Study In James – Jas 2:17-26 By Works A Man Is justified, and Not By Faith Only

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


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.

Earlier in James 2 we went over what clothing someone was and what feeding the poor was, the word of God ministered in Liberty from the law of the flesh. These spiritual words are messages from God to set free those who are enslaved to false doctrines by those who are trying to justify themselves by the law. We then saw that works are a product from God that shows we have been given the faith of God. The faith is not ours and the works are not ours, but predestined for us to walk in. From these truths we can then see that Abraham was Abram, a gentile, before he was given the faith of God that produced the work of him sacrificing his son. The work of the sacrifice was a fruit of the fact that he had been given faith from God. Likewise Rahab, another gentile, “received the messengers” (the message of the gospel), as she was given the faith of God that produced the work of God.

Gen 12:1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country (leaving the flesh behind), and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
Gen 12:2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Gen 17:4  As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee (the new man), and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Gen 17:5  Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

Jas 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him (the new man) for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (notice it said Abraham believed God, not Abram)

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.

Having seen the above scriptures, we can then see that Abram and Rahab were dead before they received the spirit of the word of God that produced the work. The work was a product of the faith of God that moved upon the face of the waters of each person;

Gen 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Gen 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of (our deep) the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

God moves upon each of our waters, our false doctrines, that have no form and are void of understanding or knowledge. We stumble around covered in darkness like Abram and Rahab. It is not until God sends “The Light” into our heavens that shines as “The Sun of righteousness” to warm our DAY and show us the earth.

Joh 1:9  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Joh 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Mal 4:2  But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Unless we are given this Light, Christ in us, we will stumble around in the darkness of false doctrine believing we are God’s separately and independently of God and that we are our own earth. The world and every individual that God has ever created to live on this earth has been created in this darkness. Like a child that is conceived in the woman’s uterus, it is conceived in darkness, grows for nine months in darkness, totally unaware of the world outside their world. Everything they eat, everything they breath, all things are provided for them, just as God provides for the world, yet no one acknowledges it until they are BIRTHED FROM THE WOMB into the LIGHT.

Now that we have received this LIGHT and are able to see where we are walking, we are then led to those whom God has been preparing by the trials of birthpains;

Rev 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

Having received this Light, we must be aware on whom we are to shine it. The world is in darkness and will not receive this light and in fact will turn and tear us apart over it.

Mat 7:6  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Having said all this, we can see that when James wrote this letter there were no chapters. It all flowed together and had a theme or doctrine that he was laying down. God was speaking through him to us for the furtherance of God’s predestined plan. So when the translators of the bible made it, they put chapters and verses where previously there were no chapters and verses. They turned a letter (by the predestined plan of God to keep people blinded) into a book that they taught could be understood by natural human understanding. As we were, they were in darkness, stumbling around as though they were able to understand God. So connecting James 2:26 to 3:1 we see what seemed to be a new thought is actually the Spirit of God continuing the thought. I have put the verses together without numbers or breaks so that we can see what is being said;

Jas 2:26-3:2 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.  My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

The world is dead. The literal world of people are spiritually dead, and as individuals our worlds are dead and covered in darkness, void of understanding until the Spirit of God, which is God’s word, enlightens us.

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Once we are enlightened by the word, our world is crushed, and God begins to recreate it. We often want to take this knowledge and teach everyone with whom we come into contact. We think they will just receive it and thank us for giving it to them. However this is immaturity on our part. We are still babes and thinking that we can change people. Then we are shocked when we tell them that God has predestined everything and that our books are already written, and they turn and “rend” us. We are offended because we can’t understand in our immaturity that they are not receiving these great words of wisdom. As James said, “the body is dead without the spirit”, so our body is dead without the spiritual words of Christ that begins to enlighten our worlds. When we take these words of Christ to those in darkness and they turn on us, we are receiving a judgment from them or a “greater condemnation”. The word condemnation means the following;

G2917-From G2919; a decision (the function or the effect, for or against [“crime”]): – avenge, condemned, condemnation, damnation, + go to law, judgment.

The world in darkness will see it as a crime to take their supposed freewill from them. They will see it as an “offence” to their person and to their world. That is why we are told not to be too many masters; masters being teachers of the gospel.

G1320-From G1321; an instructor (generally or specifically): – doctor, master, teacher.

A master is someone that has the preeminence in knowledge about a subject over others. So we have this knowledge given to us over those in the world that are still void and in darkness.

Ecc 12:11  The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

When you tell someone these truths, you are in fact telling them they are lost and void of understanding, that you are speaking in behalf of the Shepherd Himself. We must be wise as serpents and meek as doves when discerning where God has someone and if they are being crushed to receive the truth.  We must be “knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” from those in the world for in many words we offend all that is in them.

Jas 3:2  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

The any “MAN” that is “PERFECT”, that offends not in word, is able to bridle HIS WHOLE BODY, is Christ Himself in us. He bridles the new man and keeps us where we need to be.

But the old man is just the opposite. The old man wants to claim it all as his: his faith, his works, and claiming his life as his. He is an unbridled horse, a opened mouth, blasphemy-speaking beast.

Jas 3:3  Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
Jas 3:4  Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

We are these horses, we are these ships. We are the ones that believe we can train and mold all things in our lives. The horses represent the power of the flesh and its natural power that it believes it has within itself.

Psa 32:9  Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

We are as these horses that trust in the power of the flesh and God does not delight in our vain thoughts of fleshly power.

Psa 33:17  An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

Psa 147:10  He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.

We don’t even know that the power of the flesh comes from God.

Job 39:19  Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?

The ships represent the vessels we are in this world’s waves of trials. We belive we carry the gold and precious works in ourselves, that we command our vessel to go wherever we desire it to go, no matter the trial.

Pro 31:14  She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

Rev 18:19  And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

But this is the unbridled tongue of our father the devil. We as our father believe we are our own god. This is that little member in us that is so unruly and unbridled. This is the blasphenous, wide open mouth beast that we all are from natural birth.

Job 20:16  He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper’s tongue shall slay him.

Jas 3:5  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

This little member is the old man’s truth being shown to all who have eyes to see. This little member exposes what is in the heart of the beast.

Mat 15:18  But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

This little member kindles the fire of God’s word and that word brings a tormenting that cannot be quenched.

Luk 16:23  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Luk 16:24  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

This ‘hell’ is the burning of God’s word to the old man when he is shown by the word of God who he really is. He come to see that all the riches of his earthly desires and thoughts are nothing and vain. His life is nothing but a life made to be destroyed. This little member that exposes the heart of the old man is a world of self-righteousness, which is iniquity.

Jas 3:6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Eze 33:13  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

This world of fire is where the old man will reside when he is crushed by the truth of God’s word. It is the lake of fire where the old man is consumed so that a new man can be created.

Rev 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Next week, Lord willing, we will continue to examine this little member “THAT NO MAN CAN TAME”.

Jas 3:7  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
Jas 3:8  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Other related posts