Does Your Faith Work? by Jerry Vines

DOES YOUR FAITH WORK?
James 2:14-26
Jerry Vines
3/17/99

In our study of the book of James we have moved very carefully through the wide
variety of subjects which James has laid before us. Sometimes we’ve looked at just two
or three verses. But these particular verses all hang together. If you don’t get all of these
together you really miss the point of what James is trying to say. These verses of
Scripture are some of the most helpful you will ever find in the whole Bible. They
explain the relationship between faith and works. I’m raising the question from these
verses in this Bible study—Does your faith work?
This is the passage of Scripture where some people feel that James contradicts the
Apostle Paul. Paul, you remember, is the great champion of the truth that salvation is by
grace through faith, plus nothing and minus nothing. Paul is very clear in his book of
Romans, for instance. In Romans 3:28 he says, Therefore we conclude that a man is
justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Now James comes along and in verse 24 he says, ye see then how that by works a
man is justified, and not by faith only.
Some have noticed those two statements which seem to be contrary to one another
and have said that this is an illustration that James and Paul contradict one another. Well,
what we have here is only an apparent contradiction; it is not real. When you begin to
study what James says about faith and what Paul says about faith, you will find that they
are not in contradiction with one another, but actually they are in agreement with one
another.
Paul and James are not two soldiers standing toe to toe fighting one another.
Rather, they are two soldiers standing back to back fighting opposite enemies.
Here’s what Paul is dealing with. Paul says that a person is saved by faith alone
without the words or the deeds of the law. Paul is addressing those who believe in a
works salvation. There are some pe ...


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