expressions

Faith Alone Vs. Faith+Works..

Are We Saved by Faith Alone or (Faith + Works) According to James?

Context Verses: James 1: 2-4 James 1: 22-27

Hermeneutics

This term denotes the systematic study of the translation of written language and its interpretation. In order to truly understand the intentions of the author it is important for one to go back to the original language. Whenever scripture doesn’t coincide in or SEEMS to contradict is most likely an error of translation or a misunderstanding of context.

Key terms in James 2:14

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

  • Use- ὄφελος [ophelos]: Advantage, help
  • Faith- πίστιν [pistis]: faith, belief, trust
  • Works- ἔργα [erga]: action, deed, labor
  • Save- σῶσαι [sōsai]: to save, heal, preserve ,rescue lFaith- πίστιν [pistis]: faith, belief, trust

Faith- πίστιν [pistis]: faith, belief, trust

Three ways faith can be used in scripture..

  1. Justifying faith as in the one that gives eternal life (context of the epistle rules this out, it is clear these are believers already James 1:2)
  2. Faith rest drill is the active application of the doctrine of scripture to a present situation (doing the word)
  3. Passive use of faith as  in what is believed or doctrine. The totality of knowledge of scripture.

The type of faith James speaks of is that which has to do with a doctrinal belief. A belief in a standard of living which then should guide our way of life, and is no advantage to us if we don’t apply it. What is the point of reading the bible if we are not going to do what it says. Our understanding of the bible becomes meaningless.

Save- σῶσαι [sōsai]: to save, heal, preserve ,rescue

3 meanings of “save”

  1. Phase 1 salvation (saved from eternal penalty of sin)
  2. Phase 2 sanctification (saved from the power of sin) though the sin nature is still active we are given the option by the holy spirit to live in a way that matures us as believers
  3. Phase 3 glorification (saved from the present of sin) absent from the body, face to face with God, will not be resurrected until the rapture

Save- σῶσαι

3 phases

Mark 3:4; Luke 9:56

James 2:21-24

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

Justified- δικαιόω: To declare righteous, to validate, to justify, to vindicate

There are 2 types of justification the one that saves (God) and the one that validates faith (Man) before man, and also sanctifies. Romans 4:1-3/ Genesis 15:1-6

If Abraham was justified by works, that was good before men, but not before God. God’s justification is based on faith alone in Christ alone.

Abraham’s Work

Abraham receives the word in his 70’s or 80’s, Isaac isn’t born until Abraham is 100 and the almost sacrifice didn’t happen until Isaac was in his 20’s. Almost 40 years had passed since God’s promise to Abraham before the actual work in Genesis 22:1 referenced in the book of James occurs. So this work cannot be what saved Abraham in regards to eternal salvation because in Genesis 15:6 it states he already was a believer.

Keep in mind what the purpose of James is, how to persevere through times of testing! God gave Abraham a test in order to see whether he would apply what he knew about God and his character. So this epistle is does not contradict the scriptures as some would say but it shows that our works show the amount of faith (doctrine) we have acquired. Someone who states they have a doctrinal belief (faith) that is not applied (works) in their life, that persons belief (faith) is useless to them because they are not utilizing it. James has nothing to do with eternal security.

Conclusion

 

We are Justified by faith alone [Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Rom 11:6] in Christ alone and the instance one believes in the person and work of Christ they are imputed the perfect righteousness of God. This is phase 1 saved. The justification James is speaking of is the sanctification, which is to be validated by our actions in times of testing and adversity , we are to be able to use our belief and understanding (faith) of our doctrine as a means to make the right decisions. This is what saves us from the consequences of sin and carnality.

As we grow in our life as believers we will be tested repeatedly by God, through this test we are given the opportunities to move up a level in our maturity. We can either apply the word and pass[2 Peter 1:5-8], or choose with our flesh and fail and suffer [James 1:12-15]. Let us persevere, put off the old self, grow as  believers, apply your faith(doctrine) and push towards maturity. We have been set aside by God to receive the reward that no money can buy, let us live in a way that shows we are grateful, it is the least we can do.

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Do you act black???

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“He don’t act black..”


“She act like a white girl..”


Words of ignorance too many times spewed from the mouths people who have fallen victim to a stereotypical presumption about the character of an individual. Has anyone ever told you that? “You act like a (insert not black race), or you don’t act black. The question that comes to my mind is, what are you really asking? That’s the question we should ask anybody that tries to imply that being born with a darker pigmentation of melanin denotes a certain pattern of behavior.


So what do people consider acting black anyways. Are you not acting black because you use proper sentence structures when you speak, or is it because every other word out of your mouth is not derogatory. Or let me take another swing at it, are you not acting black because you wear your pants at waist level, say ma’am and sir, and respect your elders. Could it be because you worked hard to attain a college education, or is it the fact that you are faithful to one spouse, serve God with all your heart and try to be a descent person. 


If those are the standards for acting black, or being a real “nigga” then I will pass on that label. Why is it that the criteria to which being a black person in America today is one that is associated with negativity. And to add insult to injury we are the ones who propel these stereotypes by playing into the hands of a mindset that places our humanity in the bondage of an ideological propaganda. Our music tells our young men like me to kill each other, rob each other, and hate each other. It tells our women that beauty is not intrinsic, but external, reduced to a fat butt and Indian hair. And worst of all, we march along to that tune, too drunk off our own self deception to perceive the poison we as a culture ingest. 


I was once ignorant, portraying a preconceived notion of what i figured I was supposed to be as a black man. Until a light was sparked, this light was my understanding that even in my ignorance God saw it fit to accept me, and not only that, he gave me the opportunity to become a better human. that’s all is about, being a better human. I was broken free from the mental shackles placed on me by this society, free to be a man, free to be human, free to be me. When God created each one of us he made us in his image, each one a unique being, given the tools to be an instrument for impact. To break beyond the limits of racial characterization and be unique in the aspect of not conforming to societal expectations.


Well my name is Frank, I use proper sentence structures when I talk, I try not to disrespect other people, I respect my elders, My pants don’t sag, I wish one day to be a husband of one woman and a father to my children, and I am BLACK.