Focus: James 1:19 - 2:18
James is my all time favorite passages because it balances the doctrine of Paul and does away with the Satanic idea that because of Christ we no longer have to worry about sin. We can do nothing and still be saved. Paul did not mean this either but many quote these passages under the doctrine of "once saved always saved". Paul in Rom 10:9 meant that we are "justified" by faith in Christ. The penalty of sin is removed from us only because of grace that was created for us by the cross. It brought us back in right relationship with God. If the expectation was to do nothing more then why does Paul talk about "sanctification" which a "process" by which the grace of God under the command of the Holy Spirit drives us to get closer to Christ by changing ourselves until we look and act like Jesus. It is the process of setting us apart for the work of His Gospel. If justification is soap, by believing in Christ, we accept the soap; but sanctification would be our teaming with the Holy Spirit to wash ourselves from the continued transgression of God's law until He comes again. Christ is pure and therefore cleanbith inside and out. We are clean on the outside through justification and working on becoming pure or clean in the inside! This is the distinction between justified and sanctified. Now we cannot clean ourselves. This is done under the direction of the Holy Spirit while He dwells within us to multiply and correct our efforts, but 100 times 0 is 0! We have a distinct part to play and this part is called diligence!
Satan would absolutely love believers in Christ to believe they need do nothing more than say the sinner's prayer and all is well and ho back to their sinful lives esmxcysibg their sin because they are already saved! Yes we are justified but we are not saved from eternal fire unless our faith is producing good works. James makes this clear! Satan hates our good works! James decries a practical faith that produces good. Faith is a motive or moving force. Read this passage again in James. How many Christians today claim Christ but refuse to protect the needy and the poor. They continue to praise Christ but disenfranchise others disproportionally and call it faith. These are they who swallow Satan's lies and allow Satan to reign as long as they are okay and getting what they want and erasing or caging what they fear! We are in a time of separation of the sheep and the goats as foretold in Matt 25. Do not be deceived! We cannot say we love God but support those who abuse, misuse, and mistreat others. Gid says love your neighbor. We ARE our brother's keeper! The Bible declares it! God is speaking. Listen! Amen!