A Faith with No Fruit
George Sweating, in his book on James, "How to Solve Conflicts," told the story of Blondin, the great tightrope walker. While performing on a cable across Niagara Falls, he asked his audience, "How many believe I can walk across this tightrope pushing a wheelbarrow?" To which the people cheered loudly. "How many believe I can push the wheelbarrow across the cable with a man in it?" Again, there came a loud response. Blondin then pointed to one of the most enthusiastic men in the audience, and, said, "You're my man, now get into the wheelbarrow!!" Needless to say, the man made a quick exit.
A Faith With No Fruit is the focus of James 2:14-26. There is much debate in religious circle, today, about faith and works. This is perhaps one of the most controversial passages in the Bible. However, this debate between faith and works is age-old. There are two apparent views concerning this: one overemphasizes faith while forgetting works, while the other, overemphasizes works while forgetting faith. The problem arises when people fail to make a distinction between the requirement for salvation, and the result of salvation! The Bible repeatedly, and plainly teaches that salvation is by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the Bible also teaches that true faith will always result in good works.
Thus, James isn't referring to a FAITH WITH WORKS, but a FAITH THAT WORKS!! He isn't contradicting the Apostle Paul's discussion on this subject, nor is he overemphasizing works, he is merely informing that if a person really has the goods of salvation, there will some fruit to back it up. Thus, in these 12 verses, he defines for us "A FAITH WITH NO FRUIT!"
I. A FAITH WITH NO FRUIT IS A FALSE FAITH (v.14-17)
It is very easy to see that James meant business when he addressed this problem. Unlike Paul's day, when men tried to be saved by obeying the law, James wrote from another perspective, to those who ...
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