Romans 4 Is the way to heaven very difficult ?

edited February 1 in Faith Issues
I said I would resign as teacher but not as seeker

Many have faith in Jesus and that is not narrow and difficult but to comprehend the bible and Romans to have true trust in Jesus for salvation maybe that is what is narrow and that would produce works but needs not to if there is no time. When Jesus said the way is difficult did He really mean it is very difficult or comparitively so ? But what about those who work very hard in another way do we have to make atleast more effort than them ? Or just not imitate their weak efforts in trying to obey God's calling ? But for some they have to make great effort to follow Christ and we have to do the same in our own way but does that mean salvation is very difficult or only difficult comparing to those similar to us who make little effort to be approved of Christ ?

Interesting after saying in my thread titled communion and Protestants that Jesus said the sons of the kingdom would be cast out and many shall come from the east west north and south and sit with Abraham after saying that I came across this as I was inspired by Cyc which quotes Genesis where it is said Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness it reminded me of Romans and I searched it up could God be trying to help me see that many Christians outside the church would be saved by faith if they never have the option anymore to be baptised as it is written let everything that has breath praise the Lord ? Paul mentions circumcision as the seal of faith and elsewhere says our new circumcision is baptism that is we need to desire to be baptised and do so if we have a chance on our death bed or if we even reject that in our final moments before God when they can no longer be baptised we have to desire that but I suppose God only knows if that is acceptable and we have truly desired it with all our heart.

Anyway I want to discuss is Romans 4 teaching we can be saved by faith alone if it is a true change of heart that would produce works. Or if one comes to trust in Christ blood alone through Romans truly would he automatically be able to produce works ? And this faith and change of heart justifies however late even if there are no works because of chance ? If one has faith and he will not die according to Romans 4:4 is his works just to reward him or if he does not work when he was called in the 1st hour by having true faith knowing Christ justifies those of the 12 hour then if he does not work perhaps salvation will be harder because Jesus said he will come when he is not looking for him
Though everyone who has breath can be saved Christ can come when one is lazy so one should always be alert
Those saved near the end have truly felt sorry for their sin. Elsewhere the bible says God will bring every thing into judgement again is that for rewards or you have to remember and feel sorry of all sins and be purified of them through trusting in Jesus and equipped by His Spirit for good works if one had the chance
This also seems to mean those who think not to be baptised Jesus may come when they are lazy

Romans elsewhere says the gift of grace will abound to many to life making it not seem hard to be saved and pope Shenouda said God can give us a new heart to never desire to return to sin

I am going to read the church fathers but I am not he able to comprehend them

Romans 4:4
Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt

Romans 4
1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?[a] 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[b] 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,And whose sins are covered;8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”[c] 9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”[d]) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”[e] 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[f]23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Comments

  • edited February 1
    Feel free for moderator to shorten or edit my post but not to leave out important points
  • edited February 1
    Feel free to delete even though I doubt I can find anyone to help me but I prefer it deleted so please delete
  • This is a great post and one of the major dividing issues in theology. The way it means to me. Yes, we are saved by faith alone but faith isn't a piece of paper we sign or is a statement of "theological precision". It is life changing experience. The simple way of understanding this: if a doctor told me I have a serious disease and I need treatment and I don't follow his advise, then I "never" believed him in the first place. God bless!
  • Hehe...Really?! "Yes, we are saved by faith alone". Let me just drop the following here (@basemwilliam--you definitely knew that this passage was coming in response to you):
    James 2:14-26 New King James Version (NKJV)
    14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

    18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

    25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

    26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
  • Real living breathing faith leads to good works and hence works are evidence of faith! Now "earning salvation" through works is a the hallmark of phariseac religion. Our Lord Jesus Christ never condemned the sinners, the publicans, or even the "heretics" of His time (the Samaritans) but he only condemned the Pharisees. Something to reflect on.
  • edited February 7
    Our orthodox faith doesn't say that we gain salvation by just works, neither does it say we only gain it by faith. We are saved through our faith in Christ that can only be shown by works (faith and works are of the same importance for salvation). Abraham believed and he is truly the greatest man of faith in the Bible. But without him collecting what he owned and migrating, while leaving his father and family, according to God's command, we would of never knew that he did have faith.

    By calling faith to be "real living breathing" you are simply redefining the basic definition of faith, just to get away from St James clear message of salvation cannot be granted through faith alone. This is to say that you just need faith, and that will bring works, but there is no direct relationship between both because people may have faith, yet still choose not to do works. Jews had faith that was so sown deep into them that life was simply worship to God. Many have crossed the line and considered that the acts are more important than the reason, but that doesn't corrupt the clear message of the need for faith and works needed together to gain salvation. 

    And why are you just mentioning only the Pharisees?! Why didn't you mention the "scribes ... hypocrites ... fools and blind" (Matthew 23) "this evil generation" (Luke 11)...and wait, the 7 bishops of the 7 churches in the Revelation....were not all these condemnations/judgements/rebuke from God (either the Father or the Son)??? 

    I can understand where the pharisees went wrong--there is a reason God was rebuking them. But to say that ALL THEIR WORSHIP was unacceptable to God is, unacceptable and simply not supported biblically. In fact, one of the main reason God pointed them out is how they placed works above faith which in return corrupted their worship, and therefore, their salvation also. 
  • We in essence in agreement. One thing is important to point out though. This fatal sin that Pharisees had was PRIDE which is the sin that predated the fall of Adam (this is how "Lucifer" fell and brought doom to the universe). Yes, if they are proud, their worship is UNACCEPTABLE to God and is actually offensive! Believe it or not even ascetics can be proud. St John of the Ladder wrote “An angel fell from Heaven without any other passion except pride, and so we may ask whether it is possible to ascend to Heaven by humility alone, without any other of the virtues.”
  • edited February 7
    Thanks basemwilliam and minatasgeel for taking part in this thread without censoring it

    "Abraham believed and he is truly the greatest man of faith in the Bible. But without him collecting what he owned and migrating, while leaving his father and family, according to God's command, we would of never knew that he did have faith."

    This is a good point but must be explained more. I assume of course that God knows whether a person has faith or not but a person should not assume he has faith if he did not produce works. Not only that but such works are required but I don't know if anyone has to witness it if no one is there. The foolish virgins tried to get oil when it was almost too late
  • edited February 7
    I wanted to comment on one of Jesus sayings but it may be a harmful or wrong commentary so I omitted it 
  • edited February 7
    Jesus said Not everyone who says to Me Lord Lord shall enter the kingdom of God but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. So we need to strive to obey the commandments but we must still believe in Jesus but there is one who not being able to work as others because of time works inwardly to believe in Him whom He sent and this faith is not just believe in Jesus but being able to trust in Him for salvation by comprehending the bible and Romans. No one should assume he will have this faith if he is slacking and Christ comes when he is not looking for Him and I think that faith is harder to come by and will likely not come to those who deserve no reason for christ to choose them for many are called but few are chosen so all people should try to obey all the commandments while there is time. I know I may seem as a protestant but protestants apply it to all people and they quote "This is the will of the Father that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life" as though no works have to follow and to believe in Him means to believe His commandments which He taught are the truth which you have to follow have to be followed and Jesus clearly explained what His will is which is all He said just before Matthew 7:21 like love your enemy, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile and Jesus taught whoever looks at a woman to lust at her (married or unmarried) is in danger of the judgement just as those who commit the act. Just before Matthew 7:21 Jesus says the below which prove we need to be perfect without any bad fruit Matthew 7:5-19. Not being faithful over our talents is a bad fruit as one of the fruits of the Spirit is faithfulness.

    But many try to serve Jesus and think they serve His children but they reject some and are not humble and do not love others which may explain why those with works are cast away but they can repent. There are also those who believe in Jesus and have no good works yet they think they do and they criticise others

    Here is Matthew 5:17-20
    17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

    We all have to respond to Jesus words in some fashion or degree but those who hear Jesus words and care about their life on earth and do not trust and seek God to help them to die to self and desire life with Him they will find the way to life is difficult because they don't have the new heart which may not come even to those who just believe but only to those who receive it from Him as He said ask and you shall receive seek and you shall find but happy are those who seek God. Those who have a relationship with God find the way easier




  • edited February 15
    The way is difficult we must try very hard to enter heaven but God is with us to encourage and help us while we struggle hard .With Him all things are possible

    If a person does not have works his faith does not exist. Faith is not just believing in Jesus but loving and accepting Him for what He taught so believing in Jesus means accepting the true Jesus.Therefore there is never a saved person who failed to produce works. Consider the parable of the talents. The Lord expects some works. That man did not have true love for Jesus as shown by not making effort to please his master. The Lord expects every man to be able to do what they can do. God knows he was able to double his talent but if he found it difficult and then too late to double he should try hard to offer the works of/and repentance he can. This does not mean we do not even have to try to double but one may be excused for reasons God knows like knowing his talents late if that is even an excuse but it may not be if one does not try to find his talent and just not being an excuse. I don't mean to give despair because it is within our ability and all things are possible with God. It is never too late for any to struggle hard but if we delay repentance we may not be given that opportunity

    I recommend this video on the parable of the talents.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o6bK2nj93vE
  • It is our orthodox aim to achieve theosis. That is to be like God: Psalm 82:6 "You are Gods, And all of you are children of the Most High." This is unity with Him brought about by love. Which means the fruit of faith works in love. So faith is working when we show love to God, to our neighbour. And this love is a sacrfical love where we share in the divine with God when we strive to be Holy. Perfecting holiness is with God's grace by the Holy Spirit.
     Saint Athanasius said : God became man so that men might become gods,"

    God has given us virtues that we work on constantly and are strengthened by prayer, the sacraments , humbless and glorification of Him.
    Let Him strengthend our virtues and show His goodness in the way we treat others.
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