The Compete word of God? Paul verses James?

This post is a testimony to the purity and the clarity of God’s word as testified to and defended by The Gospel According to the Gospel.  This testimony comes in contrast to what is preached in other Christian circles concerning the conflict between James and Paul.  These other Christian influences have separated into two different camps in radical opposition to each other.  They have settled for the Compete Word of God.  But the testimony to the purity of the gospel that is defended and expounder on here at The Gospel According to the Gospel doesn’t divide the gospel of scripture into two opposing theologies.  Rather The Gospel According to the Gospel shows the unity of the gospel of scripture as the Complete Word of God.  Sadly, even with the testimony of the harmonization of two opposing theologies, it is the gospel the church refuses to believe.

At odds in the church is the doctrine of works and the doctrine of grace.  One part of the body of Christ teaches that works has nothing to do with our position before God, for it is by grace that we are saved.  They give us the testimony of scripture.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.[1]

They boldly defend what Paul has written, they repeat over and over again it is not of works but grace we are saved.  And so they should for our imputed righteousness is by grace alone.

On the other side of the coin we have those who say faith alone is not enough to justify a man.  They quote scripture accurately that confirms this.

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.[2]

They boldly defend what James has written, they repeat over and over again that faith without deeds is dead.  And so they should for man is not justified by faith only.

So here we have what appears to be two hugely monumentally apposing doctrines of scripture resulting in the Compete Word of God..  The churches lack of understanding concerning its own hope of salvation and the covenant God gave Abraham brings into question the perfect word and testimony of God. 

Due to this lack of understanding the Calvinist circles their wagons around Paul and vigorously fights off any opposing ideas of grace alone.  They assume they are only fighting off Arminianism but the truth is, they are battling against what scripture clearly teaches.  They twist and contort or ignore this word of God from James to defend their doctrine based on half of the whole council of God.  They are the home team in the Compete Word of God.

Due to the lack of understanding and teaching by the Calvinist the Arminianist in their own lack of understanding circle their wagons around James.  Arminianism fights off grace to defend works and makes it look like they are supporting a salvation based on works.  They marginalize a fundamental truth concerning our faith and this is, it is by grace.  They are the visiting team in the Compete Word of God.

There is a huge chasm that exist in Christianity today because neither side has taken the whole council of God rejecting the Complete Word of God.  Nor do they understand what the gospel we find in our scriptures testify to.  As testimony of the validity of The Gospel According to the Gospel as the whole council of God, these two apposing views will be brought into one gospel as scripture declares it.  The dividing wall of hostility of man’s doctrines will give way to the gospel found in scripture, the Complete Word of God, within the context and example of the covenant that God made with our father Abraham as taught in our New Testament by our gospel writers.

We will discover that what God has done for Abraham and his descendents is no different that what He has done for us.  And we will further discover what Hebrews testifies to.

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.[3]

That is our gospel was preached to those at Mt. Sinai as well as to us.  We will discover what is testified to in the New Testament of the gospel Paul preached when it says of him, when he finally made it to Rome, that he preached from the Law of Moses and the prophets.

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.[4]

Now for the Complete Word of God taught and defended at The Gospel According to the Gospel.

Paul teaches that Abraham was given righteousness from God that he did not earn.  This righteousness was imputed to him.  It was not something initiated by Abraham but by the will of God to elect and call Abraham.

And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:[5]

God imputing to Abraham righteousness and giving him the seal in his flesh of this righteousness that came by his faith, does not violate what Paul wrote in another place, where he said it is by God’s grace through faith and not of works that our sins are not held against us.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.[6]

Paul taught from the Law of Moses and the prophets even in the last chapters of Acts when he finally made it to Rome.  Do you see how Moses’ account of Abraham that Paul preached is the gospel we have come to understand today?  That what Paul taught concerning Abraham doesn’t go against God’s election, calling or even His grace, but it was through Abraham’s faith that this grace was given to him.  Just as Paul teaches us in his letter to the Ephesians it is by His grace that our sins are not held against us, through faith.

Paul further elaborates that Abraham’s faith came into action when he did not doubt God.  And like our father Abraham we too can be imputed righteousness if we believe on Jesus our Lord.  For he says, it wasn’t for Abraham’s sake alone but ours too that Moses had written the covenant God made with Abraham in the first place.

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.  Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;[7]

Our being imputed righteousness does not come to us without faith, this is an inescapable truth of scripture.  Nor does it come to us through any working of our own, this too is an inescapable truth of scripture.  We like Abraham stagger not at our promise of imputed righteousness, but are fully persuaded in the promises of God.  We stand confident not on our own merit but His promises towards us alone through faith.

This does not contradict scripture when Paul again in another place teaches us that it is by grace and not works, otherwise grace is not grace.  This is what our father Abraham experienced and what we have today in Paul’s gospel that he preached from Moses.

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.[8]

Nor does it contradict scripture that says it was not through the Law but through the righteousness of faith.

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.[9]

In order to do true justice to the gospel I preach and defend at The Gospel According to the Gospel, I need to dive deeper into what God did in the covenant He made with Abraham.

We just learned from Paul that Abraham was imputed righteousness through his faith and the seal of this righteousness in the flesh was circumcision.  But what was the covenant God made with Abraham?  God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham that he and his seed will be His people and He will be their God.

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.[10]

God made the mark in their flesh a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham.  This mark in the flesh, being the sign of righteousness imputed was a command of God to all males.

And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.[11]

In fact anyone who did not have this seal in their flesh, he was cut off from the people because they, not God, broke the covenant God had made as an everlasting covenant with them.

And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.[12]

We see God imputing to Abraham and his seed His righteousness by grace alone.  We see God acknowledging men’s abilities to not keep this covenant of imputed righteousness by refusing to accept by faith why it was God had marked them.

This imputed righteousness for all of Abraham’s descendents does not conflict with script when Paul quotes David.

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,[13]

Since we now know that it wasn’t through the offer or act of God imputing righteousness that a man was credited righteousness but through his faith he is imputed, what did the people of Israel do with this covenant?  Did they keep it or break it?

Paul shedding light on the people of the covenant of imputed righteousness, shows they rejected the righteousness that comes from God and sought it in the Law.  They did not have the faith in the one who made the promise and sought their own justification.  They had lost site of what God had promised them.  They broke the covenant.

For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.[14]

This does not contradict scripture when Paul taught the Jew sought their own righteousness from the Law.  Again they did not submit to the righteousness provided by God through the righteousness that comes by faith.  Instead they sought a righteousness through the Law that Paul told the church of Galatia will cause them to fall from grace.  Yes, the people of Israel who sought righteousness from the Law fell from grace when they rejected the righteousness from God.

But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.(Rom 9:32 KJV)  Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;[15]

This does not contradict scripture that teaches us Abraham’s descendents died in the desert do to lack of faith in the promise, and this after they had the same gospel preached to them as we did to us as the writer of Hebrews says.  Isn’t this why believers are warned to have fear so they approach their own faith seriously so they don’t come up short too.

And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbeliefLet us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.[16]

What God has done for Abraham and his descendents is nothing different than what He has done for us.  We like to think in modern terms that they of the Old Testament had the Law and we have grace.  But no, we learned through Paul they had His grace and imputed righteousness and this through faith and not on ones own merit.  In fact Paul, who taught from the Law of Moses and the prophets, teaches us that we are now included in this blessing given to Abraham through Christ and this through faith.  We find in scripture that we have the same blessings and the same warnings about falling fall grace.

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.[17]

Paul taught that Christ died so that what was promised to Abraham in a covenant might come to us gentiles through His sacrifice on the cross, and again this by faith.  It wasn’t something God just throws on us.  No, like with the children of Abraham and Abraham himself, it comes to us by our faith.

This does not contradict scripture when Paul tells the Romans they are justified by faith in Christ and not just the act of God offering imputed righteousness to us through the cross.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.[18]

Nor does it contradict

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.[19]


Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)[20]


Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,[21]

I could go on and on and list verse after verse of how in Christ we now share in what God did for our father Abraham and his descendents. 

We see how God has imputed righteousness to Abraham and given the seal of this righteousness in circumcision.  This was something that comes by faith and not works.  This was an everlasting covenant that could be broken by man, but it did not nullify the grace by which it was given.  We have recorded for us how God’s chosen people, either walked in this like Abraham, or sought righteousness in the Law or fell deep into sin, rejecting God.  We see in scripture God punishing His people for breaking His covenant.  It wasn’t Him who was not keeping His part of the covenant, it was His chosen people whom He already, by covenant, gave them a righteousness they did not deserve.  And we all know He was long suffering in it.

Now we have been grafted into this through Christ.  God is not just offering the Jews His righteousness but us gentiles too.  But the question is, what will us gentiles do with it.  Will we seek our own righteousness through the Law, rejecting the righteousness that comes from God?

This is why Paul writing to the New Testament believers in Galatia warned them.  Just as the Jews fell from the grace they were given when they rejected the righteousness from God, we too can fall from this grace if we abandon righteousness that comes by faith and seek a righteousness from the Law.

You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.[22]

Just as our brothers in Abraham rejected the righteousness from God and sought it in the Law so we too can fall in this error.  The Galatian church was in jeopardy of falling because they were leaving the message of Paul that at one time they believed.  So can we today.

This does not contradict what Paul says in another place when he urged the believers in Corinth to no receive the grace of God in vain.  They could receive like the Galatia church and turn from it, just like our brothers the Jews.

We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.[23]

Nor does it contradict scripture that urges believers to not let sin rule in them so as to fail of the grace given us.

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;[24]

So what is clearly taught us in scripture?  Our righteousness comes from God but through faith.  God doesn’t just give us righteousness because it is there for the taking.  It is obtained through faith.  We see in our brothers, the Jews, they rejected this and sought it in the Law or completely rejected any kind of righteousness.  Even after it was offered to them.  They were imputed righteousness, but the rejected it after it was given.

Now when James says that a man is not justified by “faith” alone does he take away from the grace that God gave Abraham and us through Christ?  No he does not.  He affirms that it is not just a confession but a working, living, active faith that a man will be justified in the offer of righteousness. 

Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.[25]

We are no different than Abraham.  We do not receive God’s righteousness because we believe in God.  Abraham’s living faith was credited to him as righteousness.  This does not contradict scripture that teaches belief in God only, is not faith.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.[26]

Faith in the grace that God has freely given us is more than a belief.  It is our belief put to action.  This does not contradict that scripture again uses our father Abraham as our example of faith being more than a belief, but action.

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.[27]

Nor does this contradict what Isaac did when his actions were considered faith.  He blessed them according to the things to come, the older shall serve the younger.

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.[28]

Nor does it contradict what Jacob, Joseph Moses parent, Moses, those who kept the first Passover, who passed through the red sea, who saw the walls of Jericho fall, or a harlot that gave lodging for the spies and I could go on.  All of these were commend for their faith for what they did.

This doesn’t contradict what James tells us.  Faith if it is not acted upon is dead.  These were not commended for what they didn’t do.  But what they believed God for and acted on, putting their faith to work, showing that their faith is alive.

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.[29]

This does not contradict scripture that teaches us that belief in God is not enough.  Even repentance is not enough.  Our faith must produce good fruit.  Just as belief without faith is dead, so is repentance without faith being lived and producing good fruit is dead.  With James, faith without action leads to no faith but death.  With John the Baptist repentance without a changed heart and lifestyle brings judgment.

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.[30]

Nor does this contradict scripture when Christ said the same thing.  Even He, yes He expected belief and repentance to be living and coupled with action.  Without it only an expectation of judgment.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.[31]

Jesus spoke this concerning false prophets, that they will be know by their fruit.  He ended it with the ever famous Lord, Lord passage.  Christ was talking about someone who claimed to be a man of God but his belief did not become a living faith. 

Does Christ now stand in opposition to what Paul teaches us?  Is Christ advocating His own righteousness is now by works, or is it still by grace?  Of course it is still by grace.  What God did for Abraham was by grace, what God did for Abraham’s descendents was by grace.  When we were included in the blessing of Abraham through Christ, this was by grace. 

All of this was nothing that man had any part in, nor did we deserve any of it.  But just like our brothers in Abraham we too can reject this grace by seeking it in the Law or rejecting all righteousness.  Yes they were imputed righteousness by His covenant with the seal of circumcision, but they still, after being imputed righteousness, rejected this righteousness.  How much more do we who are grafted in, and can be cut off again, need to make sure we remain faithful to the end in order to make our hope sure?  Lest we too be credited righteousness by God and fall short of this grace like some of those who were cut off so we could be grafted in?

And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.[32]

Works do not replace or compete in any way with what God has done for any of Abraham’s descendents, whether a Jew or a gentile.  But it does show faith by which we too can be credited righteousness like our father Abraham.

Just as James says, without taking away from anything Paul taught on grace, works completes faith.  Faith that does nothing is useless, it is nothing but mere belief which the demons are credited with.  Faith is more and this is what all of God’s people are credited for.

Calvinist teach that works is the direct result of being imputed God’s righteousness.  Scripture teaches works (a living active faith in the promises of God) is through which we are imputed righteousness.  This is why our New Testament scriptures over and over again demonstrate this in the people of Israel.

James uses Abraham as our example of faith working and how this made his faith perfect.  His faith produced good fruit.

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?[33]

Our working faith is what credits us righteousness, just as our father Abraham was credit righteousness because of his faith.  Our faith in action, like all those mentioned and hinted at in Hebrews, is works making our faith real, by which we are justified into His grace.  What God has done to impute righteousness, that none are worthy of or add to, is applied to us by living faith, by works that justifies us.

This is why James said that our father Abraham was justified not by faith alone but works.  A faith he would not act upon is a dead faith.  It was his faith in action, works if you will, that produced justification and good fruit.

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.[34]

Abraham’s belief that he acted on causing it to be a living faith imputed to him righteousness.  Does this take away God calling Abraham out of the nation of His father?  Does this rob God of His actions alone to make a covenant with Abraham and his descendents to be their God and they His people?  Does this make it as if Abraham or his descendents contributed anything to God giving them the covenant of imputed righteousness with circumcision as the testimony of this righteousness?  No it doesn’t.  This is why Paul is able to use Abraham as his example also concerning what God had done.  For Abraham’s faith took nothing from what God had done.

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.[35]

Paul taught that Abraham did not add one thing to what God had done.  He brought nothing to his calling, the covenant, the imputed righteousness, the blessing or the inheritance.  It was all God and Him alone.  That is why it is by grace we can even talk about being credited with something we do not deserve.  But like Abraham we can believe God and put our faith to action.  He left his fathers land, he was willing to sojourn, he offered Isaac, and for this his belief in God was credited to him as righteousness.  Abraham did not count on his own righteousness as many have done through the Law.  His faith accompanied by his actions justified him, in what God had offered.  Paul and James do not compete with each other, they are not part of the Compete word of God,

We can see that God did not offer His grace and covenant of righteousness because Abraham was such a godly guy or he was worth it, but by God’s choosing and actions alone.  That is why scripture records that it is by grace and not works that God even elects, even imputes.

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.[36]

But faith that responds to such promises in God and from God is what justifies us.  If Abraham would have never put his faith to work and circumcised himself and his sons he would have broken God’s covenant.  His lack of faith along with his actions would not have justified him.  He would have said no thanks to what God had done for him and his descendants by grace.

This is no different than those Jews who said no thanks to what God did for them by grace when they sought righteousness through the Law or no righteousness at all.  This is no different than those who fell in the desert because they did not believe and seek righteousness by faith or because they did not seek any righteousness.

Do I need to speak of those who died due to sin?  Do I need to speak of those who didn’t enter into their rest because they didn’t believe God?  They did not enter in because their faith had not works, no fruit, no action.  It was their children who entered in.

So today we have people who profess a belief in God.  We have those who have repented of their sins.  But if they do not produce fruit and have a faith that produces action they will be judged and die in their sins.  They will miss their election as a people, just as those did in Israel.  If they go the other way in their zeal to seek righteousness through the Law they will fall from the grace God had given them, by rejecting the righteousness of God for their own, just like some of Israel had done.

But our gospel hopes for us something better.  Just as God gave Abraham an everlasting covenant of imputed righteousness, so we too through Christ share in this everlasting consolation and good hope through the grace of God.  Now like our Hebrew brothers who God shed His grace on, we too can be established in our faith, through which this grace is received, by the fruit of our lives and our actions motivated by belief. 

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.[37]

This we all hope in through the work of Christ in our lives.  How many scripture that I will not mention here speak of God working in us?  We do not live out this faith by our own strength and power, but as we trust Christ to work in us by His Holy Spirit. 

Christ is the Word of God and not just the New Testament.  This is the Word of God Paul preached in the last chapter of Acts.  We have the example of the covenant God made with Abraham and what his descendants did with this covenant.  We have the example of Abraham being credited righteousness because his faith was made complete by works.  This faith is the kind of faith scripture wants us to have, so that by this faith we can have this grace given us through Christ.  The testimony is true, it is by grace through an active living faith we are justified.  Lest lukewarm and cold are the new standard of faith.

So what is it church?  Do we want to keep the Compete Word of God and divide the word of God into two competing camps?  The home team saying, “Not by works a man is justified.” 

For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.[38]

The visiting team saying, “By works a man is justified.”

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.[39]

Or do we want to accept what was preached by Paul from the Law of Moses and the prophets concerning the grace that God has given us through Christ.  This grace comes to us through faith.  Do we also want to accept what James say, a faith is more than a belief but a fruitful life because we live out what we believe.  Isn’t this the Complete Word of God that the church refuses to believe?

What I advocate was the gospel the Paul preached in the last chapter of Acts from the Law of Moses and the prophets, Hebrews says was preached at Mt. Sinai, we gentiles have been grafted into through Christ has many implications.  Think of the impact this has on the Compete Word of God.  What do you think it does with “once saved always saved”, “election” or how God uses His sovereignty?  It changes everything.

[1] Ephesians 2:8-9

[2] James 2:24

[3] Hebrews 4:2

[4] Acts 28:23

[5] Romans 4:11

[6] Ephesians 2:8-9

[7] Romans 4:20-24

[8] Romans 11:6

[9] Romans 4:13

[10] Genesis 17:7

[11] Genesis 7:11

[12] Genesis 17:14

[13] Romans 4:6

[14] Romans 10:3

[15] Romans 9:31

[16] Hebrews 3:18-4:2

[17] Galatians 3;14

[18] Romans 5:1-2

[19] Galatians 2:6

[20] Ephesians 2:5

[21] 2 Timothy 1:9

[22] Galatians 5:4

[23] 2 Corinthians 6:1

[24] Hebrews 12:15

[25] Romans 4:9

[26] James 2:19

[27] Hebrews 11:17

[28] Hebrews 11:20

[29] James 2:26

[30] Matthew 3:8-10

[31] Matthew 7:19

[32] Hebrews 6:11-12

[33] James 2:21-24

[34] James 2:23-24

[35] Romans 4:1-3

[36] Romans 11:6

[37] 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

[38] Romans 4:2

[39] James 2:24

15 thoughts on “The Compete word of God? Paul verses James?

    • Leaving out those doctrines for a second, are you saying I did not misrepresent scripture? That I possible did a good job? How about maybe close?

      Now about these doctrines, what was it they add that I did not cover? Understanding I tried my best to keep it as brief as possible and not cover every issue about works. I just wanted to make the best biblical case I could for the reconciliation of Paul and James.

      Did you like the graphic I made?

      By the way, good to have you back.

      • Dave,

        I see the progression of God’s covenant and Salvation History of God. Note Heb. 1:1-3, Christ is Himself the “eternal covenant” of God, Heb. 13:20. But grace always proceeds, and is the real transaction, but within the life and faith of the believer. And even James has the man of God asking in “faith without doubting” (James 1:6), Note also, verse 17-18, it is God verse 18 who “In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word” (as verse 21).

  1. Got enough “proof text” there, Brother? LOL
    Hey, so faith really isn’t a “gift from God” as opposed to a conscious choice to accept and believe, and the right to choose Him is His grace? Yeah, I knew it all along!

    • Starsque,

      The reason I have so many proof text is because I do not advocate what is taught in church. I reject that our gospel starts in the book of Matthew. I reject we are saved at the altar. I reject that imputed righteousness starts with Christ. We gentiles are grafted into the covenant of imputed righteousness that starts with Abraham.

      I could go on but bottom line, I am trying to lay a new foundation for the understanding of our gospel. That is why so much proof text.

      As far as what faith we have from Christ, I want to make a post on it next week, for as you know, God wants to work in us too.

      • I’m sorry I haven’t been on here for quite a while. I really didn’t think you were going to reply at all to me for some reason. Ha! That’s what I get for thinking! 🙂

        I was just kidding you about the proof text seeing as how Mr. Canadian Not Really A Pastor Will gave you so much grief about proof text. People like that bug me.

        This is how I see things. Life’s too short to muck up the Message with our personal likes and dislikes, wants and don’t wants or intellectual babble. Intelligence gets in the way of simple belief. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” 1Cor.1:18-25NIV

        When it comes to scripture, I’m pretty much a take it as I read it and the Holy Spirit reveals it kind of person. After reading the above quote, does it matter what intellectual angle you or I or DeRuvo or Mr. Canadian Not Really A Pastor WilI want to push? God’s Word (the Old and the New) is the bomb, what the Holy Spirit reveals and confirms, and the power is the Message of the Cross. I don’t mean this the least bit disrespectfully either (well, except for the part about Will. Ha!) We all just gotta ditch the angles, push the power, give folks the scripture (Old and New) to read and tell them to pray for Godly wisdom and the Holy Spirit’s guidance. What do you think would happen if we all just did that?

  2. it’s hard to follow you exactly, but i’m fairly sure you don’t understand calvinists or arminians.

    part of what you seem to be describing is called “covenant theology” which is contrasted with “dispensationalism.” yes, abraham was saved by faith just as we are. he looked forward to the promise of Christ and that belief saved him just as we are saved. (as Heb11 puts it, Moses was saved because he regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of egypt.) abraham’s faith was demonstrated by acts of obedience, just as ours ought to be. the OT and NT are more connected than separate.

    most calvinists affirm covenant theology to some degree.

    also, when you talk about faith vs. works, you seem to be discussing “lordship theology” vs. “free grace.” the lordship side believes that obedience is a process but that there must be fruit or faith is in question – the “free grace” side believes that faith saves you and then fruit depends on how your “discipleship” goes but you can “believe” and be saved while never demonstrating repentance and change in your life.

    pretty much all calvinists come down on the lordship side. if you are elect, then God will give you faith, belief, repentance (Phil1:29; Acts5:31; Acts11:18; Eph2:8) by His Spirit and will conform you to the image of His Son. That’s part of the P in the TULIP – perseverance – He began the work and will be faithful to complete it and He is both the Author and Fininsher of our faith. (also 1Cor1:8.)

    Calvinists don’t teach “once saved always saved” – that would be the “free grace” twisting of the doctrine of perseverance.

    the bible teaches to “make your election certain” by adding to your faith, goodness and so forth. (2pet1:3-11, especially v.10)

    but most of this post has nothing to do with calvinism that i can tell…

    • Charles,

      Thank you for coming to my sight and reading the post. My post was about the conflict of Paul (it is by grace not works we are saved) and James (it is not by faith alone but works a man is justified). It is my understanding that Calvinism leans hard to Paul and Arminianism leans hard to James. My discussing the covenant was to show that imputed righteousness is not the end all. But a faith lived out till the end. I wanted to show what Abraham had from God was not in conflict with Paul. It was by grace. But the faith by which He was imputed righteousness was not in conflict with James.

      The point was to show how scripture is whole when we look at our father Abraham into who’s covenant of imputed righteousness we are grafted. One kind of grace one kind of faith through which we are saved.

      I don’t try to be an expert on what others believe although I am not totally ignorant about their opinions. My hope is to speak the gospel as it is, not in conflict with itself but whole. So to talk about lordship theology vs free grace although fun is not my motivation.

      I would like to know if you agree with what I wrote and if not, what verses do you think I did damage to?

      One last thing, maybe you haven’t talked to the Calvinist who call me bad things because I do not believe once saved always saved, as they understand it. But let me know if you agree with the use of scripture in my post.

  3. There is no conflict in Paul and James’s explanations of Grace and Works. One explains the true interpretation of Grace. The other explains the true interpretation of ‘works.’ Both agree that ‘works’ are the outward expression of the inward application of Grace. Both agree that works born out of Grace are another way of saying ‘fruits of the Spirit. Grace and its outcomes….are the Gospel. ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’


    • Carolyn,

      This might be splitting hairs, but I would say Paul explains grace, that it is all God who in His love has offered us righteousness and this when we do not deserve it.

      James explains the faith through which we receive this grace. For it is by grace through the kind of faith that James gives us insight to.

      Now through the faith that we enter into grace we have fruit. And this by the Holy Spirit.

  4. Dave,

    To be honest, I am not sure what it is that your are trying to say? At least fully? But there is no “real” variation between ‘the faith’ of Paul and James. The same God saved them both. As I noted the text of James 1:17 & 18. But James speaks towards the faith that “works” within (James 2:22-23). Note Eph, 2:10.

    “In the exercise of His will He (God) brought us forth by the word of truth..etc.” (verse 18)…Sovereign Grace! The same grace of St. Paul (or to Paul, the same grace he writes about and sees).

  5. Pingback: Changing the debate « The Gospel According to the Gospel

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