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Featured The Epistle of James > theology . . . love-ology (c:

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by com7fy8, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 2:25 >

    "Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?" (James 2:25)

    Now, here James gives an example of a work and he uses a harlot! He could have used a lady like Abigail who helped David avoid making a major error against how God would have him rule by love > 1 Samuel 25. Or, he could have used Mary sitting at Jesus' feet and hearing His word, instead of running around crazy doing house chores (Luke 10:38-42).

    No, James . . . a Jewish guy, to my knowledge . . . uses a whore for his example of a work which justifies a person.

    Because Jesus wants all of us. Jesus suffered and died like He did, on Calvary, with hope for any and all people. So, James agrees with Jesus . . . and with Paul, of course :)

    So, James uses Rahab as an example of a person doing a good work; but, also, James says her good work justified her.

    Yes, justify can mean how we try to make ourselves look right, when we are wrong :)

    Ones might try to use good works to make up for how we are wrong and/or have done wrong . . . so we become somehow right. B-u-t > if our character has not become right . . . we still have a problem.

    Also, ones understand and trust that justify means a work is evidence of our deeper change which is because of faith, but it does not mean the work has done anything for us. And we are at risk of making gestures, so we can fool ourselves into supposing we have proven ourselves to be righteous.

    And I think there are people who believe that works justifying means doing things ceremonial which guarantee us salvation. Someone can be an evil person, but copy-cat certain things and be told he or she is now forgiven and going to Heaven > even while the person has not been changing to become like Jesus!!

    But, in any case, we need how we are made right not only in our status or position, of what we are declared to be, but we need how our character becomes how Jesus in His love is truly right.

    "Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

    We were justified and sanctified when we first trusted in Jesus and He saved us. We were sanctified, meaning we became set apart to God, no longer in Satan's kingdom > we became holy by becoming God's children. And God's righteousness was imputed to us, making us right in our standing with God; so, also, we were justified, meaning made right in our standing.

    But we did not become how Jesus is holy in the nature of His love, and we did not become righteous all the way how Jesus in His love is right. This takes major lifelong correction > Hebrews 12:4-14 > and maturing. You can not just say it is so.

    Plus, by the way, God uses us all to help one another to grow in Jesus. We are members of each other, we so need each other; because God has made it this way.

    At salvation, we became right, simply by getting with Jesus. It is kind of like how you become a champion simply by joining a Super Bowl championship team. It takes no practice with the team, in order to simply be drafted onto the team. You become right in your status,

    simply by joining the right team :idea: :oldthumbsup::tutu: :wave:

    But then there are works which turn you into a player who is right for actually playing on the team. There are things which help you get
    healthier and stronger. There are activities of bonding and learning to coordinate with others on the team. Ones say a successful team needs to become like a family. Even how you relate with your family can effect how well you are ready to play.

    So, in our works we need to do things which help us to
    grow and relate as family . . . with God our Heavenly Father and Jesus our Groom and one another.

    So, the examples which James gives of works are possibly an introductory sample. These examples seem more done by individuals acting on their own. But we have :groupray:, among other things, and :help::pray::prayer::hug: with one another. We worship as family, do the hospitality with others.

    And sit at Jesus' feet and hear His word.
     
  2. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 2:26 >

    "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:26)

    I see that the "works" are in God's love which gives life to faith. And James has given examples of works which are works of love, in this chapter > helping a needy person, putting God first like Abraham did when he offered up his son Isaac, and Rahab helping God's servants. These were personally loving works.

    Physical works, I would think, would not give life to spiritual faith. But God's love in His works can be the life of > "faith working through love" (in Galatians 5:6).

    "Let all that you do be done with love." (1 Corinthians 16:14)

    So, this is how James and Paul would agree, I would say :)
     
  3. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 3:1 >

    "My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment." (James 3:1)

    So, it appears Jesus does have teachers. But our real Teacher is Jesus.

    And does Jesus teach us only by things He says? He teaches us by His example.

    "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma." (Ephesians 5:2)

    So, His teaching is for how to become and live in love. It, then, is not only about what to believe and think.
     
  4. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 3:2 >

    "For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body." (James 3:2)

    James says "we all" can stumble > "in many things" < we can; we do. James a writer of Canon Scripture here does not say "you all stumble", but "we all". He might be so great in Jesus; yet, he does not put himself above us; he is human, too.

    So, here is a case of how a great man of God is not promoting that he is more than the rest of us! So, it is wise for us, also, not to be looking for reasons and ways to put ourselves over others and look down on anyone >

    "nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3)

    So, I would say, we can pray and trust God to correct us and change our character so we do not so readily stray and sin and stumble.

    In my mind I can stumble in word, imagining talking the wrong way with people. I might not show this while I am actually with people and writing, but don't be fooled. So, "we all" is correct to include me. Oh yes, and I can get into trying to control my lady friend to do what I am sure is right; so trying to control someone can be included in stumbling in word and failing in how I am relating.

    But Peter says to be "examples", not "lords over". Be an expert in God's word, by being an example of how God has us living His word.
     
  5. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 3:3 >

    "Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body." (James 3:3)

    So, a little bit can control a whole horse. I think of how the horse is trained to go along with what the bit has the horse do.

    A person's tongue can control people and a lot of things. But, of course, I would say, ones can not be controlled by someone's tongue unless they have somehow been groomed and trained to go along with the person speaking.

    So, we need to be prayerfully careful how we use our tongues, but also be prayerfully careful about if and how we go along with what someone else says. This includes if we trust what someone says. It can work very well to make sure with God.


    And in relationships, it can be wise to be aware of how someone is developing to understand things we say and how we say them. And best of all is to say what God wants, then trust God for the results.
     
  6. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 3:4 >

    "Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires." (James 3:4)

    So, a very small rudder can control which way a giant ship goes. The ship might be driven by a strong wind, but a weak little rudder can decide which way the ship is driven. Like this, a little tongue can effect great matters.

    I think of how a person can be driven by lust or raging anger; yet, the person is being guided, the person is choosing which way to go. A few thoughts or words of the tongue could decide which way someone goes, into raging winds of lust or anger, or in peaceful breezing easing us in God's love. Even when an unwise person is quiet, still the person can say, oh I was ok to do that lust or anger thing. We do make choices according to our commitments and our character; our tongues speak and guide from what is in our hearts > "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks," Jesus says, in Matthew 12:34.

    We know how the Titanic was guided by a small rudder; but when that giant ship was discovered to be heading toward an iceberg, it had momentum so it then could not very quickly and easily be turned to get clear of that iceberg. So, that little rudder, like our tongue, might be able to guide a great thing, but it might not have total control of the consequences.

    So, James has already said how we need to be "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God." (in James 1:19-20)

    So, it is wise to be steered with our tongue in God's peace guiding us, not in a storm of rage and lust. It is wise to first in prayer get into God's peace guiding us, so our tongues and thoughts and all will be guided in God's peace with our Creator's creativity for how to love and be a good example to each and every person.

    "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." (Colossians 3:15)

    "with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love," (Ephesians 4:2)

    Always be ready with love's "longsuffering", so our tongues are influencing our attention and activities, from God's love.

    Where are we guiding our attention, using our tongue??
     
  7. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 3:5 >

    "Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!" (James 3:5)

    Something I think of now is how the tongue might boast great things and kindle a whole forest; but the tongue is not the source of the boasting and not what starts the fire. Deeper, in a person's character of one's heart, this is where it starts.

    The little rudder may steer the whole ship, but someone is making the decisions about which way the rudder will be turned, in order to turn the ship.

    So, yes, life and death are in the power of the tongue, but that power comes from deeper . . . from either God or "the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (in Ephesians 2:2). So, we are wise to submit to God and how He guides our tongue . . . all the time, I would say. And so what we speak can minister God's grace >

    "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29)

    So, yes we can minister God's own grace, by speaking what God has us saying.
     
  8. Guojing

    Guojing Well-Known Member

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    There is no need to artificially force James to agree with Paul.

    The book of James was the first nt letter ever written, before Paul wrote anything.

    James was writing to the Jews and it was clear in the ot that faith and works were required for salvation.

    Acts 21 which was way after James was written, clearly indicated that he disagrees with Paul on how jews are to be justified before God. They needed to obey the law and even be zealous of it.
     
  9. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James' examples of works are not works of the law . . . in chapter two. Helping a needy person is something the New Testament tells us to do. And what Abraham did was before the Law was given, plus the Law tells us not to sacrifice our children. And helping God's servants is included in the New Testament, and Rahab was not a keeper of the Law, that we see clearly written, anyway; she was a harlot.

    And James does not directly say works of the Law of Moses are necessary for salvation. He gives examples of works of love, in chapter two, and Paul says we need "faith working through love," in Galatians 5:6. So, you are right that there is no need to force how there is agreement between them; they simply agree, in doctrine and in spiritual meaning. But, yes, people simply say otherwise, though there is no direct disagreement . . . except in how people understand what they are saying.
     
  10. Guojing

    Guojing Well-Known Member

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    Have you read Acts 21? James and Paul clearly did not agree when it comes to the role of the Law, after one believes in Jesus.

    I don't get how anyone can conclude that "they simply agree, in doctrine and in spiritual meaning."
     
  11. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 3:6 >

    "And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell." (James 3:6)

    This is not good. But it is good how James tells us this, so we can see our need for how God alone is able to change us so our tongues minister His own grace >

    "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Ephesians 2:29)

    Later, James says,

    "Therefore submit to God." (in James 4:6)

    I see how this is included in the context of how James says the tongue is such a problem. It is, but with God we are able to speak so we minister His own grace. And, of course, Ephesians 4:29 is what our Apostle Paul says, therefore helping us with understanding what James means. So . . . again . . . I discover how Paul and James agree . . . spiritually, in how things work in God's kingdom, not only in doctrine, but how they indicate that things work in God's kingdom >

    Without God, our tongues cause quite a mess; but in submission to God our words minister God's own grace. So > @Guojing > I would offer this is not forced but what we discover with God.
     
  12. Guojing

    Guojing Well-Known Member

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    So you rather ignore Acts 21, which happened after James wrote his letter? Okay then.
     
  13. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes. But this is in context with how, earlier, they had that big dispute about if Gentiles must keep the Law of Moses > there Peter and James and Paul are in agreement with the Holy Spirit. And I do not see any scripture which requires that a Jew must still keep the Law of Moses. And Peter says they were not able to keep it, in Acts 15:10 < he says neither the fathers nor they were able to bear the yoke of the Law.

    And, of course, Jesus says to take His yoke upon us, "and you will find rest for your souls." (in Matthew 11:29) So, from this I see no one is expected to bear the yoke of the Law of Moses.

    But, yes, as you say . . . I think you mean, anyway . . . in Acts 21 Paul is told to do a Law thing in the Temple, in order to show he upholds the Law of Moses. So, yes this can be an issue. Ones might see this as a contradiction. But Paul says he made himself "all things to all men" so he could "save some" > 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 > with Jews, Paul was like a Jew, with Gentiles he was like a Gentile, except he kept with Jesus and how Jesus guided him.

    Actually, Paul knew he was "neither Jew nor Greek", in Jesus > Galatians 3:28. But he would speak Hebrew with ones who spoke Hebrew, so he could reach people where they were.

    And yes Peter said he had not been able to bear the yoke of the Law; yet, in Antioch he went back on that, by withdrawing from the Gentiles when certain people came from James > Galatians 2:11-13. But he was wrong, playing the "hypocrite", Paul says. And Paul said what he did, in order to correct that. Nowhere does God's word say that hypocrisy continued. Plus, it does not say James or those people from him expected Peter to withdraw himself. James had made their agreement, in Acts 15; so it is reasonable or possible that Peter was just making things up which he didn't need to do.

    But even if James was wrong, I find we can need correction, more than once. Jesus corrected the disciples . . . more than once, about ones trying to be more than others, I would say. And Peter, even after he had received the Holy Spirit and had ministered the Holy Spirit to the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius, still was able to play the hypocrite.

    But to me it looks like Peter matured after that. I personally think his two epistles are what he became able to be inspired to write, after he became a very mature and sound example of Jesus. So, I wouldn't hold him to wrong things he did, earlier.
     
  14. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 3:7 >

    "For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind." (James 3:7)

    So, yes humans can control animals. But how have we done with controlling our own selves? >

    James 3:8 >

    "But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." (James 3:8)

    Even so, already James has written >

    "let every man be swift to hear,
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . slow to speak,
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .slow to wrath"
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    (in James 1:19-20).

    And I see, now, how this goes with >

    "Do all things without complaining and disputing," (in Philippians 2:13-16)

    @Guojing > ^ h ^ e ^ r ^ e ^ is another example of agreement, not only of doctrine or principles of how things work in God's kingdom, but of how to relate in God's love. We need to make sure we don't ignore this, by how we can decoy ourselves with arguing about how we understand a few words and ideas. Only God is able to change our character so we are attentive to how Paul and James and Peter mean for us to relate in love.

    With God, we can speak right, and even minister God's own grace (Ephesians 4:29). And our Apostle Peter, also, says we can minister God's own grace > 1 Peter 4:9-10.

    "Therefore submit to God." (in James 4:7) God is able to have us succeeding, with Him in us succeeding >

    "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)

    God in us succeeds in doing what He is committed to doing with each of us; God in us does with us what He means by His word . . . so better than our trying and what we deny we can do.

    "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful." (Colossians 3:15)

    So, Paul helps us to see what James means by submitting to God > we obey however our Heavenly Father personally rules us in His own peace in our "hearts". And Jesus says "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (in Matthew 12:34). Godly speaking comes with submission to God in His peace in our "hearts".
     
  15. Guojing

    Guojing Well-Known Member

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    Thus, to conclude what you are saying, Paul disagreed with James that the law is required for the Jew, he himself said we are dead to the Law (Romans 7:4).

    Nevertheless, for the sake of reaching his fellow Jews, he agreed to James's suggestion in Acts 21. But events in Acts 22 showed that it doesn't matter, the Jews continue to be incensed by him going to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21-22).

    As for James and the elders in Jerusalem HQ, not a single one of them bothered to come to Paul's defense anyway, for reasons that we will only know once we are in heaven. Again, this to me is clear evidence that your belief, that ""they simply agree, in doctrine and in spiritual meaning." is very hard to justify.

    So my conclusion, as I have already stated, James and Paul disagreed when it comes to Jews and the Law. They do agree, for the sake of compromise, that Gentiles are to be exempted from the Law (Acts 21:25).

    Furthermore, for the sake of unity, James, together with Peter and John, agreed to restrict their ministry to only the Jews and gave Paul the sole guardianship of the Gentile believers. Galatians 2:9

    9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

    When one reads the book of James and it stated in the very first verse that James is writing to the 12 tribes scattered abroad, it is important for us non Jewish believers to understand the above context.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  16. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    But don't you find what James says to be what we all need? For example >

    "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath".
     
  17. Guojing

    Guojing Well-Known Member

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    Yes, like when we read the Old Testament now, we can learn a lot from reading the book of James. It is written FOR our learning, but it is not written TO us.

    But when it comes to church doctrine, for the Body of Christ, we get our doctrine from Paul, who is our Apostle. (Romans 11:13)
     
  18. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    James 3:8 >

    "But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." (James 3:8)

    Only God can have us speaking right.

    "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (James 3:8)

    So, yes, we can minister God's own grace.
     
  19. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    But Paul ministered to Jews. And Paul says in Jesus there is "neither Jew nor Greek" > Galatians 3:28 > similar in Colossians 3:11. This is because all things have become new, in Jesus > 2 Corinthians 5:17. The middle wall between Jews and Gentiles is gone, in Jesus > Ephesians 2:14.

    So, I see this now > yes James says he is writing to "the twelve tribes" > James 1:1 > so they will read this epistle and join us in doing all God means by His word here. Everything in James can help us walk with God, and unsaved Jews are called to join us who have been Jews and Gentiles.
     
  20. Guojing

    Guojing Well-Known Member

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    Well if we say that the ot books can help us walk with God, and you happen to come across the passage where God commanded the Jew who picked up sticks on the sabbath to be stoned, what will be your response?
     
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