Sunday, November 17, 2019

Does Romans 2:6-7 Teach That We Are Justified By Faith And Works? (Part 2 Of 2)

  • Discussion:
          -Karlo Broussard of Catholic Answers wrote a second article for the purpose of interacting to a further extent with a few claims made by Ron Rhodes on Romans 2:6-7 as it relates to Sola Fide ("faith alone"). Following are excerpts from the Roman Catholic apologist along with a critique:

          "It’s only after we’re in grace that good works play a role in our salvation...The immediate context of Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 2:10 deals with initial salvation. Consider, for example, what Paul says in verses four and five...The immediate context of Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 2:10 deals with initial salvation. Consider, for example, what Paul says in verses four and five...Paul here is speaking of that initial transition from death to life in Christ. And it’s this initial stage of salvation where Paul thinks good works play no role."

          Whenever Paul speaks of our faith in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians, he is making reference to our justification (Romans 4:4-5; Galatians 2:16; 3:11; 22). Ephesians 2 definitely matches this context. These texts affirm justification to not be meritorious.

          In Ephesians 2:10, the phrase "for good works" means that good works constitute the purpose of being created in Jesus Christ. This is a sanctification verse.

          The irony of this author claiming that good works "play no role" in the "initial stage of salvation" is that it is accomplished through baptism, which is a work.

          "But Paul doesn’t say anything about works attesting to saving faith [in Romans 2:6-8]. He explicitly states that the good works performed in patience and the seeking for the gifts of glory, honor, and immortality are the reason for God granting eternal life. In other words, the good works are real causes that bring about a real effect: the granting of eternal life."

          God will certainly give eternal life to those who display good deeds. When God judges us, He examines all of the details concerning our personal status with Him. However, those works are not meritorious. Justification in Scripture is described as an unmerited gift of grace and not something that we can earn, even in part (Romans 3:24; 5:15; 17; 6:23). The gospel is received on the basis of faith which results in one's justification before God (John 20:31; Romans 1:16; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Timothy 3:15). Our good works do not play a role in us attaining or maintaining justification.

          "This principle is made even clearer in verse eight, wherein Paul contrasts the aforementioned good works with bad works: “[F]or those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.” Disobedience and wickedness are not merely manifestations of a degenerate heart, but are causes that bring about the effect of wrath and fury."

          It is true that our sin brings about the wrath of God. It is also true that our works provide a general description of our state of heart. However, the author being critiqued has not successfully shown how justification is a process.

1 comment:

  1. Paul, in Titus 3:4, says But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.