Get reFilled 1 John 1:9
"If we confess STATE our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse purify us from all unrighteousness"
There's some key items to consider before reading James that will become more apparent as it progresses:
The context is POST-salvation exclusively for believers-- this is emphasized by James saying 'Brethren'. It has nothing to do with salvation-- and only indirectly references salvation.
James is outlining very common problems in Christianity (carnality) that the addressed Hebrews were exhibiting: most notably memorizing Bible Doctrine, but not believing it (and also in James 2:19 as we'll soon see). In other words, leaving Bible Doctrine in a 'gnosis' state and never flipping it to 'epignosis' (Romans 10:2). Worse still, being able to repeat it by memory but never believing it, and in other cases disregarding what isn't memorized completely.
James' usage of article shifting not viewable in translation; as such this can cause contradictions or certain verses to sound utterly nonsensical until you compare what the articles are inferring.
The usage of TELEIOS does not mean 'perfect', but rather mature. Perfection in terms of being 'flawless' is impossible to do as a human being.
James' use of 'belief' (pistis) is not the same as 'believing' that Christ paid for your sins, it's entirely in a POST-salvation context regarding *Bible Doctrine*. Some take certain 'pistis' verses out of context and infer them for salvation, when the word is not used in this context.
James' use of 'save' (sodzo) is not the same as being saved in the sense of salvation, but having your THINKING (mind) rescued and rehabilitated. Same case being post-salvation and not pre-salvation.
The (active) works that we do are completely different from the (passive) works God does in us as a result of believing in Bible Doctrine. As a point of diagnostics, James will point out doing works means you're compromising and not growing.
In the end, the believers were not doing epignosis, but leaving everything that they encountered in gnosis. If you are unfamiliar with this doctrine see Gnosis vs. Epignosis.
It's important to know is the difference between a Greek word when it's anarthrous or monadic (especially in James since this technique produces the context). In essence:
Monadic = contains the article / emphasizes the uniqueness of something
Anarthrous = does NOT contain the article (when it should) / stresses the DIVINE quality of something (or in few cases super 'evil')
James 2:1 My brethren, don't have hold the faith belief of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons favourtism.
James 2:1 Ἀδελφοί μου, μὴ ἐν προσωπολημψίαις ἔχετε τὴν πίστιν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τῆς δόξης.
At the start of book 2 James brings up right again to not show preferential treatment / favouritism. As we'll see this favouritism is performed through *compromise*. Which makes the situation particularly bad in two ways.
James 2:2 For if a man comes to your assembly with a gold ring in good clothing, and there also comes a poor man in vile rags;
James 2:2 ἐὰν γὰρ εἰσέλθῃ εἰς (τὴν?) συναγωγὴν ὑμῶν ἀνὴρ χρυσοδακτύλιος ἐν ἐσθῆτι λαμπρᾷ, εἰσέλθῃ δὲ καὶ πτωχὸς ἐν ῥυπαρᾷ ἐσθῆτι,
James 2:3 And you have respect to him that wears the fine clothing and say to him: "sit yourself here in a good place" and say to the poor: "stand yourself there" or "sit here under my footstool":
James 2:3 ἐπιβλέψητε δὲ ἐπὶ τὸν φοροῦντα τὴν ἐσθῆτα τὴν λαμπρὰν καὶ εἴπητε: (αὐτῷ, Σὺ?) σὺ κάθου ὧδε καλῶς, καὶ τῷ πτωχῷ εἴπητε: σὺ στῆθι ἐκεῖ ἢ κάθου (ὧδε?) ὑπὸ τὸ ὑποπόδιόν μου,
The partiality is placing emphasis on the rich to give them benefits and exclude the poor. The compromise is that there's a chance that they won't GET anything by doing this (which James explains in verse 2:6). So they would rather compromise and risk being denigraded themselves, in hopes of 'getting something' from the rich. On the flip side, if they were to be partial to the poor and show no respect to the rich, we'd still have a case of partiality; in which case there's no sense of balance since doctrine is not believed.
James 2:4 Are you not then partial in yourselves and have become judges of evil thoughts?
James 2:4 (καὶ?) οὐ διεκρίθητε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς καὶ ἐγένεσθε κριταὶ διαλογισμῶν πονηρῶν;
James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren, has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith [divine] believing, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?
James 2:5 Ἀκούσατε, ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί: οὐχ ὁ θεὸς ἐξελέξατο τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῷ (τοῦ?) κόσμῳ (κόσμου?) πλουσίους ἐν πίστει καὶ κληρονόμους τῆς βασιλείας ἧς ἐπηγγείλατο τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν;
The poor have equal opportunity with in regards to the INHERITANCES in the kingdom of God. Your physical status does not become relegated after you die. In which James gets to that having spiritual riches over physical riches; since the physical riches don't get you anywhere; physical objects can't do thinking for you.
James 2:6 But you have despised the poor. Don't rich men oppress you and draw you before the judgment seats?
James 2:6 ὑμεῖς δὲ ἠτιμάσατε τὸν πτωχόν. οὐχ οἱ πλούσιοι καταδυναστεύουσιν ὑμῶν καὶ αὐτοὶ ἕλκουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς κριτήρια;
Despite the fact they are being partial to the rich in order to get something from them (out of the fact especially some of the rich may be believers), the rich just end up debasing them anyway. So this partiality becomes a compromise with no benefit. They end up putting down the poor believers and forfeittheir maturity in learning the Bible.
James 2:7 Don't they blaspheme that worthy name by the which you are called?
James 2:7 οὐκ αὐτοὶ βλασφημοῦσιν τὸ καλὸν ὄνομα τὸ ἐπικληθὲν ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς;
James 2:8 If you fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, you shall love your neighbour as your, you do well:
James 2:8 Εἰ μέντοι νόμον τελεῖτε βασιλικὸν κατὰ τὴν γραφήν: ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν, καλῶς ποιεῖτε:
Impersonal love (royal law-- leviticus 18 and 19). Called royal now because of Christ. God invests in YOU, and the resulting profit for God is to do the royal law.
James 2:9 But if you have respect partiality to people, you commit sin and are convicted of the law as transgressors.
James 2:9 εἰ δὲ προσωπολημπτεῖτε ἁμαρτίαν ἐργάζεσθε ἐλεγχόμενοι ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου ὡς παραβάται.
As previously mentioned, the Hebrews James was addressing were showing partiality depending if someone was rich or poor-- even though that the rich were degrading them (and then they went on to degrade the poor). This is also why ecumenicalism cannot champion the truth; since there is only one truth not found through compromise.
This is also going straight back to James 1:15-- by sinning in this manner (putting down others) they are being the "gods" of their own sin. But at they same time they're being put down, so that's the extent that being your own god brings you.
James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law and yet offends in one point, he is guilty of all.
James 2:10 ὅστις γὰρ ὅλον τὸν νόμον τηρήσῃ πταίσῃ δὲ ἐν ἑνί γέγονεν πάντων ἔνοχος.
Here James is referencing back to the O.T. for something they would be familiar with. So everyone is guilty, therefore there is no reason to 'compromise' and pretend you're not, and also degrade others while you're at it-- because then you're proving the guiltiness even more. And the very reason they're doing it for isn't getting them anywhere (2:6)
James 2:11 For He that said "do not commit adultery" also said "do not kill". Now if you don't commit adultery yet if you kill, you have become a transgressor of the law.
James 2:11 ὁ γὰρ εἰπών: μὴ μοιχεύσῃς, εἶπεν καί μὴ φονεύσῃς: εἰ δὲ οὐ μοιχεύεις φονεύεις δέ, γέγονας παραβάτης νόμου.
James 2:12 So speak and do so as they that will be judged by the law of liberty.
James 2:12 οὕτως λαλεῖτε καὶ οὕτως ποιεῖτε ὡς διὰ νόμου ἐλευθερίας μέλλοντες κρίνεσθαι.
The law of liberty regards mercy, if you're not going to show mercy and become stubborn, God will reverse this mentality on you and you won't be shown mercy either on the bema (judgment seat). Of course it's never too late to change your thinking and get Bible Doctrine to break down the stubborness. Exponentiated in the next verse:
James 2:13 For He will have judgment without mercy that have showed no mercy; and mercy rejoices against judgment.
James 2:13 ἡ γὰρ κρίσις ἀνέλεος τῷ μὴ ποιήσαντι ἔλεος: κατακαυχᾶται ἔλεος κρίσεως.
James 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren (addressed to believers), though a man says he has faith [divine] belief, and does not have [divine] works (Bible acting on the believer)? Can faith The Faith (Bible in you) save rescue and rehabilitate him?
James 2:14 Τί τὸ ὄφελος, ἀδελφοί μου, ἐὰν πίστιν λέγῃ τις ἔχειν ἔργα δὲ μὴ ἔχῃ; μὴ δύναται ἡ πίστις σῶσαι αὐτόν;
This is where James starts the article shifting in book 2, and also establishes the case for believing versus memorizing the bible and not believing it. Note again that it's being addressed to "brethren" (believers) yet again to stress the fact this is not a faculty of salvation but post-salvation maturation.
By stating "a man" James has initiated a case scenario: believer X claims they have divine belief, or rather that they believe Bible Doctrines. But as a quick diagnostic they don't have divine work which is a result of the Bible acting on you from believing in Bible Doctrine (again, the work the Bible does on you is not of YOUR doing, it's passve *from God*). Well if you're SAYING you are beliving in Bible Doctrine, but the byproduct of that is not occuring, then you're not. And the second diagnostic is that if you are believing in Bible doctrine, why are you proclaiming it? There's no point since it's a system between you and God exclusively.
Finally, the greek word "sodzo" or translated to "saved" in this case, does not mean 'saved' in terms of salvation, but rather rescue-- in the sense of rehabilitation. The Bible SAVES / RESCUES *your thinking*. From what? From things that oppose Bible Doctrine and have a negative effect on your mind (i.e. religion, and from your own stubborness).
Here's a diagram explaining this system in better detail-- Standby belief represents 'claiming' you are believing in Bible Doctrine, and Bible belief represents believing Bible doctrines *with* 1 John 1:9.
The Hebrews were claiming that their memorization and recitation of the Bible passed off as BELIEVING in Bible Doctrine. But since they didn't have any of God's divine work in them (which is especially linked to maturity) what they were claiming was false. The Bible ('The Faith') merely in your memory won't rescue / rehabilitate your thinking if you DON'T BELIEVE IT. It remains on standby / inactive. Potential that is never utilized.
James 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
James 2:15 ἐὰν δὲ ἀδελφὸς ἢ ἀδελφὴ γυμνοὶ ὑπάρχωσιν καὶ λειπόμενοι (ὦσιν) τῆς ἐφημέρου τροφῆς,
James 2:16 And one of you says to them "depart in peace, be yourself warmed and filled"; notwithstanding you don't give them those things which are necessary to the body; what does it profit?
James 2:16 εἴπῃ δέ τις αὐτοῖς ἐξ ὑμῶν: ὑπάγετε ἐν εἰρήνῃ, θερμαίνεσθε καὶ χορτάζεσθε, μὴ δῶτε δὲ αὐτοῖς τὰ ἐπιτήδεια τοῦ σώματος, τί τὸ ὄφελος;
Saying "be filled and warm" is the same as saying "I believe (insert whatever Bible Doctrine here)" when in reality you don't and nothing happens. Likewise nothing will happen to the poor just by telling them to get clothes and become warm. There is no profit in either situation because nothing happens even if claims are made that there is.
James 2:17 Even so faith The Faith (Bible in you), if it does not have [divine] works (the PASSIVE work FROM the Bible), is dead, being alone.
James 2:17 οὕτως καὶ ἡ πίστις, ἐὰν μὴ (ἔχῃ in front?) ἔργα, νεκρά ἐστιν καθ᾽ ἑαυτήν.
The famous often quoted passage. With our understanding of article shifting, we can now read the verse a differently. Changing "works" (ONLY done by someone) to "divine works" (ONLY done *by God*) modifies the meaning quite a lot-- and since we know James is addressing the BRETHREN (those who are already saved) we extrapolate further. First thing to note is that the divine works are only something God can do. Secondly, it has nothing to do with pre-salvation, and only the post-salvation lifestyle (which again has nothing to do with salvation).
If you're not believing in the Bible (i.e. Bible Doctrines), you're carnal. If you're carnal there's no maturity. If there's no maturity, you're carnal, you're out of fellowship... your faith is dead. In James 2:20 we'll see how James clarifies by explaining what dead faith does to a believer. The analogy to this regarding NEKROS: an implanted seed can have the POTENTIAL to grow, but if it doesn't have water, it won't grow. So, you have the potential growth remaining in a stasis. So this form of death is more appropriately defined as 'not yet alive'.
#1 Being addressed to believers
#2 Works mentioned are DIVINE works exclsive from God; and anything *you do* is a compromise
#3 If the Bible in you isn't accompanied by divine work from God (i.e. maturity), this is a diagnostic that you're not believing what is taught
James 2:18 Yes, a man may say: "you have faith belief, and but I have [divine] works: show me your faith The Faith (Bible in you) without your works, and I will show you by my works, my faith.
James 2:18 Ἀλλ᾽ ἐρεῖ τις: σὺ πίστιν ἔχεις, κἀγὼ ἔργα ἔχω: δεῖξόν μοι τὴν πίστιν σου χωρὶς (ἐκ τῶν?) τῶν ἔργων (σου?), κἀγώ σοι δείξω (σοι?) ἐκ τῶν ἔργων μου τὴν πίστιν.
With the opening "a man may say" we can see that James is creating a fake character to roleplay with (to mirror some of what the believers were saying without putting any names). Here is the argument broken into three pieces:
#1 "You have [divine] belief, and but I have [divine] works": the roleplaying character sarcastically remarks that "sure you have divine belief, BUT I HAVE DIVINE WORKS", immediately degrading and replacing (invisible) belief in favour of (visible) works
#2 "Show me The Faith (Bible in you) without your works": the sarcasm continues with the roleplaying character wanting to 'see' the belief without any physical works
#3 "And I will show you by my works, my faith": here the roleplaying character outright says he'll show us his believing BY his "works"
At the start James uses "Kago Erga" to stress the roleplaying character claiming they have divine works, and later kago is stressed again; James didn't have to write it this way, and indeed there are better ways to do so, however repeating kago is to get the point across of the roleplaying character stressing themselves over God and the Bible-- and CLAIMING what they're doing amounts to the Bible. Again that's a compromise so they can create an excuse not to believe and have the Bible in their mind, when they can do their works and say THAT'S what amounts to something and not the Bible.
Someone may want to interpret / argue "show me your faith without the works and I will show you by my works, my faith" as you need to have works and faith... but first this ignores the article shifting James is doing and also the first part of the verse where it says "you have faith and I HAVE [divine] WORKS", where it clearly separates that the person saying this is placing special emphasis on the works and not the faith.
James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well: the demons also believe (God is one) and tremble.
James 2:19 σὺ πιστεύεις ὅτι (ὁ θεὸς εἷς ἐστίν?) εἷς ἐστιν ὁ θεός, καλῶς ποιεῖς: καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια πιστεύουσιν καὶ φρίσσουσιν.
This verse in literal translation is often taken out of context to infer that simply believing that Christ paid for your sins is 'not enough' so you need to do something more for salvation (I've added some clarification in brackets as to the actual meaning for anyone who actually interprets it literally as 'believing in Christ'). It's referring that the demons ALSO believe in the doctrine of the trinity (hupomone in the Greek).
If we were to accept the interpretation that the demons actually *believe* (ignoring hupomone), the first problem is that the demons *don't* believe Christ paid for their sins. The next issue is the 'believing' menionted is referring to believing in Bible Doctrine as a post-salvation believer, not to believe in Christ paying for your sins in a pre-salvation context.
The question should be asked: why did James pick the doctrine of the trinity specifically to use as an example for this and not something else like the royal priesthood or pretribulation rapture. Well since his audience was primarily Jewish, this is going back straight to Deuteronomy 6:
Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, Oh Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD
Deuteronomy 6:4 שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה׀ אֶחָֽד׃
Basically everyone would eventually say "God is one" repeatedly, but they weren't believing in any Bible doctrines.
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2 Timothy 3:5 ἔχοντες μόρφωσιν εὐσεβείας, τὴν δὲ δύναμιν αὐτῆς ἠρνημένοι: καὶ τούτους ἀποτρέπου.
2 Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts,
2 Timothy 3:6 Ἐκ τούτων γάρ εἰσιν οἱ ἐνδύνοντες εἰς τὰς οἰκίας, καὶ αἰχμαλωτεύοντες γυναικάρια σεσωρευμένα ἁμαρτίαις, ἀγόμενα ἐπιθυμίαις ποικίλαις,
2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:7 πάντοτε μανθάνοντα, καὶ μηδέποτε εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν δυνάμενα.
Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Romans 10:1 Ἀδελφοί, ἡ μὲν εὐδοκία τῆς ἐμῆς καρδίας καὶ ἡ δέησις ἡ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν ὑπὲρ τοῦ Ἰσραήλ ἐστιν εἰς σωτηρίαν.
Romans 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge (EPIGNOSIS).
Romans 10:2 Μαρτυρῶ γὰρ αὐτοῖς ὅτι ζῆλον θεοῦ ἔχουσιν, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ κατ᾽ ἐπίγνωσιν.
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Romans 10:3 Ἀγνοοῦντες γὰρ τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην, καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν δικαιοσύνην ζητοῦντες στῆσαι, τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐχ ὑπετάγησαν.
James 2:20 But will you know, oh vain man, that faith The Faith (Bible in you) without works is dead on standby?
James 2:20 Θέλεις δὲ γνῶναι, ὦ ἄνθρωπε κενέ, ὅτι ἡ πίστις χωρὶς τῶν ἔργων ἀργή ἐστιν;
The very first thing we'll see is James responding to the argument he just created with will you know oh VAIN MAN (i.e. the same 'man' that he created in James 2:18. The Greek word for 'dead' here is NOT the same NEKROS as used in James 2:17 (so here we have the problem of a translation translating two different Greek words as one English word without clarifying a difference). This kind of 'dead' is more figurative and James is using it to describe the EFFECTS of not believing and not being re-filled.
A believer who does not believe and is not re-filled, is on STANDBY. God can't do any divine work in them, they can't read the Bible and they won't mature. Regarding the first chart in James 1 with LOGOS PISTIS, here is the corresponding ARGOS PISTIS which mirrors the opposite of when you're in standby versus "doer of the Word":
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by [divine] works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
James 2:21 Ἀβραὰμ ὁ πατὴρ ἡμῶν οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων ἐδικαιώθη ἀνενέγκας Ἰσαὰκ τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον;
James is now quoting a very vivid MATURATION test. God would have never let him kill Isaac, but as a MATURATION test he was willing to give up something he loved. Why? He was operating on Bible Doctrine and through maturity was able to pull that off. This was God's DIVINE work in Abraham to get him mature to the point where he could have the mentality of giving up something he loved. This is often why "Abraham about to kill Isaac" gets a lot of backlash, because people can't metabolize the underlying principle.
James 2:22 You see how faith believing wrought with his works was working on his works, and by works was and as a result of ITS (the Bible's) works, faith believing was made perfect mature?
James 2:22 βλέπεις ὅτι ἡ πίστις συνήργει τοῖς ἔργοις αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἔργων ἡ πίστις ἐτελειώθη,
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which says: "Abraham believed God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness"; and he was called the Friend of God.
James 2:23 καὶ ἐπληρώθη ἡ γραφὴ ἡ λέγουσα: ἐπίστευσεν δὲ Ἀβραὰμ τῷ θεῷ, καὶ ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην καὶ φίλος θεοῦ ἐκλήθη.
James 2:24 You then see how that by [divine] works a man is justified, and not by faith believing only.
James 2:24 ὁρᾶτε ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος καὶ οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως μόνον.
James 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by [divine] works, when she had received the messengers and had sent them out another way?
James 2:25 ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Ῥαὰβ ἡ πόρνη οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων ἐδικαιώθη ὑποδεξαμένη τοὺς ἀγγέλους καὶ ἑτέρᾳ ὁδῷ ἐκβαλοῦσα;
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith believing without [divine] works is dead also.
James 2:26 ὥσπερ γὰρ τὸ σῶμα χωρὶς πνεύματος νεκρόν ἐστιν, οὕτως καὶ ἡ πίστις χωρὶς (τῶν?) ἔργων νεκρά ἐστιν.
We can start to see how James is inferring exaclty the *opposite* in regards to works (or "good works"), NOT to do them-- any form of works *you* do are meaningless / unprofitable and are especially dangerous if you're forcing yourself to do what you imagine "good works" are. As if you're doing them you're compromising for the fact that the Bible isn't acting on you. And if the Bible isn't acting on you, your potential belief (profit) is inactive and thus you're carnal (unprofitable). And finally, that the Bible's work on your is exclusive post-salvation and has nothing to do with your status of "salvation".
If you study for a test and memorize the information, but when it comes time to perform a *practical* exercise, and you're unable to do so because you simply have memorized data that you can't utilize; this is a similar problem that the believers had who James was speaking to.
All of the cumulative points that James has made so far can be summed up as a "carnality complex", because if one is broken, they all break (cannot have "one without the other" system). WHICH IS WHY if divine works are not being done by God (not the Believer themselves), one of the criteria is violated.
Carnality Complex Checklist (CCC):
Doesn’t believe Bible Doctrine OR Doesn’t believe Bible Doctrine and claims they do (James 2:14)
Doesn’t ask God for solving Bible Doctrine that is not understood (James 1:7)
Filters Bible Doctrine (and later forgets) (James 1:23-24)
Performs *own* external works to replace God’s divine work in them (James 2:18)
Does not use 1 John 1:9 (James 2:26)