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Answer to Question 5

"Be doers of the word, not hearers only," says James. Are good acts important for Christians? Or are we justified by "our faith alone"?

In verses 22-24, James tells us to "Prove yourselves to be doers of the word, and not only hearers." James's statement is not at all at odds with Paul's admonition that we are justified "on faith alone". Works are, indeed, important. Although it is faith in the Lord that will save the soul, it is works which will buttress that faith. It is the doer of good deeds who reflects his faith to others. In the previous paragraph, James tells us to be "quick to hear and slow to speak". But he also knows that to be a Christian is not merely to stay in an Ivory Tower and listen to the word of the Lord. It is, after much heartfelt contemplation, to be "doers of the word".

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