Study # 47
July 29, 1998
Harlingen, Texas

Thesis: James' doctrine of justification by works is a doctrine of justification by works that proceed from a kind of faith that necessarily produces works that are in harmony with the divine telos for making faith the root of everything within the scope of reconciliation. Introduction: Last week we examined James' anticipation of an objection to his teaching that faith without works is dead, and is therefore incapable of saving anyone. We saw that the objector was actually objecting to the idea that one could assign any kind of discernible link between what one believes and what one does. Basically he was arguing that the same act can have multiple causes, and the same faith can produce multiple, contradictory, reactions. But, James homes in on the admission by the objector that "the same faith can produce...", and claims that that is his point entirely: faith not only CAN, but WILL, produce. This evening we are going to take on the most problematical statement that James makes: a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.