How do Protestants deal with James on faith and works?


It’s a condition of maintaining eternal life.


Grace is unearned.

We need grace to produce good works.

When we produce good works, it is only done by grace; therefore we are not earning it.

I know Protestantism indoctrinates minds with this idea that good works automatically equals ‘earning’, or meriting eternal life by our own strength. The Catholic Church condemns this heretical way of thinking and promulgates that it is impossible to earn salvation.


Gift’s aren’t conditional. Edit to add, The only condition of eternal life is to have a “living faith”.


Gifts can be lost.


How do you lose something that is inside of you? That has been sealed with the Spirit?


Through sin that leads to spiritual death, i.e. mortal sin.


Okay… let’s apply your conclusions to the actual passage in James with a few narrow questions.

Using James epistle of what it means to be “saved” given in the context of James 2 on salvation: was it an allusion to say that Rahab the harlot was saved eternally? … or was she saved literally and physically? What does the Genesis passage actually say?..

We both know the story in the Genesis account. There is no talk about eternal life there. Please show me the allusion in the Genesis narrative showing how one is eternally saved. I can’t find it. Neither does James show it. See James 3 as well. No talk about eternal life at all. It is all about the “saving of the soul” 1:21 which was the premise for his epistle.

Was Abraham’s son saved eternally or literally? in the Genesis account? … We both know the narrative well. It is the same conclusion. He was spared literally, physically, and naturally. Is there anything in that passage suggesting that his son was saved eternally? … I can’t find it.

So when James using these two O.T. examples to support his line of thinking, makes the statement:
" Can faith save him? We must interpret these examples consistent with the way he intended them.

Again, in this specific context of “saving faith” I argue it has nothing to do with eternal life based on the two examples given: (1) The passages itself makes no claim to eternal life, and secondly, (2) the examples of Abraham and Rahab do not match your narrative. As I’ve said before, James was not trying to answer the “eternal life” question at all. Do a word search on the word salvation outside of the context of eternal life, you will be surprised. It is used regularly.

But I’ve given this answer in the past. It falls on deaf ears. I pray that the Spirit of God would work to open your ears today.


Is not doing good works a mortal sin?


How so? …


I’m asking the question, “If I fail to do good works am I guilty of a mortal sin”?


Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
John 15:2

Not doing good works is a sin of omission and its severity as to whether it is mortal or not depends on the situation. But, generally speaking, not producing good works would be a grave matter.


Isn’t that why the rich man entered into hell in that parable?


A more accurate interpretation would be that the passages are all talking about the same type of judgement.


I don’t know. Was the rich man a spirit filled adopted Child of God who had been saved by grace through faith? Or was he just your normal run of the mill rich guy who was selfish and greedy and had no, or at best a superficial, relationship with God?


“‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.” Luke 16:24-25

Not only does the rich man refer to Abraham as, ‘Father’, but Abraham responds to him with, ‘Child’! This was not ‘your normal run-of-the-mill rich guy’; as the parable illustrates.


All that means in the rich man was a Jew by heritage and in death fully understood what Paul later wrote in Romans.

A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. Romans 2:28-29


“Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means!”
Romans 3:1-4

“You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.”
John 4:22

“But as for the Gentiles who have become believers, we have sent a letter with our judgement that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.’’
Acts 21:25


Martin Luther overturned it and he’s like, what’s happenin’! His theology places virtually everything on God and very little on us and our response to God. Easy peasy! What’s not to like? Except that it is not true, of course. Humans are attracted to novelty like moths to a flame - with similar results.

Basically, I find that “bible Christians” ignore75-90% of the bible. Heck, they have only 91% of the bible in the first place. God bless them for the good they do and the fragment of truth they possess!


What’s your point?


Most Protestants do not realize that Paul is referring to the works of the Mosaic Law when he talked about the law. Almost all of the text having to do with the final judgement refer to what we did for the hungry and poor and sick ect.

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