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Sunday, July 3 2016

Romans 4: When Did John The Baptist And The Messiah Rebuke The Apostle Paul?

"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

"Works" is used to describe two very different matters in the Word of God. As such, "works" has become one of the most misunderstood Christian principles because many people have been misled into believing that there is only one kind of "works" - to which false teachers proclaim that Christians are now "lawless" (see 2 Peter: 'The Servants Of Corruption Promise Liberty').

Righteous "works" simply means true and genuine obedience to the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour). Note very carefully that Abraham was declared righteous because he had "works" - he obeyed the Commands of the LORD: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" (see the Fact Finder question below to understand what Abraham was thinking when he was about to sacrifice Isaac - and what he believed would immediately happen to Isaac's dead body).

Abraham and Isaac

"2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 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. 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." (James 2:14-24 KJV)

On the other hand, unrighteous and self-righteous works are a matter of man-made rituals and lifeless faith - dead works. Once again using Abraham as the example, John the Baptist, and then the Messiah (Who Himself had "works" - see Works Means Obedience), warned that true faith means genuine obedience, not man-made religions and traditions - idle, and idol, "faith."

"3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." (Matthew 3:7-10 KJV)

"7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." (Mark 7:6-9 KJV)

Ironically, the apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul the Pharisee before his conversion, was one of those Jerusalem Pharisees that John the Baptist and the Messiah rebuked. But Paul's conversion opened his eyes (see Paul's Blindness Lesson) to the reality that he taught and lived by for the rest of his life. Paul thereafter described how Abraham did not have a faith of dead-works Judaism (which was created as the national religion of the Kingdom of Judah; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism and Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism), but a true and living faith of genuine obedience to the LORD.

"4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 4:10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." (Romans 4:1-25 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was Abraham thinking as he was about to sacrifice his son Isaac?
See Isaac: Rising From The Ashes


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This Day In History, July 3

324: The Battle of Adrianople. Constantine I defeated Licinius (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

George Washington 987: Hugh Capet was crowned King of France, beginning the Capetian dynasty that would rule France until the French Revolution in 1792.

1035: William the Conqueror became the Duke of Normandy.

1608: Samuel de Champlain established a settlement at Quebec City, the first in "New France" (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy). A few days later, Champlain learned of and thwarted a plot within his own people to end the French fur trading monopoly - to shoot Champlain and hand Quebec to the Basques of Spain.

1754: During the Seven Years War (a European and North American conflict; in North America it is commonly known as the French and Indian War), British forces under George Washington (then a loyal Major in the British Army in Virginia) surrendered Fort Necessity to the French.

1814: During the War of 1812 (1812-14), Fort Erie, Ontario was briefly captured by a U.S. invasion force. It was the last time that foreign troops occupied Canadian territory.

1844: The last known pair of Great Auks were killed.

1886: Karl Benz of Germany introduced the Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first automobile.

1928: In London, John Logie Baird transmitted the world's first color television transmission.

1940: British forces attacked and severely damaged the French fleet at its moorings at Mers-El-Kebir after the French admirals refused to sail it out of Petain's Vichy government control (which was collaborating with their Nazi conquerors). Over 1,300 French sailors were killed in the action.

1962: President Charles de Gaulle of France declared Algeria independent, ending the Algerian War of Independence against France.

1976: Israeli commandos, using 4 Hercules transports and a Boeing 707 command plane, conducted the "Raid on Entebbe" in Idi Amin's Uganda to rescue the hostages (83 of whom were Israelis threatened with death if the Israeli government did not release the 53 Palestinian terrorists it held) aboard an Air France airliner that had been hijacked shortly after takeoff from Athens airport on June 27. The terrorists and a number of Ugandan soldiers were killed; of the 104 captives rescued, 4 were killed. An Israeli officer, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu (brother of then future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) was the only Israeli military casualty (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).

1979: The U.S. began supplying insurgent forces in Afghanistan with military equipment to fight the Russian invasion of Afghanistan (a few years later, the U.S. found itself fighting those same Afghan defenders after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan).

1987: In France, Klaus Barbie, the Nazi "butcher of Lyon," was jailed for life for wartime crimes against humanity.

1988: The U.S. missile cruiser Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf just off the coast of Iran, killing all 290 civilian passengers and crew aboard. The captain of the warship claimed that he mistook the unarmed airliner, flying on its authorized flight plan, for a hostile military aircraft.

1996: British Prime Minister John Major announced that The Stone of Scone ("The Stone of Destiny" beneath the seat of the Coronation Chair) would be returned to Scotland. The announcement came on the 700th anniversary of the 400 pound slab of reddish-grey sandstone being taken from the Scottish by Edward I in 1296 during the Wars of Independence.

2006: An asteroid passed within 432,308 kilometers / 268,624 miles of Earth (about the distance between the Earth and moon).



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