Note on James Chapter 2 by Damon Whitsell

james chapter 2

A foundational and basic error of interpretation lies in thinking that James 2 is the go to place in scripture to clarify what salvation is. CoC’ers that oppose salvation by faith alone seem to think James was teaching differently than Paul and the rest of scripture. But he is not. Paul is the apostle to the gentiles and James was a Jew speaking to Jews. They were speaking to two different audiences and emphasizing two different types of Justification. Paul said Abraham was justified by faith and had nothing to boast about before God. He was showing justification before God. Yet James said “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. (James 2:18). He is speaking about justification before men. And both Paul and James agree and said that Abraham believed God and it was counted or credited to him as righteousness.

To see the two different kind of justifications see (Rom 4:2) “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God”. If Abraham was justified by works, as James at first glance appears to assert he is, he can glory before men but not before God. Romans 3: 19-20 says “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The law makes all men “guilty before God” and “in his sight”, but we can be seen as just to men by observing and keeping the law and doing good works. This has to be the true understanding of James2:24 because the scripture is clear in so many places that we are saved through faith and not by works. James cannot be speaking in contradiction to the rest of scripture.


About Captain Howdy

"Since the 5 Dallas Police Officers and the 3 Baton Rouge Cops were assassinated I have been fighting the false Black Lives Matter Narrative and studying it's related issues. It will be my passion and goal for years to come to fight and stop the Black Lives Matter Movement Agenda and False Narrative. It simply is NOT TRUE that Black Lives DO NOT MATTER to a large portion of Americans, and it is also not true that cops are hunting black guys and it is not true that America is a racist White Supremacist country. And despite what the Anarchist say the good old USofA is not a "police state" because constitutional small government conservatives have up to this point some-what successfully resisted the BIGGER GOVERNMENT is BETTER GOVERNMENT of the "Progressive Left". If you insist on saying we live in a police state then I suggest you go to Iran or North Korea and go around talking about how Iran and North Korea are police states and see how that works out for you" - Captain Howdy

Posted on September 11, 2015, in Book of James. and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. James 2 was talking about a dead faith, the faith demons have and still tremble. Paul in Romans is speaking about a true faith, faith in Christ, the principle of faith as some Romans 4 and 5 speaks of, which only comes from the Holy Spirit and there’s a difference from the two.


    • I am sorry CreeDance but the passage does not say demons have dead faith. It only says they believe God is one. And the passage does not say or even infer that if demons had a living faith that they could be saved. Salvation by grace through faith is not offered to demons


  2. Damon,
    Interesting article about James. Yes ,James wrote primarily for Jewish Christians. Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. I used to quote James a lot when I was a COC preacher. I thought baptism was the one work we did to save us. This was all wrong. Baptism happens because we have been saved,not to be saved. Noah was already in the ark (Saved) before the water rose up. Jesus said the only work we can “do” to be saved is to believe on the one God sent. We can only do that by faith,and even our faith is a gift.Salvation is not faith+works. Faith = salvation+works. No work we can do can or will save us.


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