Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of James Chapter 2
Metaphysically Interpreting James 2:14-26
2:14What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him?2:15If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food, 2:16and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body; what doth it profit? 2:17Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.
2:18Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith. 2:19Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and shudder. 2:20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? 2:21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? 2:22Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect; 2:23and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God. 2:24Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith. 2:25And in like manner was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 2:26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.
May 30, 1909: James 2:14-26
The question of the relation between faith and works has never been settled. Some theologians contend that a man can be saved by faith alone, while others are sure that it takes works to complete the salvation. But there is diversity of opinion as to the character of the works.
There are two kinds of faith; one is founded on intellectual perception of spiritual things and the other on true spiritual Understanding. The first is not naturally followed by works, while the second, by virtue of the law under which it exists, completes itself in works. Paul describes this true faith in Heb. 11, and in all the examples given, works resulted. There was no question whatever of the absence of works. Whoever has this spiritual faith must manifest it in some way. This faith is Substance and brings forth fruit, as naturally as a rich soil produces a crop.
But let no man say what the character of works from spiritual faith shall be. Those who perceive from the intellect claim that the evidence of faith is in such outer works as clothing and feeding the bodies of men, while the spiritually wise see a much greater need in clothing their naked souls.
Spiritual faith is the most real thing in existence. It is, as Paul says, a substance, a living substance, and those who have it are in the assurance of the reality of things that others cannot see.
By thinking continuously about God as the very Substance of supply, a faith is built up in the mind that produces everything that thought puts into it. Many people have almost unconsciously developed this faith and it has produced marvelous results in their works. The several large orphan asylums built and operated by George Mueller in Bristol, and other places in England, are striking evidences of this spiritual faith. And this man knew the value of absolute faith. It is related that his chief steward came to him just before dinner one day and said that the children would have to eat their meal without bread, as there was none and no money to buy it. Mr. Mueller told the steward to go right back to his work, that there would be bread in time, and sure enough a few minutes before dinner a wagon of bread was sent by a benevolent baker. The steward was at once discharged by Mueller, who told him that he could not afford to have anyone in his house who doubted the providence of God. It is not safe to have a single doubt in your mind, if you want the unfailing fruit of faith.
– UNITY magazine
October 6, 1929: James 2:14-17
Should faith always be followed by works? Yes. “Faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself.” Our acts show forth the actual attitude of our hearts and lives. If we have faith and love, we shall act constructively, as well as think constructively, for the true uplift and good of all.
August 10, 1941: James 2:14-17
Why is faith with works more potent than faith alone? Because faith without works is theoretical, and nothing untried or theoretical is of substantial value. Faith is an inner knowing, and this comes best through testing the ground of one's confidence. Otherwise, knowing diminishes instead of increasing.
October 26, 1947: James 2:14-20
Why is faith with works more powerful than faith alone? Because faith without works is theoretical, and what is untried or theoretical is of little substantial value. Faith is an inner knowing that increases when it is combined with works but diminishes when it is left alone.
What is each person's responsibility? To live up to the best that he knows. If he knows how to do good, but, from force of habit, continues to express error instead, he is following falsehood, not Truth.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 10-31-2013