Ozark Christian Living

Family Life & Homemaker's Guide

Dumb Decisions of Dead Men

July 20

"... can faith save him?"  James 2:14

"... a distinction must be made between the 'faith of works', and the 'works of faith'."

 

A vast Industrial Park of disorder sprung up just outside the East Gate of Eden in the immediate days following our primal ancestor's expulsion.  Since that time, the Babel of empty human achievement has grown to be man's supreme accomplishment; earning all who are employed in such vanity, a retirement place near the CEO of eternity's most corrupted enterprise.  "Then shall HE say also unto them on the left hand, depart from ME, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"  Out of this manufactured ambiguity, comes a steady confusion regarding the relationship faith and works hold Biblically.  To be rightly understood, a distinction must be made between the 'faith of works', and the 'works of faith'.  The former speaks of man reaching out a cold red hand of sin, in the futile effort to pull himself to safety from Adam's death grip.  The latter alludes to the resurrection power of the HOLY GHOST OF GOD, once HE revives a sinner to saint: "And you hath HE quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins ... Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with CHRIST, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together ..."  'You must make a decision for CHRIST' ... is the call of the modern evangelist; but if dead men decide their own fate, then the DIVINE died in vain that dismal day on Calvary!  That is not only oxymoronic, but indefensible from the Word of GOD.  "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of GOD: not of works, lest any man should boast."  In today's text, James implies that there is a pseudo-faith which is impotent to save; and then proceeds to demand a faith that works, if it is to be of any eternal benefit.  However, the key to faith working, in regard to salvation, is whether works form the antecedent or the subsequent in that relationship (cf. Ephesians 2:10).

"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only ... Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of JESUS CHRIST ... for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."  Some would conjure up a contradiction from the preceding verses, found in James and Galatians; but the truly "justified" recognize that man can only look upon the outward appearance, while GOD looks upon the heart.  While saving faith, initiated by CHRIST, justifies us on the vertical; the inherent works of righteousness justifies us on the horizontal.

"For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before GOD."


For Love of Country
Jedehiah Morse  (1761-1826)
(American educator)
"All efforts to destroy the foundations of our holy religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness.  Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them."

This site was last updated 07/19/2012