Friday, May 04, 2007

James --- Faith, Righteousness & Prayer

(1:6-8) But when he asks, he must believe (have faith) and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

(2:20-21) You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

(5:16) The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

James has a message running throughout about the relationship between faith, righteousness, and prayer. In chapter 1 James states that when you pray you must have faith. A faith that does not doubt. In chapter 2 he defines what faith looks like and demonstrates using the example of Abraham that faith lived out brings forth the righteousness that God desires for us. In chapter 5 James completes the picture with the statement that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. So, do I desire that my prayers will be effective and powerful? Yes! Well, am I considered righteous? To answer that question James would have me look at my faith. My faith will be demonstrated in the way I live. It will be demonstrated by my actions. James is not saying that our actions, in and of themselves, make us righteous. Rather, he is saying that genuine faith in Christ alone will produce good deeds. He is saying that righteous actions are the fruit and evidence of true saving faith – not the cause of it.

No comments: