Faith working in our lives
Well, the last few posts have been a lot of fun but as my wife said, “it isn’t a light topic.” So inspired by the last few posts and in particular yesterday’s I decided to preach on this topic today. If anyone listens to the sermons and wishes to comment, you are welcome to do so.
Today’s lessons started with last weeks sermon on the unrighteous servant who showed no mercy to the fellow servant who begged for more time to pay. This, after having been forgiven such a huge amount himself. Transitioning we moved to James 2:1-13 where the audience James is writing to were urged to not show partiality based on something so superficial as money. Paying special attention to the admonition to be merciful if you want to receive mercy we moved into the last 1/2 of the chapter.
It is important I think to understand that the audience that James writes to have some serious issues. Issues that need to be corrected and I think that they were susceptible to the idea that believing that Jesus was the Christ was sufficient but that those other things like, doing the word (not just hearing), visiting widows and orphans, loving your brother, etc was too much and got in the way of their ambitions.
With this in mind, James informs them in very certain terms that Faith without works is not going to work. (no pun intended) Of course, we should be able to see that James is using the word faith in a way that is not a full faith but only a partial faith. One in which the fact is agreed to but there is not any response to that fact. Like a car that doesn’t have an engine, it is still a car in one sense but of what value is it for getting you to work?
Of course, does the principle of faith and works apply to the our initial salvation? I think it must. So we take a look at it that question in the PM and try to show how faith, works, and salvation fit together. The conclusion is that if a person preaches the Gospel that Jesus sent the disciples out to preach that the only response of the person with a saving faith will be to do the things that the preacher (who should only be preaching what Christ told HIM to) tells them to do.
Faith only can either be right or wrong depending on how you define faith. If you define it like James was, it will not work. If you define it the way the Hebrews writer was using it, it works fine.
From this point forward, we will move on to Chapter 3 of James.
Posted on December 18, 2011, in Christianity, Comments on James, Faith, salvation and tagged christianity, commentary on James, faith, faith only, faith without works, hearers only, salvation by works, saved. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.