Grace & Gifts – BT2: Grace versus Works of Righteousness
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Paul says that “at the present time there is a remnant, chosen kata down-from/according-to charis unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace. But if it is by charis unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace, it is absolutely-in-fact-NO longer on the basis of ergon works/doings; otherwise charis unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace would absolutely-in-fact-NO longer be charis unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace” (a), exactly because “to the one who routinely/habitually ergazomai works/does, his misthos ‘wages, salary, pay’ are absolutely-in-fact-NOT counted as charis unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace but-instead as his obligated-due. Moreover, to the one who is in-possibility-NOT routinely/habitually ergazomai working/doing but-however is routinely/habitually having trusting-relying-faith upon Him (Christ), who is routinely/habitually dikaioo ‘justifying or making/declaring as righteous’ the ungodly, his [routine/habitual] trusting-relying-faith is logizomai ‘logically counted/reasonable-concluded’ as justification/righteousness” (b). <Notes> a) Romans 11:5-7, b) Romans 4:4-5.
Here the context is the ergon works/doings of the Law required of a Jew under the old covenant (a). Finally, Paul says of Christians: “You have already been [with ongoing effects] saved dia thru-the-realizing-channel-of trusting-relying-faith – and this is absolutely-in-fact-NOT out-from yourselves; [but instead] of/belonging-to God [it is] the grace-gift , absolutely-in-fact-NOT out-from ergon works/doings, in order that in-possibility-NO one [person] may boast” (b). <Notes> a) Romans 3:20, 27-28, b) Ephesians 2:8-9. The Greek neuter “this” pronoun doesn’t point back to feminine charis “grace” or pistis feminine “faith” but to the phrase “saved dia thru-the-realizing-channel-of trusting-relying-faith” – a common argument of Christ’s, Paul’s/Silas’, and James’ that “is the grace-gift of God,” per Luke 7:50, 8:12; Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 1:21, 15:2; Ephesians 2:8; Acts 16:31; James 5:15; cf. Jude 1:5.
And yet, Paul can balance this with: “God is able to make all unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace abound TO you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every agathos ‘God-like good’ ergon work/doing” (a). Clearly, God’s abounding Grace comes to us by the abounding God-Doer of the Holy Spirit! Here the context is the Christian’s God-like works/doing (b) as “light shining before others” (c), associated with the unconditional-love of Christ (d), and worked/done by-the-means-of God’s dunamis dynamite-like enabling-power through unconditional-loving-favor-of-grace working/doing within you (e), the “bearing/carrying of much fruit that glorifies My Father” that only occurs when you “meno ‘abide in or remain connected to’ the Vine of Christ” (f). None of this has to do with “the ergon works/doings done by us in righteousness” (g) under the old covenant “Law of ergon works/doings” (h).
<Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 9:8, agathos ‘inherently or intrinsically good as excellent, distinguished, salutary, upright, honorable, useful, beneficial, suitable, advantageous,’ b) Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14, 3:8, 14; 1 Timothy 5:25, c) Matthew 5:16, d) Hebrews 10:24, e) Philippians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 12:6, 15:10; Hebrews 13:21, f) John 15:4-8, g) Titus 3:5, h) Romans 3:27, cf. 4:2; Ephesians 2:9; 2 Timothy 1:9.
James also strikes the balance: “So also trusting-relying-faith, if it has in-possibility-NO ergon works/doings, [is] nekros dead/lifeless/useless” (a). He reminds these Jewish-Christians of “the perfect Law of liberty/freedom” where “mercy triumphs over judgment,” which in context is freedom from the old covenant Law of slavery to certain judgment of sin and thus death, and reminding them to have merciful compassion instead of criticalness & divisive favoritism they were showing others in the local church, and he says this kind or life-giving, useful, working “faith” is all based on the “implanted [gospel ] logos message which is able to save your souls” (b). <Notes> a) James 2:17, b) James 1:21, 2:13.
Paul also reminds Christians that they are under a completely different-in-kind “Law of Christ, to bear one another’s burdens” (a). John reminds Christians that the completely different-in-kind “kainos New commandment of Christ to unconditionally-love one another [reciprocally/mutually] (b) is what marks a Christian as genuine (c), as it is integral to the only 2 New Testament commandments (d). Paul says that whether we obey the OT Law or NOT “ishuo presently/ongoingly has ANY ’embodied-strength/power to engage resistance with combative/confrontive force to be victorious’ but-ONLY trusting-relying-faith dia ‘thru the realizing channel of’ unconditional-love [that is] routinely/habitually energeo ‘working-in to bring from one point to another, energizing to accomplish an objective’.” There’s that “Faith and Love” connection! <Notes> a) Galatians 6:2, b) John 13:34, 15:12; 1 John 2:8, c) 1 John 2:9, 11, 3:15, 4:20, d) 1 John 3:23.
Spiritual Education, Grace versus Works, God chooses a remnant down-from grace not works, grace is a gift NOT a due wage, Righteous is logically-concluded & declared-given to those with faith, Salvation thru faith is a gift of grace of God so nobody can boast, God’s Spirit-working is God’s Grace working in us to do God-like-good Christian works, All that NOW counts is Faith working thru Love