For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
We have just completed our study of James Chapter 2. I hope it has been as useful in the reading as it has been in the writing. Several of the commentators I have read have pointed out the James 2:14-26 is one of the harder passages in Scripture to interpret properly. I would have to agree with that assessment.
But there are some things we can easily take away from the study of James Chapter 2 that certainly do not take a degree in theology to learn.
Salvation is by grace, through faith. James never contradicts this clear teaching of other scripture.
On the other hand, genuine faith produces some sort of product. James does teach that faith without some product might not be genuine faith.
But, beyond that, we are left somewhat in the dark about where certain lines might need to be drawn. We need to always remember that God is the judge of man..not man. We do not know the state of any other persons heart. We may be able to state as fact the evidence, or fruit of a person’s spiritual life, but we can never state as fact the actual existence or non existence of their salvation.
So, what does this mean to us practically? Well, we should always share the Gospel and the path to salvation; we should talk about it and of it even among Christian company. If we are all believers, it will be edifying to the Body of Christ; if one among us is not truly a believer, they will hear truth. We should teach and disciple people. Even though salvation is likely to produce works, there may be those with no clue whatsoever how they should live. The truth is, the knowledge of God’s Word and law it takes to come to salvation is not extensive. The knowledge it takes to live a successful and fruitful Christian life is extensive. We need to teach, train and develop our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Next: James Chapter 3. We will begin with taming that old nemesis, the tongue!