Tuesday, February 7, 2006
James 2:14-26

Tell me what is your opinion when you read James 2:14-26. I get the impression that works and faith are both very important. I don't know how someone can read this and say that works are not important to remain in grace.

What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him? And if a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food: And one of you say to them: Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. But some man will say: Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works; and I will shew thee, by works, my faith. Thou believest that there is one God. Thou dost well: the devils also believe and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou, that faith did co-operate with his works; and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled, saying: Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him to justice, and he was called the friend of God. Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only? And in like manner also Rahab the harlot, was not she justified by works, receiving the messengers, and sending them out another way?

For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.

James 2:14-26

6 comment(s):

del_button February 7, 2006 at 2:36 PM
Saint Peter's helpers said...

Thanks you for this beautiful Scripture passage!

I believe faith and good works are inseparable and almost comes as a command from the Lord. One without the other runs the risk of fundamentalism (salvation by faith alone) and relativism (saved by my own doctrine of truth and the works that I do are from my own merits).

With faith, comes the grace which will proclaim Truth openly. This proclamation; however, must be accompanied with love, and as the Holy Father quoted Scripture in his first message to the cardinals, "Charity without truth would be blind; truth without charity would be like "a clanging cymbal". (1 Corinthians 13:1). This is the reason that living a Christian life not only requires knowing one's faith but living it as well.

del_button February 7, 2006 at 5:35 PM
Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

I think this is part of the reason why St. Francis is famous for saying "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."
Works are the outward sign of the inner faith.

del_button February 7, 2006 at 6:32 PM
Matthew said...

You: Good works are a fruit of faith flowing out of thanks for what Christ did for us.

Me: Exactly! That is what I've been trying to say. Our works are a fruit of our faith. If we have faith then we will have these works. That is why we believe in faith and works because, like you said, they are connected.

del_button February 7, 2006 at 7:50 PM
Matthew said...

By Grace alone...


del_button February 7, 2006 at 9:21 PM
Tom.... said...

you gotta believe, then you are saved...you can't really claim to be a believer, if you act as a jerk...so,if you believe, you act as if you are a believer...if you act as a jerk, you negate the truth of your belief..
we get grace from our faith to act in the right way...
Does this make sense?

del_button February 7, 2006 at 10:34 PM
alicia said...

Adam - Scripture is NOT self interpreting. It can't be. Otherwise we wouldn't have over 20,000 denominations of Protestant Christians who all disagree on basic doctrines but all profess the same scriptures as their sole rule of faith.
I am not very good at explaining this, but if you go to www.biblechristiansociety.com/ and order the almost free tape/CD (shipping only, and I think he will waive it if you mail order rather than internet) titled "One Church" you will hear the Catholic position explained with all the scriptural references. I just want to ask you to think about the story of Philip and the Ethiopian that is told in Acts - the Ethiopian said basically "How can I understand scripture unless some one explains it to me." Acts 8:26-40.
Sola Scriptura is an unbiblical concept. We all need to have some one teach us the right interpretation of Scripture. This problem is addressed in Timothy 3:15 “the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of truth” .

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