Is grace enough?

by Kphoto 39 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Kphoto

    Hi again, Debating again with my favorite JW and the issue of grace became a firestorm. My contention is that Epesians 2:8-9 says it all but I get the arguement that "that's too easy" and shouldn't I have to do something. My point is if I earn it it's not grace. Anybody want to help me out? Thanks

  • WTWizard
    8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    This came from Ephesians, the King James version. I think it's pretty blatant that grace is what saves us, and not works. Note that it says "lest any man should boast". That is the precise reason why works are not required for salvation.

  • SPAZnik

    me thinks that's a great topic

    i remember that being one of the things that suddenly made me see the dubs differently when i was on my way out.

  • hamilcarr

    The problem is that both stands on justification are defensible according to NT theology. In my opinion the Paulinian doctrine as found in his epistles to the Romans, Galatians and Ephesians is hard to reconcile with James 2: 14-26 with its emphasis on ethics and 'works'. Luther, for instance, sharply criticized this passage as being diametrically opposed to Romans 4.

  • lovelylil

    I do not see a contradiction at all. Many misunderstand James 2;

    The point he is making which is clear if you read the entire chapter in its context is this; While righteous works are an outward evidence our our faith in Christ, we are not saved by those works, we are instead saved by our faith alone.

    Abraham was given as an example. He was declared righteous by his works (obeying God's commands to the letter), but was not SAVED by them. Being declared righteous is not the same as being saved. He was saved by his true faith. For most Christians our faith does move us into action and the evidence will be our good works. But we are not "working" to earn our salvation. If you have not faith, no amount of works will save you.

    Also, in the context we see the type of works that our faith moves us to do. Nowhere in these verses do these "works" have anything to do with the WT version of works such as meeting attendance, going door to door, studying the WT, etc. These works are always works performed for the good of others, such as helping the poor, sick, widows, etc.

    James was saying IF we have the true faith, it will be evidenced by our outward works in helping others. Faith and righteous works goes hand in hand. It is our faith that moves us to action. But again, we are not trying to earn salvation, becuase we cannot. It is our free gift merely for having faith. And if you have not faith but do a lot of good works thinking they will save you, you are doing them in vain.

    Peace, Lilly

  • lesterd

    Works alone glorify the worker, where as faith is an exercise in the grace shown by God. The three are necessary to gain salvation, or at least a good standing before Christ, who stands in before God for us. We are deserving of nothing. The "work" can equate to actions of faith, aligninng our lives, thinking, and worship to a course that pleases Jehovah.

  • hamilcarr
    The point he is making which is clear if you read the entire chapter in its context is this; While righteous works are an outward evidence our our faith in Christ, we are not saved by those works, we are instead saved by our faith alone.

    I disagree on this. Two verses before, James says about Abraham: Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? How comes we are not saved by works if these very same works make our faith perfect? Imo, he doesn't claim righteous works are an 'outward evidence' of our faith, but rather the opposite. Besides, the Greek word used for 'declared righteous' is the same in Romans 4:5 and James 2:24, so it's incorrect to assert Paul and James are talking about two different concepts. Salvation, sanctification and justification are inextricably intertwined. Can you show any scriptural evidence for the distinction you're hinting at.

  • NewYork44M

    Where in the bible does it say that you have to provide free labor to a real estate development cult in order to be receivied as righteous.

    Works merely means aligning your life with your beliefs. Has nothing to do with knocking on doors to distribute literature to enrich a publishing company. At least that is my opinion... and an opinion from someone who has no interest in being saved.

  • BurnTheShips

    Grace is enough. Both faith and works proceed from grace, and our cooperation with it.


  • Sad emo
    Sad emo

    Ask them this - if their close friend/spouse GAVE them a gift - would they then insist on paying them for it? Would they refuse the gift saying 'Sorry, I don't deserve this'?

    Grace is a gift, a free gift - one of the few JWisms I like, even though it doesn't adequately encompass the meaning of grace - it is UNDESERVED kindness!

    From the Oxford Online dictionary:


    adjectivenot warranted, merited, or earned.

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