WILL YOUR FAITH GET YOU TO HEAVEN?
Dr. Jerry Vines
This is the passage that some people believe that James
contradicts the Apostle Paul. It certainly seems on the surface that
this is true. In Romans 3:28 Paul specifically says that a person is
justified by faith without the works of the law. Yet, we are told
specifically here in verse 24 by James that it is by works a man is
justified and not by faith only. Also Paul uses Abraham as an
illustration of how a person is justified by faith before God. Yet, in
this same passage of Scripture in verse 21 James specifically uses
Abraham as an illustration of how a person is justified by works. On
the surface it does seem that there is a contradiction between the two.
I think we are going to find that the contradiction is more apparent
than real. I hope to prove to you as we move through these verses that
James and Paul are not in contradiction with one another but rather they
are in agreement. James and Paul are actually battling opposite
enemies. James and Paul are not standing toe to toe battling each
other, rather they are standing back to back battling opposite foes.
Paul is battling those who say you have to work in order to earn your
salvation. On the other hand James is battling those who say that you
are saved by faith and it really doesn't matter how you live. What I
want to show you is that we have here a beautiful passage on the part of
James to show us that a faith which is saving faith, a faith which is of
the kind that will get you to heaven is always a faith which manifests
itself in works.
Paul talks about faith in terms of how the Christian life is
begun. James talks about works and how the Christian life is lived.
Paul talks about being justified before God. James talks about being
justified before men. Paul is talking about inward experience. James
is talking about outward experience. Paul is talking about faith on the
believing side. James talks about fai ...
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