Wednesday, January 26, 2005

"James -- A Right Strawy Epistle"

Paul and James are not 'soul-mates'. Paul said we're not made righteous by works, and James said we are. You can't start doing exegetical gymnastics and say stuff like, "Paul was taking an outside view, and James was taking an inside view. They're really saying the same thing." No, they're not.

And the word is not "justified", it's "made righteous". It's the whole ball of wax, from the declaration of the sinner as righteous, to the actual making him righteous by degrees throughout his life, with the process completing when we meet God at death.

So throw James out. Keep it as some inspirational (not Inspired) literature if you want to, but it doesn't belong in the Canon.

1 comment:

NWProdigal said...

You shouldn't be so quick to throw James out. If you read it in context, James doesn't nullify "saved by grace". He simply is showing, as does the Apostle John in 1 John 3, that true saving faith is not without evidence. That evidence is fruit of the Spirit, which is literally good works. Works do not save us, but if we see no evidence of a sincere desire to do good in a person's life, then a person has not come to true faith in the Son of God. There has been no repentance, which is simply a real change of heart and mind.

Sin becomes a problem and a weakness, not a companion and old friend, if we have truly been regenerated by the Spirit of God. If you don't believe that, then you may as well toss out the entire Bible. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey me." In reality, repentance and believing are choices we make, so you can consider them works. Being baptized, which is commanded of all believers, is a physical "work", but it's required.
Obedience to God is evidence to US of our faith. God knows our hearts, but we cannot obey Him if we don't belong to Him.