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What is faith? – Part 5: Faith without works; works without faith.

Author Stephen Pidgeon - Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:20 AM

 

As we have seen, the use of the word faith in its plain meaning, means in most cases moral conviction, fidelity, and truthfulness.  Yet we are called to higher standard than a mere meeting of the Torah.  This is what is meant by Sha’ul when he says that faith is apart from the Torah, because while it is true that faith without works is dead, it is equally true that works without faith is also dead.  Consider Ya’akov’s words on the subject:

Ya’akov (James) 2:20-26

But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Avraham our father justified by works, when he had offered ?? (eth)-Yitschaq his son upon the altar? 22 See how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, Avraham believed ELOHIYM, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of ELOHIYM. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rachav the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. 

Let’s take a look at how moral conviction, fidelity, and truthfulness is discussed by the living MASHIACH, who came to, and did clarify, the Torah:

Mattithyahu (Matthew) 5:19-20

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments [of the Torah], and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Parashiym, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Here is the true call of the faith – that your righteousness should exceed the righteousness of the Torah keepers – the scribes and the Parashiym (Pharisees).  Righteousness, as we have discussed before in some detail, is most assuredly works – feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for widows and orphans, visiting those in prisons, not be estranged from your own flesh, and loosing the yokes of oppression.

There is an interesting passage that appears in the fragments called the gospel according to the Hebrews (retained by Eusibeus) that gives an illustration here:

Marcus (Mark) 10:

[The other of the rich men said to him: ADONAI, what good thing shall I do and live? He said unto him: Man, perform the Torah and the prophets.  He answered him: I have performed them.  He said unto him: Go, sell all that you have and divide it to the poor and come, follow me.  But the rich man began to scratch his head, and it did not please him.  And YAHUSHA said to him: How do you say: I have performed the Torah and the prophets, seeing that it is written in the Torah: You shall love your neighbor as yourself, and behold many of your brethren, sons of Avraham, are clad with dung, dying for hunger, and your house is full of much goods, and there goes out from you nothing at all unto them.

And he turned and said to Shimon, his Talmidi, sitting by him: Shimon, son of Yonah, it is easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle than a rich man into the kingdom of the heavens.]

You see, there is an affirmative duty to make your righteousness greater than just the keeping of the Torah.  MASHIACH continues:

Mattithyahu (Matthew) 5:21-26

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of the fire of Ghehennah.

Consider this edict when you are driving.

Mattithyahu (Matthew) 5:23-26

23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has ought against you; 24 Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. 26 Amen I say unto you, You shall by no means come out thence, till you have paid the uttermost farthing.

Learn to agree.

Mattithyahu (Matthew) 5:27-32

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not break wedlock: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has broken wedlock with her already in his heart. 29 And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into Ghehennah. 30 And if your right hand offend you, cut it off, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into Ghehennah. 31 It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his woman, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his woman, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to break wedlock: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced breaks wedlock.

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