and Its’ Faith
2 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
Understanding Biblical Truth:
Here, the Apostle James addresses the church. He tells the members of the body, that we are
not to base “the faith” with respect to persons. He refers to “the faith” as the “faith of our
Lord Jesus Christ”. What James is saying
is that our faith, as a church, and as individuals of the body, must mimic the
faith that Christ displayed while He was here on earth as our example, and that
“the faith” should never be tainted by the opinions or ideals of man. Scripture must interpret scripture, solo
Why is this significant?
Who was James to make such a declaration? Does the rejection of this counsel have
consequences, and if so, what might they be?
The Apostle James was not only of the church brethren, but he was
also the actual brother of Jesus Christ.
Christian historians point to James as the leader of the early
church. What was his role as leader of
Christ’s church? How does his role
differ from the roles of other religious leaders? Does it make a difference in the way people
A. Leader –
1. Person who has authority or influence
2. Person who leads, conducts.
B. Pope –
a prelate who as bishop of Rome is the head of the Roman Catholic (Universal) Church
one that resembles a pope (as in
we can see from these definitions, both a leader and a Pope have inherent
authority, and both can influence and direct.
So, what, if any, is the difference between these two forms of
leadership? What is the manner and
limitation of their authority? Does
choosing one form over the other cause a diversion from “the faith of Jesus
Christ”? If so, is that deviation of
faith of Jesus Christ is best explained by the following verse:
Colossians 1:18 – And he (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who
is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have
we clearly see that Jesus is the head of His church. This verse also states that He is the
beginning, or cornerstone, and the One whom the entire church is based upon. It then goes on to ensure that no one can
mistake who this verse is referring to by calling Him, “the firstborn of the
dead”, referring to Christ’s resurrection.
Lastly, this text states that everyone in the body understands His superiority.
let us strictly scrutinize the definitions above, and discover which form of
leadership identifies the true leader of Christ’s church. First, we have Pope. The definitions above state that the Pope has
the authority “that resembles the Pope”, should not the Pope resemble his God? So, what type of authority does the leader of
the Church of Rome poses, and from where is this authority derived?
The Papal Infallibility Doctrine – in Roman Catholic theology, the doctrine that
the pope, acting as the supreme teacher (Rabbi & Master) and
under certain conditions, cannot err when he teaches in matters of faith
or morals. It is believed that Christ
gave this promise to Peter, who they believe to be the first Pope, and that all
subsequent Popes are derived from his (Peter’s) succession. This doctrine is like the Divine Right of
Kings Doctrine. This form of leadership
creates a master and servant relationship and is obtained thru
Mathew 23:8 – But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even
Christ; and all ye are brethren.
The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, 1951 printing, page 50.
We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church,
in the Council of Laodicea, (AD 336) transferred the solemnity from Saturday to
Therefore, from these two doctrines, we find that the
definition of Pope infers supreme authority of a man over Christ’s
Church and the power for such authority are derived from the church. In both aspects, Christ is robbed of His
rightful place as Head of His Church and sole authority over it.
Now let us give strict scrutiny to the definition of Leader. Let us examine if there are any similarities,
or differences between the word leader and pope.
As we see, the word leader refers to a person who has the authority or
influence over those in the body of Christ.
On the surface, it would seem to be equal to that of the pope, but in this
case, the right to lead is granted from God and accepted thru the laity. There is no right of succession or creation
of a hierarchy, for all in the church are equals.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold
ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
Understanding Biblical Truth:
Here Paul describes two different men, the first is adorned with
lavish and beautiful things, the second has nothing but the rags he wears to
cover his nakedness. Remember, the
purpose of this story is not the two men, but rather how the laity react to
what they see.
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing,
and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand
thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
the church members, being enticed by the adornments of the wealthy man,
favor him, and place him in a location of honor, whereas they loathe the
poor man, and place him in the location of shame, out of the eyes of others. Is not being enticed like being tempted thru
the lust of the eyes? Is not loathing
your brother the same as hating him?
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become
judges of evil thoughts?
James shows us the consequences of respecting man. Here respecting man leads to favoritism, and
a bias nature. This bias in the Church’s
nature will eventually lead to the creation of criteria for entering
Christ’s fold, this then transforms God’s Church to a club, for clubs have
criteria for its members.
Christ never gave any instructions for a
person to join His church, only that they allow His Holy Spirit to make the
necessary changes in them so that they will choose to remain in it.
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the
poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath
promised to them that love him?
James reminds his spiritual family that it was Christ Himself who chose the
poor to be the heirs of His kingdom.
Therefore, all in God’s flock must be poor, giving up everything, and
placing Christ in His rightful place, first.
To place Christ anywhere but first is to reject Him, and to commit
blasphemy. It also causes the
transformation of God’s precepts and creates a new religion.
the Roman Church, Christ is NOT first, before He comes the Pope, Mary, the
Saints, and even religious relics.
5:3 & 5
– 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 5 Blessed
are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
– He that loveth father
or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter
more than me is not worthy of me.
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress
you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
despising the poor, we despise those who Christ chose to be his heirs, and we
favor those who would destroy us.
Remember, this is speaking of the attitude or spirit of being poor, not
the actual financial status of being poor or rich. The attitude of the rich is to conquer, for
the rich are never satisfied with their wealth.
So, when we favor the rich over the poor, we favor them over ourselves,
to be like them, to think like them, to accept the riches of Egypt for a
season, by denying the blessing of God for eternity. We reject what Christ wants for us.
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye
a church, or its members, call themselves by the name of our Savior,
Christians and they act in a manner contrary to how their Master would act,
they give a false interpretation of the One that they follow. This deceptive presentation is blasphemy
against God and is an intentional act against the third commandment.
8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
James states, that if the members, fulfill the royal law, according to
scripture, and not according to the interpretations of man, they do well. This infers the opposite, if mankind attempts to
fulfill the royal law thru the interpretations of man, they fail. The precepts of the royal law are to love
your neighbor. If we love our
neighbor, we will not covet that which they possess. If we love our neighbors, we will not steal
from them. If we love our neighbors, we
will not bare false witness against them.
If we love our neighbors, we will not desire to kill them. If we love our neighbor, we will thank God
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are
convinced of the law as transgressors.
it is made clear if we have respect for persons, we commit sin. How is this possible? Well, we must return to the royal law. The first commandment is “not to place
anything or anyone before God”. When we
are respecters of persons, we place that person before God, and in a sense,
make that person our god, breaking the first and the second commandments.
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in
one point, he is guilty of all.
James states that if we break one commandment, we break them all. How is this possible? To understand this principle, we must become
aware of the basic precept for the ten commandments, that God is Love. If God is Love, then all things pertaining to
God is also Love. This would of course
include all ten of his commandments, and statutes. Therefore, to break any of God’s commandments
or statutes is to find yourself outside the confines of Love. Deviation from any of God’s ways is the complete
rejection of His Son, and therefore of the Father.
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he
hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
James poses an intriguing question, can faith alone save a man? He inquires of the brethren, the value of
faith, without the actions of works. As
a Bible-based Christian, I know that I cannot be saved by my works, but can a
lack of works be my condemnation? Do my
works manifest something within me?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily
I truly am a Christian, then I mimic my Christ.
Before Christ spread the spiritual word, he cared for the people’s physical
needs. He then instructs us to
follow His lead.
– For I was an hungred, and ye
gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye
took me in:
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye
warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are
needful to the body; what doth it profit?
poses the question, if your brother is in physical need, and you recognize this
need, and refuse to fulfill it, what does it profit the one in need? The verbal blessing will not satisfy the physical
needs, and it does not mimic the actions of Christ, who went the extra mile to
make sure that both physical and spiritual needs were met.
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being
we have been instructed that faith, without works is without value. It satisfies neither the body nor the
spiritual needs. In fact, James calls
this relationship, dead.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works:
shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
James is showing the brethren the futile nature of attempting to show one’s
faith without works. Works are the
outward manifestations that a person has faith in.
They are what shows those around the actions of love that faith
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:
the devils also believe, and tremble.
James confronts the non-biblical teaching of salvation thru belief. He explains to the brethren that although
their belief that God is one, the Schema, is true, the same belief is shared by
the enemy of God, and it causes them to tremble. Therefore, belief in God, of itself, is not
salvation thru faith. Faith is partaking
in the spirit of the Commandments, God is Love, and those who follow Him, mimic
Him in love.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works
a question is proposed to the vain man, will you not realize that faith without
works is dead? The vain man is the most insecure. He creates his vanity
as a means to protect his fragile ego from the truth. Eventually, he begins to believe his own lies
about himself. This personification is
without value, or useless.
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he
had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
not the offering of Isaac, his only son, as a sacrifice prove the faith of
Abraham? Did it not show Abraham’s trust
in God to keep His word?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works
was faith made perfect?
Understanding Biblical Truth:
Seeing how faith, manufactured with his works, made the works
perfect. It satisfied the required
sacrifice, the promise of Abraham, and fulfilled the spiritual needs. Abraham’s faith knew that God would not
deprive him of what he promised that he would be the father of many
Genesis 22:8 – And
Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so
they went both of them together.
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham
believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called
the Friend of God.
belief in God leads to the work or action, the outward manifestations, that
proved his faith. Without the works,
only God would know if faith actually existed in Abraham’s mind. For the brethren to realize faith, there must
be works, for only God can read the heart.
This trust between Abraham and God created a relationship, and before
Abraham was merely a servant of God, but because of this relationship, he
became a friend of God, and later a child of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not
by faith only.
is explaining that man’s intentions can only be represented by his
actions. Only God can read the thoughts
in our mind, so only God would know if a person’s faith were real or not. The inward thought is of no value to us since
we lack this power. Therefore, we can
only judge faith by the works, and trust that God will know the truth.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by
works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
James gives the second account of faith since the Law requires two
witnesses. Rahab’s work or action, of
preserving the men of Israel, justified her faith, that the God of Israel would
preserve her and her family. Had she not
saved them, not only would the men of Israel die, but she and her family would
have been decimated.
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith
without works is dead also.
goes on to explain, that just as the body without the pneuma is dead, so faith
without the works is also dead. A person
who believes without works, that faith is dead.
what is the faith of God’s Church? Does
the definition of its Leader influence the faith of the said church? Does it influence the manner of worship
within the church?
we have experienced above, faith is not a mere principle of belief, rather
faith is a lifestyle. To have the requisite
belief, without experiencing the consequences or blessings of the belief, is
not to have the belief at all. A
Christian should attain joy and contentment when his works reflect his faith,
and this should encourage him or her to want to do more works. So, when a person refuses the works or is not
benefitted by the works, then he or she must ascertain if their faith is
Christians we must desire to mimic our Christ.
We just want to act, speak and follow all that He did, for we know that
His way is perfect. If we do not have
this passion in our hearts, we must reevaluate our commitment to Him and our
faith in Him.
Pope definition versus leader has definite differences.
A Pope is a man who is believed to be the “head” of God’s Church. It is the Pope’s authority that is Supreme
over the Laity. It creates a master and
servant relationship between the Church and the laity. The Pope is believed to be higher than the
word of God, the Bible. The Pope derives
its powers and authority from the Church.
James, nor Peter, were Popes. James, the
brother of Jesus Christ, was the leader of the early church. It was Christ who is, was, and always will be
the only “head” of His church, for only God can hold this place. No man has the right to usurp Christ from his
role. If Christ is the Head then all men
are equal in God’s kingdom. Therefore,
there can be found no separation between the Church ministers and the Laity,
for all are ministers to God, all are the Body.
By having a man sit on the throne of Christ, it alters the religion that
God gave to man and creates a pagan state in its place.
our return to the biblical precepts of God, and let Jesus be all things to all