Devotional Readings, John Bunyan

James 2 – A passage to skip over…..

There is more than enough to handle in this chapter…here is the audio.. 

Let’s not neglect the less commonly taught verses…
Note how this opens and bookends in verse 1 and 9.
Paul on this point strongly agrees with James..
Rom 2:11  For there is no respect of persons with God.

Also Peter, 
Act 10:34  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

And both Moses and Solomon.
Lev 19:15  Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
Pro 24:23  These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

I could go on.

The Sin of Partiality

Jas 2:1  My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.


Jas 2:2  For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

Jas 2:3  And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:


Jas 2:4  Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Jas 2:5  Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

Jas 2:6  But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?


Jas 2:7  Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?


Jas 2:8  If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:


Jas 2:9  But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.


Jas 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.


Jas 2:11  For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

Jas 2:12  So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.


Jas 2:13  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.


This last point is good to remember, and likewise…James’ teaching on true faith…this is not the faith of the shallow “professor” only.

The Barren Fig Tree,
or, The doom and downfall of the fruitless professor.

John Bunyan

60p

1688


The title page was printed with a wide black border, most probably, to get the reader’s attention.


Faith Without Works Is Dead

Jas 2:14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Jas 2:15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

Jas 2:16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Jas 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Jas 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Jas 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Jas 2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Jas 2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Jas 2:22  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Jas 2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Jas 2:25  Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

Jas 2:26  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


Gill writes usefully..


James 2:24

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified,…. Not as causes procuring his justification, but as effects declaring it; for the best works are imperfect, and cannot be a righteousness justifying in the sight of God, and are unprofitable in this respect; for when they are performed in the best manner, they are no other than what it is a man’s duty to perform, and therefore cannot justify from sin he has committed: and besides, justification in this sense would frustrate the grace of God, make void the death of Christ, and encourage boasting in men. Good works do not go before justification as causes or conditions, but follow it as fruits and effects:

and not by faith only: or as without works, or a mere historical faith, which being without works is dead, of which the apostle is speaking; and therefore can bear no testimony to a man’s justification; hence it appears, that the Apostle James does not contradict the Apostle Paul in Rom 3:28 since they speak not of the same sort of faith; the one speaks of a mere profession of faith, a dead and lifeless one; the other of a true faith, which has Christ, and his righteousness, for its object, and works by love, and produces peace, joy, and comfort in the soul. Moreover, the Apostle Paul speaks of justification before God; and James speaks of it as it is known by its fruits unto men; the one speaks of a justification of their persons, in the sight of God; the other of the justification and approbation of their cause, their conduct, and their faith before men, and the vindication of them from all charges and calumnies of hypocrisy, and the like; the one speaks of good works as causes, which he denies to have any place as such in justification; and the other speaks of them as effects flowing from faith, and showing the truth of it, and so of justification by it; the one had to do with legalists and self-justiciaries, who sought righteousness not by faith, but by the works of the law, whom he opposed; and the other had to do with libertines, who cried up faith and knowledge, but had no regard to a religious life and conversation; and these things considered will tend to reconcile the two apostles about this business, but as effects declaring it; for the best works are imperfect, and cannot be a righteousness justifying in the sight of God, and are unprofitable in this respect; for when they are performed in the best manner, they are no other than what it is a man’s duty to perform, and therefore cannot justify from sin he has committed: and besides, justification in this sense would frustrate the grace of God, make void the death of Christ, and encourage boasting in men. Good works do not go before justification as causes or conditions, but follow it as fruits and effects:

and not by faith only: or as without works, or a mere historical faith, which being without works is dead, of which the apostle is speaking; and therefore can bear no testimony to a man’s justification; hence it appears, that the Apostle James does not contradict the Apostle Paul in Rom 3:28 since they speak not of the same sort of faith; the one speaks of a mere profession of faith, a dead and lifeless one; the other of a true faith, which has Christ, and his righteousness, for its object, and works by love, and produces peace, joy, and comfort in the soul. Moreover, the Apostle Paul speaks of justification before God; and James speaks of it as it is known by its fruits unto men; the one speaks of a justification of their persons, in the sight of God; the other of the justification and approbation of their cause, their conduct, and their faith before men, and the vindication of them from all charges and calumnies of hypocrisy, and the like; the one speaks of good works as causes, which he denies to have any place as such in justification; and the other speaks of them as effects flowing from faith, and showing the truth of it, and so of justification by it; the one had to do with legalists and self-justiciaries, who sought righteousness not by faith, but by the works of the law, whom he opposed; and the other had to do with libertines, who cried up faith and knowledge, but had no regard to a religious life and conversation; and these things considered will tend to reconcile the two apostles about this business.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s