The Bible, does James contradict Paul about faith and works?

Paul and James preach the same gospel

It is not uncommon to be confused about James views about faith and works when compared with Paul’s views, and it might be particularly hard to get the grip about this for the person who is brought up to believe that there is no greater sin than the teaching that you must DO something to remain saved. The same person might believe that sinning is a natural part in all people’s lives, including Christians, and therefore nothing that God would be upset about (+ “this is the reason Jesus died for us“). It is therefore ironic that the “sin” of having to be faithful to Jesus (the teaching of having to obey him in order to remain saved) would be classified as the greatest sin under the sun, and a teaching that you might go to hell for – and the only sin for which you could lose your salvation. 

The verses in James, chapter 2, is particularly troubling for those who believe that we are saved by faith alone, and the most troubling verse of all is this one:

Jas. 2:24 Ye see then how that BY WORKS a man is justified, and NOT by faith only.

It could not be more clear than that, so we are definitely not saved by faith alone without works. James continues to emphasize:

Jas. 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

There are numerous verses that show that Paul agrees with James wholeheartedly (along with Jesus himself, Peter, John, etc), and here are some examples. Notice below Paul suggestion that people can do the law “by nature”, without even having access to the written law. 

Rom. 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his DEEDS:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath 13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Rom. 6: 6 — HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, THAT YE SHOULD OBEY IT IN THE LUSTS THEREOF. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of SIN UNTO DEATH, or of obedience unto righteousness?17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for THE END OF THOSE THINGS IS DEATH. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end EVERLASTING LIFE 23 For the wages of sin is DEATH; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. —4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.— 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall DIE: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall LIVE.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The below verse shows quite clearly that Paul differentiates between obeying the law of Moses (that includes loads of ceremonial laws) vs obeying the basic commandments (not murdering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, etc) which have always been in existence ever since the days of Adam and Eve. 

1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, BUT KEEPING OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.

Circumcision in the flesh is a requirement under the law of Moses. Paul is not contradicting himself by saying “obeying the law of God is nothing, but obeying the law of God”.

Paul suggests numerous times that living after the flesh (sinning) leads to death, but what is SIN?

1 John 3:44 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The holy Ghost is given to those Christians who obey the Lord:

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Who are saved?

Hebr. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him

We must remember that God does not want anyone to perish (2 Pet. 3:9) and that Jesus came to the world to give light to everyone with the hope to save us (John 1:4, 9). We are not provided one single chance to obey him, but we are provided with the possibility to repent for our past sins. According to the Bible, the commandments given to us are NOT too hard to obey (1 John 5:3). 

John 17 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us


21 thoughts on “The Bible, does James contradict Paul about faith and works?

  1. It’s important to remember that Pauls’s letter to Timothy would have been completely unnecessary and meaningless if every word of the Bible was clear at face value.

    Anyone that would question Pauls’s Apostleship because he didn’t witness Jesus, shows very little understanding of God’s word and the realization that scripture explains scripture, and that Paul did see Jesus.

    The Apostle Paul was a very educated Roman, so steeped in the law that he persecuted Christians. Very few understand grace and mercy as he later would.

    Paul saw Jesus in such a way it scared the hell out of him. (pun intended) On the road to Damascus Paul was knocked off his horse when he met Jesus, and and Jesus’ appearance was so bright that it blinded him, and Jesus spoke audibly to him. And then later God healed his blindness in more than just the physical but the spiritual blindness also of the law. Paul knew that when he wrote that Jesus came to fulfill the law it wasn’t about making the law something it never could be, nor will be. Jesus fulfilled the law by doing what it never could come close to doing. John 8:36 He whom the Son sets free is free indeed. The only thing the law accomplishes is to show his our great need for the Cross, our savior Jesus Christ.

    Though scripture leaves the account of Paul and Barnabas to interpretation, I believe they separated ways because of Paul’s teaching on grace, and “no more jew or gentile”.

    This brings me back to 2nd Tiimotjy 2:15. I’m going with the guy that wrote most of the new testament and was miraculously saved, rather than the rest of the authors that were Jews who couldn’t fully wrap their heads around not keeping the law for salvation and being saved by grace through faith NOT BY WORKS lest any man should boast. I don’t believe there is anything else that could have so sharply divided John Mark and Barnabas from Paul. That’s likely why John Mark returned to Jerusalem on their first mission trip.

    Works are something we should do as Christians out of a heart of gratitude and love toward God because He first loved us. That’s what he wants from us in obedience, not out of fear that we must attain something in our selves to be in right standing with Him.

    There many consequences for sin that the scripture refers to as leading to death that have nothing to do with salvation.

    To know God is to realize His express purpose for creating us was to have fellowship with Him, God walked and talked with Adam in the cool of the evening in the garden. There is no fellowship between God and imperfect man that believes that there must be a measure of filthy rags righteousness to be reconciled. That can only be when we have the understanding that our righteousness we is in Christ Jesus alone! And for God to see us as “perfect” it must be through the blood of Jesus. Scripture is clear that God can not look upon sin including my filthy rag self-righteousness, in any attempt to add to what Jesus did on the cross.



  2. Can you edit my comment? It was meant ton say… how much more flash should have been (ripped), not (filed). Thank you, if you can.



  3. Just wanted to add to my last comment, but forgot.

    Micah 6:8
    What does God require of you? To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.


  4. Very good!

    So many of the scripture verses people use for “works salvation,” are when simply put in context how we ought to live as Christians. I would suggest that to think otherwise would be to have a pharisaical mindset.

    When we take scripture in context, understanding that scripture explains scripture and use the tool called hermeneutics there is no other takeaway from the gospel message other than we are saved by believing in the name of Jesus Christ as our Savior. If we confess Him before men He will confess us before the father, with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    Understanding scripture we know that to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ thou shalt be saved. Many verses declare that we are saved by believing in Him. There isn’t anything for building a doctrine of repentance for salvation. If you are like me the list of sins was very long, what if I forgot something according to works salvation I wouldn’t be saved. Repentance is an ongoing process in our walk with the Lord. Line upon line, precept upon precept. As a believer, our repentance is daily.

    The only thing I boast of is being covered in the blood of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. At the moment we first believed he became our Savior.

    When James said that “faith without works is dead” it had nothing to do with salvation. It was simply that if we pray about something and don’t put into action what we can do, sitting on our behind, don’t expect anything. How do we know this, scripture explains scripture. The Apostle Paul made it very clear., through faith alone in Jesus lest any man should boast.

    Taking scripture out of context and building false doctrines in some cases is how cults are born.

    Look at Calvinism, it flat out calls God a liar and Calvin the truth giver, in every false damnable doctrine of the TULIP. “Lordship” salvation. The Calvinists have nothing in common with context and the fact that scripture explains scripture and the study tool of hermeneutics. Calvinism is a false gospel for those that believe in the TULIP.

    This is what I ask a Calvinist and anyone that thinks any works will get them into heaven. I have never got a response even once, so far.

    Please tell me, how much deeper should the crown of thorns been pressed into the brow of Jesus’ head, how much more of His beard should have been pulled out, how many more should have spit upon him and ridiculed Him, how much more flesh should have been filed from His body, how much bigger should the nails have been that held Him to the cross suspended between heaven and earth for my sin in my place, how much further should the spear been thrust into his side, how much longer should Jesus have suffered in agony so that I could be saved without believing in your works salvation?

    If a person’s answer isn’t absolutely NOTHING, that He paid it all in full, they don’t understand mercy and grace.

    I was asked years ago if I had to choose between God’s mercy or justice, what would I choose? At first thought, I said Mercy. In choosing mercy, by what measure would it be measured? If I committed a crime that deserved the death penalty but was given life in prison would that not be mercy? Then I had to say His Justice, for His justice demands mercy. The kind of mercy that paid the price for my sin, in FULL.

    Jesus paid it all, I boast in nothing but being washed and covered in the blood.



    • Hey Paul!

      As you can see, I made a blog post about my answer.

      When it comes to Calvinism they are usually vehemently against the “Lordship” salvation and the whole idea that works are needed for salvation. At least the ones that I’ve spoken to.

      You wrote “what if I forgot something according to works salvation I wouldn’t be saved”. Where is this taught, you mean? Any particular church? When you repent you refer to your old life style and it’s not a requirement to list every single sin.


      • Hey, my friend!

        Not trying to convince you, just my take.

        I always understood Calvinism as false doctrine. But after recently delving into a deep study, I know that it is a false gospel.

        I’m glad to hear that those you’ve talked to are against “Lordship” salvation. That tells me they have no real understanding of what they are associating themselves with. (A very good thing)

        *John MacArthur *Paul Washer *Jeff Durbin *Ray Comfort *Kirk Cameron

        Just to name a few, they are all sheep in wolves’ clothing, Preaching a false gospel. I’ve gone back and listened to their false teachings, of the heretical TULIP.

        Without going into all The five points, I know it’s a false Gospel simply because, as you well know gospel means good news. There isn’t any good news for the Calvinist that must “endure till the end” in order to know if he or she is saved, and too bad I guess, if their perseverance wasn’t enough. (P – perseverance of the sanits)

        And there certainly isn’t any good news for the rest, who we’re created for the express purpose of spending eternity in hell. (U – unconditional election)

        We are so depraved that we can’t choose to receive God’s free gift of salvation (T – Total depravity) God chooses who will be saved.

        The Holy Spirit violates us and makes us choose to be saved. (Irresistible Grace)

        Probably the worst of all is L (Limited atonement) “Jesus didn’t die for all”. Just for those He chooses to saved. Most Christians don’t have any idea what the true Calvinist believes.

        I don’t need to quote all the scripture for you as you know them very well, that expose Calvinism for the cult that it is.

        Just by a quick overview of the damnable TULIP, you can see that Calvinism = self-centered, self-righteous narcissism.

        I’m very strong on this false religion, it “hit very close to home”. The reason I studied it more again is my daughter called and told me that she’s a Calvinist. Full fleged TULIP. If preachers were calling these false teachers out, maybe the one that got his claws into the heart and mind of my daughter would not have been around.

        Calvin was a lunatic that condoned the torturous murder of some that didn’t agree with his false gospel.

        The true Reformers, Martin Luther, William Tyndale… we’re adamantly opposed to Calvin. Arminius was admittedly a Calvinist, just with one difference, (losing one’s salvation.)

        I’m finding that most in the ministry know very little of the heresy, Calvanism is all about. Most took the class they needed to satisfy the hours of credits for the semester, getting only regurgitated acceptance of a false religion.

        I think one of the reasons so many are afraid to call out these wolves in sheep clothing is mostly propagated by the clergy it’s self. How many times have we heard… “Don’t touch God’s anointed,” “many are called but few are chosen”, knowing full well they are taking this out of context for control over the people and to have no accountability. It was talking about the prophets of old when tha Holy Spirit came upon them as they spoke. It had absolutely nothing to do with pastors specifically.

        We are all priests under the New Covenant. The curtain was rent from top to bottom, for us all. We all can come boldly before the throne covered under the blood. We are all filled, as believers with the Holy Spirit. The sooner most of the clergy figure out that they are just one part of the body with a different gift, The sooner we might have revival in our land. I can preach a sermon with the best, in my mind, but getting it from there out of my mouth is another story.The gift of a pastor is to take all those thoughts and have them flow as they speak. The self-aggrandizing must end.

        Again, thank God for those you know that don’t understand who they are associating themselves with. But for every one of them, there are many that have been decieved by the false doctrine of the TULIP.

        Some Calvinists will throw Calvin under the bus, but the true Calvinist will never let go of the false doctrines of the TULIP. I guess I did touch on them all, LOL

        Calvinism is very cunning and it’s infiltrating the church like cancer and should be treated as such, and cut out at its core.

        Just as with Heliocentrism, the church must wake up, and reject false doctrines to that are much more consequential.

        God bless you, you have blessed me so much.



  5. Works of obedience are the outward evidence of a genuine inward faith which is why James wrote that faith without works is dead. Faith and works of obedience are inseparable like two sides of the same coin. That being said, the germane question is, to what are we supposed to be obedient to?

    The answer is the commandments of God; i.e. the law. And what commandments might that be? We are commanded to keep all of the law. Jesus stated that he came to fulfill the law; not abolish it or only to keep certain aspects of it (Matt. 5:17). For not one jot or tittle of the law shall disappear from the law until heaven and earth pass away and everything is accomplished. (Matt 5:18).

    Instead, we have been taught to divide the the law by keeping the moral aspects of the law such as the 10 Commandments but to ignore the ceremonial law and the civil law. Scripture does not allow for such a division. Keeping the civil law is not possible due the fact that we no longer live in a theocratic society as the Israelites once did. Aspects of the ceremonial cannot be applied today as there is no longer any functioning priesthood or temple.

    In terms of the rite of circumcision, 1 Cor 7:19 states that circumcision/uncircumcision is nothing but what is important is keeping the commandments of God. Does Paul contradict himself since circumcision is a commandment contained in the Mosaic law? A key word in v.18 is “kaleo” or called. Thus being in a state of circumcision or uncircumcision does not matter in order to become called/saved/elected. But doesn’t v.20 plainly state that each person should remain in the condition they were in when God called them. Yes, it does but notice in v.23, Paul goes on to write “do not becomes slaves of men.”

    The traditions of MEN tell us to become circumcised in order to be saved which is false. The traditions of MEN tell us that circumcision is no longer necessary since we live under grace which is equally false. What matters is keeping the commandments of GOD. We know that circumcision is a command, but it should be done out of a willing obedience to God and not out of a fearful obligation to the dictates of men which would make us slaves to men and not to the commands of God done out of a willing and obedient heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Evan!

      There are indeed two ditches to fall in, one where you must live according to the Jewish law to be saved, and one where Grace covers all your sin, leading to lawlessness. I’ve always understood Acts 15 as a clarification when it comes to the Law (which includes ceremonial laws, animal offerings, stoning, etc). Which laws out of the law of Moses could be required for the gentiles – apart from the basic laws which have applied ever since Adam? The initial problem and the solution according to Acts 15:

      “5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.””

      11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

      19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

      28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.

      Liked by 1 person

      • According to Acts 15:1, there were certain Jews who insisted that the rite of circumcision was a requirement IN ORDER to become saved. Nothing we do including circumcision causes us to be saved as solely trusting in the blood of Jesus saves. Curiously in v.20, James declared that the Gentiles should abstain from the pollution of idols, fornication, things strangled and from blood. These forbidden practices are described Leviticus 17. Thus one must ask, why are these 4 practices which are forbidden in the law, also required of the Gentiles, if the law no longer applies?

        My belief is that James is declaring that these sinful practices are the minimum that Gentiles should turn away from once they become saved (and the Gentiles need to realize that from the outset) which is why in v.28, it states “to lay upon you no greater burden’ than these NECESSARY THINGS.” In other words, in order come to saving faith, James ordered 4 things that Gentiles should abstain from upon becoming saved. While these prohibitions are necessary, they were minimized in order that they would not be a great burden and obstacle which would prevent the Gentiles from coming to faith in Christ. The BURDEN identified in Acts 15 is not the law. It is the rite of circumcision specifically. Acts 15:28 declares that they should not make it so hard for the Gentiles to come to saving faith “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you NO GREATER BURDEN [circumcision] than these NECESSARY things”…(pollution of idols, fornication, things strangled and from blood). ”

        A key verse to understanding this passage is v.21 which states: “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” The word “For” is a conjunction and indicates the reason for James’ declaration in v.20. As the newly converted gentiles attended synagogue as described throughout the book of Acts, they would come to learn the law, as Moses/Torah was preached every Sabbath. They would learn and understand the law and the impact of it upon their lives as they grew in the faith by following the law. They would also gradually come to understand that circumcision is required by the law and hopefully submit to that as they grew in obedience and sanctification to the whole law of God.
        Paul confirms this in Rom. 3:31 where he wrote: Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.


      • I believe it’s a big difference between the minimum/necessary laws (out of the law of Moses) compared with other laws such as the law of circumcision. I can imagine that the Jews surrounding the apostles were a little bit confused in the beginning as new Christians. Even Peter was amazed over the idea that new types of food were suddenly allowed to eat.

        As you pointed out earlier, some of the laws are not even possible to obey any more because the temple is no longer there, etc.


      • Some laws are harder to obey; circumcision being one of the hardest. If I were a uncircumcised
        Gentile male, seeking to become a convert to the faith, circumcision would certainly be a great burden to me as James explained. However, the “short list” of the law that James instructed as “necessary” would be much more acceptable to me and doable as I began to live out the Christian life.

        Regarding Peter’s vision, try to read that whole passage again. Most Christians including myself at one time, misread and misinterpret that passage to mean Christians no longer have to obey the law in terms of distinguishing between clean and unclean foods. As you know, a basic hermeneutical principle is that we allow the author to define what he is writing about before we can draw any inferences of our own. So the question is, did Peter who is the subject of this account, define for us what his vision meant?

        If you look at this passage, at first Peter thought the vision was about him now be allowed to eat unclean meat. Note that even though Jesus had already died on the cross, Peter was still Torah observant and continued to adhere to the dietary laws. Why did he do that if unclean foods are now fit for the Christian to consume?

        Most importantly, in Acts 10:28 it states: He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.” Further on, in vs. 34-35 Peter states “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”

        Thus from Peter’s own interpretation, we see that this passage does not allow for the idea that new types of food are now allowed. His vision had nothing to do with food but instead what he saw was God’s way of conveying to him that there is to be no separation and distinction between Jews and the Gentiles who are coming to faith.


      • Hello Evan!

        Yes circumcision would be considered a hard law to obey, but worshipping in the Temple of Jerusalem would be impossible 🙂

        <<Why did he do that if unclean foods are now fit for the Christian to consume?

        Before his vision because he thought it was prohibited + his Jewish traditions, and after his vision because of his Jewish traditions. 🙂

        I don't see why food would be excluded as part of the explanation in Peter's famous Food Vision. Dietary laws are very much included in the Jewish law so I think this particular vision was spot on. Peter didn't limit the "clean vs unclean" based on food alone, as his own interpretation shows (and which you also say) but he uses the food as an example.

        The vision doesn't suggest it's a sin to continue maintaining various Jewish food habits (but it's certainly wrong to teach others that it's a salvational matter). I don't eat pork myself and I wouldn't want to change my food habits …


      • I don’t know if we’re on the same page as your reply is not clear to me. So to clarify, Peter ate only clean meats before his vision. Initially, he thought his vision meant he was now allowed to eat unclean meats but he finally concluded that his vision did not pertain to food but instead to people. Thus I think it’s safe to conclude that Peter continued to distinguish between clean and unclean foods as being fit for consumption, per Torah.

        The Christian world has been taught that “nomos” i.e. law/Torah is not a salvational matter. That is incorrect. Just ask yourself, if that were true, why would James cite aspects of the law (food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood) which are to be obeyed in order for the Gentiles to be saved. James was simply pointing out that those activities are sin in God’s eyes (according to the law) and the Gentiles need to know that, repent of them and refrain from doing those things in order to persevere in the faith. Anything less results in disobedience. And we both know that chronic sin and disobedience results in spiritual death. So yes, it is a matter of salvation.
        Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you may be no priest to me. Because you have forgotten your God’s law, I will also forget your children.

        Instead of embracing the totality of God’s law as applying to our lives, Christianity largely teaches us to minimize the law at best, or reject it at worst. The law cannot be divided since not one jot or tittle of the law has disappeared according to Jesus. Jesus didn’t come to start a new religion. Instead, he build upon the foundation of the law which is why he did not come to abolish the law/prophets but instead fulfilled them. He taught us how to obey the law/prophets by not only observing the letter of the law but truly fulfill it by living according to the spirit of the law.

        We will all be judged by the law which the church largely ignores thinking that grace has replaced the law. Totally false. Grace was given so that the regenerate believer can now obey the law – something that was formerly impossible to do in the flesh (Titus 2:11-12).

        Sadly, the church teaches that the law makes us captives. James 2:12-13 indicates otherwise:
        12Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom. 13For judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.


      • Sorry for delay in my response, but I’m glad your comments are enabled at once (based on my blog settings) for the purpose of other readers 🙂

        Yes I too believe Peter likely continued with his Jewish food habits also after this vision because the vision certainly didn’t claim it was a sin to continue living by them. Only that people with other food habits (or other habits in relation to the ceremonial Jewish laws) could still be saved regardless of such ceremonial laws. But not regardless of all laws (lawlessness) or even all Jewish laws (James listed exceptions).

        <<—if that were true, why would James cite aspects of the law (food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood) which are to be obeyed in order for the Gentiles to be saved. James was simply pointing out that those activities are sin in God's eyes (according to the law) and the Gentiles need to know that, repent of them and refrain from doing those things in order to persevere in the faith. Anything less results in disobedience. And we both know that chronic sin and disobedience results in spiritual death. So yes, it is a matter of salvation.

        Yes those particular things listed by James are salvational. He distinguished them from other ceremonial laws.

        << Instead, he build upon the foundation of the law which is why he did not come to abolish the law/prophets but instead fulfilled them.


        <<We will all be judged by the law which the church largely ignores thinking that grace has replaced the law.

        That is so sad …

        <<Totally false. Grace was given so that the regenerate believer can now obey the law – something that was formerly impossible to do in the flesh (Titus 2:11-12).

        I believe it was possible to obey the law also before. Or else God gave us laws which were too difficult for human beings to obey, which would give us an excuse for some of our sins. The Bible gives us examples of individuals who were described as having obeyed him perfectly, and here are other examples about our ability:

        Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, SIN lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and THOU SHALT RULE OVER HIM.

        Gen. 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

        Deut. 30:8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.9 And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou TURN UNTO THE LORD thy God WITH ALL THINE HEART, and with all thy soul.11 For THIS COMMANDMENT which I COMMAND thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, NEITHER IS IT FAR OFF.—14 But THE WORD is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and IN THY HEART, THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT.15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;16 In that I COMMAND THEE this day to love the Lord thy God, TO WALK IN HIS WAYS, AND TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

        Lev. 18:4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God.5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.

        Ez. 20:11 And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.—13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.—19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;—21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.

        Deut. 15:4 Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:5 Only IF THOU CAREFULLY HEARKEN UNTO THE VOICE OF THE LORD THY GOD, TO OBSERVE TO DO ALL THESE COMMANDMENTS which I COMMAND thee this day.


      • Thanks for your reply. You are correct. It was possible to obey the law as you cited Abraham’s example. The problem though was that Moses had to codify the law as the Israelites were a stiff-necked people. Even with that, they continually rebelled. We both agree that obedience to God (and belief/faith in Jesus) is required for salvation

        Christendom has muddied the waters by not defining what obedience is. If not obedience to the law, which defines what sin is (Rom 3:20), then what are we supposed to be obedient to? Without the law, there would be no knowledge of sin, no need to repent of sin and ultimately, no need for Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. The Church if anything, pays attention to keeping the moral part of the law but discards the other aspects of the law such as observing the feasts, Sabbath, etc. Yet, when one observes the Apostle Paul, he kept the feasts, Sabbaths and even undertook a Nazirite vow. He instructed the brethen to follow his example:
        “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by four letter.” (2 Thess 2:15).
        It appears that the church through the centuries has ignored apostolic tradition forgetting that we are grated on to Israel and not the other way around. For most of my Christian life, I was under the impression that Jesus started a new religion but instead he built upon the foundation of the old.


      • <<<Even with that, they continually rebelled. We both agree that obedience to God (and belief/faith in Jesus) is required for salvation

        Yes and yes 🙂

        <<Without the law, there would be no knowledge of sin, no need to repent of sin and ultimately, no need for Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.


        << Yet, when one observes the Apostle Paul, he kept the feasts, Sabbaths and even undertook a Nazirite vow. He instructed the brethen to follow his example:–

        Yes, because he was a Jew and decided to continue on with Jewish traditions.

        <<For most of my Christian life, I was under the impression that Jesus started a new religion but instead he built upon the foundation of the old.

        Right, and so many people still believe there is no way we can fully be faithful to Jesus (obeying his laws), and that it doesn't matter anyway because "that's why Jesus died for us" + "we are his adopted children and will remain as such no matter what" …


  6. Många har missförstått jakob och kanske även du!

    Tro utan gärning är död, vad menar jakob, ja han beskriver ju Abrahams tro med gärning.
    Abraham hade fått en befallning av Gud som han sedemera åtlydde enda tills Gud stoppade honom. Tro är att göra det man tror och tro kommer av att man hört från Gud. Detta är inget konstigt, däremot blir vi frälsta av endast tro på kristus. Jesus sa till lärjungarna i Joh 6 detta är Guds gärning, att ni tror på den han sänt. frågan lärjungarna ställde var vilka gärningar de skulle göra…

    Joh 6:28  Då sade de till honom: “Vad skola vi göra för att utföra Guds gärningar?” 
    Joh 6:29  Jesus svarade och sade till dem: “Detta är Guds gärning, att I tron på den han har sänt.”

    Jesus menar att tro på den Gud sänt är Guds gärning, men tron på Jesus innefattar lydnad till det han säger.



    • Hej Björn!

      Rätt, “tro utan gärningar är död”, som du mycket riktigt skriver. Det kan tolkas som det står.

      Du säger “däremot blir vi frälsta av endast tro på kristus.”.

      I så fall är även demoner frälsta eftersom även de tror på Kristus och även att han är Guds son.

      Ja, att “tro” på Jesus är en Guds gärning som vi måste göra, men Jesus säger inte att “tro allena utan gärningar” frälser. Om vi tror och älskar Jesus så lyder vi honom. Så jag håller med dig när du skriver:

      “men tron på Jesus innefattar lydnad till det han säger.”

      Exakt så!

      Joh. 15: 10 Om ni håller mina bud, förblir ni i min kärlek, liksom jag har hållit min Faders bud och förblir i hans kärlek.



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