Faith That Works (1 of 3) by Jonathan McLeod

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Faith That Works (1 of 3)
Series: Faith and Works
Jonathan McLeod
Romans 3:27-4:5; James 2:14-26

For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law (Rom. 3:28). You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone (James 2:24).

SCRIPTURE READING

On the internet you can find The Skeptic's Annotated Bible. This website points out all the sup-posed contradictions in the Bible. One of the most famous examples of a supposed contradiction in the Bible is found in James 2:24, where James is thought by many to contradict what Paul writes in Romans 3:28.

[Read Romans 3:27-4:5; James 2:14-26.]

A CONTRADICTION?

Someone once famously described the epistle of James as an ''epistle of straw.'' Do you know who it was? It was Martin Luther, the man whom many historians see as the Father of the Protestant Reformation.

Why did Luther have a low opinion of the epistle of James? One of the slogans of the Refor-mation was Sola fide, which is a Latin phrase that means ''by faith alone.'' And Luther thought that James 2:14-26 contradicted the doctrine of justification by faith alone (seen most clearly in the writings of Paul).

Does James contradict Paul? The supposed contraction is seen most clearly when comparing Romans 3:28 and James 2:24. Luther even added the word ''alone'' to Romans 3:28 in his German translation of the Bible.

For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law (Rom. 3:28).
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone (James 2:24).

It's easy to see why people think that Romans 3:28 and James 2:24 are contradictory, but my view is that they are actually complementary.

Why does this matter? First, if there are contradictions in the Bible, our trust in what it says will be lowered. Second, there is nothing more important for us to understand than how to be justified.


COMPLEMENTARY, NOT CONTRADICTORY

How can Romans 3:28 and James 3:24 be complement ...


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