Come let us Grow Together is a weekly series that deals with the many topical categories that exist within the Word of God. The purpose of this series is to grow in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding in things pertaining to God.
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 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? (James 2:20-22)
The word wrought means to be a fellow-worker, i.e. co-operate.
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. (James 2:23-24)
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:19-20)
But remember faith without works is dead being alone. The works of faith is not the works of the Mosaic Law. Faith is an action word that requires an action in accordance to what you believe.
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Rom 3:31)
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Mt 5:17)
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (Gal 3:21-22)
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. (Heb 2:14-16)
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. (Rom 4:1-3)
This is important to understand. Remember the Apostle James said, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works.”
The Apostle Paul and the Apostle James are talking of different works. The Apostle Paul asked a question in verse 1 and answered it in verse 3. The answer was by faith and the Apostle James gives us further explanation of the Apostle Paul’s words.
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:20)
The topic is faith!!
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? 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. (James 2:21-23)
This is exactly what the Apostle Paul said above. He asked the question in verse 1 and in verse 2 said, “if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God” This is because the topic from verse 1 is found in the prior verses which is speaking of the Mosaic Law versus faith.
Even though the Mosaic Law had not yet come during Abraham’s lifetime, the Apostle Paul is speaking to people who understand the Mosaic Law and is telling them that Abraham was not justified by works of the flesh, but was justified by the works of faith.
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Rom 4:4-5)
But this does not make void the works that accompany faith. The works that accompany faith are not the works of the flesh nor of the Mosaic Law.
And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. (Gal 3:12)
Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (Rom 4:16)
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