*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

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Part 3 of 339
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You want answers? You got answers.

"For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory."

This is correct. Christians are saved not by works, but by their faith in Jesus - so that no man can boast. (Ephesians 2:9) Meaning? I won't be able to say "I am better, because I managed to save myself from death by being better than you.".

"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?"

Having read James two or three times, I can tell you off-hand exactly what's going on here. Let's get some context first.

"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead."

As shown, this verse is about how faith is worthless without backing it up - you can talk the talk, but will you walk the walk? This is a great example of why context is necessary.

336 to go!
posted by MC Froehlich at

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