Sunday Sermon: The Gospel According to Jacob (James 1:1)

Redeemer Presbyterian Church - Traverse City, MI

Sep 24 2023 • 52 mins

This Lord’s Day we begin a new series on the Epistle of James. James has had an interesting reputation in the history of the Church. Famously, Reformer Martin Luther expressed his dissatisfaction with James by calling it a “gospel of straw” and desiring to see it moved to the back of the Bible. Since Luther’s day, many have followed him in his sentiment. In fact, your Roman Catholic friend may be quick to point out to you that the only time “faith alone” appears in the Bible is James 2:24 “You see that a person is justified by works and not faith alone.” For this reason, many have seen a disagreement between Paul and James on the matter of justification.

Is James a gospel of straw? Does he teach salvation by works? Allow me to borrow a phrase from the Apostle Paul: By no means! As we study this letter we will see the eternal value of wisdom, virtue and godly living. But we will also see that James has no fundamental disagreement with Paul. There is one thing they agree on completely - the only way one can by saved is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

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