NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2021
This Sunday is the 3rd Sunday of Kingdomtide. I will be preaching on the Epistle text assigned from THE 2nd chapter of James. This Epistle, written by the brother of Jesus, is uncomfortable scripture for most Christians. Perhaps because it conflicts with how most Christians think of salvation. Most Christians think of salvation as a destination. They think salvation is all about belief and once a person has confessed their belief in Jesus and invited Jesus to be their Savior, it’s a done deal, Heaven will be their home and there is nothing more that needs to be done. While it’s true that “once saved, always saved;” God calls us to a “living faith” which is a journey, not a destination.
Thinking of salvation as a faith destination instead of a faith journey, causes many to see James’ teaching in contradiction to Paul’s teaching on salvation. Paul teaches that salvation in Christ does not come by works but by faith alone. And yet James teaches that faith without works is dead. It is important to understand there is no contradiction in these two teachings.
Paul and James are addressing two different issues with their teachings. Paul’s teaching is aimed at helping people to come to faith in Christ. James’ teaching, on the other hand, is aimed at helping people who have already come to faith in Christ, know how to live out one’s faith in the world around you. Belief, of which Paul speaks, is destination of faith that brings us to a relationship with God. “Works” based on one’s faith in Christ, of which James speaks, is journey of living out of our faith that helps others and often helps to bring others to faith in Christ.
Join Covenant for worship this week in-person, by Zoom or Facebook livestream and discover why this Epistle of James, almost didn’t make it into the Bible. My sermon is “Living Faith” or “Dead Faith.” It is based on James 2:1-10, 14-17.