Bible Quiz – James 2

Learning Box (JS2A):

In James 2:14-26 James is saying that faith without works is a false (dead) faith. This harkens back to the first chapter when James says that a man who hears the word but does not act on it deceives themselves [James 1:22]. Although people are saved by their faith, authentic faith is proven to be true faith through the works that someone does. If someone claims to have faith in Jesus Christ but does not fulfill His word, that man’s faith is dead (fake) and will not save him. Let us therefore judge ourselves and see if we are fulfilling God’s word by the way we live to make sure that we are not deceiving ourselves into believing that we hold to the true faith when in fact we do not.

Learning Box (JS2B):

In Genesis 15:6 it is said, “And [Abraham] believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness”. This statement was made after God told Abraham that he would have a son and that his descendants would be like the stars of the sky. This faith was accounted to Abraham as righteousness and was what saved Abraham. However, James 2:21 says that Abraham was justified (a term that means “saved”) by works when he offered Isaac on the altar. So was it Abraham’s faith or works that justified him? By hearing the command of God to sacrifice his promised Isaac, and by actually carrying out the command, Abraham’s faith in the promise of God (that his descendants would be like the stars of the sky) was confirmed or proven to be true. Abraham believed in God to the point where he thought that God would raise Isaac back from the dead to fulfill His promise (Hebrews 11:17-19). In the end, it was his faith that was accounted to Abraham as righteousness justified (saved) Him. True faith justifies (saves) us. But true faith is faith that is proven true by works. If you really believed in God and His promises, your life and your actions would show it. Otherwise, your faith is dead and you are deceiving yourself.

Leaning Box (JS2C):

Many people take this verse out of its context and say that you need to work to receive your salvation. However, this misses James’ whole point that it is works that prove that your faith is authentic and not dead. Faith is the thing that saves you, but it is works that prove that your faith is authentic and that you are not deceiving yourself. For a more full explanation of James’ example with Abraham please see Learning Box JS2B.

Learning Box (JS2D):

Rahab is the woman in Joshua 2 who hides the Hebrew spies in Jericho and saves their lives. Rahab claims that she believes in the LORD and that she “knows that the LORD has given [the Israelites] the land [of Jericho]” [Joshua 2:9]. Rahab claimed to have had faith in God. But this faith was proven by the fact that she spared the lives of the two spies who came into her house. She could have handed them over to the king thinking that Jericho might stand a chance against Joshua’s army. However, by sparing their lives she showed that she truly believed in God’s promise to the Israelites that God has given them Jericho and the entire land of Canaan. She truly believed that Jericho stood no chance against the army of Joshua since God had already promised them victory. Thus, her work of sparing the spies proved that her faith was authentic.