The Church and It’s Faith


James Chapter 2

The Church and Its’ Faith 

2 My
brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with
respect of persons.

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 Scriptura.

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 worship God?


A. Leader –

1.     Person
who has authority or influence

2.     Person
who leads, conducts.

B.  Pope –

1.    a
prelate who as bishop of Rome is 
the head of
the Roman Catholic (Universal) Church

2.    one
that resembles a pope (as in authority)

As 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
spiritual importance? 

The faith of
Jesus Christ is best explained by the following verse:

 – 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 the preeminence.

Here 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

So, 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
 (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.

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
supreme authority of a man over
Christ’s Church, and the power for such authority is 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. 

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

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 reacts to what they see.

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

Biblical Truth

Here 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? 

Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and
are become judges of evil thoughts?

Biblical Truth

Here 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 into a club, for clubs have criteria for its

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.

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?

Biblical Truth

Again, 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. 

In the Roman
Church, Christ is NOT sofirst, before Christ there are the Pope, Mary, the Saints, and
even religious relics.

5:3 & 5
 – Blessed are the poor in
spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  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.

But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich
men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

Biblical Truth

By 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. 

Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by
the which ye are called?

Biblical Truth

When 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

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the
scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

Biblical Truth

Here 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 bear false witness against
them.  If we love our neighbors, we will not desire to kill them.  If
we love our neighbors, we will thank God for them. 

But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit
sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

Biblical Truth

Here 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

10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and
yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Biblical Truth

Here 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?

Biblical Truth

Here 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

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and
destitute of daily food,

Biblical Truth

If 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?

Biblical Truth

James 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 alone.

Biblical Truth

Here 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.

Biblical Truth

Here 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.

Biblical Truth

Here 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 is dead?

Biblical Truth

Here 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?

Biblical Truth:

Did 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?

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 nations. 

 – And Abraham said, My son,
God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them

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.

Biblical Truth:

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.

Biblical Truth

James 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 the 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?

Biblical Truth

Here 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.

Biblical Truth

James 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. 


So, 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? 

As 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 benefit by the works,
then he or she must ascertain if their faith is real. 

As 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. 

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.

Neither 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.  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. 

Let our return
to the biblical precepts of God, and let Jesus be all things to all men. 


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