An analysis regarding our faith, our works & the Law itself all “as it is written” in ‘more accurate translations’.
(i) “Justification” toward “Salvation” is through “His Faith only”
‘His Faith only’ by ‘His Grace’
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” (Ephesians 2:8)
(ii) How do we know that it’s through “His Faith” only and not our faith in Christ?
The phrase ‘through faith’ followed by the next phrase describing ‘this faith’ namely,
‘not of yourselves’ = primarily referring to ‘not of your own faiths’ since the object spoken of prior is ‘faith’ = Alternately, can mean ‘not of anything which is due to ourselves’ which certainly includes ‘both our personal faiths & works’ —> so, ‘no’ work nor anything else can contribute toward ‘Salvation’ (“being saved”) in Ephesians 2:8 itself.
(iii) How do we know that “Justification” toward “Salvation” (“being saved”) is “not” by any ‘works also’?
The ‘subsequent verse’ following the last one above clearly declares this:
“not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:9)
“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” (Romans 11:6)
(iv) Is there a verse which points to the direction of being “saved” without any “works” of the “Law”?
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)
(v) Is there a verse which implies “Justification” by “faith alone” without any contribution from the “Law”?
“Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, because “The righteous will live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11)
(vi) Where is it written that we are “Justified” unto “Salvation” through the “Righteousness of God” through the “Faith OF Jesus Christ” only?
“Even the Righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference” (Romans 3:22, KJV)
Why can’t “our righteousness save us”?
“For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)
(vii) Is the phrase “by Faith” referring to “Faith OF Jesus Christ Alone”?
If so, where are a set of verses which describe “Justification” unto “Salvation” in the context of “Faith OF Jesus Christ Alone”?
In other words, please quote ‘subsequent’ verses where “Justification” unto “Salvation” using the phrase “by Faith” refers to (in context) the “Faith OF Jesus Christ only”?
Please consider the ‘same phrase’ —> “by Faith” (regarding which we are confused, as to ‘which faith?’, ours or of Christ or both is being ‘referred to’ here?) in verse below:
“For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” (Romans 3:28)
The “Justification” —> “by faith” (as in Ephesians 2:8 too as Scripture must agree) -> in verse above is clearly referring to the “Faith OF Jesus Christ Alone” (when accurately translated) —> as a ‘subsequent’ verse prior clearly “defines” this “context” first:
“Even the righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:” (Romans 3:22, KJV)
(viii) Then “what is being referred to as” the “justification” by “works” which Scripture also speaks about in verse below?
“You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)
As we see the ‘subsequent’ verses surrounding it, the ‘context’ of ‘what apostle James meant by it’ becomes absolutely clear as follows (by noting the actual words found in the verses to be able to see this distinction clearly “as it is written”):
(a) This “Justification” is ‘not Salvation’ but ‘Perfection’ of the given ‘faith in Jesus Christ’:
“you see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;” (James 2:22)
(b) What is “that faith” which is talked with regards to “works also” in verse above (Context)?
“that faith” = “our personal faith IN Jesus Christ” = evidenced by the phrase “my faith” with “works” as mentioned (context) in a verse prior as follows:
“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 2:18)
(c) What is “my faith” = “your faith IN Christ Jesus”?
“since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints;” (Colossians 1:4)
(d) Our personal “faith IN Jesus Christ” is ‘not’ of ourselves but a “Gift” of Good too:
“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 12:7 – 9)
“And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” (John 6:65)
(e) Different “measures” of ‘this faith’ (“our faith”) is given (‘by His Grace’) explaining the ‘varied levels’ of “faith among believers” too:
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)
“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;” (Romans 12:6)
(f) The “reward” for “our works” is ‘not Salvation’ but ‘being repaid’ according to ‘our works (deeds)’: (“being saved” by the ‘Foundation of Jesus Christ’ Alone —> some ‘saved through fire’ —> ‘despite’ their ‘(evil) works’ being ‘burned up’ in their ‘Resurrection of Judgment’) as it is revealed in verses below too:
“and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a Resurrection of Life, those who committed the evil deeds to a Resurrection of Judgment.” (John 5:25)
“According to the Grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
For no man can lay a Foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man builds on the Foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:10 – 15)
“And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.
“But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the Resurrection of the Righteous.” (Luke 14:12 – 14)
“For the Son of Man will come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done.” (Matthew 16:27)
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” (Revelation 22:12)
“For we must all be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive back the things done through the body according to what he did, whether good or evil.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
(g) So, what does “work out your Salvation” mean?
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;” (Philippians 2:12)
Implied by the context of all the verses quoted above, we may see that:
By “obeying” (His Written Commands) —–> we “work” out —> “our Salvation” which is given as a “Free Gift of God toward us” —-> to attain “rewards” (Quality: Hay, Gold etc.) —-> avoid being “judged” for “evil works” by being “burned up” in “fire” —-> with “fear and trembling” avoiding “evil works” & “disobedience” (“Lawlessness”, Matthew 7:13 – 27 too) toward ‘all’ His Written Word (Matthew 7:24):
“If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment.” – apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:37)
(h) Such a “working” out (“Proof”) of “our faith” leads to a ‘Salvation’ of ‘our souls’ with ‘rewards’ according to the ‘trials’ endured too:
“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:6 – 9)
“for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:10)
(ix) Is understanding all these such a big deal?
Yes, “no” intent of “Justification” for “Salvation” through “the Law” must be in ‘our hearts’ to ‘avoid falling from Grace’:
“You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from Grace.” (Galatians 5:4)
Please notice carefully the phrase “Faith OF Jesus Christ” = “Faith OF the Son OF God” in the conclusion verses below ‘describing our faith’ (explaining the manner to —> ‘believe IN Jesus Christ’ in Galatians 2:16 [please notice this phrase too, or the equivalent ‘life which I now live in the flesh’, Galatians 2:20 too) to avoid any ‘misplaced faith’ not according to ‘written Holy Scripture’:
“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.” (Galatians 2:16, KJV)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the LIFE which I NOW live in the flesh I live by Faith OF the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Understanding ‘His Beautiful Sovereignty’ in “His Great Mercy”:
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to HIS MERCY He SAVED us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Titus 3:5)
“And one of the evil-doers who were hanged, was speaking evil of him, saying, ‘If thou be the Christ, save Thyself and us.’
And the other answering, was rebuking him, saying, ‘Dost thou not even Fear God, that thou art in the same judgment?
and we indeed righteously, for things worthy of what we did we receive back, but this One did nothing out of place;’
and he said to Jesus, ‘Remember me, Lord, when Thou mayest Come in Thy Kingdom;’
and Jesus said to him, ‘Verily I say to thee, To-day with Me thou shalt be in the Paradise.’” (Luke 23:39 – 43)
P/S: The Romans Road Misunderstanding
(vii)But didn’t God create evil as written in Isaiah 45:6 – 7 implying that He is the first cause for evil to happen?
Please consider ‘carefully’ this verse:
“That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me, I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, AND CREATE EVIL: I the LORD do ALL THESE THINGS” (Isaiah 45:6-7)
Yes, and please consider a direct explanation below:
Create evil & Do Evil are two different things.
God did the former, not the latter according to James 1:13 seen together with Isaiah 45:6 – 7.
He Predestined choice in the Tree of knowledge of Good & Evil (created Evil in its knowledge)
Then gave freedom for man to “choose” on earth by Presdestining Free will (more accurately creation’s will as discussed).
The other thing is “Judgment” (commonly confused with ‘evil’) to which is rendered according to the malice done by Creation’s choice prior.
If the Cause for evil was God, God Won’t judge creation for it.
Isaiah 45:7 mentions that God creates evil and not that He does Evil. Since this verse speaks of the ‘creation of evil’ (for man it is the Adam & Eve story, context), together with other verses (in principle) relating to it, please consider the following edifying explanation:
Here’s the verse:
“I form the light and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)
He “does” (the word ‘do’) the “creation of evil” (Example: knowledge evil found in the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil & the free will to choose evil as Eve chose to disobey at the beginning too).
Consider again please (with emphasis):
“I form the light and CREATE darkness: I make peace and CREATE evil: I the Lord DO all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)
He created the Providence for Evil to exist in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He gave free will through choice as Eve decided to choose evil after Satan’s persuasion and ate of that fruit. God didn’t influence Eve to do that Evil nor did that Evil through Eve (that’s how to understand Isaiah 45:7 with respect to the beginning of the creation of evil itself in man through Eve as it is written).
This agrees perfectly with principles of free will in choice on earth by Creation’s actions & influences only toward each other such as that God “allows” Evil on earth (1 Corinthians 10:13), but God is not the author of evil, nor is He the influencer nor the Doer of Evil (James 1:13) & that only ‘creation is responsible for each of its own evil done & its own free will choice ultimately played the most significant role in it beyond influence causing Judgment on both the creation that acted the evil (Example Adam & Eve) & the influencer (Satan too)’ agreeing to (James 1:14) as well.