How can one have faith or believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life; if eternal life is not forthcoming at the point
of faith, but, is contingent on some faithfulness or purity or other such nonguaranteeable performance on the part of the
one believing? Answer: No way!
James 2:26 speaks not to the condition of a man, but to that condition of his faith. So faith
without works is dead.
\Not, the believer without works is dead.
Yet there is an operational component by which we may be dead as useless or harmful to the cause of Christ
though eternally alive by faith in Jesus. Tis the missing of this point by no-theologians that makes the gospel of Christ
of no effect as when failure at religiousity is said to result in loss of salvation.
Why is this important? Because it affects the results of gospel preaching. If I can influence one to trust
in Christ I know he is going to heaven when he dies. And God is pleased to have a new eternal son or daughter.
"If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for
what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality
of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer
loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians
Eph.2:4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when
we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And
hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That
in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of
God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created
in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
James 2:14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?
can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you
say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful
to the body; what doth it profit? 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea,
a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my
works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20But
wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works,
when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was
faith made perfect? 23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto
him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified,
and not by faith only. 25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers,
and had sent them out another way? 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without
works is dead also. CONTRAST
John 3:10b Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11Verily,
verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly
things? 13And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven,
even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14And as Moses lifted up the serpent
in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15That whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that
the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but
he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather
than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the
light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that
doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
31He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he
that cometh from heaven is above all. 32And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth
his testimony. 33He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34For he
whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. 35The Father
loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting
life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.