Tag Archives: Christianity for Seekers

James 2:14-26 Working in Faith

“What good is it my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?…For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. ” James 2:14,26

Many look at these passages as an argument against Paul’s teaching on Justification by Faith but that is not the case at all. Paul states that the ritualistic laws of the Pharisees and the circumcision requirement demanded by the Judean Law had lost its meaning. No longer did it express an obedience to the law of God’s Love and his Blessing on the people but it had become a bondage and a burden on the people. It imprisoned the Jews by resriction and unabtainable regulations that bore no resemblance to Love or Faith in God’s Justice. Instead of being for correction and encouragement to honor God in the fullest, it causes a resentment of God. The “works” that Paul gives reference to are those that make it impossible to please God by strict application and shows no mercy, love or acceptance from God.

James on the other hand complains that faith had been reduced to philosophy and religious theory. Faith had been reduced to meaningless drible. Faith had become an excuse not to observe the will of God and people did not want to walk in the Way of the Truth by Christ’s example. James did not want faith to become a wasted event in one’s life but a catalyst to do as Jesus and as they, the first disciples of Jesus did. While we are no longer bound to the Jewish rituals and rites, we are still to follow the Law of Love that permiates the Old Testament.