Justified by Faith Alone cf. James 2:24


Would you say keeping the law (moral) is part of ones sanctification?


So you interpret this as having a longer life or am I totally missing the point?


I don’t know if I can convey theological concepts by simply connecting scripture to scripture. I know I can support these concepts with scripture but it may be too simplistic to do this without understanding. I believe man is triune (1st. thes. 5:23) and as such, we should pay attention to how the sprit, soul, and body of man is used in scripture. For instance, the spirit of a man is what comes into regeneration. Paul called this, the “inner man.” This regeneration is a new birth (Jn.3) This new birth results in eternal life in the here and now. Not when we go to heaven. The first man Adam became a living being, The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 1st. Cor.15:45 We are spirits and draw eternal life from the Holy Spirit who we find ourselves in union, (1st. Cor. 6:17.)

We possess a soul. This word, as I’ve mentioned before, also translates LIFE. It speaks of our temporal life. The soul of man is much like his outer-man. This is why James told his justified audience, "receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save=deliver= your LIFE. From what? From death! James was obviously a student of the book of Proverbs, where the concept of LIFE and DEATH were always contrasted in couplets.

The Hebrew writer understood this concept when he wrote, " We are not of them who draw back to destruction, but of them who BELIEVE to the saving of the soul. Heb. 10:39

It’s interesting because in the verse right before, he says, “Now the JUST shall live by faith!.. if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

This was Martin Luther’s key verse, though not taken from Hebrews. The justified ones, are suppose to live by FAITH. but notice how faith is the factor alone. Also notice how justification is Not treated as an unsettled matter. It was not “pending.” It is in the present tense. all of these things matter when we read scripture. This is so much more than simply connecting scripture with scripture as if we have only one writer with one idea on his mind. We are drawing from many writers who spoke on many subjects and who lived at various times. To interpret these words, will take a skill beyond simply lifting a passage out of it’s context and running with it.

I am off to work now. Blessings to you


This is my last comment before I go to work.

What! I am not a dispensationalist. I don’t know what you are talking about here.


Don’t deny it! Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Sorry, I think I was reading something into one of your posts. Please disregard.


Does not our soul in this life also translate to the next life, namely eternal life?


My gut answer was yes, then I thought about it and it changed to no. In reality it depends.

It is possible to be very moral and not be justified or sanctified. We should never confuse being moral with being a Christian. In my experience, the two hardest groups of people to reach with the Gospel are the religious and the moral. It is possible to be both religious and moral without having a true saving faith in Christ. Which is basically one of the problems Paul deals with in his letter to Rome.

However, when are a justified we are changed to our very core. We no longer follow the moral law (or follow religious rituals) in a vain attempt to earn our justification. We no longer seek to earn God’s favor, as His Children we have his favor already. Sanctification is living in that favor and growing closer to our Father who loves us and wants the best for us. So in that sense, following the moral law is part of sanctification but it is the result of sanctification and not the goal or purpose of sanctification. The purpose of Sanctification is (His children) to know Christ and become more like Him. And just as being more moral is caused by knowing Christ more fully, so is being religious, in the sense that knowing Christ more fully makes us want to worship and praise and call out to Him more and more.


I agree, I should have been more specific. For the justified (I am assuming justification MUST always precede sanctification) is the moral law part of sanctification and is this sanctification a process rather than a single event?


When you state it this way its sounds like a process that is going on within the one being sanctified that they do not play a role in. And in that sense it would appear to me that once one is justified, sanctification must follow because it is the Holy Spirit transforming us and not anything we are doing/choosing. Am I on the right track here?


[quote=“tgGodsway, post:1260, topic:442045, full:true”]

Thanks but the only reason why I bring up how James is concerned with temporal salvation of our souls is because he brought it up in the beginning of his book. I certainly understand how this may be a new concept for you and others on this site but the saving of the soul is not a new concept at all.

Heb. 10:39 says, but we are not of those who draw back to perdition (destruction) but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

James 1:21 “receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your soul.” Who should receive the word which is able to save them? James’ readers, the justified ones.

James 5:20, Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

We are a triune being, 1st. Thess. 5:23, we must be able to discern between the soul and the spirit of man. Heb. 4:12.

It is the spirit of man that receives regeneration and eternal life, not the soul. If you will, the soul is the outer man- the personality and life of a person, but it is not the life-giving spirit. Saving the soul=life is in the here and now, not eternity. But that’s okay if you are not interested in this. It is not an essential doctrine for me.
[/quote]I’m honestly not following you… you keep asserting this interpretation using Scripture alone, while claiming it to be Apostolic faith. Can you please provide some Early Church Father’s writing to support this?

From what I am gathering, you interpret James as speaking about “temporal salvation”???

Even here:
James 1
Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.


I do not know if you were asking what lanman87 believed or your question was rhetorical, but Justification and Sanctification should never be separated.

“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11 ESV

Semantically, sanctification precedes justification in this verse.


I’m trying to see how close we are in principle if we don’t use the words that we know we have different meanings for. For instance, if we are talking about what Catholics refer to as initial justification and Protestants refer to as justification, I think we are spot on the same. I trying to determine if the Protestant view of sanctification is similar to what we would call progressive justification.


I would say sanctification must follow justification or there hasn’t been true justification. And it is easy to say the we choose to be sanctified but I think it is deeper than that. When we are justified God changes our heart so what we choose to do is different that what we would do without justification. We choose to follow the prompting and conviction of Spirit and draw closer to God because God has changed our desires. Before being saved/justified/adopted we make decisions based our selfishness and what we think the consequences will be. After we are saved/justified/adopted we make decisions based on our relationship with God and to seek His purposes and His will.

That is why I say the biggest evidence of if I or anyone is “In Christ” is that they have been changed. He changes us and then because He has changed us our lives are changed. What we do is changed. Our motivation are changed. What we love is changed. What we seek after is changed. As we live our lives our actions and decisions start to reflect what has happened internally by the Spirit.

I said all of that to say that it is both. Our doing/choosing is different because the Holy Spirit is working in us to transform us.


Sooooo, in your mind is this what James is saying?

Sooooo, is this like saying God offers us grace and we respond to it/cooperate with it? Or does God change our desires in a way that we can’t help but respond to it.

Incidentally, I’m not saying we choose to be sanctified but we choose to accept and respond to the grace that God gives us to lead holy lives.

I’m really not trying tor corner you, I thing we get hung up on the words we use, when laid out like this, I think we are actually pretty close.


We are very close.

It is my understanding that if He changes us, He changes our desire where we can’t help but respond. Or another way to put it would be if we don’t respond then we haven’t been changed.


Answering ajcstr’s question.

If I am incorrect, please address, if I am correct I guess I am unclear on the concept of temporal salvation if you can give me an example of that?

Okay, I will. We talked about Abraham’s faith coming together with his works. How about Rahab? From James point of view she too had an active faith that showed up in her works. The example given shows how she too was saved. "… Likewise was not Rahab the harlot justified by work when she received the messengers and set them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. Jam. 2:24-26.

It should be carefully observed that he does not say, "was not Rahab justified by faith and works! Such and idea is foreign to James. He is talking about exactly what he says he is talking about; justification by works, as in the case with Abraham. Rahab, however is suited to tie his thoughts together and you’ll see it in the following.

The passage had begun with a reference to his theme of “saving the life.” 2:14;-1:21) Not surprisingly, Rahab was selected as a striking example of a person whose physical life was “saved” precisely because she had works.
(This example should in no way be construed as a clever way of connect works with eternal life. Nothing in the passage suggest this.)

With James’s words the statement of the writer of Hebrews can be profitably compared. In Heb.11:31, that author writes of her: “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.” Notice that the author of Hebrews points to her faith and lays the stress on the fact that she “RECEIVED” the spies. James, on the other hand, points also to the fact that “SHE SENT THEM OUT ANOTHER WAY.”

This has considerable significance for James’s argument. Although Rahab’s faith began to operate the moment she “received the messengers,” she could not really be justified by works until she had “sent them out another way.” The reason for this is obvious when the story in Joshua 2 is carefully considered. Up until the last moment, she could still have betrayed the spies. Had she so desired, she could have sent their pursuers after them.

That the spies had lingering doubts about her loyalty is suggested by their words in Joshua 2:20, “And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath…” But the spies’ successful escape demonstrated that Rahab was truly a “friend of God” because she was also their friend. In this way, Rahab was justified by works. And in the process, she saved her own life and her family’s as well.

When James asked the question: " if someone says he has faith but does not have works? CAN FAITH SAVE HIM? My initial response is: save him in what sense? temporally or eternally? James went on in the context and offered a temporal example. v15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, v16 and one of you says to them, ‘depart in peace be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, WHAT DOES IT PROFIT? it’ doesn’t profit the man who offered only his faith. This will not save=deliver him in this world nor the next. He will answer for it at the judgment seat of Christ. It did not save him or his character in the circumstance and will not save him when he stands before his God. None of this has anything to do with the gift of eternal life, but everything to do with the saving of the soul. (1:21) Receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to SAVE YOUR SOUL.


Answering Augusttherese, who said, does not our soul in this life also translate to the next life, namely eternal life? Our soul is our LIFE but it is not the source of LIFE. Our Spirit, who is one with the holy Spirit, is the internal fountain pouring out from within. See John 7:37-39. We take our soul into eternity but just as the Israelites needed to drive out the enemies of the land before they could possess it, even though God told them the land was theirs, we too must save our souls by hearing the word of God, believing it, and practicing it. This saves OUR LIFE in the here and now.


Responding to rcwitness where he said, "

I’m honestly not following you… you keep asserting this interpretation using Scripture alone, while claiming it to be Apostolic faith. Can you please provide some Early Church Father’s writing to support this? I just gave you two apostolic authorizes who both speak of the saving of the soul using temporal examples. I would have to research others.

From what I am gathering, you interpret James as speaking about “temporal salvation”???

Even here:
James 1
Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.

This is a great passage. Blessed in the man (of God) who endures trial. when he has stood the test he will receive the CROWN of life. The crown of life should not be confused with eternal life. A crown speaks of a reward, a prize, an inheritance, etc. Even the Apostle Paul said "those who run in a race all run, but one receives the PRIZE? run in such a way that you may obtain it. … we do not obtain a perishable crown but imperishable. 1st. Cor. 9:24. The reason why we run the Christian race and stand the test is for God’s glory not ours. But in the process He will reward us for our faithfulness.



This is the way I see it. Abraham’s faith was _counted__as justification. Or considered as justification, which means it wasn’t actual justification but thought of as the same thing until proven otherwise. However, Abraham’s faith was so strong that it was never proven otherwise. God had Abraham do some pretty far out things, but Abraham did them anyway out of his strong faith in God. Abraham even went so far as to be willing to sacrifice his only son, not under a command of God, but simply a request from God!

But what if Abraham’s faith was not strong? And he did not do as God asked? I guess he wouldn’t have been justified! In that case, it perhaps could be said Abraham didn’t have a “saving faith” after all. But Abraham did persevere, he did have a saving faith, and so in that sense, faith does justify.

How do we know if we have a saving faith? I suppose we won’t know until we have persevered to the end.


Im still not convinced of your interpretation. For in the following sentences, James contrasts the faith which endures with mortal sin!

Please, tg… provide for us some source from the early Church which supports this interpretation.

Btw, I’m not denying that our works have rewards in heaven, or that we are are saved out of the meritorious goodness which God chose to offer to us.

But you seem to be constructing a system to interpret James because you have already interpreted Paul in such a way that does not accept James.

Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; 14 but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.