Answer to Question 3
James says "faith, if it has not works, is dead". What does he mean by this?
Here we must address some of the most controversial passages in the New Testament. James starts off, "My Brothers, what use is it if a man claims faith and has no deeds to show?" His logic is clear and unyielding. He goes on to say, "If a brother or sister has nothing to wear, and if they have not enough for their daily food, and you say to them, "Go in Peace. Be warm and be fed." and then do not give them the essentials for bodily existence, what use is that?" To clinch his argument he states, "So, if faith too has no deeds to show, by itself it is dead!"
It was for this passage that Martin Luther, when he was compiling and translating the Bible, nearly decided that James should not be included. So, is James correct? Is faith alone not enough to save our souls?
James points out in verse 19, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." He is saying that even demons know there is a God, this does not save them from eternal damnation, for in spite of their knowledge they still are evil and commit evil actions.
We accept the Bible as Truth. Indeed, here James gives us the truth. For we can understand that any person who believes in Christ, any person who has accepted the Rule of God, must act, must be a doer of good deeds. His faith will compel him to do so. Just as our mind moves the limbs of our body, our faith moves us to do good.
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