Virtual Kollage: James' teaching on faith and works

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James' teaching on faith and works



JAMES TEACHING ON FAITH AND WORKS 
(JAMES 1:2 -11; 2:14- 26)

According to James, Christians should count it all joy, when they go through difficulties because it tests their faith and when faith is tested it produces steadfastness which makes a person perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

He taught that if anybody lacks wisdom, that person must ask God who gives it out generously without holding back. James wrote that whoever asks from God must ask in faith, not doubting because a person who doubts is like the wave of the sea, that is, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

James also taught that the lowly brother could boast in his exaltation and the rich also in his humiliation, but they will all wither away like the grass of the field. Just as the beauty of the flower can wither away under the Sun, so also the rich man would perish in the pursuit of his business.

Teaching about faith and works, James said it does not profit a man if he said he has faith but lacks works because his faith can never save him. For instance, if a person is feeling cold because he is not wearing warm clothing, you do not tell the person to be warmed without providing him with warm clothing. So also when a person is hungry, you do not tell the person to be filled without giving him food. If such a person is not given what he really needs, work done is zero. The moral is that faith not backed by works is dead.

To James, when Abraham tried to offer his son Isaac on the altar, he was justified by works. He taught that Abraham's faith was complemented by his work (offering Isaac to God). James also spoke of Rahab the harlot, how she received the messengers of Israel and sent them out on another route to save their lives. This also showed that her faith was justified by works. Therefore, to James, a man is justified by faith and works, not by faith alone.

James concluded that as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead,

LESSONS LEARNED
1. Christians must make sure that their faith is more than just a statement of it.
2. Christians must let their faith be backed by action.
3. A person must be committed to serve and love his fellow human being.

WAYS BY WHICH CHRISTIANS CAN DEMONSTRATE THEIR FAITH IN GOD.
1. By providing the needs of those who are incapacitated.
2. By obeying the instructions of God.
3. By being each others keeper even if it will cost them their life.
4. By eliminating doubt from their heart.
5. By disregarding the precepts of men in favour of God’s commandments.
6. By donating towards Church development.

REFLECTION OF FAITH IN WORKS
1.       Visiting the sick and the needy
2.       Helping the needy, orphans and the marginalized
3.       Living a chaste life (exemplary lives)
4.       Embarking on evangelism
5.       Contributing generously to church’s programmes
6.       Helping to distribute relief items to victims of flood, famine, fire etc.

 SAMPLE QUESTIONS
1. Expound James' teaching on faith and works.
2. a. Explain James' concept of works in relation to faith.
    b. In what three ways can Christians demonstrate their faith in their daily life?
3.a. Highlight how James proved that "faith apart from work is dead."
    b. Mention four deeds of faith. 
4. a. Recount Jame's argument that faith without works is dead.
    b. Mention three benefits of faith to a Christian.

ALSO READ: 
James' teaching on impartiality
James' teaching on effective prayer

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