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James - Faith That Works by Emberblue James - Faith That Works by Emberblue
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.



:bulletblue: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 1:5-6

Mirror: "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 1:23-24

Tongue, 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 3:1-8

Grapes: "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 1:18

Grass 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:
This is an amazing piece of art. Check out this artist's page! *Demen1
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:iconmychristlife:
mychristlife Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012   Photographer
Nice. And your image is absolutely right. A faith that doesn't work? What good is that? (James 2:20) I also wrote an article called "Putting Your Faith to Action" that goes exactly along your lines! A wonderful job representing the faith in Jesus Christ through art!
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:iconmychristlife:
mychristlife Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012   Photographer
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, I really appreciate it. If you ever post that article on here I would be interested in reading it. :aww:
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:icontonyzhang88:
tonyzhang88 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
This is cool :)
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! :tighthug:
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:icontonyzhang88:
tonyzhang88 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
np, I love it :)
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:iconuncommonlife:
UncommonLife Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012
amazing design :)
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! This one was a lot of fun. :D
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:iconkingdom-advancer:
kingdom-advancer Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Great gallery! I love the book of James so much and I love the phrase "faith that works." Right on! :w00t!:
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! :D I love the phrase too. But I can't take credit for it. :aww:
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:iconlhach:
Lhach Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2011
I featured it on my blog: [link] :)
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! I wasn't able to view it for some reason. But I'm honored that you would feature my artwork. :aww:
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:iconsycrosd4:
SycrosD4 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Impressive.
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! :hug:
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:iconfreuddwyn:
freuddwyn Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome :D and i love your description and the meaning behind each object.
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much for your encouraging words! :tighthug:
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:iconfreuddwyn:
freuddwyn Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
your welcome :hug:
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:icontonythunder:
Tonythunder Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011
That is very freaking stunning! Amazing job on all the details and effects here! :iconclapplz:
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the encouragement! :tighthug:
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:icontonythunder:
Tonythunder Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011
your welcome :hug:
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:iconmk1282:
mk1282 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
fantastic job! Keep it up!
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much! :tighthug:
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:iconlukedesignz:
Lukedesignz Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011
wow!:D this work is truely awesome man:D i love it!:D
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
You are very kind. Thanks! :tighthug:
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:iconlukedesignz:
Lukedesignz Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011
dont say thanks the pleasures mine, wow!
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:icongherbs:
Gherbs Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011
this work is awesome. I can see God's artwork through yours and is truly is blessed.

..what I'm really awestruck with is on your ideas and opinions and faith. inspiring
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. :aww: My desire is that God would be glorified through the talent He has given me. He did so much for me, it is the least I can do in return. :love:
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:icondestinati-a-perdersi:
Destinati-A-Perdersi Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is so cool! Great job :D
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much! :glomp:
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:iconswandundee:
swandundee Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
i was inspired by this one too, [link] brilliant artist.
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
:D
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:iconjonah-onix:
jonah-onix Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I'm a Christian too and I respect your descriptions but, are u sure that Apostle James and Apostle Paul were contradicted each other, about the requirements of salvation?... You will know the side of Apostle Paul if you try to read the whole books that he have written. If you notice, all the books are messages and teachings of Apostle Paul to the Christian Churches who were believers, and already saved in every places like Rome and Jerusalem.
They are saved... why? because they did already the three steps or requirements of salvation. And what is that?
Answer is: B.R.B.
Believe
Repent (work of faith)
Baptize (work of faith) - Even Apostle Paul baptized for his salvation. (Acts 9:18)
- to wash away our sins (Acts 22:16)

And as long as they are saved, the Holy Spirit is working in them. The Church is like the body and Christ is the head, each of them must work according to their gifts which is given by God (Col 1:18). The Church already know the doctrines of salvation that Apostle Paul delivered to them (1 Thessalonians 2:15). He don't need to teach the requirements but to teach on how to preserve the gift of salvation which received by them from God (Ephesians 2:8).

So... about Apostle James, his teachings is not opposing Apostle Paul's. He tend to preach and teach not only in believers but also in unbelievers too, that were not yet saved. That's their main goal, to save all of us through Christ, and to know the truth. :earth:
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
I agree. Paul and James were not contradicting each other. The reason I said it "appeared" to be a contradiction in the Bible is because alot of people see it as a contradiction, when in fact it is not. I think you and I are on the same page. :)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :hug:
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:iconjonah-onix:
jonah-onix Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
no problem... :earth:
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:iconspookex:
Spookex Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010
Your take on reading Bible is revelation driven,
apparently. And it's awesome.
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you. :aww:
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:iconlibertymeadows:
LibertyMeadows Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
wow cool.
is this a flyer for your ministry?
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
No, this is not my ministry. This was a "logo" created for a client. :)
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:iconlibertymeadows:
LibertyMeadows Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
ah okay. :)
(with "your" I meant your church's ministry.)
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:iconthreewoes:
ThreeWoes Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010
and it's also having faith that doesn't work ...

like Peter's ;)

it's the whole shebang dude. faith is just one muscle in the animal :D
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Nice. :D

Can you clarify what you mean about Peter? I'm curious what your thoughts are.
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:iconthreewoes:
ThreeWoes Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010
Having faith ... and watching God fail you :) When your faith fails, and you lose. Not just having faith that works, but faith that technically doesn't work.

Peter is a great example of that, cuz his faith failed and he denied Jesus. Then, the one whom he had been following around and believing in .... died. He went back to fishing, etc and so forth. Him and some of the others.

His faith failed. But it didn't matter. His faith AND his works produced zero. It was Jesus' heart for him .... and his heart for Jesus. That was the bread and butter. Neither faith nor works.

It's like ... his faith produced a certain type of work .... the kind that is failure. And it's easy to say, "well it just looked like failure for a time," ... but that's easy to say on the outside. Not when you're Peter. lol :)

Jonah is another example. Sufferred and preached to an entire city that it was going to be destroyed. But it never happened. For all intent and purposes, the guy would have appeared like a false prophet. God used him, and when he finally obeyed god ... his own words fell to the ground.

Job is another great example.

;)
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Very interesting take on that. Thanks for explaining. :) The things that we do can fail, and our faith isn't perfect. But Jesus is, and the work that He did is what really saves us. :aww: His work will never fail.
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:iconthreewoes:
ThreeWoes Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
LOL :)

The real world works a bit differently. Absolutely Jesus can fail you. the IDEA of Jesus is great .... the reality is a different thing alltogether.

Jesus earns your trust, the same as everyone else. THAT is what is great about God.

What isn't great about people who don't know any better ... is that they are out selling something that they themselves haven't bought yet. They are out selling a perfect Jesus, marketing a perfect Jesus .... when all that is bullshit. The reality, is that it's hard, heartbreaking, and crushing sometimes. And the reality is, that a relationship with God is like any other relationship in a lot of ways. Trust is proven over time and earned ... assuming it up front, isn't loving.

Those who push the "trust god now and always, he'll never fail you," junk are those who are trying to get others to accept candy from a stranger. That's not what I have ever taught my kid ... and not what God teaches either actually ;)

If Jesus hasn't failed you yet, then good for you ;) Not the case for me and a lot of others .... sorry lol :D

nice talkin to you .....
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Hmmm, interesting thoughts. I'm really enjoying this. :)

I think that you and I have a different understanding of what it means to fail, and a different understanding of who God is and His characteristics. And because of that we will probably never agree on this topic.

If God is able to fail then that implies that He is not perfect. In my opinion, if God is not perfect then He is not worthy to be worshiped as God. The Bible is my source for truth and it teaches that Jesus/God is perfect.

In the example of Peter, Jesus died but He came back to life 3 days later. Peter was restored and went on to do great works for Christ and lead more people to a saving faith in Jesus.

Things did not work out the way that Jonah wanted. He knew that God is a forgiving God and that the Ninivites would repent if given the chance. And that is how things worked out, Nineveh repented and was not destroyed.

If you have suffered, something bad happened, or things did not work out how you expected them to (like Job) then I am greatly sorry to hear that. But personally I do not count that as God failing. In a Christian's life, bad things will happen - not because God failed but because we live in a world with sin where bad things happen. Please do not take this as an argument against you, I just enjoy a chat once in a while with someone who challenges my thinking. :D

Thank you. I've enjoyed talking to you too. :)
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:iconthreewoes:
ThreeWoes Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
No worries .... but you are probably right, we will probably never agree on this topic, because as you point out .... we know different gods lol :) My god isn't the bible, mine is the God of the bible though. Two big differences. One is like knowing a postcard and everything you see in it .... the other is living in that country, meeting the officials, knowing the people, etc. Know what I mean?

But I will point out that god failing doesn't mean god can't be perfect. God is still god, regardless. People fail all the time, but I still love some of them and believe in some of them. ULTIMATELY ..... I am hoping God will succeed. ULTIMATELY. Not just in my life, but also the afterlife.

This is another point to discuss concerning faith .... faith is the what isn't seen, right? It's what you hope for, but don't have yet so to speak. So, faith is different from fact.

Faith and fact are almost mutually exclusive. They can be related .... like, you have faith in something, and then it comes to pass becoming fact. It's no longer hope, it's a reality.

This is the difference between the postcard and the real world. The picture the bible paints is one of HOPE .... you are trusting it to convey realities. But they themselves aren't the reality. They are stories .... stories you were not present to witness, nor see with your own eyes. Like anything that you take secondhand.

Now when it comes to God .... the attributes you find mentioned in the bible concerning God .... if you haven't experienced them yourself, you are HOPING in them. When they become a reality, they are then fact. Until then it's faith.

I'm pointing this out, because of the difference between the two. Saying something like, "God is perfect because the bible says so," .... doesn't mean shit really. It doesn't, because I don't know that. It could change tomorrow. The last 40 days, perhaps God treated me perfectly .... but what if God starts doing things that I don't understand, agree with, etc? There comes a point, where some people stop making excuses for god, and trying to pump up his reputation with some of his old deeds that are assumed, OR ..... even making excuses for God based on things he's done previously in your life which are fact.

This is the crux of having a relationship, with ANYBODY. It is how trust is earned ... over time. It is proven, through action. Over time :)

If a stranger comes up to you, and says, "trust me ... here is why ... " there is no rule saying you have to believe him. His resume doesn't mean squat. You choose to trust him. And many have suffered that way .... many have become hurt.

Now lets say over time, he earns your trust. He goes from stranger, to friend .... to even a lover perhaps. Suppose you marry him. Then, one day .... he CHANGES. He starts making choices and doing things that effect you in ways you don't like or want. He apparently starts to lose your trust, etc and so forth.

Do you divorce him? Do you leave him? Do you question him? Do you talk to him about it?

Again ... it's part of a relationships. It is the reality of a thing, that's all. But just going off the bible .... is like pushing God's resume. I no longer need his resume, I need Him to go to work. And He has ... for me .... many times, in many ways. Don't be sorry God has failed me. God is god. I am DISAPPOINTED in God. But God failing me freed me up quite a bit actually ... it showed me the human side of Jesus ... the human side I needed to see. The side that isn't powerful, the side that is weak. The side that values a person above the truth .... values love above earning things. It showed me how god can love a bunch of hairless monkeys called people, when for all intent and purposes He should still be destroying them left and right :) I would, if I were God.

So God failing me ... I wouldn't consider it a normal family if I didn't experience God's words falling to the ground. BUT .... ultimately I hope they stand up. They just haven't. They have, in an underhanded and twisted sort of way with me. Not always, just ... right now. It's my path. That's all. I still have the HOPE .... but that hope isn't fact. Get it? I'm not walking around saying something is fact, when I don't know it for a fact. It's just a hope. Until then, as far as I'm concerned, God failed big time in this one way in particular .... the most important way to me personally. He's still God though. With or without me acknowledging it. And I still love god, in my way. I still have some trust for Him .... but he lost some trust from me. But ... I still have hope.

No amount of showing me God's resume will change that ... because I know the living breathing God. Not day old bread from 2000 years ago. I don't gain comfort from postcards that much anymore. I am in a promised land full of war and despair and blood. The postcard isn't as pretty as I was told. I'm an Israelite :)

ttyl ;)
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Are you really an Israelite?!?! :) That is awesome!!! I feel blessed to talk to you. :D

This conversation can easily branch off into a much wider discussion that can go on for a while. Which I'm not opposed to.

I see what you are saying. This is my view on the topic: Jesus never promised me that life would be "good" or easy or the way I expected it to be, or that I would approve of what happened. But He did promise to give me the strength to overcome. And no matter what happens in this life, He has guaranteed my salvation, the next life. So in my opinion God does not fail. (As you probably already noticed from my signature, lol!). This life sucks, but the next life wont.

Are you saying that if you disagree with God's actions or don't understand what is happening that it means God failed? Just trying to understand you. :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconjuansrx:
juansrx Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I admire you for having a great talent AND having a great skill to use it right.
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:iconemberblue:
Emberblue Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
God gets all the credit for that. :)
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:iconartistxero:
ArtistXero Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I go with the majority on awesome.
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