Passage: 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? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Journal: Justification by faith alone is significant. First, it provides hope for the vilest sinner, for God can call anyone at anytime from anywhere to a saving faith. It is His gift to give, and His gift is given to whom He chooses. Second, the child of God knows that the vilest sin that he or she has committed (or will commit) is forgiven on the merits of Christ's righteousness. The temporal consequences of this vile behavior remain, but the eternal penalty has been paid in full.
Therefore, James has great concern against mere intellectual faith or, as he puts it, a dead faith. For a dead faith cannot produce life and cannot bring glory to God. It is a living faith that will bring forth works, and in works that glorify God there is an evidence of saving and genuine faith. If luck is the residue of design (Branch Rickey), then works are the residue of faith. I was reading the Declaration of Independence to the kids last night, and it begins by proclaiming that some truths are self-evident. In the same manner, our gift of faith must be self-evident; self-evident in the manner of the life we lead and in the measure of works we undertake.