James Chapter 2

Just as God has no respect of persons when it comes to the gifts He gives (a "G v p" statement) If believers still have correct faith when it comes to acknowledging the sovereignty of God and are stable in their faith towards Gods liberty, His person - but still respect persons then their faith is void. (v1)

If a rich man and a poor man come to a believer (v2) and the rich man is respected but the poor is not (v3) then the faith towards that which is good, the sovereignty of God is not made external. The external, the respect of persons is made as internal, equal to the faith of the believer; (v4) because although wealth would not be prayed for, there is faith in the wealth of the rich man being still greater than the person of the poor man. The faith has not been obeyed, but faith is shown to become worthless if there is no real faith in the equality of God's gifts which are apart from the respect of persons. (v5)

In believing the rich man deserves more honour than the poor, the world has corrupted the faith which would otherwise have been true towards God. James declares then that the equality of the poor man is despised. The rich (which as a "class" are the ones who likewise despise the believer as poor) (v6) are the same ones who blaspheme the God of the believer (Jesus Christ) by oppressing the believers. Why have respect to them at all?

Then obeying the commandment to love thy neighbour is to do well. (v8) But in having respect of persons, one blasphemes the ideal of faith correct towards God (as no "G v p" statements) and the law of the new testament, which is of faith becomes broken. (v9) For under the law of the old covenant if one commandment is kept and another broken, then a man is guilty of breaking the whole of the law. (v10,v11)

So the believer should not break the law of faith with breaking the law of action. We should speak and do as we would according to the law of faith: without respect of persons. (v12) (In not blaspheming our faith) For God will not show mercy to them that have shown no mercy - i.e.. they have a different gospel and a different God. Showing mercy to the poor is something to be glad of when judged, for it will be rewarded.

So, having faith only but without externalising that faith, it is questionable as to whether faith can save. (v14) If the hungry are told not to be hungry, they still go hungry (v15) Although to be not hungry is a good thing. So faith, if we pray or expect good things but do not give good things to them in need when we have much, is empty: because we judge the poor unworthy of the same gift we ourselves give thanks for. Faith is then made barren. (v17)

A man with faith that shows no fruits of faith has no evidence of faith before another man with the works of faith - it is better to do the works. (v18) It is not enough simply to believe, because even demons know of God. (v19) Faith then without works is a contradiction. It shows that faith is not considered "real" and that in effect because the faith is not "real" it shows God is not "real enough" to warrant works. (v20) This is another "G v p" statement.

Abraham had faith but was justified in His works by the faith he had, for Isaac was not offered up in death because Abraham showed the faith in God that he had. (v21) If Abraham had faith only but had not offered Isaac upon the altar, then he would not have had perfect faith that God could raise him, as having promised "in Isaac shall thy seed be called". (v22)

Works then justify a man as externalising his faith, and show that faith (and therefore God) is not blasphemed as unworthy of action. Righteousness is imputed for faith by God: if works are not done, then a different God (from "G v p") can not impute righteousness to faith where there is none. In order to be reconciled to God we should therefore obey Him in truth, and do good works also. (v23)

Then as not just by private faith, but by faith externalised in good works a man is justified before God: because God is surely worthy of our good works, faith can not be completely private as it can not be then faith. (v24)

Likewise, Rahab showed faith with works.. and though being a harlot she makes a good example as does Abraham. We see how works can justify an individual "of low degree" before other believers, and most importantly before God. For Rahab survived. (v25)

Faith without works can not be faith if actions or the lack of action contradict the principles of our faith. (v26)

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