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.