Faith vs. Works, According to Paul

Galatians 2:15-16

We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

James 2:18-24

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. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe -and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” -and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

Sprinter Crossing the Finish Line
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A Much Abused Passage – Ephesians 2:1-10 (Part 2)

The Gift of God

In the last post we looked at Ephesians 2:1-7 and asked whether Calvinism’s claim of regeneration before faith is taught in that passage; by comparing it with a similar passage in Colossians 2:12-13 we saw that Paul taught people are “raised up with Christ” through faith during baptism in water. In this post we want to look at a couple more verses in Ephesians chapter 2 that have been used as Calvinistic proof texts.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one can boast.

The Calvinist logic on these two verses is simple. Faith is a gift from God. But even more, it is a gift that we cannot reject. Simply put, no one can believe in Christ except those who are given the gift of faith, and those who are given the gift of faith by God’s unilateral grace cannot resist it.
Continue reading “A Much Abused Passage – Ephesians 2:1-10 (Part 2)”