Again, this does not mean that we can do these things. This means that we are neither justified nor deserve justice or salvation if we do not do these things. And yet we Jewish Christians know that we become at peace with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by believing in Jesus Christ. So we believed in Jesus Christ in order to be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ, not because we obeyed the law. For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law. (Galatians 2:16, NLT). When I look at the Bible, I can distinguish two types of works of law. To believe that one`s own works can deserve one`s own salvation is false. But to believe that his faith can deserve his salvation is equally false. As a much-debated subject, there is obviously no clear and precise definition of the term “works of the law” on which everyone can agree.
But the most common and common interpretation among most churches with their leaders (as stated on their respective websites), about which most agree, is that Paul (the apostle of the Gentiles) taught a waiver of obedience to God`s laws contained in the Torah (the five books of Moses). Specifically, it is claimed that Paul defied the characteristics of Jewish practices that include circumcision, Keeping the Sabbath with annual holy days, and keeping dietary laws. Just as surely as a dead person does not do works, so does a faith, a religion that does not include works, dead. Thus, a person in whom there is a living and saving faith will produce works. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. The intention of this article was simply to focus on what Paul meant by his statement “works of the law.” It was NOT planned to have a full discussion on the whole topic of “works”, which should be covered in a separate article focusing exclusively on that particular topic. In this case, we can then focus and include all of James` statements as well as all other relevant Bible verses on this topic. But the combination of the two themes (explaining what Paul meant by “works of law” and going through an entire exhibition of “works” will be a very long article that goes beyond the editorial guidelines of “BiblicalTruths.com” – including brevity as much as possible and as directly as possible.
It was not my intention (as an article author) to intentionally omit James 2:18. It is simply that James` statement on this subject had no direct relation to the theme generally misunderstood in Paul`s statement on the “works of the law” in his letter to the Galatians (and also to the Romans). Thank you again for your interest in your comment. 27 Where is the boasting? It is excluded. According to what law? works? No: but according to the law of faith. Circumcision was only one of the interests of The Judaizers. Another is not to recognize the divinity of Yahshua (Jesus), the Messiah, whom they betrayed with hatred and envy to Pilate and therefore in the hands of the Roman soldiers to be killed. They did not recognize His sacrifice and final death for their sins and for all mankind. Thus, in a zealous effort to continue to atone for their own sins, they would insist on continuing with the rituals of “animal sacrifices,” which involve truly heavy “WORKS” – among many other human demands.
This is what Paul meant when he spoke of “works of law” that cannot justify our sins. As we have already well established, Paul never intended to abolish the Ten Commandments and other biblical practices that Christ Himself maintained. The same goes for the original apostles and the first-century church. So if we know that the scriptures do not contradict each other, how can we reconcile these verses? In one case, Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by grace by faith, not by works, but in the other case, James says that faith died without works. Although keeping the commandments is a prerequisite, he is not entitled to receive the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is a gift (Acts 2:38; 10:45; Hebrews 2:4), gave something freely and undeserved. This is the point the Galatians stumbled upon: they did not understand or would not believe that God`s forgiveness, justification, sanctification, Holy Spirit, etc. are all things for which God is responsible. These are His prerogatives, and nothing we do can force Him to do anything! Romans 9:11 shows that it is God`s election that determines to whom his Spirit is open, not the choice (or works —the same verse) of the individual. John 6:44 makes it clear that God chooses who will enter into the covenant relationship, and without God attracting a person to Him, it is impossible for that person to know God at all. 1.
Corinthians 1:26-29 also illustrates that God makes the “call” and deliberately chooses the weak, foolish, and inferior things of the world. Much of the reason is that no one can boast (glory) that God called them because they were exceptionally righteous or deserved to be called in any way. Whatever the law says, it speaks to those under the law so that every mouth can be stopped and the whole world can be brought to justice before God. For by the works of the law no man will be justified in his eyes, for by the law comes the knowledge of sin. The parchment excavated in Qumran suggests that the sentences of the law are the halachic statements of the leader of the sect, in this case the professor of justice. .