For years, several questions regarding faith have (re)surfaced.
Take a peek into my mind…
According to James, is there “alone” faith and a faith that is effective and productive? If so, this raises the question, effective and productive of what? Of fruit? Of works? Do both impact justification? If James describes two different categories of faith (an “alone” faith and an effective, productive faith), is only one truly salvific? If obedience to the law maintains or preserves salvation, what’s the quota?
I believe that the faith that alone justifies is not unproductive of works. Faith according to Paul is the wholehearted trust in God that according to James produces works. There is nothing we do that saves, but salvation does transform our whole life. It becomes different and produces fruit and good works. As a rookie theologian, I believe James writes of faith as proof of justification. The vindication of righteousness is our good works. And complimentary to James, Paul writes of faith as the ground of justification, for we cannot have something to boast about. It is Christ who is the ground of our justification. The conclusion: our justification is by faith alone, but it is not a faith that is alone.
Jesus came to live the life that we can’t live – a life of obedience.
He lived in perfect obedience to the Father. To be a Christian is to say that I rest on Christ’s completed work because “it is finished.” What exactly was finished?
Everything needed for life and salvation in God.
Everything is finished for the perfectionist, the moralist, and the “to-do list” maker.
For, in Him, we find rest.