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Viewpoint from Andrew Cudjoe 05/08/2022

Pastor, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft churches

Faith and Works, a Matter of the Heart
There are two passages in scripture that at first sight appear to be contradictory. Both passages written by the Apostle Paul are found in the book of Romans. The first is Romans 2:13: 

For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified” (NRSV) 

The second is Romans 3:20: 

For “no human being will be justified in his sight” by deeds (NRSV) 

dove leftIn spite of appearances these two passages of scripture are not contradictory prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin” (NRSV) but are in harmony. However, we need to understand how Paul explains the second text in order to see its harmony with the first. He explains that it is God who is just that justifies all who believe, or has faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done through Calvary’s Cross
God does not justify on the basis of one’s own effort to keep the law, or obey God because ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). The law which is righteous makes known to us what sin is. However the righteousness of God that justifies is revealed apart from the law and is testified by the Old Testament Scriptures
This righteousness Paul further explains is Jesus Christ and His faithfulness to do the will of God even to the laying down of His own life for our sins. Furthermore, this righteousness is given to all who believe, who have faith in Jesus and His work in bringing salvation as promised, and providing the believer with a new heart (See Ezekiel 36.26-27, and Jeremiah 31:33)
Dove rightTherefore it is God who justifies; it is a gift of grace through the faithful work(s) of Jesus Christ. That is His redemption. How then are we redeemed? God in His love preordained for Jesus to be born into the human family to lay down His life, and be raised up from the dead that the human race may be reconciled to God. By faith in Jesus we receive the remission of our sins, that is the putting away of sin and the deliverance from the power of sin over our lives through repentance (see Luke 24:46-48)
God then recreates a new heart in the believer a heart that obeys God out of love by the power of the Holy Spirit. So now the one who has been justified by God through faith in Jesus Christ becomes a ‘doer’ of God’s law. Therefore, the ‘works’ of the ‘doer’ of God’s law of love are the fruit(s) of faith
The everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ is an everlasting Gospel of God’s love for you and me



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