James 2:24

James 2:24

You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
(James 2:24 NKJV)

not by faith only

Some claim that Paul disagreed with this verse when he affirmed that we are saved by faith alone. Where did Paul ever say this? This false claim misunderstands James and misrepresents Paul.

In Romans, Paul condemns attempts to be justified by works of the Law (Romans 3:27; 4:2; 9:32, etc.). The only way to be saved by works is to perform them perfectly (Ro.4:2, 4).

Romans 2:10 promises salvation to everyone “who works what is good.” This agrees with the very point James is making.

Paul regularly distinguishes between works of Law (or boasting) and works of faith. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Again, this is the very point James is making. Paul and James stand or fall together.

Abraham had an active (working) faith when he offered up Isaac on the altar (James 2:21). “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” (James 2:22).

And then there is Rahab (James 2:25). A dead faith would not have prompted her to risk her life hiding the spies or to identify her house with a scarlet cord, etc. Even without James 2:24, the Bible denies the doctrine of salvation by faith alone.

-- Rick Duggin