James 2:24

serveimageYou see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

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8 thoughts on “James 2:24”

  1. First of all I want to distinguish between righteousness and salvation – even if they are, of course, intimately related – this verse is NOT talking about salvation directly. The topic in this passage is faith.

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    1. I didn’t mean to say THE topic, I meant to say MY topic. The thing I want to discuss is faith, without denying that there are many other topics that could be discussed. 🙂 And one other definition, by “salvation” I also mean to say “justification”.

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  2. Recently, a friend stated very off-handedly that “we don’t believe in once-saved-always-saved” – like it was just a given, or as if it was likely that I would agree. And I realize that the ultimate reason for “going that way” is that they think that it’s more safe. Better safe than sorry, is what they would say – like we better behave after we are saved or there’s a chance that we won’t be justified standing before God – or we better behave and do good deeds or we may not have ever been saved. And the reason I’m bringing up salvation/justification after I said I wasn’t talking about it is because IT ISN’T TALKING ABOUT IT.
    Two things:
    1. The amount of faith that you have has very little to do with being 100% justified by the Blood of Jesus Christ.
    2. The good deeds, good behavior, good attitude… that come from your genuine faith are evidence of your faith. Righteous works contribute NOTHING to your salvation.

    This verse, and the whole passage, is very clearly making a distinction between real faith and fake-faith. James is saying that if you have great faith that your deeds will show it. But if you are saying you believe in Jesus, but you don’t act at all like Jesus would want you to act like, then your faith isn’t real, it’s just an act. I guess it’s his righteous, faith-filled way of encouraging people to have more faith.

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  3. “considered righteous” – this phrase makes me think of the question: How much of ME and my uniqueness and my personality will be in heaven/eternity?
    When I lost my faith when I was only about 22 – 23 years old, I had only been a Born-again Christian for a few years. I believe that I would have been justified by the Blood of Jesus Christ if I would have died during the time of backsliding, during the time when my brain was telling me it was all a fairy-tale. However, not much of who I was at the time would have survived the transformation. I think the more we are transformed here on Earth by the faith that is given to us – that will determine how much of ME survives.
    So back to this verse about being “considered righteous by what we do” – it is these “do”-ings that tell us about our eternal personalities, our eternal selves.
    But who are we to judge someone’s faith by their doings? Perhaps James is only encouraging us to judge our own faith by the evidence of our actions.

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    1. I really feel in my spirit that you have nailed in right on the head 🙂 I love it! I would only add one scripture. Philippians 2:13 For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

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      1. That’s a good cross-reference for this verse, because I need to remember the tone of James’ message is lost in translation or something. I think it comes across as kinda prideful, pious, holier than thou. Taking that one that says that it’s the Holy Spirit that gives us the will to even consider the work that God wants to be done through us, it reminds us that James is trying to say that what we do is evidence of a supernatural will that’s being accomplished by genuine faith.

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  4. There’s one more angle I have on this verse, and it may not be exactly pertinent to this particular verse, but this verse makes me think of it. “considered righteous BY WHAT THEY DO and not by faith alone” – followed shortly after by “faith without works is dead”. I want to bring up the experienced proven fact, in my own life, of KILLING or SHIPWRECKING or making DEAD my allotted measure of faith – just squandering it like it wasn’t worth a thing – taking it for granted by choosing to spend my time DOING things that do not please God – seeking truth in other religions, just getting really worldly, I guess, is what I did… and POOF! There it went. My faith was DEAD because of my deeds, my works, my actions. So I am here to attest to the truth of that verse – faith without God’s work is as good as dead.

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  5. The fruit on the tree that is produced is for others to eat, the fruit tree produces not for itself but for others. This is how I see works and faith. A few verses up I think 16 says ” what profit is it?”. We want to be profitable servants not lazy and unprofitable. (Matthew 25) It is when we know to do what is right and we choose not too that is sin to that person. We cannot expect God’s blessings with sin in our back pocket. I try not to comment on the Once saved doctrine because only God Himself knows the heart. But the fruit of Faith is for our growth and for others and if I do not see growth,fruit, works ect…I may not want to pick fruit from that tree. Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruit” Fruit/Works production is proof of our faith to others. Bad or good!

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