Brother AACOOLDRE : Faith and Works

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  1. AACOOLDRE

    AACOOLDRE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    FAITH AND WORKS
    By Andre Austin

    A week or so ago writer by the name of Cornelius Stam wrote an article about faith vs. works in my local Black newspaper giving Christians the wrong impression. James and John the Baptist both believed in faith and works. James who knew Jesus wrote one of the first letters concerning Christianity. James and John personally knew Jesus and Paul didn’t know Jesus. Paul never meant to exclude faith from righteous deeds. Paul says “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and worse than an unbeliever” 1 Timothy 5:8 Who are family? All people especially the “Family of believers” Galatians 6:10. Our faith has to express itself through love (Gal 5:6). Jesus summoned up our work as loving our neighbor as yourself (Gal 5:14) You can’t claim to be in light if you hate a family member (1 John 1:9). When you love you help provide for your community by righteous deeds. Paul also said “If I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Cor 13:2). God doesn’t need our love. We love God when we love our fellow man.
    The gospel that Jesus and his disciples proclaimed to the Jews was in accordance with what the Old Testament predicted about a human Messiah reigning over a restored kingdom of Israel, a kingdom of peace and righteousness. The people of Israel were to repent as personal righteousness was necessary to become a member of the kingdom.
    In contrast to Jesus' gospel was the gospel preached to the Jews and gentiles by the apostle Paul, which Paul refers to as "my gospel" and "the gospel that I preach" to differentiate it from what was being proclaimed by the disciples. In Paul's gospel the human Jewish Messiah became a divine saviour of all nations, the restored kingdom of Israel became a heavenly kingdom, and admittance to the kingdom was based on faith rather than personal righteousness, a concept in the letter of James rejects.
    The two gospels caused great animosity between Paul and the original apostles, an animosity that is played down in the books of Acts and Galatians, but which still shows through in several places. When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were scattered or killed, and the opposition to the gospel of Paul was largely eliminated. The gospel of Paul was incorporated into the gospel of Jesus, in many cases supplanting it. Righteousness is still in effect because “The dead were judged according to what they had done (works)” (Rev 20:12). And those who are hell bound are distinguished from heaven bound as righteousness or wrong. “They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteousness will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father” (Matthew 13:42). Paul wanted it to be easy as possible for non Jews to join the club so he eliminated the Faith & works doctrine of James, brother of Jesus and eliminated circumcision a surgery Jesus had as an infant.

    *The works of Josephus reports that: “John , that was called the Baptist; for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards another, and piety towards god, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him , if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness”-The Antiquities of the Jews Book 18, chapter 5:2
     
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