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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hard Question – My Answer Summarized

Last couple of days you looked at a question that, if you have not encountered, at sometime you will, how does one reconcile Paul’s central message of justification by faith stated most clearly in Romans 1:17 and 4:3 with James’ seemingly conflicting argument that we are justified by works in James 2:21 – 24.  Yesterday I suggested that to answer the question it is best to look at what the New Testament teaches as a whole.  To that end I asked you to look at 5 passages in four books.  Those passages are written by 4 of the 8 or 9 New Testament authors (8 or 9 depending on whether one thinks Paul wrote Hebrews).  So as you read those what were your conclusions?
My summary for the answer to the hard question...  Thoughts at DTTB.
My conclusion is that faith saves and changes behavior.  Paul agrees with James and James agrees with Paul.  If we truly trust Christ then as Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “the love of Christ controls us…”  All through the New Testament the notion that there will be evidence of faith in a person’s life is consistently presented.  In Romans 6:1 – 2 Paul uses strong language to reinforce that point.  Most translations say something like certainly not or may it never be, you could also translate it NO WAY JOSE!

It is not the works that save; it is faith.  The works are the result of the change that faith brings.


  1. Mike - great job demonstrating this.. I've seen this mis-used by so many in the church, like a biblical slight-of-hand to reinforce what they want to believe or what they don't know how to figure out, but you have used it as intended - to show the truth in the whole, and the agreement between what seems incongruous.