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James 2:14



14 What [tis] doth it profit [ophelos], my [mou] brethren [adelphos], though [ean] a man [tis] say [lego] he hath [echo] faith [pistis], and [de] have [echo] not [me] works [ergon]? can [dunamai] [me] faith [pistis] save [sozo] him [autos]? KJV-Interlinear



14 What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? NASB



Many folks get confused by these verses, in that Paul teaches salvation by faith alone and not works, while James appears to teach salvation by works in addition to faith.


But both Paul and James are speaking of different works, and that is the key to understanding these next few verses.


The book of James covers the application of wisdom.James addresses believers, not unbelievers.Paul addresses unbelievers in Romans.


Rom. 3:28

28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. NASB


Paul is addressing legal works, or works from the sin nature. James is addressing spiritual works, or works from the productive aspect of ones spiritual life.Both sets of works come from different perspectives in ones life.


Legalistic works come from all unbelievers and from out-of-fellowship believers.Legalistic works are the fruit of the sin nature.


The sin nature has an area of strength, which is human good or legalistic works, and an area of weakness, which is sin. Both of these were dealt with at the Cross.Sin was judged and therefore is no longer a barrier in human life. However, human good was rejected for the better works of Christ. Therefore, faith becomes the path of salvation, not human works.


Now, once you are saved, by believing in Christ, then the issue in your life is no longer, 'what do you think of Christ,' but one of, 'what do you think of doctrine?'


And in the spiritual life of the believer, brings an expectation of production and preferably spiritual production vs. human production.The fruit of the spirit is compared with the fruit of the sin nature.


In other passages, the fruit of the sin nature is compared to wood, hay, and stubble or worthless production. The fruit of the spirit is compared to gold, silver, and precious stones or production of phenomenal and intrinsic value.


One day you will stand before Christ to be judged.In the case of believers, that judgment is an evaluation.He will examine the production of our spiritual life as evidenced by the production built up in our soul.


At the Judgment Seat of Christ, He will cleanse us with a special fire, a fire which will burn away all worthless production - wood, hay, and stubble, and leave behind and in tact, all production of value.


If all you have in your soul is human good production, then you will be, as it were, standing naked before Christ. Could be a bit embarrassing since all of us will be standing there looking right at you.


If you have advanced in your spiritual life, then your soul will shine brightly with the more valuable spiritual production - gold, silver, and precious stones.That will be your shining moment, and your ticket to phenomenal wealth for all of eternity.


So now we have James. Your faith gains you salvation, but faith alone is not enough to advance you to spiritual maturity.You can talk the talk, but you also have to walk the walk. And that means that you have to commit your life to living in accordance with Gods mandates, not just recite them, not just memorize them, not just give them the pretense of what is really a shallow commitment.


The word here for save, 'sozo,' does not mean to save from judgment, but it means to make whole, to complete, and therefore means to advance one to spiritual maturity.


Salvation from judgment gains you a new birth. That is the beginning point of all believers.Once born, then you must grow up, and in growing up you are expected to become a responsible and mature member of the family of God and of society.


To advance in ones spiritual life, presumes that you will take that which God has given you - time, volition, and doctrine, and with these three assets, invest them in a productive spiritual life.


Such that, when you stand before Him, He will say to you, 'You have been a good and faithful servant.' This is faith (ones spiritual life while in fellowship), combined with works (spiritual production).


Rather than saying to you, 'You have been a worthless and unproductive servant.'Or faith (ones spiritual life while out of fellowship), combined with works (legalistic work of the sin nature).


You may want to review the Parables of Christ, study.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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