Soteriology’s Most Ignored Verses–James 2:24

Debating what James 2 means has been an ongoing, drawn-out discussion. James 2 is understood one of two ways:

1) James 2 means what it says
2) James 2 may mean a lot of things, but it surely does not mean what it says.

I am a firm believer that it means what it says, which means I have a problem with Sola Fide, and so should anyone else who thinks James 2 means what it says.

Sola Fide is a Latin phrase meaning “by faith alone,” which is comical considering the only time the Bible links “faith” and “alone” is when it says “not by faith alone!”

“You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”

In order to keep our Reformed battle cry, we then must endeavor to make James 2 not say what it says, hence the need for commentaries. Commentaries, as defined by me, are “books that explain how the Bible doesn’t mean what it clearly says.”

Rather than extrapolating new definitions for words, or figuring out how James is not canonical, or endeavoring to show how James is an idiot in comparison to Paul, we should just take what it says.

James says we are saved by faith and works and Acts 16:31 and Ephesians 2:8 tell us we are saved by faith, is there a contradiction?

No, what you have is part of the Bible’s definition of faith. Faith without works is no faith at all. You must have faith first, the ability to hear and works are the result of hearing–you do what you’re told.

If you do not do what you’re told, you have not heard, and thus, you have no faith. Tomorrow I dig the hole deeper.

2 thoughts on “Soteriology’s Most Ignored Verses–James 2:24”

  1. I’ve heard people make mention of this before, but with many qualifications. “Obey God, but it looks different for everyone,” and “I’m trying to figure out what God wants me to do right now.”

    That second one is a favorite it seems. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said this in the Cost of Discipleship (which I referenced in another post, I think):

    “We literally have no time to sit down and ask ourselves whether so-and-so is our neighbor or not. We must get into action and obey – we must behave like a neighbor to him. But perhaps this shocks you. Perhaps you still think you ought to think out beforehand and know what you ought to do. To that there is only one answer. You can only know and think about it by actually doing it. You can only learn what obedience is by obeying. It is no use asking questions; for it is only through obedience that you come to learn truth.”

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