Living the Bible

The Justification of Faith by Works (James 2:18-26)

March 31, 2020 Season 1 Episode 12
Living the Bible
The Justification of Faith by Works (James 2:18-26)
Chapters
Living the Bible
The Justification of Faith by Works (James 2:18-26)
Mar 31, 2020 Season 1 Episode 12

We believe in the wonderful truth of justification by faith without works. It’s the most important truth in the Christian religion. We are justified, declared right by God through faith alone apart from works. When it comes to salvation, God looks inside our lives to find faith in Christ and declares us righteous on the basis of that faith alone.

But some have taken that wonderful glorious truth and twisted it by arguing that if works don’t matter when it comes to being saved by God, works don’t matter when it comes to our witness before others. If works don’t matter in the court of heaven, they don’t matter in the court of human opinion.

These professing Christians therefore do not pursue good works, do not commend good works, and may even condemn good works done by other Christians as legalistic or as undermining the Gospel. They may even glory in sinful works because this allegedly shows how free the Gospel is. The end result is that non-Christians who see all this have serious and understandable questions about such a faith that doesn’t produce any change in people’s lives.

James confronted this error in James 2:18-26. There he argues that while works do not enter into our being declared righteous before God, works do enter into our being declared righteous by people. His argument is that invisible faith is proven, demonstrated, evidenced, and justified by visible good works. What’s his proof? He gives us three examples.

Read a full transcript here.

Show Notes

We believe in the wonderful truth of justification by faith without works. It’s the most important truth in the Christian religion. We are justified, declared right by God through faith alone apart from works. When it comes to salvation, God looks inside our lives to find faith in Christ and declares us righteous on the basis of that faith alone.

But some have taken that wonderful glorious truth and twisted it by arguing that if works don’t matter when it comes to being saved by God, works don’t matter when it comes to our witness before others. If works don’t matter in the court of heaven, they don’t matter in the court of human opinion.

These professing Christians therefore do not pursue good works, do not commend good works, and may even condemn good works done by other Christians as legalistic or as undermining the Gospel. They may even glory in sinful works because this allegedly shows how free the Gospel is. The end result is that non-Christians who see all this have serious and understandable questions about such a faith that doesn’t produce any change in people’s lives.

James confronted this error in James 2:18-26. There he argues that while works do not enter into our being declared righteous before God, works do enter into our being declared righteous by people. His argument is that invisible faith is proven, demonstrated, evidenced, and justified by visible good works. What’s his proof? He gives us three examples.

Read a full transcript here.