Three times, James states, 'Faith without works is dead!' Here's how James' teaching agrees with and complements the teaching of Paul on justification.
Because we are all sinners, we have earned only death; justification is not earned, but must come through faith and believing God as did our father Abraham.
We have been called, not just to believe in Christ, but also to overcome sin, an action that takes a great deal of effort. John Ritenbaugh takes pains to explain God's act of justification and what we are required to do in response.
Works are necessary for a Christian, and have not been neutralized by grace. Good works serve as the evidence of faith; faith without works is dead.
A summary of the Covenants, Grace, and Law series, reiterating the differences in the Covenants and the respective places of grace and law in God's purpose.
'Grace' is a term that represents God's awesome generosity toward us, His continuously flowing blessings and saving acts. It goes beyond just forgiveness.
The yoke of bondage Paul refers to in Galatians was a combination of the code of regulations added by the Pharisees and Gnostic ritualism, not God's Law.
Righteousness consists of applying the Law's letter and/or intent. Sin constitutes a failure of living up to the standards of what God defines as right.
Acts 5:32 declares that God gives His Spirit to those who obey Him, yet some argue that keeping God's law is not necessary. What is the truth?
The two men who go to the Temple to pray contrast in character, belief, and self-examination. The contrast shows how to be justified before God.
Paul's writings, because of their complexity, are frequently twisted to say that he was anti-law. By denigrating God's law, the unconverted set their own standards.
In Galatians, Paul took issue with the Halakhah, not God's word. Halakhah was a massive collection of human opinion that placed a yoke on its followers.
Christ will empower us, but will not live our lives for us. The marching orders for our pilgrimage derive from God's Word, containing His holy law.
God established permanent patterns, electing Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as all of those He has called. This election should be our obsession.
John Reid stresses that in this time of confusion and rapid change, we have a desperate need for something solid upon which to grasp or embrace. Some of the most secure and solid things we could ever attain would be the myriad promises of God, found enumerated in His Covenants. Our prior ineptness at keeping God's Law has been …
The book of James applies to us after the sanctification process has begun. The most effective way of eliminating sin is to do righteousness.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the intent or purpose of the scripture in Deuteronomy 23:2 prohibiting offspring from illegitimate unions (often carrying psychological baggage and irreversible physical damage) from holding offices of responsibility in physical Israel for ten generations. Acts 14 begins with the people of the …
Not one in a hundred knows what salvation is—how to get it or when you will receive it. Don't be too sure you do! Here is the truth, made plain.
Galatians 4:9-10 is a favorite crutch of those who claim Christians no longer need to observe God's holy days. However, Paul's meaning is quite different.
Forgiveness is only the beginning of the grace process, enabling us to grow to the stature of Christ. Paradoxically, grace puts us under obligation to obey.
Paul never taught any Jew to forsake the Law of Moses, but he did warn against Pharisaical additions for the expressed purpose of attaining justification.
The days, months, and times of Galatians 4:10 do not refer to God's Holy Days (which are not weak or beggarly), but to pagan rites the Galatians came out of.
Jesus and Abraham rose above their emotional pulls by exercising living faith—a faith built on acts of obedience. Faith can never be separated from works.
Richard Ritenbaugh asserts that the epistle of James stresses both faith and works, emphasizing those factors necessary for growth, enabling us to produce a bountiful harvest of fruit. We are to exercise humility and impartiality, taking particular effort to bring our tongues under control, being cautiously slow to speak, …
John Ritenbaugh asserts that understanding comes through sacrifice and that our lives alternate between light (understanding) and darkness (confusion). Abraham's experiences teach us not to try to force God's will by contrivances of the flesh. When any sin or self- will is involved, the fruits of such an endeavor will be bitter …
Where can we find the true religion, the true church, in all this confusion? Only the church Christ founded and heads today has the answers to eternal life.
While the Bible does not contain all knowledge, it does contain foundational principles, enabling people to live in a godly, spiritual manner.
John Reid, inspired by the early farming experiences of one of his sales colleagues, reflects that the Feast of Tabernacles (a harvest season) depicts the reward of diligent management of time and resources. The images of plowing (breaking up clods), sowing seed, cultivating, and harvesting are applied to our spiritual condition …