Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bible study notes on James ... & Theories on Justification

I haven't had time to do much recently. However, I have managed to finish both of my essays and therefore am having a breather at the moment. Anyway, here are the Bible study notes that I compiled for my guys in my Discipleship Group (DG) on the book of James. Hope it would be edifying to you all. They are available here (1, 2, 3, 4).

Anyway, the 4th Bible study was conducted on Tue, 31st Oct 2006, which also happened to be Reformation Day. Coincidentally, the Bible study was on the topic of Faith & Works. I thus take the opportunity to also go through the topic of Salvation and Justification by faith alone. Of course, since it touches on James 2, we discussed the place of works in the process of salvation, which is always a thorny issue to being with , especially with the Roman Catholics and Orthodox. Oh well.

Anyway, I went through two questions on the nature of salvation and justification in Christians. Here is what I put forward as the correct scheme of the relation between salvation, justification, sanctification and works:

Justification: The act whereby God judicially declares a person as guiltless, on the basis of the atonement in the shed blood of Christ
Sanctification: The act whereby God conforms us more and more into the image of Christ (1 Peter 1:16) through the Holy Spirit.

Salvation = Justification → Sanctification
Justification = Faith → Works

(Btw, the arrow "→ " means "leads to")

With that said, what then do we make of these two views? Are they correct views, semi-correct, or...? What do you all think?

Justification = Faith + Works

Faith = Justification + Works & Salvation is by faith alone


vincit omnia veritas said...

Justification is a legal term. I might prefer this line of thought:

regeneration leads to faith;

salvific faith leads to justification + sanctification; which leads to glorification.

The term “works,” though biblical, is confusing to some young believers. It has somehow acquired the nuance that it is man’s contribution to his salvation. Rather, “works” correctly understood is correctly defined as “fruits” or better still, sanctification, which includes Christ-likeness, and putting away of the old man.

Evangelical books said...
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Daniel C said...

Eh... well yes,

the supernatural act of regeneration by the Holy Spirit is essential; but I think I sortof take it for granted that most Christians know about it? I mean, Neo-Evangelicals in general emphasize a lot on the New Birth, don't they, at least when they first started out...? Eh... or is it the case that the Antinomain anti-Lordship camp denies regeneration?

Daniel C said...

Oh, anyway, both of the alternate views are false. The question is why are they false...

MC said...

jus curious what are your equal signs supposed to represent.. do they all mean the same thing or different thing for different equations

Daniel C said...

eh.... the equal signs symbolize the existence of a soteriological causal relation between the things on the left and the things on the right. Hope that helps.