James 1:1 (ESV)
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
The book of James was written about
A.D. 50 by the brother of Jesus. Luther did not want to include it in the Bible, but it still remains. The controversy is from the James writing about “works”. Luther heralded “Grace Alone” and James is touting faith
with works. When you read and study James, you come to realize that James is heralding Grace Alone, but is saying “faith without works is dead.” As Lutherans... well... as Christians, we are saved by faith (Eph 2:8-9), but works is
a byproduct of our faith (as found in Ephesians 2:10) To study James, you need to have a firm foundation on Ephesians 2:8-10.
Ephesians 2:8–10 (ESV)
8 For by
grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we
should walk in them.
James addresses Christian living, or “sanctification”. There is tension between Law and Gospel. Law shows you your sins and the Gospel saves you from your sins.
James does focus on the Law and the importance of it. You can’t be saved without both Law and Gospel. They are opposites, yet they work together.
I pray: O Lord, I know I am saved by
faith that you have given me, yet my works should flow out from your Love for me, not because of the Law. Help me to keep the proper balance of Law and Gospel. Amen.