Study In James – Jas 2:14-16 “…Faith Without Works Is Dead”

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Study In James – Jas 2:14-16 “…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 has 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 2:12  So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

Jas 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Jas 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

The above verses are put together for the purpose of showing that ‘works’ is being a DOER of THE WORD. An obvious statement, right? But that is not what the second beast teaches us. The second beast teaches the worship of the first beast and his works, which are not works recognized by God because they are dead. Basically we are saying we have works independent and separate from God, and those are the things we are to focus on, OUR WORKS. Our works of building an idol of the first beast, ADAM, who “was MADE a living soul” by God, not by himself. Adam did not create Adam just as we did not create ourselves as the second beast humanity is deceived into believing.

Rev 13:11  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Rev 13:12  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Rev 13:13  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
Rev 13:14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Rev 13:15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

The first beast says a lot of things against God also.

Rev 13:5  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
Rev 13:6  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

And what does he say against God? What are these blasphemies with which he opens his mouth?

Gen 3:4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Remember what James 1:26 says:

Jas 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

Bridling not your tongue is opening your mouth in blasphemies, saying that the works that God does through you, good or evil, are your own works. The following verses show what faith is without works. We have already seen that our first beast OPENS WIDE HIS MOUTH AND SPEAKS UNBRIDLED BLASPHEMIES AGAINST GOD. And that the second beast causes everything in us to worship this OPEN MOUTH, BLASPHEMY-SPEAKING FIRST BEAST.

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

Rev 9:20  And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

Rev 16:13  And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
Rev 16:14  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

That “GREAT DAY”, that “BATTLE OF THAT GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY”, is inwardly seen as the day we are shown our total inability to DO ANYTHING separately and independently from God. Our creation by God was not a one-time creation in Adam and we are then left to ourselves to work out our lives for good or evil. But the “Great Day” shows that our creation is an ongoing creation; daily, hourly, minute by minute, by God Almighty. We are being created daily by the death of the first Adam and the life-giving spirit of the second Adam, Christ in us growing daily, as we die daily to the flesh.

Now with these thoughts let’s read James 2:15-20 and see if they make more sense to us.

Jas 2:15  If a brother or sister be naked (naked meaning their sin is open before them), and destitute of daily food, (spiritual food)

And we understand what the food is, of which the Spirit of God is speaking.

Job 34:3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.

and;

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Who is the WORD?

Joh 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (including FAITH).

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? (we understand that this body is the body of Christ)

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

So faith is understood by the parable of verses 15 and 16 as food that is needful to grow works from God for the body of The Christ. That ‘meat’ is the WORD of God.

Joh 6:55  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
Joh 6:56  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:57  As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

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.

When James says “my works” he is not saying he mustered up works independent and separate from God. He is speaking of the works of God in him and by God.

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?

We already seen that the wide open mouth of the beast is the man who does not bridle his tongue from proclaiming himself as the creator of his own works. This man’s religion of self-worship of the first beast is “vain” and dead works. These are doctrines of “devils”, who believe in one god, themselves, or our old man, yet have not been given the gift of faith that produces works of God from the foundation of the world. These works are our works – dead works.

Jas 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

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.

Abraham believed God and was moved by the righteuosness of the faith that was gifted to him (Eph 2:8) to complete the works that God had predestined he, Abraham, should walk in (Eph 2:10). The faith of Christ in Abraham moved Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. But it was not a belief IN Abraham, or OF Abraham, that he had mustered up in and of himself, independent and separately from God that moved him to sacrifice Isaac, that MADE him righteous. No! It was the righteousness of the faith of Christ that had been gifted to Abraham that made the righteousness of the works, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. Notice the wording of verse 23. “Abraham believed God, and it (the faith/belief) was imputed UNTO him FOR righteousness.” It had to be given to him SO THAT HE COULD BE SEEN RIGHTEOUS, not that he had it in and of himself so that God could look down on him and say, “because I see you have faith in what I said, I am going to call you righteous”.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast (not our works but God’s works).
Eph 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The next instances I saw which could feed my eyes the meat it needed for the understanding that my ears had already recieved, were the following examples of the perfect work of God. We all have agreed on numerous occasions that all things were created by God through Jesus Christ. We all have agreed that no work of God that was created is bad. It is all good to those that are the called according to the purpose of God. Having said all that, let me share two scriptures with two examples of very different men.

Exo 4:11  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

This first example is of a man named Joseph Carey Merrick, known as The Elephant Man due to his massive deformities, which started manifesting at age three. Born by the predestined hand of God on Aug 5, 1862, he died on the predestined date of April 11, 1890. This man was a perfect creation of God IN EVERY WAY. We see him in the flesh, and we say inside ourselves:

Joh 9:2 …who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? (or totally deformed in this man’s case).

It’s our nature to blame someone, some “accident”, some freak hormonal imbalance, something, anything BUT GOD because we do not have faith with the works of God in mind. We have unbridled tongues that produce a vain religion of man and LUCK.  But either way, we can all agree that this man had no hand in his looks, right? But let’s see if we instantly agree on whose to blame for his deformity.

Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

The next man’s name is Theodore Robert Bundy. He had a predestined birth on Nov. 24, 1946 and had a predestined electrocution to death on Jan. 24, 1989. He was handsome, well educated, and yet a serial killer. Was this man created just like Mr. Merrick by God? Or did he create himself into the killer he was by his own freewill work? Was this man’s life a work of God, and does this man’s life fit into the scripture that “by Him (Christ) all things CONSISTED”. Were the life and the acts committed by Mr. Bundy works that existed by God or were they not?  It is obvious to those with eyes to see and ears to hear that both these men were created by the same God and for the same purpose – to glorify God.

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

What was Christ’s answer to the question about who had sinned?

Joh 9:3  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Neither Mr. Merrick nor Mr. Bundy’s parents had sinned that their sons were born the way they were, but that the works of God should be made manifest. What a mind blowing, life-altering faith that produced such works! Did Mr. Bundy choose to do the evil acts he did? Yes, he did, because he was evil, and evil was all he, me and all mankind know to do. Could he have stopped himself from doing what he did? Can a leopard change his spots?

Jer 13:23  Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Could either man change what had been written in their book?

Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)

Now look at the next example given us by The Spirit of God about more of the works of God, by faith;

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.

Rahab THE HARLOT was a work of faith. Rahab the harlot was a work of God that was manifested to glorify God. Did her parents sin that Rahab ended up being a harlot? Was it a decsion she made separately and independently from God to be who she was?  Or was Rahab’s life, like ours, like Mr. Merrick’s and Mr. Bundy’s, predestined by a sovereign Creator for the ultimate glory of His plan in all of creation? His faith, His works, His glory. All works are by God, for God, and for the glory of God.

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