the Christian’s standing with God. You – and Rome – err much in this regard.

    You claim there is no error in the teaching or Rome. ‘Tis sad beyond words you think this. Any reading the Council of Trent or comparing official teachings of any two popes will show error. And there is no greater error that the teaching that sinful man does good works that count toward his redemption.

    Read Wylie’s book on the papacy, if you dare. There is no church without error – the think otherwise is idolatry, thinking far too highly of the creature. Compounding the error of Rome’s false Christ, who wants to save but cannot.

  34. We have a specific example elsewhere in Scripture of a sin unto death.

    I Corinthians 11:27-30
    27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
    28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
    29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
    30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

    There are sins that cause illness, and sins that result in physical death. This is one of them. Yet, we know it is physical death and not spiritual death, because when Paul is talking about death and says “sleep” he is always referring to believers, who will wake at the resurrection. This refers to judgment in this life and physical death.

    ***
    The idea that we cannot be saved, or know we are saved, until we die is an abomination from the pits of Hell.

    I John 5:11-13
    11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
    12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
    13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

    vs 11 — it is done.
    vs 12 — you either have the Son and have life or you don’t. There’s no “I hope to still have life when I die.”
    vs 13 — you can know that you have eternal life. Eternal means forever. It doesn’t say you can know you have life that you hope will stick around. The Roman Catholic “church” teaches that you cannot know that you have eternal life, Scripture teaches that you can know. It’s that simple.

    Satan is the Accuser. This horrible teaching that you can’t know of your salvation is simply a weapon in his hand to keep people in the bondage of fear. Hebrews 2 speaks to that — Christ came to set us free from that kind of bondage.

  35. Richard says:

    Strange, I created an extensive answers but I don’t find it anymore. If you want to know about the history of the church, look at the history objectively, and not all the lies all the anti-catholics are telling about us. How can an anti-catholic explain what the teachings of the church are? They can’t.

    You say that the teaching of a church is without error, is simply believing in the words Jesus himself said:

    “I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” in Matt. 16:18.

    Protestants will say the church is not a physical church, but an invisible group of people who call themselves ‘true believers’. But this is against what Jesus said:

    Matt. 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.”

    Of course this is a logical choice for Jesus to do, if the Church was really an invisible thing to look for, how are people ever going to find it? People need guidance, or they will be scattered like sheep. It’s no more than logical people need guidance from an authority to bring people together.

    Because of the believe the one true church is invisible, people are loosing there faith, because they don’t see truth, because everyone is believing different things. Hence the thousands of denominations that exist today, and a lot of them (not all) call themselves the one true church, but this simple cannot be true. The Spirit does not divide people.

    This will be the last case I will put in this discussion, I suggest you take a look at our beautiful church as I did, without all the prejudices and hate there is. It’s what I did, and I only found truth, because it’s the only Christian church going back to the years of Christ, all other things have come later and are nothing more than heresies on the ONE truth as Jesus intended. There were other groups forming back then as well, but luckily they were all disregarded, luckily, but this could only be done with the help of God himself. Without it, the church wouldn’t exist for 2000 years, with the same Dogma as it was from the beginning.

  36. Richard – Protestants say the church of Jesus Christ, biblically speaking, exists and is described in Scripture in two ways: That local church, in countless places around the world, with tares along with the wheat is one. This is that which Christian fellowship, etc. takes place – where people indwelt by the Holy Spirit enjoy worship, preaching, and so on together and where discipline is exercised for when sin raises its ugly head therein. That universal church is the one described by wherein we are seated in the heavenlies with Christ at this very moment. All the saints (rightly called – NOT as the Roman Catholic Church calls them) from all ages in all places are members of this church, which is not tainted by any tares.

    God has had His remnant in every generation – even within the Roman church, which did not exist in any form until 5th century. See the most recent post on this blog for quotes from some who have led that bunch and see if it is all you think of it.

  37. “with the same Dogma as it was from the beginning.”

    Richard, I encourage you to look up the following: When did papal infallibility become a dogma of the church? When did the immaculate conception of Mary and assumption of Mary become dogma?

  38. Richard says:

    Sure, you’re absolutely right – when saying that saints can come from all ages and places are members of this church. But if people say that they come together in fellowship and praise etc as in invisible church doesn’t mean they are ‘one’ as Jesus intended it to be. One can only be one with Jesus, if the follow everything He has taught the world. The devil is quite smart, pretending to be an angel of light, and probably even so in pretending to be the Holy Spirit. But it’s simply not possible. If one person is following the believes of one church (meaning the teachings according to some group as the Bible tells so) and the other one is saying exactly the opposite, at least one of them is wrong. You either believe in the necessity of baptism or you don’t – but you can’t have it both ways. There is only one truth. Without it, we won’t make it to heaven. The only place Jesus could accomplish that, is to create a VISIBLE church with authority under himself, to keep that truth. You say that the catholic church didn’t exist in any form before the 5th century, but this is again a myth created in a heresy of anti-catholics And I can proof it to you, if we look up the church fathers, they were the first ones to define the doctrine, already known since the time of Jesus. For example, Ignatius. He was one of the students of John the Apostle. He said: Where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church. Now of course, a name doesn’t say much at all, but it is definately proof of the fact that the church should be ONE. having so many denominations doesn’t mean they’re one. We can only be one as a church (invisible or invisibible, doesn’t matter) if we all follow Jesus in ONE and the same way. If we don’t, we don’t have Jesus. Of course, every church contains the tares and the wheat, as you describe. But this is talking about this members, meaning people, there will always be tares and wheat. But it’s not about that. It’s about being the Church holy and one, because Jesus WANTS it that way. To say that the Catholic CHurch is a bad church, because of it’s members, is like saying in very simple terms, demolishing a car, because it has a bad radio. The cars runs on the engine! Just the same is the Catholic Church, which runs on the will of Jesus, He said it will not be overcome by Hell.

    If you were looking objectively for a Church today, without knowning anything about any of those, only basic things in the Bible. Wouldn’t you look for a Church that is persecuted, over and over again, and the allegations are getting worse almost every day. The first thing you would find, would probably the Catholic Church. But as Jesus said, his followers will be persecuted, just as He was.

    If you really want to know about the Catholic Church and what it really teaches, I suggest looking on the internet, for example the socrates58 blog, or sites like catholic answers, or catholic bridge. Catholic answers has a lot of topics with questions from all kinds of denominations. There are a lot of questions answers already, they will give you a biblical and traditional answer (tradition is very necessary, and biblical too) that will satisfy your answers. You won’t find anything that goes against scripture in the Catholic Church – really. If it were so and there was only ONE thing in it which is against scripture, I wouldn’t have become catholic. Trust me, i’ve only been baptized last year, so I wasn’t born into a catholic family and just take it all for granted.

  39. Richard – the term “catholic”, like many other terms, has been changed in meaning over the years (as much of English does). When those “fathers” used the word, they meant “universal” church – same as the “invisible” church. Each local church IS NOT the universal church, as it has tares in it while the universal church does not.

    The structure of the Roman Catholic Church was not invented until the 5th century. Bits and pieces of error that Rome collected and clings to as “truth” were evident even while Scripture was being recorded by the Apostles. That process does not the Roman Catholic Church make. Gregory was the first real pope, Constantine given the foundation of the state-church to the early bishops. Augustine gave both Reformers and Romans something to stand on, being a normal man of imperfect theology.

    The only tradition that is applicable across the board to all Christians are those given by the Apostles. Those faulty traditions developed by Rome or any other professing church are binding only on those who join such a church.

  40. Richard says:

    Papal infallibility:
    Basically, it’s like this. The infallibility of the pope (on faith and morals that is) existed implicitely since Jesus give the Keys of the Kingdom to Peter. Jesus said to him whatever you bound on earth will be bound in Heaven.. From then on, this one generally known. But because of controversity around it, and people were beginning to have doubts, the had to make it defined explicitly. Before that, Jesus promised that “guide you into all the truth”, that promise was given to the apostles, with Peter as their head.

    Assumption and Immaculate Conception of Mary:
    This was also already known in the first centuries. For the same reason as above, they had to define it officially and explicitly, so that it won’t be forgotten. There are tons of internetsites that gives you examples where and how Mary was already venerated and how these things, – later defined explicitly – were already there since the first century, after the death of our mother.

    You see, what you see as ‘additions’ to dogma, are nothing more than explicit defitions of things that were known way before that. That is meant when we say that truth will be never overcome. We cannot change dogma in the way that the Church defines something explicitly and some time later it is quite the opposite. These things happen in the Jehova Witnessess circles for example. What I even think is that doctrine (like the above 2 examples) is needed to explain the dogma what was already known and defined implicitly.

    All the arguments you give me about how the church is ‘wrong’, i’ve already looked at them and researched them more than once before, so there is no need to make me doubt about my own believes, because I known these things are truths, because the church is under the protection of the Holy Spirit since the beginning. Of course, we should always open ourselves to question things before taking them as truth, but I’ve only found truth in the Catholic Church. It’s good to question things! You should do as well. On what basis do you believe that the teachings of the catholic church are against scripture? Because someone else says so? So really have to do some reasearch, and look into the complete Bible as a context, not a little piece of one Book. This means the Catholic Bible! That’s the way the Bible was combined when they bundled all the books together. Until the point someone thinks he has the right the remove some books and change a text to their own liking. We all know what the book of revelation says about people who change the contents of holy scripture. The Bible is where I live by, truly. All of that truth is defined in the Catholic Church.

    Right now I’m really quitting my ‘defense for the Church’. I will leave the research to you now. Just look it all up, all pro’s and contra’s and you will find out why you should become catholic, as I did, and hopefully many many others. You shouldn’t base your opinions of the church on one side views and opinions

  41. Richard says:

    one small addition to it, to know why the catholic church is thé church:

    we have four pillars of truth:

    The Church Is One (Rom. 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:17, 12:13)
    This doesn’t mean, protestant, angelican, batpist, lutheran, etc

    The Church Is Holy (Eph. 5:25–27, Rev. 19:7–8)
    The Church is Holy, not because of the members, meaning the sinners here on earth, but because He says so.

    The Church Is Catholic (Matt. 28:19–20, Rev. 5:9–10)
    This same Catholic Church still exist today, because Jesus promised that “I will build
    my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18)

    The Church Is Apostolic (Eph. 2:19–20)
    Meaning, the authority given to Peter with the Keys, can be given into succession onto the next bishops, etc.

    The Catholic Church is the ONLY church going back to the time of Jesus. You should believe what He said, when He talked about that hell will not prevail against it. When promising this, he says that this church will still exist today. This means it cannot be an invisible church. An invisible Chuch is not ‘apostolic’ (how to give apostolic succession, if we don’t see the true Church). With giving these properties as I have described here, it is impossible to see it as an invisible church.

    This means that ‘catholic’ church not only means universal, but it means a tangible and seeable church (as a light on a mountain) Not invisible. The Church is only replaced after death, when we don’t need it anymore. If has been given to us to find and to KNOW truth.

    You say the following Manfred (my comments between paratheses)

    Richard – the term “catholic”, like many other terms, has been changed in meaning over the years (as much of English does). When those “fathers” used the word, they meant “universal” church – same as the “invisible” church. Each local church IS NOT the universal church, as it has tares in it while the universal church does not.

    (it’s not about the term, as I described above, it’s about the meaning Jesus has given to us by showing HOW the catholic church is not only a word, but a pysical church, consisting of buildings and people, under the protection of the Lord, as he promised)

    The structure of the Roman Catholic Church was not invented until the 5th century. Bits and pieces of error that Rome collected and clings to as “truth” were evident even while Scripture was being recorded by the Apostles. That process does not the Roman Catholic Church make. Gregory was the first real pope, Constantine given the foundation of the state-church to the early bishops. Augustine gave both Reformers and Romans something to stand on, being a normal man of imperfect theology.

    (The structure of the Catholic Church is COMPLETELY in line with the BIble.
    For example, Timothy and Titus were first centrury Bishops.

    Read Titus 1:5:
    The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you.

    Their helpers are ‘elders’ (or priests). You can see that the priests are appointed by the bishops (Titus) in this example.

    The Elders have to handle the following affairs: 1 Timothy 5:17:

    The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.)

    in Acts 6:1–6 you can see there are 7 people chosen, to help the apostles with all sorts of things. You can see, at the time just after the death on the Cross, there is some serieus structurizing going on in the Church, so your guess about a roman ‘invention’ is far from the truth, it is completely biblical)

    The only tradition that is applicable across the board to all Christians are those given by the Apostles. Those faulty traditions developed by Rome or any other professing church are binding only on those who join such a church.

    (We can see that all of these things like ordaining priests and deacons were also in use before the fifth century, so not as late as you think Timothy 5:22 is talking about the hands laying when ordaing someone. Other proofs beside the Bible (before the 5th century) are Clement of Alexandria (beginning of the 3rd century), Hippolytus (same period.)

    So I ask you Manfred, how in the world did you come to the conclusion that the structure of the Catholic Church was ‘invented’ only in the 5th century? It’s all there in the Bible!

  42. Richard – the entire empire of the Roman Catholic Church rests on inferences based on twisted interpretations of Scripture, just like your “defense” of papal infallibility. Go in peace in your chains to the pope – but know that there is one mediator between man and God; the God-man Jesus! (Mary not included)

  43. These things did not become “dogma” in the first century. The assumption of Mary was declared to be “dogma” in 1950. If you had asked any Catholic before then if it was “dogma” they would have said no. Afterwards, they would have said it was “dogma.”

    But they also say “dogma” hasn’t changed. It wasn’t dogma, it became dogma, but dogma hasn’t changed.

    I suppose it depends on what the definition of “is” is, doesn’t it?

  44. Richard says:

    You’re right that there is only one mediator between God and man, Jesus, there is no Catholic that will argue with you about that. If you still think the pope is that for us, you sure don’t have a correct understanding of what the catholic church teaches, That’s why I encourage you to do so and on that basis you can make up your mind on how it is in accordance with the bible. Because I have to disagree with you that our interpretation is ‘twisted’. Who do you think combined the separates books into one bible? The Catholic Church! When you search for truth, you will find out that the catholic church has the most complete understandig of the bible, no wonder with 2000 years of church history. I don’t think protestants are wrong in all ways, it’s just not complete and important things are missing, parts that are even necessary for salvation, just as Jesus said they are. It’s not twisted to realize having a pope is necessary for keeping authority. And it’s exactly so that Peter was our first pope. read between the lines on how Peter is acting as first speaker and first one to do things. HE was the one to receive the keys, not the other apostles. You see, it’s not how a pope should be an example for us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t lean. Jesus knew Peter was going to deny Him 3 times, but he STILL gave him the keys, because He knew we need authority on earth to be able to obey to his laws and to keep the truth, and not become like protestant denominations, everyone having their own opinion, meaning they just don’t want to do what Jesus asks from them, but to only do the things they like themselves. Jesus could give Peter the keys, because He knew the Church would be under protection of the Holy Spirit, that’s the reason why because of even all the bad things in history it’s members have done, it’s still here. And the Church will be here until Jesus returns again.

  45. Richard says:

    Jon, it was not declared officially dogma the things I spoke about, but they were definately known to be true! Just look up some information about the church fathers from the first few centuries, they believe exactly the same things as we do today. Maybe they’re even more catholic than I am!

    Look for Ignatius for example. If you read his letters (these are still preserved today, and therefore legimate accounts of Church history)

  46. There’s a concise rebuttal to the false notion that Peter was the first pope or that there is apostolic succession: http://defendingcontending.com/2008/03/31/was-the-apostle-peter-the-first-pope/

    If the train wreck of Roman Catholic history demonstrates apostolic succession, ya’ll need to apologize to Jesus.

    The keys to the kingdom are misunderstood by Rome as well – they refer to church discipline as shown in Matthew 18. In the new covenant church, there are no priests between man and God, which is what your cult is built on, no matter how much you deny it.

  47. Richard, tell me which of Ignatius’ letters, or any other writing of any of the early believers (say, before the 4th century), mentions the Assumption of Mary.

    You just referred to “church fathers.” Jesus said to call no man on earth “father.” Why do you and your church call them “church fathers,” anyway? Why does your church teach people to call your leaders “father” and even “holy father”? Are they not men on earth? Or was Jesus wrong to say not to call men “father”?

    I don’t have to read an anti-Catholic writer to know there is something wrong. All I have to do is read what Jesus Himself said. It’s not difficult.

  48. fleebabylon says:

    “And it’s exactly so that Peter was our first pope”

    Peter wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry at such anti-christ nonsense. You are bound by the satanic religion of Rome and except you repent you will perish. You trust in worthless idols that Jesus will one day soon destroy. You can no more be catholic and serve Jesus as you can be a mafia member and serve Jesus. You have to choose between the two.

  49. Richard says:

    Jon, The Bible calls Abraham father (Acts 7:2). You call your own dad father. Paul calls Isaac even father at one point (Romans 9:10) You see, it’s not about the word father, it’s about the meaning father.

    If you want to learn about the different meaning of the word father, you can simply look them up in the Bible. They are used in different kind of forms in the Bible as I mentioned here. By the teaching of Jesus calling no man father is meant that we should not see another man as high as God the Father, that’s meant with the text.

    It looks like you guys are having the same problems with the catholic church as I had before. If you want to learn the catholic teaching look them up in the catholic church, and not based on your own private interpretations (opinion!) of the Bible

    How in Heaven’s name can all of you judge about something that you don’t know about in the first place? By having these standard prejudices about the catholic church, as a lot of non-catholics have, it’s only obvious you haven’t looked even ONE second at the REAL teaching of those things in the Catholic Church and WHY they are teached.

    Don’t you think we’ve already answered standard accusations like ‘you worship mary, you pray to statues etc,etc.’ hundreds of times before with complete biblical answers? That’s what i’m also trying to do here, but you’re not listening. I can explain biblically to you why Peter was the head of the apostles, but you won’t simply listen to it, because you can’t look any further than your own opinion about the bible and try to look things from different perspectives.

    I chose Jesus, freebabylon, all the way. And to do that completely, I found out you have to be catholic. To have the idea that you have to choose between Jesus OR the catholic church, is again a simple proof that you don’t know anything about the catholic church teachings at all.

    Well that’s the prerogative everyone has of course, but it really hurts me you guys are judging the catholic church without even really looking at the teachings and place them in biblical contexts the way we do. The answers you’ve given me so far have proven to me that you didn’t. All the answers why you THINK the catholic church is presumably evil have been answers to me several times before (And are based solely on specific verses of the Bible, and completely forgetting the TOTAL context of it), so I can genuinely say they are nothing more than prejudices all the accusations you have about our church. But that’s your own decision of course.

    As i’ve said before, you should look in the catholic church for answers if you want answers and you can also find answers to the accusations you are throwing at me. We’ve defended all of them hundres of times biblically.

    From here on I will leave it up to you, look at our answers to your accusations before making a judgement about the catholic church. They can all be found on the internet, so it isn’t even necessary for ME to answer them, they’re already there. I’m only a simple servent of our Lord who will obviously try to defend the church always, but there is nothing to defend if you have all simple biased and based on prejudices, which you guys DEFINATELY have, because they have all been answered already. If you haven’t looked them up before, you have no right to accuse us as a church of anything.

    The judge won’t accuse anyone without a defense.

  50. Well, Richard, you didn’t cite a single “church father” who mentioned the assumption or immaculate conception of Mary. I’m still waiting.

    Jesus said not to use the term “rabbi”, too. He wasn’t forbidding the word “father,” but forbidding using it to give spiritual authority to men, which is exactly what your church does in how it uses it, in reference to the “church fathers,” to the priests, and especially to the pope. It is a direct violation of what He was saying.

    Here’s what an apostle said about the scope of apostolic authority: II Corinthians 1:24 “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” Your church, if it can be called that, demands dominion over the faith of its adherents.

    And if you’ve only been a Catholic for a year as you claim, I suspect I know more of Roman Catholic dogma than you do — and it simply doesn’t hold up to Scripture.

  51. From Matthew 23…

    Mat 23:8-9 “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.”

    “But the word “father” also denotes “authority, eminence, superiority, a right to command, and a claim to particular respect.” In this sense it is used here. In this sense it belongs eminently to God, and it is not right to give it to people. Christian brethren are equal. Only God has supreme authority. He only has a right to give laws; to declare doctrines that shall bind the conscience; to punish disobedience. The Jewish teachers affected that title because they seem to have supposed that a teacher formed the man, or gave him real life, and sought, therefore, to be called father. Christ taught them that the source of all life and truth was God, and they ought not to seek or receive a title which properly belongs to him.” Albert Barnes

    “No one among you is higher than another, or can possibly have from me any jurisdiction over the rest. Ye are, in this respect, perfectly equal.” Adam Clarke

    “Call no man your father upon the earth; constitute no man the father of your religion, that is, the founder, author, director, and governor, of it.The fathers of our flesh must be called fathers, and as such we must give them reverence; but God only must be allowed as the Father of our spirits, Heb_12:9. Our religion must not be derived from Rome or made to depend upon, any man. The reason given is, One is your Father, who is in heaven. God is our Father, and is All in all in our religion. He is the Fountain of it, and its Founder; the Life of it, and its Lord; from whom alone, as the Original, our spiritual life is derived, and on whom it depends. Christ having taught us to say, Our Father, who art in heaven; let us call no man Father upon earth; no man, because man is a worm, and the son of man is a worm, hewn out of the same rock with us; especially not upon earth, for man upon earth is a sinful worm; there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not, and therefore no one is fit to be called Father.” Matthew Henry

  52. fleebabylon says:

    “To have the idea that you have to choose between Jesus OR the catholic church, is again a simple proof that you don’t know anything about the catholic church teachings at all.”

    “As i’ve said before, you should look in the catholic church for answers if you want answers”

    If you knew Jesus you would not speak as you do, but you choose a false christ, counterfeit church, and walk in darkness. Your very words betray you as you point to satanic rome as the answer instead of Jesus who is the way, truth, and life. If you do not repent of your allegiance to and trust in rome in this is life you can be sure that you will have hell in the next. Don’t be deceived by the witchcraft of demon possessed pervert priests or the edicts of anti-christ popes through the ages.

    You can not serve Christ and the devil, be sure of that dear soul. Jesus Christ alone saves and one thing he saves his people from is “mother church”.

    Revelation 17:

    The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written:

    MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,
    THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
    AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS
    OF THE EARTH.

    I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

  53. She says:

    Mr Richard, why it is hard for you to understand the bible because you havent removed the veil in your eyes still. Unveil that with the blood of Jesus and you will know the truth.it will set you free.trust Jesus and you wont get lost..He is our only God. Mary is only human the mother of jesus when God manifest in the flesh..I got save 2010.since then God change me from glory to glory.Many of the teaching of the catholic are twisted,,,many many many.be saved.Be washed in the blood of Jesus and you will understand and come to know your savior closely.walk in faith..the idols, the purgatory ,the infant baptism is not a practice taught by the scripture.

  54. She says:

    Mr Richard, Revelation 17. I firmly believe that is the catholic church. Pls. Read..may you will come to know Jesus..He loves you .He died for..not mary or anyone else.Read your bible and humble yourself to God…he will guide you into all truth.

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