As an InterVarsity area director and now as a pastor, I have often been asked to fill out recommendation forms for people who are candidates for positions with various Christian ministries. Some of those forms omit the question that I always find the most revealing: How have you observed the candidate's faith affecting his or her lifestyle? I try to imagine James at the head of any of these mission agencies or parachurch organizations, and I expect he would insist on including that question. Why would he want to hire someone in whose actions there was not good evidence of faith?
We have already found James insisting that genuine faith must be put into practice. He began speaking of faith right away (1:3), and he was blunt in telling his readers to do what the word says (1:22). His letter thus far could be broadly outlined as follows:
Maintaining faith in the midst of trials
Putting faith into practice by being doers of the word
An example of practicing one's faith: impartiality
It is a natural flow of thought for James now to draw this together by explaining the theological unity of faith and actions. He argues his case first with logic (2:14-18) and then with examples (2:19-25). But he "sustains a single, theological argument throughout" concerning the issue that "lies at the very heart of James' concern" (Moo 1985:99).
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading to Bible Gateway Plus. Bible Gateway Plus equips you to have in-depth biblical discussions with your friends, your family, and your peers. Try it free for 30 days!