Friday, December 15, 2006

LIVING OR DEAD

We still encounter those who teach that dead faith is pleasing to God. They don't call it a "dead faith", but their doctrine of "faith alone" is what the Bible characterizes as "dead faith." They will explain that, "Sure, you have to show your faith by works toward man, but not toward God." When James says that "faith without works is dead", this passage is somehow twisted to mean that James is not discussing faith toward God. They would say that only "faith alone", faith without works, is acceptable to God. They would say that faith WITH works offered to God would be improper and indicative of a pharisaic, law-oriented attempt to earn salvation. To those who are misled on this matter, we continue to show that there is only one faith that is necessary to please God. It is obedient (Rom. 1:5) and full of good works, while it trust in no work for salvation except for the saving work of Christ: our faith is in Christ and not in our works.

Paul said "now remain faith, hope, and love." Examine the following passages to see the importance of having an obedient faith, love, and hope.

"5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake," - Rom. 1:5

"2We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father," - 1 Thess. 1:2,3

"10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints." - Heb. 6:10

"17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works." - James 2:17,18

"24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." - James 2:24

"26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." - James 2:26

"18 Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." 1John 3:18

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