If you are a student at the SouthWest Florida Bible Institute, and interested in taking the following course: “NT701 Two Tremendous Archaeological Discoveries” starting March 20, 2018, then you will want to watch the following cutting edge archaeological findings. Bob Cornuke is interviewed by Dr. Kevin Clarkson, president of Prophecy in the News, about his REVISED and UPDATED book “Temple.” The new book (just released days ago) can be purchased from KHouse and Chuck Missler, from Base Institute and Bob Cornuke, or from Prophecy In The News. The older book Temple is 207 pages. The new book you want to purchase is 239 pages – I received a copy of it today. Bob Cornuke is turning the field of Christian archaeology on its head, as he navigates through the plethora of 2,000 years of errors in tradition, and uses solely the Bible as his roadmap, pursuing the correct places of archaeological importance to the Christian. This book explores a new possible site for the temple, and Jesus’ exact place of crucifixion. If the location is correct, then the famed Islamic Dome of the Rock would not be in the way of building the temple! Bob Cornuke is highly respected in circles of famous people throughout the Middle East, and has combed the catacombs of passageways underneath Jerusalem with Benjamin Netanyahu. You will enjoy the following videos and his book Temple.
In Christ, Pastor Steve <><
Can you imagine the upheaval in political and religious thinking if the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is not the site of Solomon’s and Herod’s temples?
Since first published in 2014, Bob Cornuke’s ground-breaking book, TEMPLE, has been heralded as “an investigative masterpiece” with “astounding archaeological and prophetic implications.” We have already seen some “Bible scholars” publicly mock and try to refute him for his discoveries. Refusing to even debate him for fear that their lucrative careers will be tarnished, knowing all the while that the discoveries in this book has literally sent shockwaves through the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian worlds.
Bob has just released his NEW and updated version of this exciting book. Because there were so many negative untrue things being said about Bob’s discovery of the location of the Temple, Bob decided to add an appendix in the back of his new book to address these negative accusations. To be fair, he decided not to write the appendix, but to allow an outsider do the research and write this section of the book. That man is Dr. William P. Welty, who taught New Testament Greek for ten years at Simon Greenleaf University of Anaheim, California. Dr. Welty is a Bible scholar and executive director of the ISV Foundation. He was skeptical at first when Bob ask him to do the research, but when he finished, he called Bob and told him “There is no way that this is not the place of the Temple in the City of David.” His research is excellent!
Click on this link to read an article written by
Dr. William P. Welty titled:
In Defense of Dr. Robert Cornuke
Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!
November 28 2017
Written by: Prophecy in the News
Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!
Bethlehem TODAY – The Birthplace of Jesus!
November 28 2017
Written by: Prophecy in the News
If you have ever had the opportunity to visit the town of Bethlehem in Israel, you will find that the place where Jesus was born is nothing like you would imagine. Perched on a hill at the edge of the Judaean Desert, Bethlehem is the historical place where Jesus was born “in a manger” and is now preserved by the “Church of the Nativity.” It is considered a major Christian holy site and is one of the oldest surviving Christian churches.
The birth of Jesus is told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
Matthew 1:18-25 – King James Version (KJV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.
Luke 2 – King James Version (KJV)
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
According to the Bible, both accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth. According to Luke 2:7 (in the traditional translation), Mary “laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.” However, the Greek can also be rendered, “she laid him in a manger because they had no space in the room” — according to some scholars, they perhaps imagine Jesus being born in a cave. The gospel accounts do not mention a cave, but less than a century later, both Justin Martyr and the Protoevangelium of James say Jesus was born in a cave. Some believe this is reasonable, as many houses in the area are still built in front of a cave. The cave part would have been used for stabling and storage – thus the manger.
Saint Justin Martyr, (born c. 100, Flavia Neapolis, Palestine [now Nāblus]—died c. 165, Rome [Italy]; feast day June 1), one of the most important of the Greek philosopher-Apologists in the early Christian church. … He spent a considerable time in Rome.
WIKIPEDIA: The Gospel of James, also known as the Infancy Gospel of James or the Protoevangelium of James, is an apocryphal Gospel probably written about AD 145, which expands backward in time the infancy stories contained in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and presents a narrative concerning the birth and upbringing of Mary herself. It is the oldest source to assert the virginity of Mary not only prior to but during (and after) the birth of Jesus. The document presents itself as written by James: “I, James, wrote this history in Jerusalem.” The purported author is thus James, the brother of Jesus, but scholars have established that the work was not written by the person to whom it is attributed.
History of the Church of the Nativity
The first evidence of a cave in Bethlehem being venerated as Christ’s birthplace is in the writings of Justin Martyr around 160 AD. The tradition is also attested by Origen and Eusebius in the 3rd century.
In 326, Constantine and his mother St. Helena commissioned a church to be built over the cave. This first church, dedicated on May 31, 339, had an octagonal floor plan and was placed directly above the cave. In the center, a 4-meter-wide hole surrounded by a railing provided a view of the cave. Portions of the floor mosaic survive from this period. St. Jerome lived and worked in Bethlehem from 384 AD, and he was buried in a cave beneath the Church of the Nativity.
The Constantinian church was destroyed by Justinian in 530 AD, who built the much larger church that remains today. The Persians spared it during their invasion in 614 AD because, according to legend, they were impressed by a representation of the Magi — fellow Persians — that decorated the building. This was quoted at a 9th-century synod in Jerusalem to show the utility of religious images.
Muslims prevented the application of Hakim’s decree (1009) ordering the destruction of Christian monuments because, since the time of Omar (639), they had been permitted to use the south transept for worship.
The Crusaders took Jerusalem on 6 June 1009. Baldwin I and II were crowned there, and in an impressive display of tolerance the Franks and Byzantines cooperated in fully redecorating the interior (1165-69). A Greek inscription in the north transept records this event.
The Church of the Nativity was much neglected in the Mamluk and Ottoman periods, but not destroyed. Much of the church’s marble was looted by the Ottomans and now adorns the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. An earthquake in 1834 and a fire in 1869 destroyed the furnishings of the cave, but the church again survived.
In 1847, the theft of the silver star marking the exact site of the Nativity was an ostensible factor in the international crisis over the Holy Places that ultimately led to the Crimean War (1854–56).
In 1852, shared custody of the church was granted to the Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches. The Greeks care for the Grotto of the Nativity.
The Grotto of the Nativity, a rectangular cavern beneath the church, is the Church of the Nativity’s focal point. Entered by a flight of steps by the church altar, this is the cave that has been honored as the site of Christ’s birth since at least the 2nd century.
A silver star in the floor marks the very spot where Christ is believed to have been born. The star’s Latin inscription reads, “Here of the Virgin Mary Jesus Christ was born — 1717.” The floor is paved in marble, and 15 lamps hang above the star (six belong to the Greeks, five to the Armenians and four to the Latins).
All other furnishings date from after the fire of 1869, except for the bronze gates at the north and south entrances to the Grotto, which are from Justinian’s 6th-century church.
Note: I was in Israel just after Christmas in 1987, exactly thirty years ago from writing this. I was inside the Church Of The Nativity and toured this holy site. I agree totally with the above article that the early church historians, led by Justin Martyr in 160 A.D., and followed by Origen, Eusebius and others, give this site the best credence as the genuine place where Christ was born. Merry Christmas, Pastor Steve <><
Key The Following Link From The Southern Baptist WMU, For A Celebration Of Christ’s Birth:
At breakfast we witnessed another beautiful sunrise, a red rubber ball rising over new Jerusalem. This is Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath – no work is done. Our breakfast was made from food prepared on previous days. Not even scrambled eggs could be prepared. Talk about straining gnats.
Israel is made up of hills, valleys, hamlets, and towns. Mountains abound all around the Jordan Valley. We descended toward the Dead Sea and traveled the mountain, desert road, which is also rocky, hilly, craggy and lonely – between Jerusalem and Jericho. We descended over four thousand feet and once again, entered a different climate. This, as you probably realize by now, was the road used by the Good Samaritan. Our ears popped. What a beautiful land of endless variation! We saw many Bedouin camps and tents, goats, and sheep along the way. Israel really opens up the past. We passed through the wilderness of Judea, just north of Neger, and the wilderness of Beersheba. We passed deep gorges and narrow mountain passes, and canyons (Wadi) on the way toward Jericho. In the distance we saw Mount Nebo, Jericho, and the Wilderness of Temptation. We descended rapidly to the Dead Sea which was once a desert, but now, with water available, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, etc. are raised. We saw a Greek Monastery – the site of Biblical Gilgal. We also saw the place where Joshua crossed the Jordan River and laid down twelve stones. The Dead Sea provides Israel with minerals, power and electricity. We turned south towards En Gedi and Masada. We passed the mountains at Qumran, where later today, we will see the caves where the Bedouin shepherd boy discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. Our ears kept popping. Now we went by the actual caves which hid the scrolls. What a desolate place is Qumran, home of the Essenes. The Dead Sea is 20% salt, and right next to a fresh water spring. The residents of Qumran depended on this fresh water supply. We saw possible Essene farms and a community near Qumran.
After proceeding south along the Dead Sea for awhile, away from the spring, the land again turned into a desert. The Dead Sea is shrinking and getting smaller. The water line is moving back. What beautiful terrain – the desert, mountains, and the Dead Sea – it has to be seen. We drove south a long way, passing caves where rebels hid from Greek and Roman authorities. The Dead Sea was four shades of blue, surrounded by lush, green vegetation, and towering red and brown mountains and cliffs. Leopards and ibex dwell in these forlorn mountains. We kept proceeding south toward the oasis of En Gedi. As we passed through En Gedi, we immediately saw an oasis filled with beautiful palm trees. En Gedi, of course, is where David hid from Saul in a cave and cut Saul’s garment. I can see why David stayed here.
We then passed a health resort where a sulfur spring bubbled from the ground. Finally we approached our first destination of Masada. What a majestic site in the distance. The ramp that the Romans built in order to capture Masada could be seen. The Romans, under Titus, took three years to capture it through siege (70-73 A.D.). We also saw Mount Sodom south at a distance. An oasis was at the bottom of Masada. What a beautiful drive, Jerusalem to Masada. One may ascend Masada in one of two ways: 1) by cable car or 2) by the “snake path” which takes about forty five minutes. There is no rain here, and we saw one large cistern on the way up. It was a large man made quarry, turned into a cistern. Masada means stronghold, rock, or fortress, and was built by the paranoid Herod. There are three separate levels to King Herod’s Pleasure Palace, connected by staircases. The top level of Masada is twenty acres. Many of the Roman encampments could be seen below. The Roman encampments were square shaped and very easy to see. Masada had water, swimming pools, gardens, and just about everything to make it a paradise. A Roman wall crept all around the base of the mountain in order to keep the people captive. After three years, over nine hundred zealots committed suicide. Masada was discovered only one hundred years ago. When the Romans laid siege to Masada, they probably got their water at En Gedi. When the Romans attempted to build the earthen ramp, the zealots threw rocks down on them. We passed a stone quarry that was used by Herod in order to build. The walls of all the rooms at Masada were once beautiful, painted, and covered with plaster. There were saunas, hanging gardens, bath houses, pillars, storage rooms with a nine year food supply (the food was near Herod’s quarters). There were beautiful mosaics. There was even a hot room, and the floor was supported by small columns – underneath the floor were coals and hot water which created a sauna. Tile was on some of the walls. As mentioned, the pleasure palace of Herod had three tiers, and was located in such a way as to catch the breeze at the end of the mountain. The outline of the Roman encampments could be seen all around the mountain. The General’s Quarters could be seen inside the encampments at the corner of each. Water came to Masada all the way from the mountains near Jerusalem and was collected in cisterns. There were holes in the base of Mount Masada which collected the water runoff from the mountains nearby. The force of gravity pushed the water up, because even the top of Masada is below sea level! The top level of Masada features the Northern “pleasure” Palace. Next, I visited the lowest tier of the pleasure palace, the third level down. This tier gave Herod shade and breeze. There was a hidden stairwell which was built into the rock, that Herod used to go up and down. There were no trees in the area, hence the Romans had to haul a battering ram for a long distance. Then I saw the middle terrace of the pleasure palace (Northern Palace), and observed the remains of a narrow, circular stairwell built into the rock.
Back on the top terrace was the oldest synagogue in the world at the time of the Second Temple. Ezekiel, Chapter Thirty Seven, “The Vision of Dry Bones,” was found in the synagogue. Nearby, there was a chamber for the scrolls, or library. We observed the Roman ramp of earth closeup from the top of Masada. There were many towers posted along the outer walls. We left the “leisure” Northern Palace, and entered the Western “working” Palace. This was the Administrative Palace. A woman and her daughter were the only ones who did not commit suicide in 73 A.D. They hid themselves in an empty water cistern.
Now we will head for En Gedi. The Dead Sea has no fish or seaweed. The sulfur smell is very strong. En Gedi comes from “En” or spring, and “Gedi” or goats. We came to Wadi David – the springs and water source for En Gedi. We observed the ibex wandering on the cliffs, the mountain animal of Israel, from which we get the word “Gedi.” En Gedi features a beautiful waterfall. At En Gedi, the water originates at a spring and goes underground. The water is warm. On our walk back from the waterfall, we saw a “coonie” which looks like a groundhog. We also saw about twenty ibex walking along a high ridge. We saw many other ibex amid the rocks. They are very coordinated for the mountains, and they change the position of their feet to land square on the rocks.
Now we went to the Dead Sea at En Gedi for a swim. One can float there with no effort at all. Salt deposits were left all over our bodies. Since I shaved the previous night before swimming, my neck stung. You could smell the sulfur, and clay deposits were left everywhere. The clay is used for cosmetics, facial treatments, and other vain pursuits of man. Since the Dead Sea is the lowest place on the face of the earth, and tropical, and unseasonably warm, and has many mineral deposits, one feels that God did something special here – such as rain fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah, and dropping the entire valley below sea level.
Onward to Qumran. We passed an oasis filled with palm trees along the way. (By the way, it just came to mind that there were no problems on the trip which had to do with the recent P.L.O., Gaza Strip and Bethlehem developments). Qumran was settled by the Essenes in the eighth century B.C. We visited the remains of the community, observing a water channel, a cistern, scrolls stored in a Scriptorium, and a cemetery. Many scrolls have been located in these mountains nearby. Observed in the Essenes Community were homes, pottery, stables, flour, a dining hall, a pool and a cistern. Every remaining artifact gives evidence of a simple life style. The Essenes left Qumran and went to Masada.
We left Qumran to go back to Jerusalem. On the way home, our guide mentioned that Bedouins still trade camels for wives. They love their simple life style. We passed a military camp. Now we went back to the road which goes from Jericho to Jerusalem. We passed another military camp. Many Bedouin Camps were seen on the way back to Jerusalem. We passed through today’s Bethany and stopped at Lazarus’ tomb. It was deep and dark and seemed very real. We had to duck and crawl in order to enter the crypt area. It appeared to be a real possibility of genuine authenticity, like the tomb of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.
We again entered Jerusalem. We visited Jesus’ Garden Tomb, mentioned in the paragraph above. It too, seemed authentic because of 1) the trough where the stone rolled, 2) and the window where the Bible seems to indicate light came in (John 20: 4-8); when John and Peter saw the linen clothes in the tomb, a source of light would have been needed for them to see the clothes after running into the tomb – the window, of course, would have provided the light.
Luther’s Sola Fide
Posted: 31 Oct 2017 02:06 AM PDT
500 years ago today, Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. This marked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. In his publication, Luther criticized the sale of indulgences, the papal pardons which reduced the amount of punishment for sins in Purgatory. We can all appreciate Luther’s challenge to papal authority, specifically toward the Roman Catholic Church about the selling of papal pardons to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. But did the Reformation get us back to biblical Christianity?
The Protestant position would come to incorporate doctrinal changes such as sola fide, or justification by faith alone. Sola fide has been a hallmark of Protestant theology since the beginning of the Reformation. For Luther, faith alone is specifically contrasted with good works. In his preface to Romans, Luther said, “faith alone makes someone just and fulfills the law.” By “faith alone” the Reformers clearly meant belief or trust, apart from anything else. According to Luther, good works have nothing to do with our salvation other than being the result of saving faith. Sola fide is thus formulated in the Augsburg Confession of Faith as follows:
[T]his faith is bound to bring forth good fruits, and that it is necessary to do good works commanded by God, because of God’s will, but that we should not rely on those works to merit justification before God. For remission of sins and justification is apprehended by faith, as also the voice of Christ attests: When ye shall have done all these things, say: We are unprofitable servants. Luke 17:10. The same is also taught by the Fathers. For Ambrose says: It is ordained of God that he who believes in Christ is saved, freely receiving remission of sins, without works, by faith alone. (Augsburg Confession of Faith, Article VI)
Luther was so insistent that justification was by faith alone and not works that, when translating Romans 3:28 into German, he added the word allein (“alone”), so that the verse would read: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith [alone] without the deeds of the law.” But the word “alone” is not present in the Greek text. This also brought Paul in direct contradiction to James. Church Historian Philip Schaff summarized:
The most important example of dogmatic influence in Luther’s version is the famous interpolation of the word alone in Rom. 3:28, by which he intended to emphasize his solifidian doctrine of justification, on the plea that the German idiom required the insertion for the sake of clearness. But he thereby brought Paul into direct verbal conflict with James, who says (James 2:24), “by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.” It is well known that Luther deemed it impossible to harmonize the two apostles in this article, and characterized the Epistle of James as an “epistle of straw,” because it had no evangelical character. (History of the Christian Church, Book 7, Chapter 4)
Ironically, the only place “faith alone” appears as a phrase in the New Testament is in James 2:24: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (NET, or “faith only” in the KJV). James also says: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17). In context, James wrote:
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 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? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 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. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 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? 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. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:14-26)
Most Protestants argue that James is merely attacking an empty faith. In order to agree with Luther, they say, “Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone.” But here is an obvious contradiction of terms in order to agree with Luther’s interpretation of Romans 3:28. In the end, an “empty faith” is nothing other than “faith alone” or “faith without works.” And James tells us that “faith alone” cannot save.
Taken at face value, James 2:14-26 contradicts Martin Luther’s doctrine of sola fide. How did Luther reconcile this glaring conflict? He sought to expel the Epistle of James from the New Testament canon. In his Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude, Luther said that the Epistle of James was “not the writing of any apostle.” Luther went on to question the authority of James:
Flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture, it ascribes righteousness to works, and says that Abraham was justified by his works, in that he offered his son Isaac, though St. Paul, on the contrary, teaches, in Romans 4:2, that Abraham was justified without works, by faith alone, before he offered his son, and proves it by Moses in Genesis 15:6. . . .
I cannot put him [James] among the chief books, though I would not thereby prevent anyone from putting him where he pleases and estimating him as he pleases; for there are many good sayings in him.
Luther not only questioned the authority of James, but also of Jude, Hebrews, and Revelation. Moreover, in his Preface to the New Testament, Martin Luther wrote:
In a word, St. John’s Gospel and his first Epistle, St. Paul’s Epistles, especially Romans, Galatians and Ephesians, and St. Peter’s first Epistle are the books that show you Christ and teach you all that it is necessary and good for you to know, even though you were never to see or hear any other book or doctrine. Therefore St. James’ Epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to them; for it has nothing of the nature of the Gospel about it.
But Paul doesn’t have to conflict with James. The most satisfactory solution to the alleged contradiction between Paul and James is that Paul was referring to the “works” of the Law of Moses, especially circumcision (cf. Romans 4:2, 6, 9-12; Galatians 2:6-10, 12, 16; 3:2, 5, 10). On the other hand, James was referring to good “works” or works of obedience to God (James 2:14, 17-18, 20-22, 24). The raging issue for the first century Church was whether or not Gentiles needed to keep the works of the Law of Moses, i.e., circumcision (Acts 15). Preaching at Antioch, Paul said, “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).
The Scriptures have a much broader view of justification than Luther’s doctrine of sola fide. The Greek word dikaioō (translated “justified” throughout Romans 3 and James 2) also occurs in other passages without reference to faith. For example, Jesus said, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). Even Paul said, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Romans 2:13).
Again, James also says, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? . . . Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?” (James 2:21, 24-25).
The Greek words dikaioō (“justified”) and dikaiosynē (“righteousness”) both come from the root word dikaios which is normally translated “righteous” or “just.” In this broader sense, justification is the righteousness acceptable to God, more in line with the use of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
John says: “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him” (1 John 2:29); “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7); “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” (1 John 3:10).
The Scriptures deny that one is justified by faith alone. Indeed, “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Though our good works do not earn or merit our salvation, our obedience is in cooperation with divine grace, working together with God for our salvation (see Philippians 2:12-13).
On the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, we can appreciate Martin Luther for his challenge to reform the Roman Catholic Church and papal abuses. But we must not simply reject the infallibility of the Pope in order to embrace the infallibility of the Reformer. Pope Leo X was not infallible, and neither is Luther. Unfortunately, many Protestants hold to Luther’s doctrine of sola fide as if it were an infallible interpretation of the Scriptures. Let’s be honest with what the Scriptures actually say and reform our own lives accordingly, by the grace of God.
Faith & Works – Harmonizing Paul & James
The post Luther’s Sola Fide appeared
The above is very good theology. My simple mind interprets it succinctly as follows: We are saved by our faith in Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 5:17,21; Ephesians 2:8-10), but a genuine saving faith is always accompanied by works. Specifically, please note Ephesians 2:10. It is true that Martin Luther is NOT a Protestant Pope, and he erred in his disparaging comments in reference to the book of James. A genuine saving faith and works are like a horse and carriage or love and marriage. They mesh together beautifully and naturally. You cannot have one without the other. Should not the numerous exploits of the faithful saints described graphically in the “Hall of Faith,” Hebrews 11, convince us of this? Pastor Steve <><
Course #4 – Intermediate Loneliness In a period of twenty four hours, Moses found himself isolated from every relationship that he ever enjoyed. One day he was a leader in the Pharaoh’s palace, the next day he led scorpions in the desert. God led Moses into the desert to teach him to lead. A leader is not a leader until he has learned to follow. God would not use Moses until Moses had learned to submit to God and to submit to His timetable. So Moses was alone. God, in His wisdom, at times will separate us from our normal network of family and friends. Isolation is an opportunity to get to know Him better.
Conclusion Moses felt like an absolute failure. He lost his career, status, reputation, family, friends and future. But he was not a failure. God took him aside to take some courses. These courses have to do with character development. God was not trying to ruin Moses. He was rebuilding him so that he could be used strategically. …And the people God loves to use most are those who have learned to depend completely upon Him. For many of us self-sufficient, confident types, that does not come easily. Our society is intoxicated with worldly success. But if you know Christ, you know that FAILURE IS THE BACKDOOR OF SUCCESS. God uses our failure to equip us for future success. Has God enrolled you in a Masters of Character Acquisition (M.C.A.) program? That is good company my friend. God does not enroll anyone, only those with a special work. When you graduate, there will be no ceremony, sheepskin diploma, class ring, and a cap and gown. But you will have the approval and certification of the Master Himself. …And God does not make any junk!
Failure is the backdoor of God turning you into a success, and fully equipping you for the Master’s use.
In Christ, Pastor Steve