Faith and Works#1. “Faith without works is Dead” (James 2:26).

Faith and Works#1. “Faith without works is Dead” (James 2:26).

Whole denominations are founded on the premise that somehow Faith and Works are mutually exclusive when pertaining to salvation.

Thus, it is not surprising that the Book of James was written off by Martin Luther as an “Epistle of Straw” because it contradicted a “Faith Only” doctrine of salvation.

James contends that a person who claims to be saved because they believe in the existence of God is no better off than the demons. He says: “You believe that there is one God? Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19).

No one doubts that demons have a clear understanding of God’s nature and power. However, though they believe in God—something they cannot deny—they remain under his wrath because of their rebellion against His sovereign rule.

James is contending that human beings remain under the same wrath if their “Faith” is devoid of works.

One might wonder how such a faith can exist. In fact, James is not the only one to deal with this. The apostle John asked the penetrating question: “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? (1 John 3:17). Surely, John is saying that a heart devoid of love for God is synonymous with a faith devoid of works.

John, like James, is calling out the “Faith Only” doctrine for what it is— “All talk!” John goes on to say: “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18).

I am not suggesting that a man can come before God and demand salvation on the strength of his good works. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus.

But saving faith properly defined is ‘a faith that is alive in good works.’

Otherwise, faith without works is dead!

John Staiger

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