bible is not clear: faith = justification + works... OR faith + works = justification
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the bible is not clear one way or the other: faith = justification + works... OR if it's faith + works = justification. to be sure, works are required in both scenarios, they just play a different role. again, the bible isn't clear what role that is.
to lay the best examples of the ambiguity, we have two apparently conflicting versions of the story of abraham and his justification.
20You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is uselessd ? 21Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,"e and he was called God"s friend. 24You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
then we have romans 4 on the other hand
'What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about"but not before God. 3What does Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."a 4Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.
'We have been saying that Abraham"s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.
you can find more quotes to argue both ways. these are just great examples using the same story and seemingly different outcomes. it's not contradictory, though, just a matter of how you reconcile everything.
to be sure, the only place where 'faith alone' is used in the bible is when James says we are not justified by faith alone. but it's too much to take everything from just that one quote. taking everying together, it's ambiguous which formula is correct.
also con talks about the need to do right for society's sake, when no one has mentioned anything about it. it's just a tangent that has no meaning.
con says works don't exist without faith, but i've never said otherwise.
con has typos and the 'do you mean within the self' etc part so i dont know what he's saying.
again con is talking about that we shouldn't seek justification from peers, but no one has said anything about getting jusitified from peers etc, and it doesn't have anything to do with this debate.
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