Did James Contradict Paul by Saying Faith Without Works is Dead?

I think James and Paul were talking about a different type of faith. Paul was talking about faith that leads to salvation which is apart from the works of the law, and James was talking about faith that leads to God’s blessing us in our daily life. James was more concerned with the practical matters. His ultimate message was we need to do more than just pray for God’s blessing but we need to combine our faith in God with action. For example, don’t just pray for the hungry–feed them. Don’t just pray that God will heal you but take steps to live a healthier lifestyle.

Ultimately, God does require us to be obedient to the gospel by getting rid of false religion and by not placing conditions on salvation other than simple faith and trust in Christ alone. On this level our actions need to be consistent with our beliefs. For example, If I believe I am saved by faith then I will not be looking down on others as we are all sinners saved by grace. I will forgive the way Christ forgave me.

One of the reasons I love the sabbath is it is symbolic of the gospel of resting in Christ alone. All Christians keep the sabbath in their heart if they believe that salvation is in Christ apart from works of the law. The physical day is simply a representation of a spiritual reality. God can forgive worshipping on the first day, but God can never forgive placing works as a condition of resting in Jesus. The anti-Christ will not only have a false sabbath but will also be teaching a false gospel based on works–those who refuse to believe the false gospel will be persecuted.

Stephen Beagles (2021)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *