January 8

Posted on Jan 8, 2018

Is there a difference between the teaching of Paul and James on whether a person is saved by faith alone or by faith plus works? Paul writes: “If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. What does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Rom 4:2-3). James says: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?” (Jas 2:21-22). Note the chronology of the events in Genesis 15:6; 17:11; and chapter 22. There is no contradiction. Abraham was declared right by simply taking God at His word (Gen 15). Later, he fulfilled the rite of circumcision (ch 17), unnecessary for his justification since that had already occurred. Much later, his offering of Isaac proved the reality of his faith in God’s word alone. We are justified by faith; if our faith is true, it will be justified by our works.

 

Today’s Reading: Genesis 23-25 Memorize: 1 Samuel 2:3