How do Protestants deal with James on faith and works?


Correct…that is why Jesus talked about as if a Jewish leader should know about it.


Correct, but being born again, regenerated , born of God has always been around, before John the baptist.


The manifestation of a saving faith will always result in good works, yes. Our communions would agree here.

Acknowledgement might be a way of putting it, although even that is a bit lacking. The demons might know the Truth awaits them, though they refuse to acknowledge it.

Actually, in this particular passage, James calls faith a noun, something we possess, when referencing our faith. He refers to belief as a verb when referring to what the demons do. So it would seem that even the demons are capable of doing something, but without the correct something else behind it, it does nothing.

There’s definitely truth to that too.



Yes but after they excommunicated Luther. That is the church rejected Luther, before she rejected any items he pointed out as abusive. This counters partly her point that Luther first rejected the church.

yes, quite Protestant of them…lol…yes agreed…quite “Universal”.

Thank you for at least that admittance. Understand the perfect guidance of our head, Jesus and His sending of the Holy Ghost, but the Church is not like an autotron…the Incarnation suggests that the Perfect is aligned with flesh/man, and man’s union with Spirit is conditional, as it was for Jesus, who prayed and fasted to be in the Spirit…so some say the church is willing to throw an individual under the bus,admitting their error as long as the church is protected, unscathed…infallible…not in error…this is not an example of incarnation. This is not the example we have in OT and other covenants, where God also promised His holy infallible guidance. Indeed Israel failed from time to time, yet God was able to eventually reclaim honor and truth.

yes thank you…very telling of a church that must be right, has vested interests protected by claims infallibility…kind of puts them in a corner, making them very “dangerous” during Luther’s time…but…no better I suppose than 30,000 denominations.



Ok, just shouldn’t consider dung as prevenient grace, or baby steps of a spiritual walk…flesh is flesh and
spirit is spirit.

not with any real good results, but hop some do, as Jesus mentions.

lol…back to the beginning of our dialogue…Nicodemus was “baptized” (circumcised…and barmitzvahed/“confirmed”) and raised in the faith also, but was not born again.

or…or he obeyed his conscience rather than men (tradition, and institutional status quo is very, very powerful…more than one father succumbed to some of her forced points, in my opinion…points still being contended today…nothing like not nipping something in the bud,…the church has its Ishmael’s).

Not sure he considered his authority more, but he did value his God given conscience on the matter more. There is a fine balance for the church at large to have it’s citizens having strong consciences before God yet a strong sense of submissiveness one to another as is each to Christ also , the head. The Church is strong in unity , but can be really be weak if her teachers/leaders go along to get along.

A time for everything…a time to be like Peter, who had strong opinion, conscience, revelation from the Father, and gave his answer to Jesus, as to who Jesus was…and did not submit to God given authorities of Israel, who happened to be wrong in their answer to same question.


Pretty interesting take on it. Hebrews says this clearly.

So do not throw away your confidence; it holds a great reward. You need to persevere, so that after you have done God’s will, you will receive what He has promised. For,“In just a very while little, He who is coming will come and will not delay. But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he shrinks back, I will take no pleasure in him.
Letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews 10:35-38


Excommunication, contrary to popular belief, is not “kicking someone out of the Church”. Rather, it is a disciplinary measure intended to call the member to repentance.

No, the Church did not “reject Luther”. The Church rejected Luther’s behavior and doctrines. I agree that it took time to sift through all his complaints, until they were all addressed at Trent.

The difference between reformers and rebels is that reformers are obedient, even if they disagree. Luther was a rebel, and refused to submit to the authority of the Church, because he did not agree.

Luther never intended to create a schism or separation. He wanted to address what he saw as aggregious abuses. The Church eventually agreed that many of his points were valid.

Luther rejected the authority, and that is what created the schism. He was asked to renounce all his works, and he couldn’t do it, because he knew that the bulk of them were NOT contrary to the teaching of the Church.

It was a sad collision of hubris, arrogance, and entitlement between Leo X and Luther.

I am not sure what this means, but it seems to reject Jesus’ promise that the Holy Spirit will guide the Church into “all Truth”.

This statement seems to be saying that you believe it was possible for Jesus to break His unity with the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps not, but it is an example of the infallibility of the Church. Despite the fallibility of her human members, she is preserved from error by her divine elements.


Perhaps, but there is a qualitative difference. The HS was with the Church in a way that the HS was never with Israel. He was with them, but He moved within them. This is why it was a New Covenant.

No, honor and Truth was always the possession of God. There were many persons who were not able to walk within the honor and Truth He ordained for Israel, but that did not create a failure of Him to be with them. Those who were saved have always been saved by grace, through faith.

I am not sure what you think it is “telling”. The Church has never taught or believed that individuals could not err. The gift of infallibility is not equivalent to impeccability.

Jesus promised to lead the Church into “all Truth”, so if you do not believe this, then it is He with whom you have a dispute, not “claims” made by any human.

Persons who are corrupt and acting in the flesh are dangerous in every era. Simon Mangus was one early person, who is mentioned in the Gospels. The NT makes multiple references of the dangerous actions of those who opposed the Apostles and made a shipwreck of their faith. St. John mourns the havoc caused by persons claiming authority, by it disrupting the Church, and rejecting the Apostles.

What it boils down to is whether we can trust God to bring balance and correction to His Own Body, or if, like Luther, we must take it upon ourselves. Reform does not include creating new doctrines, and rejecting the authority appointed by Christ.


“And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household’.” - Acts 16:31

“And he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace’.” - Luke 7:50

Belief and faith can be used interchangeably. You are really going on an equivocation run here to try to alter what Saint James is stating in his epistle.

Also, do you care to answer my question regarding what a ‘complete faith’ is? How is faith alone a complete faith?


Why do I have to post a concept multiple times before it sinks in? Of course they can be used interchangeably in everyday speech. That’s the point. That’s why your church shies away from the ‘Faith Alone’ formula, even when it would apply! But the Bible isn’t everyday speech. It had much richer meanings. Accordingly, we should not use them interchangeably in this context — English translators uniformly make the differentiation between mere belief and true faith. I explained this earlier to Guano. I’m getting tired of repeating myself to you.

I did! ‘Complete faith’ was part of the definition in itself, not the thing to be defined. I used the phrase to help you understand that what James calls “faith” is more than just “belief” — i.e. it is ‘complete,’ ‘whole,’ ‘total,’ ‘true,’ …

Goodness. Read what is written to you.


You mean, complete as in completed by works ‘complete’?

“You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works

Because I am quite certain that sola fide means sola fide, and not ‘completed by works’.


In a sense, yes. Does that surprise you? And I can say that while duly affirm the truth of Faith Alone.

You claim to have been raised Lutheran, yet you do not seem remotely aware of actual Lutheran teachings. Per usual.


You don’t. Just link back to your previous post. Or if that is cumbersome, save your text in a file and cut and paste it. :smile:

Rejoice that you have a share in the sufferings of Christ.

Matthew 17:17 “And Jesus answered, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?”

It appears you are in good company with Jesus!


Thank you for the laugh, friend. You have brought Christ to me tonight. I’m off to bed.


Thank you for your persistence in dialogue. May God bless you richly as you rest in Him, and renew the fruit of the Spirit in you (esp. patience!).:smile:


Sleep well, @steido01.


Do you mean ‘in a sense’ like works complete our faith, not for justification, but only for sanctification?

No, that does not surprise me. Confessional Lutherans do not confess to believe that works play any role in their justification before God, none! So, in that ‘sense’, no, the way the Lutheran Confessions define ‘complete faith’, in terms of justification, is a mere, intellectual ‘confidence’ of Christ’s righteousness being imputed to the ‘believer’.


"If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema.

If anyone says that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, and remains in them, or also that the grace by which we are justified is only the good will of God, let him be anathema."

I want to ensure you, that I have no idea what your faith entails. For all I know, you have a greater faith than me.

And, every time you regurgitate this claim, you do not attempt to correct my seeming unawareness of ‘actual Lutheran teachings’. Perhaps, because I do know and am aware, and when I expose these teachings, you simply retort with the same sentiments instead of displaying exactly where I am unaware and correcting that seeming unawareness.


Yes, absolutely…incarnation…not autotronation…fully man…like you and I…able to be tempted…due to free will…had to submit…meaning full spiritual unity was conditional…like us


Most commentaries (and many translations) say that “According the flesh” means our “earthly father” or “the father or our race”, or “physical ancestor”. The greek works for flesh “sarx” is translated as “countrymen” or “fellow jews” in Romans 11:4.

For Instance The HCSB says: What then can we say that Abraham, our physical ancestor, has found?

The NLT says: Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God?

Also, keep in mind that there was no true Mosaic Law at the time of Abraham. There was no Passover, no Temple, no festivals or feast or fast…

This is referring to life under the old law. Romans 2 all the way to Romans 3:20 described how both the Jews and the Gentiles were judged under the old covenant. So Romans 2:13 is a true statement if you are following the Jewish law or were a Gentile following the moral/nature law. The only hope is to follow the law exactly and never sin. James 2:10 says For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.

That is why in Romans 3:20 Paul says, For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

If you just pull out those two verses from Romans it is easy to think Paul is contradicting himself. Does keeping the law justify us or not? To answer this question you have to read 3:9. What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,

Having the Jewish law didn’t make the Jews any better than the gentiles because they are both under sin. Neither of them were sinless. Neither of them were perfect doers of the law (either Mosaic or moral) which is why "by the works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight"

That is a very hopeless situation to be in and it is the situation we are all born into. If the only way to gain eternal life is to follow the law exactly and any sin is breaking the law then what hope do I have? If this is the case then no human being ever could be justified in his sight because we are all sinners.

This is when Paul says, perhaps the two most beautiful words in his letter.


But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.



Because that verse addresses both of the things they were trying to correct.

Paul was correcting the idea that we earn grace by following the mosaic or natural law. He was refuting the idea that not only do we believe and trust in Christ but that our works earn us grace and redemption.

James was correcting what today we would call “easy believism”. That is, all I have to do is admit that Jesus is the savior and then I have faith and will be saved.

Abraham was considered righteous because of his faith. But he also acted on his belief and demonstrated his belief by his actions.

Just like Abraham, we are considered righteous because of our faith but faith that doesn’t act isn’t a genuine faith.

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