“Muscle & Shovel”: Chapter 5, Part 4 (James)

muscleshovelWe are considering Michael Shank’s book Muscle and a Shovel. And we’re continuing to consider the Bible’s teaching on baptism and faith, in particular, whether James teaches a works salvation that damns all who fail to be baptized in the exactly correct way.

Some wish to hang their doctrine of salvation on James’ teaching that faith without works is dead. It’s as though we can read these words and magically all of Paul’s theology just evaporates. Suddenly, because we said the magic James-words, Paul no longer teaches salvation by faith, not works.

And yet, even after we say the James-words, the Paul-words are still there. And they aren’t going away.

(Rom. 4:5) However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.

(Eph. 2:8-10) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Surely we are learned enough to realize that we can’t win an argument by saying our preferred verse last. The verse that’s right isn’t necessarily the last verse read. Rather, all the verses are right, and a theology that contradicts either is wrong. If we find ourselves constantly citing James and only explaining away Romans, we’ve missed the boat.

Let’s try to take both sets of verses more seriously.

(Jam 2:14-20 ESV) 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?  15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,  16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?  17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

The discussion begins with verse 14, and this verse frames the entire discussion. Miss v. 14 and you miss it all. And v. 14 says “if someone says he has faith.” The “faith” under discussion is a faith claimed by someone who has no works — and therefore not true faith at all.

Or as the NIV translates —

(Jam 2:14 NIV) What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

James is speaking of a “claimed” faith. James then refers to this “claimed faith” as “such faith,” meaning something that is claimed to be faith but really isn’t.

True faith, as we’ve now considered at some length, includes faithfulness. And that’s exactly the point James is making. If your so-called “faith” does not show itself in faithfulness, it’s not really faith.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.  19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe– and shudder!  20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

James’ point is that true faith will produce works of righteousness. He does not say that the works save.

The demons believe, but they do not have faith in Jesus because they’ve not become loyal or faithful to him. You see, when you define faith — real faith — properly, these things become obvious. We don’t have to treat “faith” as something totally other than faithfulness. It includes faithfulness!

James is making the same point Jesus made many times—

(Matt. 7:16-20) By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

A genuine faith, of necessity, produces fruit. The faith, not the fruit, saves, but the fruit evidences the reality of the faith.

Therefore, if we have no good works, then we have no faith. If a tree produces no fruit, it may be immature or sick. And if it never produces fruit, it’s dead. But the fruit didn’t give the tree life. It just shows the tree to be alive. Just so, over the long run, if your faith never produces good works, well, you don’t really have faith.

There are obvious exceptions for those with some sort of disability, or who are immature, or who are temporarily in a faith crisis. We all go through times when we don’t produce the fruit we should, but this doesn’t mean we’re damned during these times—but such times do put us in jeopardy and should not be taken lightly.

(Luke 13:6-9) Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'”

Finally, James only teaches that faith will produce “works.” James doesn’t require any particular works. Rahab proved her faith by lying about the location of the spies. Abraham proved his faith by offering to sacrifice his son. Nothing in James says we have to get any particular work right—just that our faith be evidenced by a changed life.

We cannot, based on James, declare any particular works essential. We can’t say that those who disagree with our views on baptism are damned because they disobeyed the command to be baptized. James just doesn’t say that. Rather, he’s looking at our works generally.

Now, there are a few extreme Calvinists still out there who like to teach that a Christian can live an entirely reprobate life, sinning at will, and still be saved—and James plainly disproves any such notion. But James doesn’t tell us that a Christian must have perfect doctrine to go to heaven. Nor does James say that a Christian must have a perfect baptism, perfectly organized church, perfectly ordered worship, or even the right church name to go to heaven.

Rather, James says that even sinners such as Abraham, Rahab, and me will be saved by our faith, so long as we have enough faith to motivate obedience—not perfect obedience and not any particular obedience. Faith will then cover our imperfections.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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20 Responses to “Muscle & Shovel”: Chapter 5, Part 4 (James)

  1. Nicholas Hruschak says:

    Jay,
    There is a particular obedience we are to obey: the perfect Law of Christ. You say we (I am referring to Christians): “..will be saved by our faith, so long as we have enough faith to motivate obedience – not perfect obedience…” However, it doesn’t make sense to say not any particular obedience. You have to obey the Bible and the New Law. We can see in stories such as the one in Luke 6:46 and other scriptures such as Matthew 7:21-23, Acts 10:34-36, Romans 6:16-27, Hebrews 12:28, 1 John 2:1-6 is a big one. These are all covering that we must do the will of the Father, show no partiality, and obey Him which is to obey righteousness. We cannot obey perfectly as you had stated for we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, however it is through Jesus death, burial and resurrection. As a Christian, if you live a faithful life to Christ you will produce good works. No doubt. However anyone can claim faith and say they believe and they have it in their mind that their “faith” will save them. Although they have not been obedient to God. They believe their faith is what saves them. Therefore, following the perfect Law is the key to being on the track to salvation. You did open a door to discussion on the verse you quoted in James. You are correct when you point out that “if someone says he has faith” is referring to the faith they claim. That is why it is pivotal to obey the Law set out in the New Testament.

    Thank you for your time,
    Nicholas Hruschak

  2. Emmett says:

    The perfect law of liberty? The “new commandment”? Are these what you refer to as the “Law set out in the New Testament”? Or is there more?

  3. Nicholas, the only “track to salvation” is to believe upon the One who was sent to save us. Those who continue to try to read the NT as blackletter law continue to be confused and create more questions than answers. The main hole in this entire interpretation is that it never defines just how much obedience is enough to satisfy God and receive life from him. Just how “imperfect” are we allowed to be? As this can never be rationally answered, the usual response is that the requirement we have is that we must “do our best”. Which is the standard of obedience under Moses, not Jesus. This is pre-Savior theology. In fact, it is non-Savior theology.

    Most curiously, the legal demands for obedience to the NT which are most generally argued and set forth as conditions for eternal life never include Jesus’ greatest commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you”. I wonder why that is. I suspect that we cannot run that command up the flagpole without admitting our own chronic disobedience to it. We are okay with pointing out acts of disobedience that damn other believers, but are loath to mention one which when applied equally puts that same rope around our own necks.

  4. Royce says:

    Nicholas, You started out with “the Law of Christ”. The one mention of “the Law of Christ” is in Galatians 6:2 and concerns bearing the burdens of other believers, particularly in helping other believers who are sinning with the goal of restoring that brother to spiritual health. Immediately before that passage are these statements.

    . “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Gal 5:1

    “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” Gal 5:6

    “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal 5:13,14

    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” Gal 5:22-25

    You see Nicholas, the theme of Galatians is warning Christians to not make law God has not made, and secondly to not submit to law others have made that God hasn’t. Your obedience does not produce faith, but rather the opposite, your faith produces obedience. Verses 22 and 23 above is what the Spirit produces, not what our obedience to some supposed law produces. They are “the fruit of the Spirit” not the fruit of Royce or Nicholas.

    The “faith working through love” statement in Gal 5:6 is further explained in Ephesians 2. If you miss this truth the only alternative is to set out a rule book or check list to live by which only produces self righteousness.

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:8-10

    Salvation is “not your own doing, it is the gift of God”. Salvation is “not a result of works”. Salvation is freely given “so that no one may boast”. Christians are God’s product, his handy-work, we are here for a purpose. We are “created in Christ Jesus FOR GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND, THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM”.

    So friends, we have a choice. We can believe this or we can ignore it as if Paul never wrote it and try to impose rules on others and go about trying to become what we already are, if we are in Christ. Every truly “good work”, every true act of obedience has it’s source in Christ in us, it does not come from human flesh. If we get obedience in front of faith we are certain to become proud, self righteous, boastful, and even bitter against other believers. Be careful.

  5. laymond says:

    Jam 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
    Jam 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
    Jam 2:23 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.
    Jam 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    Rom 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

    1Jo 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    1Jo 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
    1Jo 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
    1Jo 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

    Who does John agree with James or Paul?? Maybe Jesus will agree with Paul.

    Mat 7:21 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.

    Nope, don’t sound like it to me.

  6. laymond says:

    I believe if we look at the past history of the four men quoted here, we could see why to say one thing, and the two who were apostles of Jesus say another. and Jesus agrees with his apostles.

  7. Les says:

    Appreciate your post Nicholas. I would suggest to you, for James, producing good works, being obedient to God and following the perfect law that brings freedom are just different ways of saying the same thing. A ‘claimed faith’ does not produce fruit. Authentic faith produces good works, is obedient to God and follows the perfect law of liberty. James is writing to the church at large in his day (1:1;2:1). He sees a disconnect between the faith they claimed and the faith they were actually living out. For James, that is what is pivotal. In your post, you say

    “Therefore following the perfect law is the KEY to being on track to salvation” and “…it is PIVITOL to obey the Law set out in the NewTestament…”.

    When James writes this letter, there is no New Testament. It is thought by many to be one of the earliest letters written. For James, “the perfect law that gives freedom” is all about following the One who embodied the law perfectly.James links “the perfect law that gives freedom” earlier in the text to “the word planted in you, which can save you” (1:21) and the “word of truth” (1:18) through whom the new birth comes. Jesus is the word that became flesh. Truth is found in Him. Jesus is the perfect law that gives freedom. When we look intently at Him, we are suppose to find ourselves becoming like Him. When we don’t , we’ve forgotten what we are suppose to look like. Do our lives live up to what our lips profess? That is the key pivotal question that James is tackling. Only faith that is authentic saves.Faith that only claims is useless and dead.

  8. Jeff says:

    John 5:28 “Those who have done good to the resurrection of life…”
    Rom. 2:6-7 “…who will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality.”
    II Cor. 5:10 ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

    These passages may be simply presented as a marker for, or evidences of the faith that abides, but it is exceedingly difficult for some of us recovering legalists to completely dismiss passages that seem to explicitly place solid emphasis upon the righteous deeds of the Christian as being vital to determining fitness for salvation.

  9. Randall says:

    Hi Nicholas,
    I appreciate your thoughts and I believe that you want us to understand that we need to love AND obey God. Everyone but the most extreme, whether they be Calvinists, Arminians and even those that don’t what those words mean.

    Hate to pile on as you’re already been questioned several here. However, above your wrote the following:
    “Jay,
    There is a particular obedience we are to obey: the perfect Law of Christ. You say we (I am referring to Christians): “..will be saved by our faith, so long as we have enough faith to motivate obedience – not perfect obedience…” However, it doesn’t make sense to say not any particular obedience. You have to obey the Bible and the New Law.”

    I will try to keep this really simple: Could you tell me which particular acts we are to obey and how many of them? If you feel this is a rhetorical or unanswerable questions please feel free to ignore it.

    Thanks for your consideration.

    Hesed,
    Randall

  10. Les says:

    Hello Jeff. Appreciate your post. Are our righteous deeds as Christians vital in determining our fitness for salvation? Absolutely not! The truth is that we are unfit and undeserving when it comes to salvation.
    “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, NOT BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUS THINGS WE HAD DONE, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want to STRESS THESE THINGS, so that those who have trusted in God MAY BE CAREFUL TO DEVOTE THEMSELVES TO DOING WHAT IS GOOD.” (Titus 3:4-8)

    There is a song by Casting Crowns that I absolutely love called ‘I am! Which captures beautifully what Paul is saying above;

    …not because of who I am, but because of what you’ve done. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of who you are…”

    Paul always stresses first and foremost what God has done for us in Jesus and then because of that, this is how we should then live. Good deeds as Christians do not make us fit for salvation but they should be becoming a part of out DNA as we seek to follow the One who rescued us. In the letter containing the text quoted above, Paul makes it clear that we must have a commitment to doing good. Elders appointed must be men who love what is good(1:8), Timothy is charged ‘…in everything set them an example by doing what is good'(2:7),we are to be a people who are ‘EAGER to do what is good'(2:14), we are reminded ‘to be READY to do whatever is good’ (3:1). In the text above, the reason what God has done in Jesus is stressed is so ‘…that they may be CAREFUL to devote themselves to doing what is good…'(3:8) Finally, ‘…our people must LEARN to devote themselves to do what is good…'(3:14). Doing righteous deeds is a big deal with Paul. but they are never the reason we are fit for salvation. ‘…He saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of HIS MERCY…’ When that truth gets a hold of us, ‘love so amazing so divine DEMANDS my life, my soul, my all…’

  11. Les says:

    Hello again Jeff. My previous post to you was intended as a note of encouragement to you from one who is likewise a ‘recovering legalist’. God bless:)

  12. Ray Downen says:

    Jay suggests, “We can’t say that those who disagree with our views on baptism are damned because they disobeyed the command to be baptized.” And I wonder where in apostolic writing is any command to be baptized. I see where Jesus commands that we who tell others about Jesus are to baptize them if they believe the gospel. I see where Peter commands his associates to baptize some Gentiles who believe in Jesus.

    I see that Peter earlier points out to seekers who believe in Jesus that they need to turn to Jesus as LORD and be baptized. But Peter is not commanding all his hearers to be baptized, or surely the number would have been greater than the 3,000 who chose to be baptized. I’m ignorant of any “command to be baptized” issued by Jesus or by any of His representatives during the apostolic age.

    It’s us who love Jesus who are commanded to baptize each new believer, and I sense a total disinclination of many to do what Jesus said we were to do. He places baptism at the beginning of new life (see Galatians 3:26,27). Others think it can be just any time when it’s convenient, if I’m understanding rightly what I’m reading.

  13. Johnny says:

    Mmm so God can’t save someone who believes in Jesus unless there happens to be some one there to Baptize the new believer ( because you can’t baptize yourself). I never knew Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough, we need a humans work to save us. Seems like that is the logical conclusion to what Ray is saying.

  14. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Nicholas,

    Let’s consider what is the “perfect law of Christ.”

    (Gal 6:2 ESV) 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

    (1Co 9:21 ESV) 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law.

    Those are the only references to a “law of Christ” I can find in the Bible. It’s meaning can only come from context. Paul’s readers in Galatia didn’t have copies of the rest of the NT. The might have had the OT scrolls, but certainly didn’t have the NT because Gal. and 1 Cor are considered to be two of three oldest books in the NT.

    Let’s work backward from Gal 6:2 looking at how Paul uses “law” toward the end of the book.

    (Gal 5:22-23 ESV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

    Letting the Spirit rule your heart so that these fruit are produced is not obedience to a law but clearly pleases God. Hmm …

    (Gal 5:18 ESV) 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

    Here, “the law” probably means the Torah or Law of Moses. We escape that obligation by receiving the Spirit and submitting to his leading. Being “led” by the Spirit is an allusion to God leading the Israelites through the desert as a column of fire and smoke (not obvious here, but you can see the analogy in Romans and elsewhere). He’s not speaking of the NT, because the NT hasn’t yet been written. Rather, he’s referring to the personal indwelling promised by Deu 30:6, Jer 31:31 ff, and many other OT passages.

    (Gal 5:13-14 ESV) 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    (Gal 5:13-14 ESV) 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    This parallels Paul’s similar language written Rom 13 (not yet written, but the repetition assures us that he means what he says and shouldn’t try to rationalize this away.)

    “Fulfill” is the same word used of fulfilling prophecy. It means to bring to fruition or to complete. Therefore, a Galatian reading Galatians, would naturally take the “Law of Christ” to be “love your neighbor” but not as a law but as the fruit of the Spirit. That is, if we submit to the Spirit’s leading, we will truly love, not because of a command but because of who we’ve become — our hearts will be changed to be hearts that readily love (Rom 5:5) and so we’ll quite naturally bear the fruit of the Spirit — just as apple trees bear apples — because it’s their nature.

    And so we’ll gladly bear one another’s burdens, because that’s the nature of love and the Spirit’s fruit.

    1 Cor 9:21 is trickier because Paul only uses “law” in 1 Cor to refer to the Torah, and says nothing else about a “law” of Christ, using that word. Evidently, he assumed he’d be understood because of prior oral teaching at Corinth. But we can still come pretty close to a solution here.

    Shortly before writing this verse, Paul wrote,

    (1Co 8:1-2 ESV) Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.

    Paul contrasts knowledge with love, declaring love superior even to knowledge.

    Then in chapter 13 he says,

    (1Co 13:13-1 ESV) 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    Obviously, Paul makes love the highest attainment or law. Consistent with Galatians, surely the “law of Christ” is love. But as Paul explains in chapters 12 – 14, love is not just an emotion or a response to a command, it’s a gift of the Spirit — against, consistent with Galatians.

    I should add —

    (Rom 13:8-10 ESV) 8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    If “love is the fulfilling of the law” and is the greatest gift of the Spirit — and if “any other commandment” is summed up in “love your neighbor,” then the Law of Christ is, necessarily, love for our neighbors.

    And that rather dramatically changes how we read many, many passages. But Paul is not kidding. These passages in Galatians and Romans are at the climax of his arguments. These aren’t incidental, throw-away lines. This is at the core of Christianity.

    And if we prefer to sneer, snort, and find thousands of other commands in the silences and inferences, well, that’s a very dangerous path to follow.

    Again —

    (Gal 5:6 ESV) 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

    I think he means it.

    Might someone think that he can have “faith” and not obey? Of course, but James says plainly that he’s wrong. Faith includes faithfulness. The faith that saves is a faith that has repented and remains penitent — ideas that are inherent in the Greek word for “faith.” James is quite right.

    But we can’t leap from James to a long list of inferred commands. No, Paul tells us what obedience and faithfulness require — love. And not just warm and fuzzy feelings, the kind of love that costs us — so much so that we bear our neighbors’ burden. We serve and submit to others. We sacrifice for others.

    This is tough, difficult, challenging, even painful love — it’s a Christ-like love.

  15. laymond says:

    Jay said; “Surely we are learned enough to realize that we can’t win an argument by saying our preferred verse last.”
    Jay I really doubt there are many law schools that would say you need to present your weaker points last so they would be the last impression left with the jury.

  16. laymond says:

    Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    (Then Jesus goes on to tell of the judging process.)
    Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (I was in need, and you helped me )
    Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (I was in need, and you didn’t lift a finger)
    Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

    Jay I don’t recall the word “faith” said in the whole of Matthew chap. 25 does that mean faith is not necessary for salvation. Just treat the needy as you would treat Jesus and you have got it made.

    Jhn 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
    Jhn 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
    Jhn 12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

  17. Laymond,
    Those who do not believe are condemned already. They do not stand before that last judgment scene. What happens there is the separation of the tares from the good seed, the bad fish and the good fish that are “in the kingdom.” This is the separation of the sheep and the goats. The goats have no evidence of faith in their lives; the sheep do. It’s as simple as that.

  18. laymond says:

    Jerry, I have never heard a more confusing statement come from a “Christian’s” mouth or pin.
    can you please show me where only Christians will stand judgment, I have never saw or read it anywhere that I remember.

  19. laymond says:

    Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
    Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

  20. Grizz says:

    Interesting that the term repeatedly used is “perfect baptism” whenever you mention obedience of any kind. Are you paranoid about perfect things? Whenever it takes an extremist answer to make an answer, I suspect the writer actually has no reasonable answer.

    Grizz

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