by Mike Ratliff
19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:19-27 (NASB)
Martin Luther hated the Book of James. He called it an Epistle of Straw and questioned whether it should be included in the Canon of Scripture at all. Why? His opponents in the Roman Catholic Church misapplied what James taught to try to support their theology that stated that people are saved by their works. A careful study of this wonderful book, however, does not support that. In fact, we find that James and Paul are in full agreement. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and the Book of James both speak of works and its place in the Christian walk in relation to Grace. They present the truth from different sides of the issue so when people who do not possess the spirit read James they often twist the word to fit their false theology. Continue reading