There is absolutely no football on this weekend, none today and none tomorrow. Instead of indulging in the competition of others, perhaps I’ll start my own competition. I’ll finish a war that has been fought for centuries–do Paul and James agree?
The bone of contention between these two guys is Abraham and whether he is justified by works or faith. James 2:23,24 says “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
However, Paul says Abraham was justified by faith, not works in Romans 4:2,3. Here’s the solution, the answer the Christian world has been looking for. Paul is talking about knowing and James is talking about seeing.
–Romans 3:26-28–we know that a man is justified by faith. It’s not something we guess at or are uncertain about, we know for a fact that salvation is by faith.
–Romans 4:23-5:1–the examples of Scripture and Abraham were written so we could know how we are justified–by faith.
–Galatians 2:16–we can conclude–mentally deduce–that we are justified by faith. It’s a matter of reason, it’s the only way it could happen based on God’s word and experience in light of God’s Word.
–Galatians 3:24,25–we are taught that we are justified by faith, this is the basis of Christian teaching.
James 2, on the other hand, is talking all about outward appearances. It’s about proving and showing. It’s about seeing and doing. Instead of worrying about everyone else, look at yourself. Do you have faith? If you do, it will result in works. You can see that you are justified because you have works. Compare the mental ascent, knowing, concluding, learning, teaching that we are saved by faith that we saw in Paul’s books with how James phrases James 2.
The discussion should not delve into different faiths or works, saving faith, works of faith, faith works, saving working faithing on and on. It’s quite simple. Paul says we know we are justified by faith, James says we see and prove we are justified by faith because we have works. I expect you all to quit arguing about this now. Thank you.