James 2:14-19 - Faith and Works PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Black   
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 14:19

James: A Handbook on Holiness


Faith and Works

James 2:14-19


General outline:

  1. The Way to Holiness: The Divine Perspective 1:2-27

    1. The Trial-Temptation Complex 1:2-18

    2. The Word of God 1:19-27

  2. The Principles of Holiness: The Biblical Framework 2:1-26

    1. The Law is the Structure of Holiness 2:1-13

    2. Faith is the Dynamics of Holiness 2:14-26

    3. Faith and Works 2:14-19

      1. The Argument 2:14

      2. The Illustration 2:15-17

      3. The Challenge 2:18-19

    4. Faith and Justification 2:20-26

The Pattern of Eph. 2:8-9

Savior: "God" saves

Mode: "by grace"

Means: "through faith"

Outflow: producing works


James 2:14-19

The Argument

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

The Illustration

15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food,

16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?

17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

The Challenge

18 But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!


Discussion Questions:


  1. V. 14: Saving faith includes knowledge, assent, and trust. Does someone who says they have faith but does not have works have saving faith? _____________________________________

  2. V. 14: God saves us "by grace through faith...not a result of works." (Eph. 2:8-9) Does God require one saved by grace through faith to have works? See Heb. 12:14 __________________

  3. V. 16: How is this illustration like the relationship of faith and works? ___________________

  4. V. 17: Is the "faith" in this verse saving faith? ____ What kind of faith is it? ______________

  5. V. 18: What do you learn about the relationship of faith and works in this verse? ___________


  1. V. 19: What aspects of saving faith do demons have? ________________ What aspects of saving faith do demons not have? _________________________________________________