James 2:14-26

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by TLH, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. TLH

    TLH
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    "14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab 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." (James 2:14-26 KJV)

    It is told that Luther ripped the book of James from his bible because it was contridictory to Paul's writings. What do you think? Is this contridictory to Paul's writings? What is the true meaning of this text? What was James intention in writing this text?
     
  2. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    To me James is simply saying that genuine faith will always be seen by our works. He does not, nor does the Bible ever teach that faith comes by works, but that our works reveal the reality of our faith.

    Blessings,
    Bro Tony
     
  3. Psalm 126:6

    Psalm 126:6
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    Same as Bro. Tony said- we're saved with plain faith. The works are there as almost an evidence or 'proof' of our faith. It might sound contradictory at first, but you have to really read it and study it, and it will make sense.
     
  4. Watchman

    Watchman
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    This James, correct me if I'm wrong, but it is generally believed that he is none other than one of The Lord's, "brothers."
    Growing up in this family James, and the other siblings, may have done things that was not quite right: sin. But they had this One Brother who never did or said anything that was dishonoring to God.
    Did this family have faith? Without a doubt. But James, and the others would do things now and then that might be seen as though they did not have faith. But this One Brother, Jesus, always showed His faith by NEVER doing what was displeasing to God.
    The Holy Spirit inspired James to write his epistle, with good reason, he was uniquely qualified to write it.
    There is no contradicting Paul here. Works will follow faith. But, if there is no works there AT ALL, what kind of faith is that? Well, dead!
     
  5. zucchini

    zucchini
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    I believe we must ask if he is discussing what SORT of faith is the faith that saves. In greek as in english, the word for faith is not strictly used for a relationship with Christ.

    So he distinguishes intellectual assent (reference to demons believing), emotional conviction (well-intentioned feelings that produce no changed life) and a saving faith (a genuine trust in Christ that produces action) which is shown to exist by works.

    Does this make sense, or add anything to the discussion?

    (thanks for the interesting historical comment about Luther, by the way)

    Cheers!
    - Dave Goldstein
     

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