“Even so, the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:5-6
PRE-AMBLE by Robert
As we proceed deeper into our journey within the darkness surrounding our days ahead. Matthew Henry’s commentary of James 2, is an insight into the orations of James and Paul.
Their summations reveal how we blend the Old Testament laws and the New Testament walk-in Salvation. It explains what is expected of a sincere walking Believer.
Upon this arises a crucial question, namely, how to reconcile Paul and James. Paul, in his epistles to the Romans and Galatians, seems to assert the directly contrary thing to what James here lays down, saying if often, and with a great deal of emphasis, that we are justified by faith only and not by the works of the law. “Amicæ scriptorium lites, utinam et nostræ.”
There is a pleasing agreement between one part of scripture and another, notwithstanding seeming differences. It was well if the differences among Christians were as easily reconciled. “Nothing,” says Mr. Baxter, “but men’s misunderstanding the plain drift and sense of Paul’s epistles. Could make so many take it for a matter of great difficulty to reconcile Paul and James.”
A general view of those things which are insisted on by the Antinomians may be seen in Mr. Baxter’s Paraphrase: and many ways might be mentioned which have been invented among learned men to make the apostles agree. Still, it may be sufficient only to observe these few things following:–
1. When Paul says that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law (Romans 3:28), he plainly speaks of another sort of work than James does, but not of another kind of faith. Paul speaks of works wrought in obedience to the law of Moses, and before men’s embracing the doctrine of the gospel and he had to deal with those who valued themselves so highly upon those works that they rejected the gospel (as Romans 10:1-21, at the beginning most expressly declares).
Still, James speaks of works done in obedience to the gospel, and as the proper and necessary effects and fruits of sound believing in Christ Jesus. Both are concerned to magnify the faith of the gospel, as that which alone could save us and justify us.
Still, Paul expands it by showing the insufficiency of any works of the law before faith, or in opposition to the doctrine of justification by Jesus Christ, James magnifies the same hope by showing the genuine and necessary products and operations of it are.
2. Paul not only speaks of different works from those insisted on by James, but he speaks of an entirely different use that was made of good practices from what is here urged and intended. Paul had to do with those who depended on the merit of their works in the sight of God.
And thus he might well make them of no manner of account. James had to do with those who cried up faith but would not allow works to be used even as evidence they depended upon a bare profession, as sufficient to justify them and with these, he might well urge the necessity and vast importance of good works.
As we must not break one table of the law, by dashing it against the other, so neither must we break in pieces the law and the gospel, by making them clash with one another: those who cry up the gospel so as to set aside the code, and those who cry up the law so as to set aside the gospel, are both in the wrong for we must take our work before us there must be both faith in Jesus Christ and good works the fruit of faith
3. The justification of which Paul speaks is different from that spoken of by James. The one speaks of our persons being justified before God, the other speaks our faith is justified before men. “Show me thy faith by thy works,” says James, “let thy faith be justified in the eyes of those that behold thee by thy works ” but Paul speaks of justification in the sight of God, who justifies those only that believe in Jesus, and purely on account of the redemption that is in him.
Thus we see that our persons are justified before God by faith. But our hope is justified before men by works. This is so plainly the scope and design of the apostle James that he is but confirming what Paul, in other places, says of his faith, that it is a problematic faith, and confidence working by love, 1Thess. 1:3, Titus 3:8 and many other sites.
4. Paul may be understood as speaking of that justification, which is just beginning, James of that which is complete it is by faith only that we are put into a justified state. Still, then good works come in for the completing of our justification at the last great day then, Come you children of my Father–for I was hungry, and you gave me meat.
OPENING PRAYER by Robert
Thank you, Father, in heaven for the knowledge to recognize all the gifts, which You have bestowed into our relationship with you. I pray Lord for all to be guided through the Holy Spirit to learn the full use of their discernment. Bring into our lives Father the strength to accept your teachings as food for the spirit and soul to nurture our growth. Open our minds, so we might with humbleness bring before your throne those areas of our walk needing your guidance, correction, and forgiveness. In all things, Father, we pray in the name of Yeshua, Amen, and Amen.
CLOSING STATEMENT by Robert
The orations of James and Paul settled the question does the Old Testament Law apply to Born Again believers. The following quote comes from “DARKNESS COMPREHENDS IT NOT,” published Oct 29, 2019. It points out who and why there are victims still walking in darkness.
“What it is that keeps a fool from being wise? His way is right in his own eyes; he thinks he is in the right in everything he does, and therefore asks no advice because he does not apprehend he needs it; he is confident he knows the way, and cannot miss it, and therefore never enquires the way.”
The rule he goes by is to do that which is right in his own eyes, to walk in the way of his heart. Quicquid libet, licet – He makes his will his law.
In doing so, we now see the significance of both sides of the discourse, which Paul and James conducted. By highlighting the understanding of the importance of the Old Testament Law and the melding of Salvation through Repentance with Faith and Justification as the glue which holds both in place.
This knowledge can be skewed in an instant, in James 3:4-6, explains how “For in many things we offend all. If any man offends not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Even so, the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
We recognize Scripture is being fulfilled as time moves forward as revealed in 2
Timothy 3:1. Perilous times shall come, for iniquity shall abound. When there is a general decay of piety and honesty among men, the times are then truly bad (Psalms 12:1): When the godly man ceases and the faithful fail. Observe how these two characters are here put together, the godly and the faithful. As there is no valid policy, so there is no true piety, without honesty.
There is a need for significant attention of mind and clearness of understanding to free men from those corrupt principles and practices which they have been bred up in and long accustomed to for in that case the understanding is commonly bribed and biased by prejudice.
The truth itself laid down (Matthew 15:11), which were opposite to the vulgar errors of that time, and were therefore surprising. Not that which goes into the mouth defileth the man. It is not the kind or quality of our food, nor the condition of our hands, that affects the soul with any moral pollution or defilement.
The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, Romans 14:17. In Mark 7:20 -23, we find how our temples are fouled and where it emanates from. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within and defile the man.
Remember, these messages are given by a humble servant obedient unto our Lord Yeshua as a “Watchman.” I pray for all. ”Our Heavenly Father brings us to the river which bringeth forth fruit so we may partake of its sustenance and be filled spiritually with nurturing wisdom, and humble dedication in service to Yeshua.“ “Blessings to All.” As you go forward in peace, knowledge, and strength. In the name of Yeshua, we pray Amen and Amen.