Solving the problem of apparent Scriptural conflict

Fred R. Coulter—January 30, 2021

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Today we are going to solve two major apparentcontradictions in the Bible, in the New Testament. We will see why it looks like there's contradiction and what is the real solution to it. But before we get there, I want you to go to Appendix R—The Holy Bible in Its Original Order—and this is why we have appendices and commentaries. All of these things are there to help you understand the Bible even more.

Appendix R: What is Meant by "the Works of the Law"? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version)

The first thing to understand about it is that it began with Wycliff when he translated the Latin Vulgate into old English in 1380. It has remained that way all the way through with the conflict.

Paul also wrote that the Law is not abolished by faith; rather the Law is established by faith: "Are we, then, abolishing Law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing Law" (Rom. 3:31)….

Why? Because with repentance and baptism, keeping the Law and receiving the Holy Spirit, you want to keep the Law! You establish the Law! You establish everything about it and all the principles of it!

…Instead of doing away with the Law, Paul reaffirmed what Jesus Christ taught concerning the Law, when He said: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill…..

The Law can never be abolished, because it's spiritual, eternal and living. So, this is why Jesus said the next thing.

"…For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth shall pass away…

We know that it's still here because we're on the earth.

"…one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled" (Matt. 5:17-18). (Please see Appendix H "How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets?")

That means the whole plan of God being fulfilled. So, it's obvious that it hasn't been fulfilled. That means that the Law is still active.

The problems in understanding these Scriptures, as well as the erroneous interpretation of Romans 3:20-22, began with inaccurate translations and assumptions. The incorrect English translation began with John Wycliffe's 1380 translation from the Latin Vulgate. In modern English it reads: "For of the works of the Law, each flesh shall not be justified before him, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin, but now without the Law…

That's the key word: without! And that is a mistranslation. What does without mean in English? The absence of or it not being!

"…the righteousness of God is showed, this is witnessed of the law and the prophets and the righteousness of God is by the faith of Jesus Christ in to all men and on all men that believe in him" (Samuel Bagster, The English Hexapla, 1841)

Notice that in statements like this, there is no baptism mentioned. There's no laying on of hands mentioned. When they come to the Scriptures and read it, and assume that he says it's by belief, we end up with a simple prayer with Franklin Graham:

Do you believe that Jesus is a Savior? Yes! Do you believe that He forgives your sins? Yes! Pray this little prayer with me and you are justified and saved for all eternity.

No works! No nothing! This is how it has come about.

Now, when we come to William Tyndale—the father of the modern English Bible—it gets a little worse. I'll tell you something about Tyndale when we get done reading this.

William Tyndale's 1534 translation is slightly different. However, his rendition also gives the strong impression that keeping the commandments and laws was not required: "Because that by the deeds of the law, shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God. For by the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Now verily is the righteousness that comes of God declared without the fulfilling of the Law

This is why we have the appendices, and this Appendix R has everything that covers it. That's quite a thing, because the Greek is separate from works of law! That's entirely different than without the fulfilling of the Law! That has carried on for not quite 500 years, actually more when you go back to Wycliff.

Then it was made even worse, even though Henry VIII split from Rome, he made himself head of the Church of England. That's what's been a real problem with the Brits ever since. They can never really get into the Scriptures the way they need to get into it, because it is State controlled by the king or queen.

"…having witness yet of the Law and of the Prophets. The righteousness no doubt which is good before God, comes by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe" (William Tyndale's Translation, Samuel Bagster, The English Hexapla, 1841; also see Tyndale's New Testament, 1536).

When you believe and repent, as we have seen in Rom. 2:13. Paul labels all the sins and tells them that God leads them to repentance so they can have forgiveness. Then he talks about "…the Law…" because if you have your sins forgiven:

  • Are you to go back and live in your sins?
  • Are you to go back and practice sins?
  • NO!

The covenant unto eternal life is so far superior to the covenant that God had with the Israelites that it is for eternity. That requires a whole lot more.

Romans 2:13: "Because the hearers of the Law are not just before God, but the doers of the Law…"

If you have justification without Law, how can you be a doer of the Law so that you can be justified? If you're a doer of the Law, you're not actively living in sin! That's one of the major conflicts that leads to another conflict besides that.

Romans 3:20: "Therefore, by works of law…" This is referring directly to:

  • Judaism
  • the sacrifices at the temple
  • any work of any law in any religion

The Greeks had their 'religions'; they had their works. Same way with the 'religions' today!

  • What is it that the Catholics have to do?
  • Have you ever read the Catholic book: My Catholic Faith.
  • What is the major thing that the Catholics have done besides idolatry?

In the English translation called The Douay Version in Exo. 20, they have the verses containing 'Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy…' So, those who were working on the Bible had a little more fear of God than those who worked up the Catechism. In the Catechism it is this way:

'Have no other gods before Me, and shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.'

They take out the one concerning idols! That's more major than taking out the Sabbath, because if you're constantly in idolatry you'll never come to the knowledge of the Sabbath. That confusion has reigned all that time.

Romans 3:20: "Therefore, by works of law there shall no flesh be justified before Him; for through the Law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God that is separate from law has been revealed…" (vs 20-21).

If it's separate from it, it means that the righteousness of God exists on one hand, and the Laws of God exist on the other hand. But you can't be living in sin and be justified. You can't be throwing out the laws of God so there is no knowledge of what is right and wrong, good and evil, sin, and so forth, and then go to God and say, 'God, forgive my sins.'

  • How does that work?
  • What does that cost you?

You get on your knees and you pray to God, and you believe what God says, and your sins will be forgiven you!

  • When you're just coming into the Truth, what does the Bible say needs to happen? You have to be baptized!
  • For what? The forgiveness of your sins and entering into the New Covenant!

Without baptism, there's no New Covenant!

How many people live in believing lies, partial truths, and think they're doing right? Most of humanity!

"…being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; even the righteousness of God…" (vs 21-22). Meaning God's own righteousness from God to the repentant sinner!

When they had the sacrificial system and someone sinned they could bring an offering for sin. They were forgiven to the temple, wherever the sacrifice was made, and they were forgiven. Nothing was forgiven in heaven above (Heb. 9).

Today, when we come to God and our sins are forgiven, they are forgiven in heaven and on earth. Only God can do that! Only the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the one that can pay for our sins with His shed blood, death and resurrection!  Nothing else!

Between two people you may have a little scuffle or misunderstanding, and you work it all out, say you're sorry and that's as far as it goes. That does not necessarily mean that you have to go to God to be forgiven with the sacrifice of Christ. Sometimes it is.

"…that is through the faith of Jesus Christ…" (v 22).

This means more than just having faith toward Jesus Christ. It is the faith of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ's faith! It was His sacrifice, and He had to live a perfect life and die the way that He did to be the sacrifice for us. So, He had to have perfect faith all along and that God the Father would raise Him from the dead.

We have a study on that: The Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ concerning His coming to the earth and to end up being the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.

"…toward all and upon all those who believe; for there is no difference" (v 22).

With the covenant for Israel, it was for Israel and the stranger who would live among them. But now it goes to the whole world, and it's to anyone anywhere whom God is dealing with that when they repent their sins are forgiven. Don't have to go to a temple, don't have to offer a sacrifice; you just cry out to God and repent. 

Verse 23: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Every human being!

The reason is because God has given free moral agency, as I have said many times. God doesn't want us to be robots or automatons. He wants us to choose:

  • choose God
  • choose His way
  • choose to repent
  • choose to keep His laws
  • choose to love Him
  • choose to love each other

All of those are choices we make continually!

Verse 24: "But are being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."

The Israelites had a relationship with God to the temple. Remember the prayer that Solomon said, 'If anyone turn to the temple and pray, God will forgive them.' Completely different today! Our relationship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ in heaven. By God's Spirit He leads us! That's a tremendous thing!

Verse 25: "Whom God has openly manifested to be a propitiation through faith in His blood…"

That's why the sacrifice of Christ had to be at a time when it could be known and promulgated to the whole world, openly known, and it was!

"…in order to demonstrate His righteousness, in respect to the remission of sins that are past" (v 25).

As I've explained, all sin is past sin! You don't go to God and say, 'God forgive me, I'm going to go home and have an argument with wife—or husband.'

Sidebar: Do you know what MS stand for; MS13, the gang of slaughters and killers? There's a religion behind it! MS stands for Santa Maria! Who is that? To the Catholics, that's the mother of Jesus! See how twisted everything gets with people!

Verse 26: "Through the forbearance of God; yes, to publicly declare His righteousness in the present time, that He might be just, and the One Who justifies the one who is of the faith of Jesus."

That's what that means, and notice the rest of it. Then we get into the beginning of the first apparent contradiction!

Verse 27: Therefore, where is boasting? It is excluded…." Why? Because you didn't forgive your sins yourself! God did, freely!

"…Through what law? The law of works? By no means! Rather, it is through a law of faith"—which is:

  • believe
  • repent
  • be baptized
  • receive the Holy Spirit

Verse 28: "Consequently, we reckon that a man is justified by faith, separate from works of law."

Then Paul reveals that God is now bringing this to whole world. Before, God dealt with Israel, and then later with the Jews. He didn't deal with the Gentile nations in the same way.

There are some people who claim that Adam and Eve were Jews, and that Abraham was a Jew, rather than reading the Bible and find out that the Jews are named after the tribe of Judah who was one of the 12 sons of Israel.

Just because they ended up with their separate kingdom in Judea, and ended up virtually be being the only ones who had the Word of God, everything centered in on the Jews. Then they developed their own religion with works of law that are just mind-boggling beyond belief.

Verse 29: "Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles?…. [Didn't He make us all of one blood of all human beings?] …YES! He is also God of the Gentiles, since it is indeed one God Who will justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith. Are we, then, abolishing the Law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing the Law" (vs 29-31).

What is the thing that also helps to establish the Law and help us stay desiring to do the will of God and keep His commandments?

1-John 1:5: "And this is the message that we have heard from Him and are declaring to you: that God is Light, and there is no darkness at all in Him. If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him…" (vs 5-6).

That's interesting! Not only do we have a relationship with God, we have fellowship with God, because we have His Holy Spirit and God is dealing with us.

"…but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth" (v 6).

We've gone through this, too, as a Bible study. What is Truth?

  • the Word of God
  • His commandments
  • His laws
  • His statutes
  • His judgments
  • His precepts

Also, practicing the Truth of what needs to be in our daily relationship with God.

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our own sins…" (vs 7-9).

That's through the faith of Jesus Christ. Notice that John is including himself, and John was an old man at this time. So, when he says we he's admitting that he still had sins to overcome.

The relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ is not just to have our sins forgiven. It's to:

  • have a relationship with Him
  • receive His Holy Spirit
  • grow in grace and knowledge
  • prepare for eternal life

"…He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us" (vs 9-10).

Job tried that; he said that he was as good as God. Well, he found out later that he wasn't! The next two verses tell us what's important. In the daily prayer, what do you do every day? You confess your sins!

1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And yet, if anyone does sin…"

Here's the key: we still sin because we're overcoming and the conversion is to have our mind converted to be the mind of Christ and have the laws and commandments written in our heart and mind.

So, if we sin, "…we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins…" (vs 1-2)—continuous atoning and forgiveness upon repentance!

That is a tremendous thing! That's all involved in what we're going to cover here when we get back to Romans.

"…and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (v 2). You can't understand that unless you know the plan of God through His Holy Days!

  • How can it be for the whole world?
  • When is it going to be for the whole world?
  • How is that going to take place?

Here's the first part of an apparent contradiction:

Romans 4:1: "What then shall we say that our father Abraham has found with respect to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has a basis for boasting, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? 'And Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness'" (vs 1-3).

We will see in a little bit that the other half of this is he was justified by works!

  • How can you be justified by faith and justified by works?
  • What is the problem there?

Verse 5[transcriber's correction]: "But to the one who does not work…"

Like Tyndale wrote, 'without the fulfilling of the Law…' You can see how people and get confused with it.

Verse 4: "Now, to the one who works, the reward is not reckoned according to grace; rather, it is reckoned as a debt." Like an employment arrangement! Contract arrangement! You do such and such and you get such and such.

Verse 5: "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness." This is what the Protestants living on without understanding the Truth!

Verse 6: "Even as David also declares the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness separate from works: 'Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute any sin.'…. [this becomes a problem] …Now then, does this blessedness come upon the circumcision only, or also upon the uncircumcision? For we are saying that faith was imputed to Abraham for righteousness. In what condition, therefore was it imputed? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision" (vs 6-10)—about 13 years before circumcision! What is Paul talking about here?

Genesis 15:1: "After these things the Word of the LORD came to Abram… [later his name was change to Abraham] …in a vision, saying, 'Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your exceedingly great reward.' And Abram said, 'Lord GOD, what will You give me since I go childless, and the heir of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?' And Abram said, 'Behold, You have given no seed to me; and lo, one born in my house is my heir'" (vs 1-3).

Verse 4: "And behold, the Word of the LORD came to him saying, 'This man shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own loins shall be your heir.' And He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward the heavens and number the stars—if you are able to count them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your seed be.' And he believed in the LORD. And He accounted it to him for righteousness" (vs 4-6).

  • Why was it accounted to Abram for righteousness? Because he believed!
  • Was there any work that he had to do to receive it? No, he believed God!

Here's God saying that it's going to happen! But now we know it didn't happen until he was 100-years-old. At this point he was 85-years-old. His rationale was that Eliezer will be his heir. No! God had a greater plan than just what Abram thought.

There was no work for him to do, though he did bring the animals and prepare them for the maledictory oath for God to walk through. So, there was not work for him to do.

Rom. 4—Paul is making the point that now since the Gospel is going to the world, going to all the nations, Abraham is still the father of the faithful, because he believed before he was circumcised! So, God had that all in mind!

Romans 4:11: And afterwards he received the sign of circumcision, as a seal of the righteousness of the faith that he had in the condition of uncircumcision, that he might become the father of all those who believe, though they have not been circumcised, in order that the righteousness of faith might also be imputed to them."

Then he becomes the father of all! We will look at the other half where it looks like not only is it true, he was justified by his work! So, how is that?


Let's get works and faith in proper perspective. The book of James is the one Luther didn't like. After Luther separated from the Catholic Church, he said that 'everything is by faith and faith alone.' Now works! So, he picked up where Wycliff left off. Then Tyndale, who met Luther, we can see some influence of Luther on him.

James 1:1: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, which are in the dispersion: Greetings!"

If you're going to write a letter—an epistle is a letter—and you're going to send it to someone, you would have to know where they were. That tells you that during New Testament times, when the Church was beginning—you can't say N.T. times back then, because today is N.T. times, too—they knew where the 12 tribes were scattered. So, James says:

Verse 2: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you are beset by various trials." We all want blessings with no difficulties!

  • Isn't that what we all want?
  • Has anyone achieved that, yet? No one!
  • Why? Because we're living in the world, and we are overcoming human nature and having to deal with other people!

Verse 3: "Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance."

How many people, when there were difficulties that came along—rather than facing the difficulties and praying about how to overcome them or get through them, asking God lead and guide you—just faded away back into the world? A lot of them did! But here's the key:

Verse 4: "But let endurance have its perfect work…"

So, the testing of your faith produces endurance, but it has to have its work. In other words, whatever the difficulty is, you have to work your way through it, with God's help!

"…so that you may be perfect and complete, not lacking in anything…. [that's what God wants with us] …However, if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to everyone freely and does not reproach the one who asks;and it shall be given to him." (vs 4-5).

Sometimes you're going to be confronted with trials that the only thing you can do in despair is say in prayer, 'O God, here I am, just help me. I don't know what to do, lead me in Your way.'

You might think that's a desperate situation to be in—which it is—but spiritually it's the perfect situation that God wants you in so you look to Him! That's what it's all about!

I'm going to recommend this right now, listen to the special I did: True Fellowship with God {} It's about an hour long. Our lives are directly connected—every one of us individually—to God the Father and Jesus Christ. We have the begettal of the Holy Spirit from the Father, and the Holy Spirit contains two parts:

  • from the Father to His son/daughter at the resurrection
  • to have the mind of Christ

That's the two parts of it because He doesn't want us lacking in anything!

Verse 6: "But let him ask in faith, not doubting at all because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind and tossed to and fro. Do not let that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (vs 6-8).

  • Isn't that what happened?
  • How many people were there that had one foot in the world and one foot in the Church?

With the church they could come and be with God, and that was fine, but the rest of the time they were with the world, and that was fine. For a while that may work, and you think you have the best of both worlds. But a trial is going to come. Whom do you believe?

Verse 13: "Do not let anyone who is tempted say, 'I am being tempted by God,' because God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself tempts no one with evil. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away and is enticed by his own lust" (vs 13-14).

He doesn't have to, it's out there around and it's still the thing that we have within us that we're overcoming. Now, here's the process when you have a temptation come along, and here is how you overcome it:

Verse 14: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away and is enticed by his own lust."

Oh, that looks pretty good. I wonder if this is right? I wonder if this is wrong? Look at the benefit that I'll get. Oh, that's a good benefit. Just think of that. Satan is right there to say, 'Yeah, take it!'

So, you have to judge it by:

  • the mind of Christ, which you have
  • the Laws of God, which you have

To see if it is something that should be. If not, you reject it! Don't be enticed by your own lust!

This is what you need to understand: you can cut sin short as the temptation is coming along if you handle it correctly. If not:

Verse 15: "And after lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin…"

So, a thought in your head is not necessarily sin until it convinces you to do the sin and take action upon it. So, IF you don't and you resist it and put it away, you have not sinned!

"…and sin, when it is completely finished, brings forth death" (v 15).

This ties right in with what Paul wrote, the wages of sin is death! So, another thing in Bible study: when you're going through, reading and studying, the Bible, think of how it all connects together. The whole Bible is one big sphere and every part of the Bible fits together to make it a whole. Keep that in mind when you're studying.

Verse 16: "Do not deceive yourselves, my beloved brethren. Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation, nor shadow of turning" (vs 16-17).

God is always the same, so regardless of what comes along:

  • trust in God
  • believe in Christ
  • confess your sins

He forgives you!

Here is what God had done personally for anyone who has the Spirit of God:

Verse 18: "According to His own will, He begat us by the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all His created beings."

That's why the Church is called the Church of the Firstborn! That's why we keep Pentecost, which is the firstfruits. Who is the First of the firstfruits? Jesus Christ! See how all of that fits together?

Verse 19: "For this reason, my beloved brethren, let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, because man's wrath does not work out God's righteousness" (vs 19-20).

Isn't that what happens when you come across some difficulties and you lose your temper? I know you have all done that, haven't you? I have, you have; that's human nature.

Remember, it doesn't work out God's righteousness! You may vent some steam, and you may feel better, but when you come to yourself you're going to understand that that wasn't right and you've got to repent.

Verse 22: "Then be doers of the Word…"

Doesn't that tie in with what Paul wrote? Not the hears of the of Law are just before God, but the doers of the Law! So, "…be doers of the Word…" That expands out more than just the Law. That includes everything of God's Word.

"…and not only hearers, deceiving your own selves, because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, this one is like a man considering his natural face in a mirror. Who, after looking at himself, went away and immediately forgot what he was like" (vs 22-24).

Well, sometimes you might want to forget what you look like when you look in the mirror.

James 2:1: "My brethren, do not have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons…. [then he gives this example]: "Now then, if a man comes into your synagogue…" (vs 1-2).

The KJV says assembly. That's not correct, the Greek there is 'sunagoge'—synagogue.

  • Who is he writing to? To the 12 tribes!
  • What did they have wherever they were in the world? Synagogues!

Just like today! This has nothing to do with the Gentile problem. This also tells us another thing: when James wrote this, it was written early before 42A.D. That's when the Church developed up in Antioch in Syria. Then before that you had Peter and Cornelius and his household. Then James says:

If a rich man comes in, you give him the best seat right up front and say, 'Right here, my friend. We'll put you in this expensive seat.'

In the synagogues they used to sell the seats annually. So, they put him in the best seat hoping that if he comes back again he will buy it. Having nothing to do with spirituality, love or fellowship.

Then the poor man comes in and he's dressed shabbily and you say, 'You sit over there in the corner.'

Verse 5: "My beloved brethren, listen. Did not God Himself choose the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom, which He has promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and do they not drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme the worthy name by which you are called?" (vs 5-7).

Then he makes this statement, interesting statement, because this is true:

Verse 8: "If you are truly keeping the Royal Law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well. But if you have respect of persons, you are practicing sin, being convicted by the Law as transgressors; for if anyone keeps the whole Law, but sins in one aspect, he becomes guilty of all" (vs 8-10).

  • Have you ever sat down and tried to figure out how that works?
  • How can you become guilty of all if you transgress in one Law?

Sabbath: If you don't keep the Sabbath, you have another god before you. What is that other god?

  • your time
  • your way
  • whatever you're working on

That becomes your god! Then that can also be your idol, the second commandment.

  • The third commandment, if you say you love God and believe Him, but go against what He says, you're taking His name in vain.
  • The fourth one you've already broken.
  • The fifth one, that's for the young ones growing up, but as you get older, your parents get older and you still have to honor them

Then you go right on down the line:

  • shall not murder, you're guilty of the blood of Christ because you're sinning
  • shall not commit adultery, you committing spiritual adultery by not keeping His commandments
  • shall not bear false witness
  • shall not covet:
    • coveting time from God
    • coveting your own way
    • coveting what you want to do instead of what God wants you to do.

That's how in breaking one commandment, you actually end up breaking them all!


Verse 14: "My brethren, what good does it do, if anyone says that he has faith, and does not have works? Is faith able to save him?"

You need faith for salvation. You're all familiar with Rev. 2 & 3 and the seven churches. What does Christ say to each one: 'I know your faith'; does He say that to any one of them? NO! He says, 'I know your works!'

  • How does that work when you're supposed to have faith?
  • Is it true that faith and works are against each other? No, it's not!

Verse 15: "Now then, if there be a brother or sister who is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; be warmed and be filled,' and does not give to them the things necessary for the body, what good is it? In the same way also, faith, if it does not have works, is dead, by itself" (vs 15-17).

We read that Paul wrote that what Abraham did was not by works, but by faith. So, is this the conflict?

Verse 18: "But someone is going to say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' My answer is: You prove your faith to me through your works, and I will prove my faith to you through my works."

That's the correct translation, because whatever you do, you have a certain amount of faith or belief that you're doing what you believe! Whatever you believe in your mind is what you do outwardly. Those who truly believe in God do the things of God. Those who don't believe in God do the things against God. Whatever you believe produces works!

Verse 19: "Do you believe that God is one? You do well to believe this. Even the demons believe and tremble in fear."

So, if you believe there is a God, you haven't done anything, yet. Even the demons believe!

Verse 20: "But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"

Now, here comes the apparent contradiction against Rom. 4:

Verse 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar?"

  • What was the first one in Rom. 4?
  • Why was the counted as faith?

And he didn't do any works,

  • Because God promised Abraham a son, and He promised that Abraham's seed would be as the stars of heaven!

God took him out at night and showed it to him!

What would you think if that happened to you? This is God who took him out, and said, 'Abraham, look up at the stars!' Yes, Lord! Whenever you look at the stars you think,

O God, how fantastic are You? Look at all these stars and You make them! God says, 'So shall your seed be!'

What work was Abraham going to do because God made that statement? He couldn't! But he believed God!

This one here is a different episode between God and Abraham; let's see what that was:

Verse 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar?"

What did God say to him (Gen. 22)? That's God came to test Abraham! Trials are tests, and this was the supreme test for Abraham:

Take your son Isaac and go offer him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of Moriah that I will tell you of!

So, you know what it tells us in Gen. 22. He took a couple of other men with him, a donkey or two, took a whole lot of wood. When they got to the place that they were to go to, he took the fire in a firepot. It say in the KJV that he took fire in his hand. You don't scoop up hot coals in your hand and take it. So, Abraham was carrying it by hand and the coals had to be in a little pan.

As they were going, Isaac—who was carrying the wood on his back; a type of Christ carrying His cross—said, 'Father, I see the wood and the fire, but where is the lamb?' Abraham said, 'God will provide.' So, he had faith; what he was doing was work. He still believed God.

Then he made an altar, tied up Isaac, put him on it and got his knife and was ready to offer him for the sacrifice.

Why was he ready to do that? It doesn't tell us in Gen. 22! That comes in Heb. 11. He did it because he counted God able to raise him from the dead. This account in James is not conflict with what is in Romans, but is about offering of Isaac, and the one in Rom. 4 refers to Gen. 15, and the promise that he would have a son. But they both show faith and works!

Verse 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar? Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by works his faith was perfected?" (vs 21-22).

  • that's why we have trials
  • that's why we have difficulties

I'm sure that we're all going to face a whole lot of difficulties if everything keeps going the way the way it's going right now. We're going to face some, and face things that we have heard would come, but we didn't think it would come upon us in this time.

But if they succeed in what they're doing in Washington, D. C., the new fortress of the Communists running the country, they are going come looking for us, because they hate anyone who believes in Christ. They want to get rid of them, shut them up, shut them down because they are godless!

Why are they godless? They are sent because of fake Christianity not preaching the Truth when they had the whole thing with them!

But they're going back over 450 years and believing a false translation, a complete misinterpretation of the Word of God of faith and works. They reject the commandments of God! So therefore, those who were expecting that the 'good times' would role on with the second term of Donald Trump, God said, NO! He let them (the left) succeed in deception—stealth—to get the presidency. All of that is because this nations has turned its back on God!

Maybe it hasn't come encroaching right into your own home, maybe some of it has, but the day will come!

  • Didn't Jesus say that it would come? He did!
  • How far down the road is it? We don't know, but they're going lickity-split right now!

When those things come along, we need the faith so we can do this:

Verse 22: "Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by works his faith was perfected? And the Scripture was fulfilled, which says, 'Now, Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness'; and he was called a friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (vs 22-24).

Whenever there is something that you are to do, and you believe God, and God says to do this or that, you, me, all of us are to do it! If you really believe, you will do, and that's how faith is perfected!

Verse 25: "Now, in the same manner also, was not Rahab the harlot justified by works when, after receiving the messengers, she sent them out a different way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, in the same way also, faith without works is dead" (vs 25-26).

An empty faith! That's what's preached in fake Christianity today, an empty faith! Let's see that God wants us to have works. He planned it; He worked it out that way. But those works have to be the works of God!Not our own works! The works of God! If you believe God, you will do what He says, because they work hand-in-hand!

Ephesians 2:8: "For by grace you have been saved…"—from this world and Satan the devil, as he explains in the verses above!

"…through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God" (v 8).

  • Who called us?
  • Who led us?
  • Who brought us to repentance?
  • God did!
  • How did that happen? Most likely through a trial or maybe many trials!
  • Isn't that true?
  • What happens when you get down to the bottom of the valley of a trial? You cry out to God! He will help you!

Verse 9: "Not of works…"—your own personal works! It will be something like this:

O Lord, I know the Sabbath is Saturday, but I go to church on Sunday; therefore, I'm going to give extra money to the church. I'm going to help the poor, like You say, but I can't keep the Sabbath because I've got to do this first.

Those are your works if you are trusting in those things for salvation by God.

"…so that no one may boast" (v 9).

  • Who was the biggest boaster in the whole Bible?
  • Can you think of who he was?
  • he was good
  • he was righteous
  • he was more Holy than we are

His name was JOB!

What was his great sin? He thought he was as good as God, and challenged God's righteousness to compare it with his! But everything he did was what God said, and he gave the credit to himself and not to God! Therefore, God brought this trial on him so he could become converted and realize that he can't be righteous like God!

So, Job repented! Here was a man who was blameless in everything that he did for years and years.

  • How did it end up?
  • What was the final thing that he said?

Ah, I'm vile! I spoke without knowledge! I repent in sackcloth! That's what God wants; repentance, so that no one can boast!

Verse 10: "For we are His workmanship…"—God is doing a work within us through His Spirit!

"…being created in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (v 10).

Those are the works. So, there's no conflict between James and Paul; they're both the same!

  • IF you have true faith, you will have true works
  • IF you're depending upon God for everything, He will be with you

When you go through a trial, stay close to God. Don't get angry and upset, it is a testing of your faith! We may have many tests coming down the road.

  • How are we going to do it?
  • How are we going to preach the Gospel?
  • How are we going to reach out?

I'm already thinking that if they come along and start closing down all the Internet, the way it looks that they may do it, we're going to go back to CDs and postage/the mail. But:

  • we're not going to stop doing what God wants us to do
  • we're not going to give in, because an easier way is laid out before us by men who want to destroy us

We will stay faithful to God in everything!

That's the difference. What is the difference? ZERO! The faith of Abraham to receive Isaac was by belief! The offering of Isaac was a command of God to test his faith to see if he would do what God said, which was a work! That joined together perfected everything!

It's faith only or works only, it's faith and works: both the faith of God and the works of God! That's how you solve the problem of that contradiction.

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 2:13
  • Romans 3:20-31
  • 1 John 1:5-10
  • 1 John 2:1-2
  • Romans 4:1-10
  • Genesis 15:1-6
  • Romans 4:11
  • James 1:1-8, 13-20, 22-24
  • James 2:1-2, 5-10, 14-26
  • Ephesians 2:8-10

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 20
  • Hebrews 9
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • Genesis 22
  • Hebrews 11
  • Genesis 15

Also referenced:

  • Appendix R: What is Meant by "the Works of the Law"? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version)
  • Book: My Catholic Faith by Louis La Ravoire
  • Messages:
  • Covenant Between God the Father and Jesus Christ
  • True Fellowship with God

Transcribed: 2/3/21

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