Closing out James

We've spent a lot of Wednesday's Words with our friend James.  I hope you've fallen in love with God's Word through him...I especially hope that we've all learned to take the Truth he shares from the pew to the pavement of our lives.

"Saving faith" shows up in how we live. 

Or it's not "saving" us at all.

That's what James tells us.

Before we close out this epistle with the last two verses, let's take a brief power walk in review.

The theme of this entire book is succinctly spelled out in second chapter - v. 20 - " without works is dead(useless)". 

We learned that James is not teaching salvation by works but rather demonstrating to us that genuine  faith results in works.

And he pens an entire letter explaining how.

Faith that works
1. Enables us to rejoice in trials because we have confidence that God is working all things for good
2. Drives us to the Throne for wisdom to know how to handle what comes our way
3. Reminds us that God only gives good gifts, regardless of what the packaging looks like to us
4. Transforms our hearts so that our personality becomes one that listens long and speaks short -- and is slow to get angry because we know that anger won't accomplish what we desire
5. Embraces God's Word, trusting it to conform us to the image of Christ
6. Takes responsibility to care for those who can't take care of themselves
7. Shows no favoritism in an attempt to gain personal benefit
8. Delights in showing mercy instead of judgment
9. Tames the tongue
10.Demonstrates wisdom in behavior of peace, gentleness, deference, and good works
11. Knows that our asking God to meet our desires works better than expecting others to do so
12. Results in humility because we see the truth about who we are in relation to Who He Is
13. Does not criticize a brother
14. Does not value riches nor trust in them
15. Suffers well
16. Prays in the midst of all circumstances

And, finally, the last two verses:
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

What is James's last demonstration of faith that works?

The same as he's already suggested.


Just one more way that it manifests itself.

James closes his letter by urging us to love one another enough to feel responsibility for each other's spiritual wellbeing.  No, he's not condoning being a busybody but he is saying we are our brother's keeper.  And if one of us is straying, then the faith of the others should reach out to bring the one back.

That's not just James's idea.  Peter said the same thing. (I Peter 4:8)
And so did Solomon - Proverbs 10:12 - Love covers all transgressions.
So did Paul.  I Corinthians 13:13 - But now abide faith, hope, and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.

And so did Jesus.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets  Matthew 22:36-40


Thanks, James.  Let's keep in touch.  I need your exhortation in my life.