The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




You Can't Have One Without The Other

"In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead. But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do" (Jas.2:17-18).

I found it interesting that the epistle of James used the word "grace" only once (4:6) in the whole book. Nevertheless, he was thoroughly committed to the doctrine that salvation was the result of grace through faith. James also knew the same things that the apostle Paul did, and that was the necessity that obedience to God is not erased when someone places his or her faith in Jesus Christ... For Christians then, the two doctrines ---- salvation by faith and the necessity of works ---- exist side by side... A Christian neither earns salvation by the works he does, nor does he or she dismiss the responsibility of putting faith into action. In essence, both of these things are true. Salvation is by grace through faith, and salvation is by the sinner's response to God in obedience. James faced a mindset that justification had nothing to do with works and rejected it saying and appealing to the inseparability of faith and works. They are so close that it is literally impossible to speak of one without the other. Paul and James both deferred to Jesus' teaching in Matt.7:17. "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit." James amplified on this by writing, "Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?" (3:12). Lastly, the practicality of James shines though to make his teachings viable and important. He appeals to the practical part of the issue when he speaks about the matters of caring for those in need. Do we say, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," or do something about their physical dilemma and come to their aid? We would love for them to come to Christ in obedience, but they certainly will not if we leave them hungry and cold. James' word ring true and clear in today's verses... "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do..." Faith without works when compared to faith shown by works is a pale imitation of the faith that saves....

Have a great day.... Do good and give God the credit.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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