“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Many Bible readers feel confused by what seems like a contradiction between Paul’s writing and James’ concerning saved by faith versus saved by works. Martin “Luther, according to the Holman Bible Dictionary, Disciple’s Study Bible and other references, had the greatest difficulty with what James wrote about faith and works in the second chapter of his book.” link
“Faith alone saves, but saving faith is never alone.” (John Calvin)
12. Living, active, saving faith
Saving faith is active, effective, worthwhile, alive, obedient, and committed.
An active faith manifests itself in a life of obedience to God—growing in his attributes and fruit of the Spirit. Like showing compassion and mercy and meeting the needs of others.
13. Head knowledge only
Anyone who claims to believe in God but doesn’t produce any evidence through corresponding action is deceived. It’s incomplete, dead, and not productive.
Many consider themselves Christians because their parents and grandparents were. As the saying goes, God doesn’t have any grandchildren.
Or some may consider themselves Christians because they know Bible stories and other basic beliefs.
Anything we truly believe causes action. Faith is a heartfelt conviction (Romans 10:10) that is felt so strongly, it influences our actions. Those who say they believe and yet act contrary to that belief are deceived. That’s not Bible faith. 2
Because the mind of the flesh is hostile toward God; for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be. (Romans 8:7)
Even fallen angels believe God exists and shake with fear. But they do not produce good fruit. Quite the contrary.
True saving faith
Abraham’s faith caused him to trust God with the life of his son Isaac. God called Isaac his friend.
Rahab, although engaged in a sinful profession, was pronounced righteous because she trusted in the God of the spies. We know about her faith because she risked her life to protect them.
She didn’t yet know Yahweh God, but she believed the rumors she heard about Him and made a commitment with her whole heart.
14. Personal application
Upon self-reflection, I realize I’m quick to willingly, joyfully, and driven to help others in need.
However, the longer the person needs caregiving, encouragement or financial help, the more my patience, joy, and desire diminish.
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2 AWM Living Commentary
Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.
My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 28 Day 5
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