Jesus in Matthew 19:16-30, told the rich man what he needed to do to get to heaven, and he amazingly never mentioned faith at all, but instead told him three things he had to do to become perfect, and all of these are deeds of course. One thing he had to do was to sell everything he had and give the proceeds to the poor and the other was to follow Jesus. This compliments James teaching perfectly. However, his does not mean faith is not important, of course the rich man would have had to show faith by doing what Jesus said to do, so we see in this passage that faith and works, work together to perfect our faith, just as James said.
James 2:19 is also important in this discussion because it address another connecting aspect of Salvation, and James himself brings it into this passage. Also some who believe in a "faith alone" doctrine also believe in an eternal security "alone" doctrine with no loss that can be possible for a Christian who refuses to repent, or soft pedals sin. Many modern day "Nicolaitans" and Pharisees are doing this today.
Question: Why can't Satan and friends simply repent and come back to salvation? Because they already had eternal security and lost it because of their rebellion. In fact Hebrews 6:4-6 speaks to this and defines for us what blasphemy of the Holy Spirit(or the unforgivable sin) is. Satan and his ilk all committed it and there are Christians today doing the same thing. Some would say Jesus did not die for angels, but the reason he didn't is important to understand. He didn't have to die for them, because they already had eternal security.
Exodus 32:33, shows us clearly that people can not only in the future, but have also already, had their names erased from the book of life and Jesus himself in Rev.3:5 eludes to this erasure as well.
We don't get to throw into our theological meat grinders the plain word of God, to make it say what we want it to say the way too many today do, including many Dr.'s of theology. The Bible should not be interpreted by personal interpretation and this is why we have so many denominations today. There are children who have more understanding of the bible than many 'theologians' do today.
We should just read the bible and believe it, we don't need anyone but the Holy Spirit telling us what the word already so plainly says and teaches. Though sometimes difficult, we should adhere to all of the council of God, not just some of it. Adding to or taking away from the word of God is dangerous. Saying we are saved by "faith alone" when the bible clearly says just the opposite, is not something I would like to be held liable for when I face the Lord. Saying we are saved by "faith alone" is in fact adding to the word of God something that just isn't there. We are saved by Jesus alone, by grace alone, but not by faith alone and this is clear.
Revelation also shows us that many in the last seven year great tribulation period will not be saved, except by works and faith combined. They will need to persevere through much tribulation to be made pure and the works of their testimony (Rev.20:4). Yes having a testimony and verbalizing it, is a work. Continuing in the faith is also a work whether we want to admit it or not. It is not a work of the law, but a work of faith.
Bottom line is, people are not saved by works alone, but neither are they saved by faith alone instead it is a balance between the two. James is extremely clear on this. It would be great if people would not attempt to rewrite it, twist it or reduce it's significance. But alas they will.
2 Tim 3:16 reads: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness".
This of course would include James 2:14-26 and many other passages that some don't like.
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