Book of Jame

Lesson Five
James 2:14-26


Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?


(Now we come to a portion of Scripture that is highly misunderstood. Many use this portion of James to argue works based salvation.)


15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,


16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?


17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.


(This is not arguing that Works saves a person. What James is saying is that if you have the faith that leads to salvation, it will produce godly works in you. In other words, salvation produces works, works does NOT produce salvation. Read Ephesians 2:8,9)


18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works


19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.


(Believing in God is not enough. Even Satan believes. True faith requires action. It requires repentance.  And faith that saves produces a new birth. Read also 2 Cor. 5:17)


20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?


21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?


22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?


23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.


(Again, verse 21 would seem to indicate that Abraham was saved by his works, but you can not take one verse and make a doctrine out of it. Verse 22 goes on to say that his works completed his faith. The word "perfect" at the end of verse 22 means "complete". And then verse 23 rounds out the discussion with "Abraham BELIEVED God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness". So, Abraham was saved by his faith in God just like we are today. That faith brought about godly works, which completed, or verified his salvation.)


24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.


25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?


26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


(These verses can seem as if James is advocating that “works” justifies us.  But that is not what he is saying.  He is saying that true faith will produce godly works.  Superficial, or fleshly faith will not produce godly works.  So, if there is “faith” but no works, there is no faith.  If there is works with no faith, there is no godly works.  True faith, is always accompanied by true godly works.) 

Answer the questions below.  If you miss a question, go back and study that portion of the class and then retake the test.  Once you have received a 100% you may proceed to the next class.  You DO NOT have to submit this test for grading.  Only the final test will be submitted.