James: How Faith Works
Jesus’ half-brother James writes this letter to God’s people who are scattered, suffering, and sinning. James wanted the outcome of this letter to be that God’s people would no longer merely listen to the Word but do what it says. In 1547, John Calvin wrote, “It is therefore faith alone which justifies, and yet the faith which justifies is not alone.” In other words, though we are saved by faith alone and not works, true faith cannot be inoperative and dead. True faith works and is alive! It does not work in the sense that things always pan out peacefully in the Christian life without pain, struggle, and toil. But true faith works in the sense that it produces a particular sort of life - one that is full of faithful perseverance, godly wisdom, unconditional love, enlivening words, generous stewardship, abundant mercy, and confident prayer. With repentance and surrender, let us prayerfully look into God’s perfect law that gives freedom as we study the letter of James.