Discussion about work and faith


(David Fong) #1

Hi everyone,

This is my first point on RZIM Connect!

So, I met up with a friend recently who converted around the same time as myself (~3 years ago). And he has somewhat strayed from his faith. One topic of contention we got into was about works and faith, where I thought he believed in works as a means of salvation to some extent. As he was explaining as a Christian he felt he needed to read the Bible, and pray, to be saved.

My main approach was to talk about about God and Jesus and us as a relationship, which I linked to my marriage. Then he questioned me, isn’t finding about Jesus/God through the Bible or praying a “work” in itself? My response was that it’s not really a work, but more it’s a joy to read a “love letter” from God, or to talk to him, the same way it is with my wife.

My question is, have any of you been posed a similar question? And how did you respond?

Thanks!


(SeanO) #2

@davidfong I have been asked before about how James can say ‘faith without works is dead’ and yet Paul can say we are ‘saved by faith alone’. I think your friend is mistaking how we are saved - by faith - with the fruit of our faith - love for God, His Word and other people. Reading the Bible and praying are the fruit of salvation, which is by faith and spiritual disciplines for growing in our faith - they do not save us.

So you can think of these two concepts - ‘faith that saves’ and ‘fruit that results from faith’ - ‘faith’ and ‘fruit’. The fruit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - are the result of saving faith - they do not save.

This article by Sam Storms addresses the underlying issue of faith and works well in my opinion.

the faith that alone justifies or makes us acceptable in God’s sight is the sort or kind of faith that then will work and obey and happily do the things that God has commanded.

http://www.samstorms.com/all-articles/post/are-we-justified-by-faith-or-by-works-yes---james-214-26

Here is a video discussing the same issue of faith and works:

Another issues is that Jesus makes it clear that if we remain in Him, we will produce fruit. We are saved by faith. But what is salvation? Salvation is to “know the only true God and the One whom He sent, Jesus Christ” (John 17:3). And if we know and remain in Christ, we produce fruit.

John 15:5-6 - “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.


(David Fong) #3

Hi Sean,

Thank you for your in depth answer. You have put it eloquently and will help me with conversations in the future.

Thank you and God bless!


(Gertrude) #4

Thanks for your question. I recently had a similar discussion with a friend that left me sad, dissappoinment. It let me see how muck work is needed in and by The Body…and made me grateful again for RZIM.


(SeanO) #5

@davidfong Glad it was helpful! May the Lord grant you wisdom as you continue to reach out to your friend.


(Kathleen) #6

Hi, @klaase.g! Very sorry to hear that you were left discouraged after a similar discussion with a friend. I am just curious as to what particularly left you so sad? Was it their misunderstanding of the relationship between works and faith?


(Gertrude) #7

Yes that and also we both from a very legalistic religious wordview where it was all about works…She also scoffed at me saying, you clever people!!
I was sad as Christ died for FREEDOM and in a way she just replaced work for works. I pray for relevation of the gospel of grace.RZIM thanks. I was not trying to win an argument and this could have easily have escalated if I think of me prior to the Core Module I am very grateful. Glory to God Almighty.


(steve) #8

wow,

well explained. God bless you


(SeanO) #9

@steveamutavi Blessings to you too brother!


(Kathleen) #10

Ah, that is very sad. I will be praying for you as you continue to speak the freedom of the Gospel to her whenever you have opportunity, and will pray that she will learn the sweetness of the gift of grace! :slight_smile:


(Gertrude) #11

Thank you. …I would love to share verse I’m meditating on today:

Who is like you, LORD God Almighty? You, LORD, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.