James 2 tells us that faith without works is dead. It is my contention that faith and love are intricately linked together in Scripture.
Martin Luther says we are justified by faith alone; James says we are not justified by faith alone. The Church has routinely gone with Luther on this one to an alarming extent! Did the Bible really mess this one up? Was James even writing inspired Scripture?
I have heard all manner of justifications, explanations, and rationalizations to explain away James 2. I have met very few who take James seriously.
I am not shocked by the state of the Church today.
It is my contention that faith works by love as Paul says in Galatians, and that love is greater than faith and faith without love profits you nothing as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13.
When James says we are not justified by faith alone, if my contention is right, James has to then be talking about love. If faith works by love and faith without love profits nothing, then James must be talking about works of love.
If my contention is true, then James 2 (the context of “faith without works is dead”) better mention love. There would only be one reason I am bringing this up!
James 2:5—“Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him.” Notice that James describes inheritors of heaven as “rich in faith” and “them that love him.” James sure seems to see a link between faith and love.
James then talks about the church favoring rich people over poor people and how this is awful, bringing him to:
James 2:8—“If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well” Well, looky there! James is talking about fulfilling the law by love! Boy howdy, who saw that coming?!
This is the context leading up to James 2:14, “though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?” Note the context afterward, when James talks about prayer and how if you see someone naked and hungry, don’t just spout words, help the poor people.
Reminds one of “as you do to the least of these you do to me” kind of don’t it?
Yeah, faith and love, they’re like peas and carrots, except they taste better.
Faith without love won’t get you to heaven. I don’t mind breaking it to you because you need to know this. It will be prominently mentioned on Judgment Day. Get ready.