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Relationship of faith and works in Christianity

Reader comment on item: The Jewish-Muslim Connection: Traditional Ways of Life

Submitted by David Miller (United States), Nov 10, 2014 at 06:02

Yet, the book of James says, "Faith without works is dead." Also, 1Corinthians 6, Galatians 5, and other scriptures carefully warn about certain practices, such as fornication and drunkenness, of which no one practicing can inherit life. The list is not long or difficult, and yet, one may not say, "But if you're a Christian, you're okay while continuing in these things." Many are Christian in name only. It is expected that the work of God's Spirit in a Christian's life will produce all the fruit of righteous life, but when Jesus died, He made all things clean, ceremonially. This means Gentiles are now accepted, and, of lesser importance spiritually, all foods are clean (since food does not enter the heart but passes through the stomach and is eliminated thereafter). What comes out of the mouth makes one unclean, not what goes into it. Because out of the overflow of the heart speaks the mouth, and from the heart come every wicked thing men do. Christians are not expected to observe the Jewish sabbaths and feasts for this same reason. We are not to allow anyone to judge us about food and drink or about sabbaths, new moons, or feasts.

One observes these to the Lord, and to the Lord, another does not observe them, but all days belong to the Lord. This is only possible by the work of Christ at the cross. Still, essential right and wrong, love and care for one's neighbor, and all that entails, have not changed. If I love God and my neighbor, I'll not steal from him. I cannot say I'm honoring God or that I love my neighbor and at the same time be stealing from him. In the same respect, you cannot love your neighbor and lead him or her into sin. Young Christians who fornicate are not loving each other and are not in the love of God but need to repent and turn back to Him. These are being Christians in name only, and not in the heart.

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