Justification by words

Stephen

Active member
So I listened to the whole thing.

He makes the "faith alone" position very clear, "justification by faith alone without works of any kind" (somewhere around 13:30) and to emphasize the point he comments that it is effective "upon belief".

The talk is about Matthew 12:37 and the assertion is that justification is not about "works" but rather "words". The passage (though in a deeper context) says the following:

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

The speaker takes great offense that people would interpret the word "words" in verse 37 to "works", while at the same time the speaker interprets "words" to "faith" or "belief". As a lecturer was speaking to a friendly audience that can work as they might hold the same equivocation. However this likely doesn't work in an apologetics environment where "words" doesn't equal "faith". Saying one thing and believing another is part and parcel of the human condition.


Following the logical flow from what Jesus said in the passage under discussion:
  • v33 Jesus asserts Fruits (which I interpret to be works) are how you determine whether a tree is good or bad.
  • v34 The people in view are evil, and they can't say anything good. The evil they said is about Jesus acting by the power of Beelzebul. Their mouths speak what their heart is full of. (evil).
  • v35 A good man brings forth good things, evil man brings forth evil things.
    • Note that in verses 34 and 35, Jesus equates their words with their "fruit" in verse 33
  • v36 on the day of judgment, they will give an account every idle utterance
  • v37 And by these utterances they will be acquitted or condemned
What utterances is Jesus speaking of as it relates to his audience? Go up the chapter and you will see the fruit of their lips:
  • Saying that Jesus acted under the power of Beelzebul (v 24)
  • Speaking against the son of man (v 32)
  • Speaking against the holy spirit (v 32)
Their mouths spoke what their hearts were full of, and their fruit reflected that. By these words, they are condemned. (presuming they didn't repent)


The examples Jesus provides in the later verses make it clear that it is about what people did rather than the words that came out of their mouths:
  • The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah
  • The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom

We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. It isn't so you can boast or earn anything, it is simply because of who and what you are that you do them.
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
  • v33 Jesus asserts Fruits (which I interpret to be works) are how you determine whether a tree is good or bad.

We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. It isn't so you can boast or earn anything, it is simply because of who and what you are that you do them.

Christ testified fruits are the measure of a good or bad tree--and the rewards are according to the fruits:

Matthew 7:19-21---King James Version
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

I would like anyone to explain how that fits faith alone theology. IOW--is God extending His grace to them which "doeth His will"---"earning" His grace?
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Christ testified fruits are the measure of a good or bad tree--and the rewards are according to the fruits:

Matthew 7:19-21---King James Version
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

I would like anyone to explain how that fits faith alone theology. IOW--is God extending His grace to them which "doeth His will"---"earning" His grace?

Where does that verse teach, "God extends his grace to people BECAUSE they do his will"?
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
Where does that verse teach, "God extends his grace to people BECAUSE they do his will"?

You can do whatever Houdini act you wish--the scriptures bear witness, those who do His will--and bring forth fruits--are the ones who enter the kingdom of heaven:

Matthew 7:19-21---King James Version
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

How do you fit that into faith alone theology?
 

1Thess521

Well-known member
You can do whatever Houdini act you wish--the scriptures bear witness, those who do His will--and bring forth fruits--are the ones who enter the kingdom of heaven:

Matthew 7:19-21---King James Version
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

How do you fit that into faith alone theology?

CONTINUING ON

22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?

Was that enough "works" ? Was prophesizing, driving out demons, doing miracles IN THE NAME OF JESUS enough?
Apparently not!

23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

so after Jesus just pointed out it is your heart that will convict and not your actions (lusting in your heart is guilty of adultery; hating in you heart is guilty of murder)
He continues the theme, pointing out that of all the works (actions) that many will do are meaningless with out faith of the heart,

And that is how it fits into Sola Fide (BY Faith alone) theology.
It is by God’s Holy Scripture alone, which teaches us that salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

Jesus is omniscient : correct?
When the omniscient Creator of all things states He never knew you: what do you think He means?
 
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Redeemed

Well-known member
CONTINUING ON

22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?

Was that enough "works" ? Was prophesizing, driving out demons, doing miracles IN THE NAME OF JESUS enough?
Apparently not!

23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

so after Jesus just pointed out it is your heart that will convict and not your actions (lusting in your heart is guilty of adultery; hating in you heart is guilty of murder)
He continues the theme, pointing out that of all the works (actions) that many will do are meaningless with out faith of the heart,

And that is how it fits into Sola Fide (BY Faith alone) theology.
It is by God’s Holy Scripture alone, which teaches us that salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

Jesus is omniscient : correct?
When the omniscient Creator of all things states He never knew you: what do you think He means?

What do I think He means? Just of the top of my head (and that's a scary place) that Jesus in a polite way is saying "go kick rocks". But digging deeper which I believe the Bible calls us to do and not to be presumptuous, and keeping in mind that his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than my thoughts I'm going to do some studying on these verses.

I believe doing a bunch of activities with my Jesus T-shirt on isn't going to get me a relationship with Jesus Christ. And if I'm stuck in believing that, if I have my heels dug into the idea that my performance and self-righteousness is going to give me some sort of right standing I'm deceiving myself and the truth is not in me.

I think Jesus could be saying... Stop being a Martha and get over here by my feet like your sister Mary and listen to what I have to say and get to know who I am. Then you will be able to do some good works. That's the way we get to know Him and to get His righteousness He has to give it to us we don't work for it. My righteousness is like filthy rags, no matter how hard I try to clean up my act it's still going to stink.

So thank you for your thought-provoking post and for giving me something to study this morning.


Love Is the Proof of Your Sonship

How do you know who you are? Are you known as a Christian by what you say? The Bible says in the end times men are going to come to the Lord and say, “Lord, Lord, haven’t we done wonderful things in your name?” And the Lord will say, “Depart from me. I never knew you” (see Matthew 7:22–23).
Will it be on the basis of how we act all the time? Works can be deceiving. The Bible says there is only one way to know for sure a person is a Christian. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Even faith is dependent on love. Faith is energized by love.

The Fruit of the Spirit By Dr. David Jeremiah
 
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dberrie2020

Well-known member
CONTINUING ON

22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?

Was that enough "works" ? Was prophesizing, driving out demons, doing miracles IN THE NAME OF JESUS enough?
Apparently not!

23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
so after Jesus just pointed out it is your heart that will convict and not your actions (lusting in your heart is guilty of adultery; hating in you heart is guilty of murder)
He continues the theme, pointing out that of all the works (actions) that many will do are meaningless with out faith of the heart,

And that is how it fits into Sola Fide (BY Faith alone) theology.
It is by God’s Holy Scripture alone, which teaches us that salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

Jesus is omniscient : correct?
When the omniscient Creator of all things states He never knew you: what do you think He means?

I think Jesus meant just what He said:

Matthew 7:19-24---King James Version
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Obviously--those who professed they did things in the Lord's name just wasn't being truthful--they talked the talk, but didn't walk the walk. That does not preclude, cover up, or cancel out the fact Jesus testified those who do His will--and bring forth the fruits--are those who enter His kingdom:

Galatians 6:7-9---King James Version
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

And that is how it fits into Sola Fide (BY Faith alone) theology.

Faith alone isn't mentioned but one time in the entire Biblical text:

James 2:24---English Standard Version
24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
And if I'm stuck in believing that, if I have my heels dug into the idea that my performance and self-righteousness is going to give me some sort of right standing I'm deceiving myself and the truth is not in me.

I have a question for the board:

Is this an example of those who believe that their performance will give them some sort of "right standing" with the Lord, or those who believe their self righteousness will give them a right standing with the Lord?

1 John 1:7----King James Version
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

IOW--are we practicing "self righteousness" if we believe walking in His light--will result in the Blood of Jesus Christ --unto the forgiveness of sins?
 

1Thess521

Well-known member
I think Jesus meant just what He said:

Matthew 7:19-24---King James Version
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Obviously--those who professed they did things in the Lord's name just wasn't being truthful--they talked the talk, but didn't walk the walk. That does not preclude, cover up, or cancel out the fact Jesus testified those who do His will--and bring forth the fruits--are those who enter His kingdom:

Galatians 6:7-9---King James Version
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.



Faith alone isn't mentioned but one time in the entire Biblical text:

James 2:24---English Standard Version
24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
it is heart issue:
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

believing in your heart is faith


re: James : i have asked you a dozen times:
Justified/vindicated by or for whom?

We all know what the words say:
You can stop your broken record routine and tell us what they mean; then EMBRCE the implications of your belief and stop running away from the follow up questions
 
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1Thess521

Well-known member
I have a question for the board:

Is this an example of those who believe that their performance will give them some sort of "right standing" with the Lord, or those who believe their self righteousness will give them a right standing with the Lord?

1 John 1:7----King James Version
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

IOW--are we practicing "self righteousness" if we believe walking in His light--will result in the Blood of Jesus Christ --unto the forgiveness of sins?
it is an example of a "good" person with mere mental assent of basic facts:
but they have accepted the God-given gift of faith:
They are not in Christ and Christ is not in them
that is why the omniscient Creator states I never know you:
It is about a relationship

It has occurred to me that you do not what a faith from God is
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
it is heart issue:
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

believing in your heart is faith

And what is your evidence those who do the will of God--are not those who believe in their hearts?

Galatians 6:7-9---King James Version
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

re: James : i have asked you a dozen times:
Justified/vindicated by or for whom?

Justified by the only One who can Justify man--God Himself.
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
dberrie2020 said: I have a question for the board:

Is this an example of those who believe that their performance will give them some sort of "right standing" with the Lord, or those who believe their self righteousness will give them a right standing with the Lord?

1 John 1:7----King James Version
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

IOW--are we practicing "self righteousness" if we believe walking in His light--will result in the Blood of Jesus Christ --unto the forgiveness of sins?

it is an example of a "good" person with mere mental assent of basic facts:
but they have accepted the God-given gift of faith:
They are not in Christ and Christ is not in them

God applies His Blood unto cleansing them from sin--and they not be of Him?????? Wow.
 

Septextura

Well-known member
Matthew 16
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
 

1Thess521

Well-known member
Justified by the only One who can Justify man--God Himself.

that is NOT the context James 2
the context is vindicating your faith to others by works

if someone claims to have faith
Show me your faith without deeds
I will show you my faith by my deeds.
do you want evidence

It has occurred to me that you do not know what a faith from God is
 
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dberrie2020

Well-known member
that is NOT the context James 2
the context is vindicating your faith to others by works

if someone claims to have faith
Show me your faith without deeds
I will show you my faith by my deeds.
do you want evidence

It has occurred to me that you do not know what a faith from God is

James testified faith without works is dead, and--"not by faith alone"----regardless of what men think:

James 2:18-26---King James Version
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 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.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
 

1Thess521

Well-known member
James testified faith without works is dead, and--"not by faith alone"----regardless of what men think:

James 2:18-26---King James Version
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 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.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
lay some of your truth on us:
does God give the gift of a dead , useless, and demonic-type of faith ?

Does a God given faith have and affect on a person?

How many work perform some one is justified by God?
 
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