Faith Without Works Is Dead
By: P.T. McClure
“But wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead?’ James 2.20
What a dogmatic statement! It sounds like James is addressing “vain men” who had a bad attitude about works. You can rest assure that if James was in the 20th century, he would be rejected by modern day perpetrators of this “watered-down, milk-soaked, easy believism. There is a hundred times more preaching against works today than there is against sin. Please, pick up your Bible and read every reference on the word “work” or “works” and see what God’s word has to say about it, instead of your preacher, Luther, or Calvin.
We hear it thundered across pulpits today, “You are saved by grace through faith alone, not of works.” Of course, they try to substantiate their anti-works doctrine by quoting Ep. 2:8-9 and purposely leave out verse 10, which reads: “For we are His WORKMANSHIP created in Christ Jesus unto GOOD WORKS which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Walk in what? Good Works! James writes, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being ALONE.” James 2:17. Either Paul and James are at odds or the modern day preachers and the Bible are at odds. THE LATTER IS THE CASE. The question is asked in James 2:14 “. . . Can faith save him?”
The answer is NO unless he has works to prove his faith. Can you picture Noah going around preaching “Believe in the Ark and you will be saved” without working to build it? If faith alone, salvation minus works, would save you, then the devils are saved. (James 2:19) James asks, “Was not Abraham justified by works?” (2:21) “Seest thou how faith (was brought to pass) with his works, and by works was faith made perfect. James 2:22
Abraham’s faith in verse 23 made him righteous when he ACTED upon his faith, ‘You see then how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only.” James 2:24
James is saying that faith without works is like a body without life, it is of no use because it is dead. (James 2:26)
Luther would say, ” You can’t save yourselves”. But the Bible says “Save yourselves. ” Acts 2:40. Calvinists would say “salvation is without works”, but the Bible says “Work out your own salvation.” Phil. 2:12
Now, I am not talking about helping an old man cross the street, or changing a tire for a widow. Those kinds of works are man’s works which can’t save anyone. But the works we are talking about are the “Works of God” which He works in us (Phil. 2:13) by our obedience (Rom. 6:16). They profess that they know God; but in WORKS they deny Him … “Titus 1: 16. Remember in the end ” . . they were judged every man according to their works.” Rev. 20:13
Some people think that just because they are basically a good person, and abstain from some notorious sins, that they have achieved a “good works” status with God, and that God will ignore their Biblical ignorance.
These are not the “works” that James is talking about. The works the Bible is talking about is, acting on your faith in God’s word by obedience. For example; Have you obeyed the gospel? Acts 2:38 Those who have not obeyed the gospel are lost and will face the judgments of God. (11 Thes. 1:8).
Paul wrote that Jesus became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY him. (Hebrews 5:9) What exactly is Faith? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. A simpler way of saying it is, Faith is Response. You receive faith by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17) and after hearing, you then act upon it.
If your response is obedience, then you have faith. If your response is disobedience, then you are an unbeliever. We know that Noah had faith because he obeyed God. “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, SO DID HE.” Gen. 6:22. We know how Abraham was saved by faith, for we read: “So Abraham departed as the Lord had spoken unto him . . . ” Gen. 12:4.
Would Noah have been saved if he refused to work and build the Ark? Would Abraham have been saved if he refused to obey God? I ask you then, will you be saved by believing only, but never acting upon your faith in obedience? “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:17.
Works is the ACTION of your Faith. So then Faith without Action if lifeless. If one would read and memorize the whole bible but never Act upon it, he would still be lost. Works is the RESPONSE of your Faith. Works is the LIFE of your Faith. Therefore, “FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD.”
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THE ABOVE MATERIAL WS PUBLISHED BY PASTOR P.T. MCCLURE. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.