Daily Bible Nugget #857, James 2:24


The Nugget:

Jas 2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

My Comment:

This is Part 4 of How to resolve differing interpretations of the Bible.

The Challenge:

  1. James 2:24 (Catholicism vs. Protestantism): “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Catholics cite this to support the necessity of faith and works for salvation, contrasting many Protestant views that emphasize salvation by faith alone.

My Response:

Reading James 2:24 in its immediate context shows that James is writing of faith as it can be seen by men:

Jas 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

How can others see that you have faith? They see your faith by observing how you live.

Earlier in James chapter 2, James has stressed that it is impossible to keep the whole law:

Jas 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Therefore, no one can keep the Law of God perfectly enough to merit eternal life.

Thus, anyone who depends upon their supposedly good works to merit eternal life is still lost in their sins and is not saved.

Therefore, the Roman Catholic view that works are necessary for salvation is absolutely mistaken.

Those who have true faith in God and our Lord Jesus Christ experience the new birth, the birth from above, and are born again (John 3:3, 7):

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

False religions and false cults mistakenly believe that they are born again when they are water baptized. They make this claim by misreading John 3:5.

Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:5 is not a reference to ritual water baptism but a reference to real baptism by the Holy Spirit which takes place when you place your faith for salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ in accordance with His promise:

Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Those who have experienced the real baptism by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) which results from believing what God has said in His written word (1 Thessalonians 2:13) found in the Bible will produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-25).

1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

1Th 2:13  For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The Roman Catholic view that salvation is dependent upon our works is therefore mistaken. Salvation is based upon believing who Jesus is, believing that God sent Him, and believing the gracious promise of Jesus to receive the gift of eternal life that only He can offer (John 17:2). A works-based salvation rather than a faith-based salvation that results in genuine regenerative change (Titus 3:5) is a rejection of the gift God has promised and a substitution of a man-made, not Bible based, plan of salvation which will lead to the eternal loss of those who mistakenly embrace it (John 10:1, 7).

Joh 17:2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Tit 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Joh 10:1  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

Joh 10:7  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

This entry was posted in Apologetics Issues--Other Faiths, Apologetics--Christian, Daily Bible Nuggets, Doctrinal Discussions, False Religions, How to Interpret the Bible Correctly and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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