Faith Without Works

What is faith?

When discussing faith in religious circles, it is often said that, "…faith without works is dead." This quotation from James 2:26b is yanked out context such that the popular understanding of this verse is completely twisted and unbiblical. Even study of the context will yield little, unless the dark "religious eyeglasses of blindness" are removed and put aside.

The common religious understanding of this verse is as follows:

Your religious beliefs have no effect if you do not produce charitable works which are instigated, directed and validated by the religious institution which you belong to. You must obediently provide the resources (time, talents and money) in accordance with instructions and approval from the religious leaders who are responsible for you.

The common religious understanding, as stated above, has absolutely nothing to do with the verses in James chapter 2.

The words "faith" and "works" (in this context) have been misunderstood for centuries, since western religion has redefined them. Religion had to redefine these words as the institution and its' audience became less and less spiritual. The unspiritual audience could be accommodated and the spiritual audience could be suppressed and controlled.

The quotation is a figure of speech called "oxymoron". With the correct biblical understanding of the words "faith" and "works", it can be understood that "faith without works" is an impossible condition which cannot happen.

Faith is kinetic, energetic and powerful. It is NOT a mental process which conforms to a particular world or religious point of view. The apostle Paul states that the life he now LIVES he LIVES by the faith of Jesus Christ! He is not discussing an ethical or a religious system.

It is important to understand that the Greek word for "faith" is the same as the word for "believe". As illustrated in Hebrews 11, holy spirit upon a person is required for that person to exercise "faith" or "believing". This is what brings to pass the power of God in the senses realm in order to accomplish the will of God. It is this kinetic, energetic "faith" which pleases God.

Noah had faith

The account of Noah in Hebrews 11:7 illustrates how this works.

[7] By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Noah was first "…warned by God…" which is revelation, including word of knowledge and word of wisdom. Knowledge about future events, Wisdom instructing what to do about them. When Noah moved to obey what he had heard, faith or believing was energized. These works required the power of God in operation. No man simply using his own resources and efforts could ever accomplish what Noah did. No man, by his own efforts could "condemn the world" or become an "heir of righteousness".

We have faith

As it worked with Noah, it works with us. God, via the gift of holy spirit, provides knowledge and wisdom. Moving with obedience on these instructions will cause faith, or believing to be energized and the power of God goes into operation. If you are instructed by revelation to speak, and you obey, you then speak by faith, or believing. If you are instructed by revelation to shut up, and you obey, you are silent by faith, or believing.

Galatians 5:5

For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

The manifestation of holy spirit is required for anyone to endure in this world, eagerly anticipating the return of Jesus Christ. This is how we perform the works of God and how we worship him in spirit and in truth. This is how we please him.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is available at Amazon
The paperback is available at CreateSpace
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2018 Keith S. Radcliffe

Biblical Enigmas

Bible Study Enigmas

The Bible was originally written by and for people of the ancient middle east. Its' language and cultural background are alien to those with a modern western cultural background. It is rare for Biblical scholars to recognize these cultural differences when producing their theological works. For the most part, Biblical scholarship, theology and Christian religious practice is confined to a Greek/Roman philosophical box. This condition has existed since the 2nd century CE.
 
There exists an unused option for interpreting scripture which does recognize the ancient cultural background of the Bible. This technique uses Biblical Cultural Anthropology. So, what is this and how do you apply it to your Biblical studies? There are now some resources available which will help answer this question and many other questions. 
 
My friend, John Brown has written and published 3 booklets entitled "Bible Study Enigmas", volumes 1 – 3. These books are "intended to benefit the average pew sitter". They are written simply, without a lot of jargon and theological language.
(An Enigma is "a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling or difficult to understand.)
 
In these 3 volumes, cultural anthropology is applied to general biblical topics, the New Testament and to general biblical topics.
 
Volume 1 handles the following topics:
 
Who is "us" in Genesis?
What is the Afterlife?
What is Biblical Inspiration?
What is the True Israel?
What is a God-Man Messiah?
 
Volume 2 topics:
 
Hebrew Language Idioms
First Century Culture
Rabbi Yeshua
Pentecost Festival
Pharisee Saul
 
Volume 3 topics:
 
Hebrew Circles in History
Original Story Episodes
Biblical Giants
Sky-Gods and Demons
End Time Conditions
 
Here is the link to John Brown's Author page on Amazon.
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe