The book of James is full of practical wisdom for every day living. Some say that James (the disciple of Jesus) and the apostle Paul had opposing arguments on the requirements for salvation. Supposedly James stated that what a person does (their "works") contributed to their salvation, while Paul argues that salvation is by grace alone and nothing else.
This would appear to be a contradiction in the Bible. However, these seemingly opposing views actually work together. It's like James and Paul were fighting the same battle, back to back, just facing different foes. The "foes" being those who take grace to the extreme, and those who take works to the extreme.
The things that we do cannot get us into heaven according to scripture. Entrance into God's family is through the forgiveness of our sins which comes through a saving knowledge of Jesus, also known as "grace". However, the things that we do proove
that we are saved because our actions are a natural result of a changed life. James stated "…I will show you my faith by my works." in James 2:18.
So, what is it? Faith OR works? Faith AND works? I think it is faith THAT works.
References to some of the symbolism used in this image:Wave:
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind." James 1:5-6Mirror:
"For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was." James 1:23-24Tongue, fire, and ship's rudder:
"If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." James 3:1-8Grapes:
"Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." James 1:18Grass and flower:
"For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits." James 1:11
Inspiration for this deviation:
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