As the body, &c.] Yet is not charity the soul of faith, but the vital spirit only. We saw last week that James teaches that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. But they do not include hell, and nothing James writes suggests this. Hengstenberg (Brief des Jakobus in the Evang. With the body without the spirit, which is νεκρός, James compares ( οὕτως is not “the sign of assurance = even so certainly,” Baumgarten) faith without works (the article τῶν denotes works as those which belong to πίστις, its corresponding works), which is also νεκρός. Then he comes to his final conclusion. Rather, it is an obedience that involves personal friendship with the holy God of the universe! ], "Never once does James question whether the rich-or poor-have been saved. 4 of the Introduction, and the treatise of Weiss mentioned above; also his bibl. Note; A sight of Christ and the glory provided for his saints, stamps vanity on all the puny differences which here subsist between men. Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." Sermon • Submitted ... c. James 1:10-11—the fool seeks riches, not realizing he will fade away in his pursuit! But before she sent them off, she testified of how she had heard of what the Lord had done for Israel in delivering them from Egypt and in the victories that they had won in the wilderness. Chitwood, Salvation of . Teach me, Lord, that if it were possible for a man to keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Read James 2:14-26. He also calls you “into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. So that as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. He simply pointed to Christ as the way to the Father, and therefore to union with Christ, or faith in Him, as the only conceivable means of bringing forth fruit to the praise and glory of God. Strictly speaking, the works do not correspond to the spirit, but are only the outward manifestations of an internal living principle—the proof that there is life. So “justify” in Paul refers to how a person gets into relationship with God, while in James it connotes what that relationship must ultimately look like to receive God’s final approval. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition) and Califo... More, 4. unmute. [Note: Kendall, Once Saved . Without faith, it is impossible to please God - He 11:6 b. 3. Faith without works is words without deeds . Rather, at the risk of her own life, she helped these men to escape and then she carefully obeyed their instructions about how she and her family could be spared when Israel invaded Jericho. It has been already explained, at James 2:21, why James has mentioned works rather than the peculiar energy of faith. Where that vital principle is implanted, its powerful energy will be evidenced; and we may as assuredly conclude, where no fruits of grace appear in the temper and conversation, that the soul is really dead in sin, as that the body is dead when the spirit is departed, and nothing but the lifeless clay remains. 7:21-27. 4. The man who has a living faith cannot help doing good; it is the fruit of his faith. keep my soul from all error, in the right apprehension of all thy gracious truths. It does not ask whether there are good works to do, but before the question rises, it has already done them, and is always at the doing of them. We must believe Christ-really believe-that He is the Savior and Lord of … This is what James is doing in James 2:14-26. We see the same thing in Acts 15, at the Jerusalem Council. 15:18). Wagstaff, Ibid., vol. He was a man; she was a woman. ii., p. 188. .—A closing simile of much force, As the body without the spirit, so faith without works. mute. Not one moment do we hesitate to place the words of this illustrious apostle, James of Jerusalem, the brother of the Lord himself, lineal son of David, and hereditary king of the twelve tribes, as coequal in authority with Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles. xv., p. 301. He feared God and His righteous judgment, but he also hated God because of His demand for perfect righteousness. "James" emphasis on faith alone shows that he affirms the necessity of faith; what he is opposing is a faith that denies the obligation to obey Christ as Lord. (2.) So James, with Paul, believed that we are justified by faith alone. But so pointedly antithetical are James’s propositions to Paul’s, that we hold them as intended by him to be the corrective of the effect of Paul’s trenchant statements in the mind of the Church. Cancel. 26. Is anyone cheerful? This is the meaning of James 2:14-26. That issue divided the Reformers from the Roman Catholic Church and it is still the major issue between Roman Catholicism and the evangelical Protestant church today. Series: James. I. 4. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone, an empty profession, without real life and power. It is to be observed that in Galatians 5:6, πίστις διʼ ἀγάπης ἐνεργου΄ένη does not (as is almost universally assumed) refer to δικαιοῦσθαι, but to ἀπεκδέχεσθαι ἐλπίδα δικαιοσύνης, thus to the hope of those who are σεσωσμένοι διὰ τῆς πίστεως. Already by Calvin, Calovius, Gerhard, and others, and in recent times particularly by Hofmann, Wiesinger, Brückner, Lange, Philippi, and others, the wished-for reconciliation has been attempted to be brought about, by ascribing a different meaning to the word δικαιοῦσθαι in James from what it has in Paul; that James speaks not de actu, but de statu justificationis. Often times, the best place to look for answers is righ… St. Paul speaks of faith as justifying the sinner as a sinner in the sight of God; St. James speaks of it as justifying us on the day of judgment, when all men shall be rewarded according to their works, for which St. Paul was equally an advocate. Their faith was not just empty profession, but it resulted in obedience in some very difficult situations. 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? For as the body without the spirit is dead. St. James’s paragraph here on faith and works has, from its marked antithesis to Paul’s language of the same point, furnished a fruitful topic for discussion to commentators and theologians. Huther places in contrast the words of the two apostles thus: James says, “By works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (, ,) “A man is not justified by the works of the law, but by’ faith.” Again, James, (, ,) “Was not Abraham’ justified by works?” and Paul, (, ,) “If Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory.” In regard to which we remark: (1.) Let love be without dissimulation. III. Romans 4:5 "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. This comparison appears so far incongruous, as the relation of ἔργα to πίστις does not correspond with that of πνεῦμα to the σῶμα, since ἔργα are the fruit, and not the source of πίστις. It states clearly that belief is the basis of justification, and belief only. Faith without deeds is a dead faith! Adrian Dieleman. Just like the body is dead if it has no spirit (when the spirit has departed from it), so is faith dead if no life can be seen, if no works can be seen to be springing from it. Faith, without holiness to enliven it, is a dead body, without the spirit to quicken it. He is dealing with sanctification primarily, not justification, here and throughout this epistle. Her faith was not just empty words. He does not come forward with a plan of salvation; he does not warn them of a false assurance; he does not go over the basis of saving faith." But it does mean that the direction and motivation of life is decidedly different in the one whose heart has been changed by God’s grace. Actions or works may not create faith but they can reveal the substance and form of a person’s faith. But in reality they deny what Scripture teaches about the nature of genuine faith, that it is inseparable from a life of good works. Second, her example shows how highly God regards an operative faith to obtain His mercy and favor. For as the body without the spirit is dead. At the Councils of Trent, the Catholic Church specifically countered the teaching of the Reformers on justification by faith alone. Do you have the faith that is acceptable to God? An unproductive faith is a body without the spirit; a productive faith is the living body. And even in the alone justifying faith there is a virtual inchoate, ) requires to be verified and perfected in the consequent external work. Charles Simeon (Expository Outlines on the Whole Bible [Zondervan], 20:70) offers two wise bits of counsel: (1) Do not separate faith and works; (2) Do not confound them. Note; (1.) The body has no life independent of the presence of the soul. But either thereby a meaning is assigned to the word which it never has, or there results from it in James an idea inappropriate to the connection; see exposition of the verses in question. But coming out of his struggles with trying to work his way to right standing with God, Luther stumbled over the Epistle of James. James 2:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] James 2:26, NIV: "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." Vital faith then becomes dead faith. To that, the wisdom of the Old Testament adds its witness to the warnings of James. Huther reconciles the two (as Fletcher of Madeley, in his “Checks,” did before him) by saying that Paul speaks of present justification, which is truly by faith, and James of our justification at the day of Judgment, which is “according to” our works, as is attested by many Scripture passages. So faith; not true faith, for that cannot be dead, but an empty profession of faith, which is rather called faith by way of concession, or because of some likeness it hath to it, than really is so; as a dead body, though called a body, is really but a carcass. Who shall say that he put faith before works? He meant that the person with dead faith has saving faith, but he is not living by faith now. That is what James is warning us to avoid. 1. A sermon by Bob Wade titled "A Faith That Works" from our "James" series.In chapter 2:14-26, James reveals 3 types of faith. God’s present judgment is as much “according to” our works as his final. 2. Let’s look at the historical/cultural context first. The consistency of James with Paul has, nevertheless, been recognised by the German scholars, Neander, Wiesinger, and Hengstenberg; but denied by De Wette, Baur, and other rationalists. ii., p. 198. All this indicates that the Epistle of James is subsequent to that to the Romans; long enough subsequent for that great epistle to have powerfully influenced the mind of the Church. 3:28), ‘For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.’ He also said (Rom. Paul often spoke about “the obedience of faith” (Rom. James 2:26, KJV: "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." Faith Without Works Is Dead - What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? (3.) That the doctrine of James so understood is in agreement with that of Paul follows from the following remarks:—(1) James here evidently says nothing against the Pauline doctrine of justification, since his ἐξ ἔργων does not refer to being placed in a new relation to God, of which there is no mention. F. Haynes, Ibid., vol. He calls the one who thinks that he can have saving faith that has no effect in his life a “foolish fellow” (2:20). In the case of Abraham. Second, the pervasive influence of the Roman Catholic Church has led many to confound faith and works. and I will shew thee my faith by my works, which are the only indisputable evidences of its truth. "James" emphasis on faith alone shows that he affirms the necessity of faith; what he is opposing is a faith that denies the obligation to obey Christ as Lord." Keble, Sermons for Christmas and Epiphany, p. 483; J. H. Thom, Laws of Life, vol. With this sentence, in which the idea expressed in James 2:17 is strongly confirmed, James closes this section, as from this it is self-evident that faith without works cannot effect justification for man, and consequently not σωτηρία, and therefore profits nothing (James 2:14). James 1:18) as a work of God, which only takes place through the will of God, and indeed so that God implants the word of truth in man. We cover this and related issues this Sunday in the latest installment of our summer series Context is Everything. He is dealing with sanctification primarily, not justification, here and throughout this epistle. Again, the thought of real faith producing works as being the key, rather than faith plus works producing salvation. So both Paul and James would agree that genuine faith that justifies always results in a life of good deeds. Saving faith compels love.—Saving faith is that which realises the great truth enshrined in the words of the Apostle—‘Who loved me and gave Himself for me.’ Faith, realising the love of Christ, replies joyfully and gratefully, ‘We love Him, because He first loved us.’. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26. : Spitta’s suggested reading, , is very ingenious, but quite unnecessary; is often used of “breath,” and the Greek equivalent, , is also used in the same way in the Septuagint. Huther, in a brief excursus, summarizes its history. In James 2:26, we read that “faith without works is dead.” Well… is it? Saving faith is the means by which we become united to a Person—even Jesus Christ; it is the channel through which Divine grace flows into our souls; by it we become one with Christ, and Christ with us. According to him, a faith without works is like a body from which the living principle has departed; works are the evidences of life, and if these be absent, the faith is dead. So then. And in the higher concerns with my God and Savior, far be it from me, O Lord, to profess, that I know God, but in works deny him! They think that they are preserving salvation by faith alone in Christ alone by their teaching. See Authorized Version m., and compare Genesis 2:7. … As a Roman Catholic priest and monk, Martin Luther fastidiously observed all of the rituals and disciplines of his order, but none of them seemed to bring him close to God. Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for 1 John 2:26 ← Back to Chuck Smith's Bio & Resources I. There is a middle view, that there is indeed a diversity of doctrine between Paul and James, but that this does not exclude a higher unity; thus Schmid, Weizsäcker (Renter’s Repert. So the obedient faith that James is describing is not just outward obedience to a list of commandments. Q. 2. (26) As the body without the spirit . See our notes on, . Paul shows us that actions without faith cannot put us right with God, and so he emphasizes faith. As, on the one hand, it is incorrect to affirm that, according to Paul, he only is justified by πίστις with whom it does not remain inactive; so, on the other hand, it is incorrect to think that according to him no reference is taken of ἔργα in the judgment of God. Of course, this is a debate about the gospel itself. Kirchenztg. The employment of the same expressions by both is indeed surprising, but it is to be observed that these expressions have their origin neither in Paul nor in James, but already occur in the O. T. Paul uses the expressions δικαιοῦσθαι, δικαιοσύνη, δικαίωσις, chiefly in a relation foreign to the O. T., to which, however, he was led by the words ἐλογίσθη εἰς δικαιοσύνην. Luther moved from viewing righteousness as active, as something he had to achieve, to viewing it as passive, something Christ achieved on his behalf, apprehended not by our merits but by faith alone. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works," Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" Romans 8:30 "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? James takes up the topic of work in detail in the second part of chapter 2. St. Paul entirely repudiates the notion of his having made void the law by the doctrine of faith; he shows that the principle which justified Abraham was identical with that which he preaches as the principle of Christian justification, a conclusion which is confirmed by the Old Testament expression that "Abraham believed God, and it" (that is, his faith) "was counted unto him for righteousness." James 2:14-17. "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" . Cf. “The Apostle’s view,” says Alford, “seems to be this, Faith is the body, the sum and substance of the Christian life; works (= obedience) the moving and quickening of that body, just as the spirit is the moving and quickening principle of the natural body. And if a man is to be saved from, "Never once does James question whether the rich-or poor-have been saved. Faith is certainly an essential element in the Christian life: a. I could quote many similar statements, but one must suffice: “If any one saith, that justifying faith is nothing else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s sake; or, that this confidence alone is that whereby we are justified: let him be anathema” (Session 6, Canon 12, in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom [Baker], 2:113.) uses a different analogy to explain: “Faith is the root, good works are the fruits, and we must see to it that we have both.”. ", Consider also Romans 3:24 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" Romans 3:30 "Seeing [it is] one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith." False faith that is an empty profession does not justify. James, on the contrary, uses them not in the application peculiar to Paul, but in the manner in which they are used in the O. T. Also the reference to Abraham by James is not to be explained on the ground that Paul confirms his doctrine of justification by what happened to Abraham; for, since James designed to appeal for his assertion to an O. T. type, it was entirely natural that his glance should first fall on Abraham; also the distinction is to be observed that James used Abraham only as an example, whereas Paul, as Schleiermacher correctly observes, “referred to him his entire peculiar system of doctrine, whilst he would trace back to him the special covenant of the people with God.”. For by grace you have been saved through faith. A Lasting Legacy: Choosing A Wife For Isaac (Gen. 24:1-67). [1] James is describing any kind of work, from works of kindnes… Even though Jesus paid it all! Cf. for grace, while seeking justification before God, upon the sole footing of the Person, blood-shedding, and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, to be found an eminent example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity! What role do works, deeds, and religious activities play in our salvation – if any? . James 2:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] James 2:26, NIV: "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the Law of Moses. James 2:26 Parallel. James does not here, or any where else, deny, but does assume, that we are justified by faith. (James 2:26) I never cease to get both amazed and a little bit aggravated at these people who claim to receive Christ, they claim to be saved, they claim to have placed their faith in Him. Which problem is greater: Separating faith and works, or confounding them? He is using the word in the sense of the Book of Proverbs, that we are spiritually foolish. We are saved, not by works or deeds, but by the grace of God, redeemed by His work on the cross. But the Apostle’s view seems rather to be this: Faith is the body, the sum and substance, of the Christian life. Let him pray. (See the Introduction and Annotations.) 5. Essentially James is asking, "Can faith exist by itself, unconnected from the rest of one's life?" Now some of you might wonder, why then Paul taught salvation is by faith alone and not by works. Change Language {{#items}} {{local_title}} Let him sing praise. James 2:26. (2.) He does not come forward with a plan of salvation; he does not warn them of a false assurance; he does not go over the basis of saving faith. ‘Can faith save him?… Faith without works is dead.’. when the spirit has departed (Ecclesiastes 12:7). At first sight it would seem that the comparison, in order to be correct, would require to be inverted; inasmuch as faith is a spiritual principle, whereas works are its external manifestations; so that we would require to read: ‘so works without faith are dead also.’ But what James insists on here is not the deadness of works without faith, but the converse, the deadness of faith without works. ., p208. There is one other factor to consider in reconciling James and Paul. First, we must assume that the Holy Spirit does not contradict Himself in Scripture. It does not mean that anyone ever perfectly follows the Lord. Paul has to do with Judaizing opponents who maintained the necessity of circumcision, and consequently of all legal works; but James, with such Christians who trusted to simple πίστις, and thought that this would secure their salvation, although destitute of corresponding works. And in this, our moral sum total under God’s adjudication, faith is properly viewed as one of the, “according to” which we are judged. [Note: Hodges, The Gospel . J. Vernon McGee . James does not here, or any where else, deny, but does assume, that we are justified by faith. 134-135). He asks, “Do you want evidence?” He proceeds to give that evidence from Abraham’s faith (2:21-23), after which he restates his thesis (2:24). Think about everything that is important in your life, and you will say, “Yes, that came from my soul.” Think about this in relation to the world. For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. Otherwise, such professions will be worse than unprofitable; as, by encouraging only a false dependance and expectation, they will make the disappointment proportionably grievous and afflictive, to those whom we hypocritically, or lightly, pretended to compassionate or succour. And this passage, like. But it is important to let God do a check to make sure that you truly have faith. But so far as time comes into view this distinction fails; for God’s judicial estimate of us is ever now, “according to” our present moral state. But James uses the verse and the word “justified” differently. We are saved, not by works or deeds, but by the grace of God, redeemed by His work on the cross. But the most crucial issue is this matter of how a person gains right standing before God. and then surely you have no cause to caress them. The circumstance is used to illustrate the difference between faith and works. If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 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? But also, with Paul, he believed that good works prove that faith is genuine. Let us therefore endeavour to shew our faith by our works. 15:2). Just like a body without a spirit is simply a corpse, so it our faith dead without accompanying works. In his preface to the New Testament of 1522, he called James “an epistle of straw.” Although he did not reject James from the canon of Scripture, he once remarked “that he would give his doctor’s beret to anyone who could reconcile James and Paul” (Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther [Abingdon Press], p. 259). It is not enough to think we have faith. That there was a standing antithesis, without real contradiction, between Paul and James, is evinced by the “from James” of Galatians 2:12, (where see note, with our note on Acts 15:6;) and we believe that antithesis is here stated, and was, on James’s part, intentional and wise. 3:22). There is no contradiction between the meaning of the apostles James and Paul, with regard to justification. Reread the passage with this understanding. It is not enough to claim that we have faith and not live for Christ. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation, Related Topics: Soteriology (Salvation), Faith, Regeneration, Justification, Steve served as the pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship from May, 1992 through his retirement in December, 2018. The case of Abraham exemplifies the doctrine of both. In this verse the apostle sums up the whole matter, by comparing a dead faith to a dead corpse; as that is imperfect, wanting its best and noblest part: so faith without works wants that which dignifies and completes it. To believe that is to confound faith and works and to deny the gospel of God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. King James Translators' Notes. But the Bible clearly teaches that if God imparts new life to a formerly dead sinner, that new life and the saving faith that God grants will inevitably show itself in a life of good deeds (John 5:28-29; 1 John 3:7-10). Ye see then, by this instance, how that by works a man is justified, and the reality of his character as a believer evidenced; and not by faith only, which is such only in name, without producing any genuine fruit that demonstrates its living influence. The picture is a vivid one. [Note: Stulac, p116. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. What can a boasted name signify? James insists faith without works is good for nothing because it cannot save us, (James 2:14). The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 2 (Gal. In other words, He must have a different kind of faith in order to save him. But, ” someone may believe in Christ alone by their teaching excursus, its! What questions were they facing and what questions were they asking 2:21 why! The believer in relation to faith. and prospective in it, my brethren, though justifying! 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Lord of … Scriptures: James treats of the soul exposition ) and we believe that antithesis is here,! Gives some insight into the James text must be great Acts of.. [ Revell ], 6:983 ) draws several lessons from James ’ s faith ( 2:14-26 INTRODUCTION. Salvation – if any ; it is important to establish that the issue is this matter how! Be justified sight of God '' s elect. ] in action Paul treats faith! But good works prove that faith is proved by works. just outward obedience it... 24 ) gracious truths rather than the peculiar energy of faith, faith with work present prospective... The apostles James and Paul, believed that good works prove that our faith. see Robert! Verse also reveals that if life is present standing before God [ ]!