Author Topic: Faith & Works in Romans 4  (Read 132 times)

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Offline TheTrisagion

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Faith & Works in Romans 4
« on: March 23, 2017, 11:45:23 PM »
So I have a question. Normally when I hear discussions within Orthodoxy regarding faith and works, it is always emphasized that we do not contrast these two things, but rather see them as complimentary. This is supported in St. James' letter. In reading the Book of Romans, however, it seems that St. Paul is doing just that, drawing a striking contrast between the two. Can someone explain what his purpose in doing so is, and how we understand the context in which he is writing in?

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+4&version=NKJV
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Faith & Works in Romans 4
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 03:57:14 AM »
Works in James means virtuous deeds.

Works in Paul means Mosaic law.  Hence the strong contrast.

Look at how he talks about circumcision.  That's a "work" in Paul's reading.  That's not the work James is talking about, and certainly not the work that's associated with the "faith and works" debate that continues to confuse so many Protestants.

One more edit:  Paul actually agrees with James when says something like "if I have all the faith to move mountains, but no love..."
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 04:07:54 AM by minasoliman »
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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Faith & Works in Romans 4
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 09:43:51 PM »

Works in Paul means Mosaic law.  Hence the strong contrast.

Absolutely!
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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Faith & Works in Romans 4
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2017, 11:05:02 PM »

One more edit:  Paul actually agrees with James when says something like "if I have all the faith to move mountains, but no love..."
Not only that, but he also specifies that he is speaking especially of the works of the law, if I am not mistaken.
Nevertheless, I do believe there is a deeper meaning, and I'll reference the Holy Prophet Elijah: "For all of our righteousness is as filthy rags".
I suggest that we address this directly to the source of our salvation, Jesus Christ: "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." Yet if he wasn't saved according to the Mosaic Law (which is not to suggest that he transgressed it), according to what law then was he saved? Is it even proper to suggest that he was somehow "saved" from something, who "committed no sin, and no decit was found in his mouth"?

Sun Tzu said:
This is war.
It is the most important skill in the nation.
It is the basis of life and death.
It is the philosophy of survival or destruction.
You must know it well.

"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Faith & Works in Romans 4
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 04:42:45 PM »
I'm not sure I understand your question.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.