James, an early Christian Teacher

So, apparently Martin Luther did not like the letter from James very much. I guess to Martin Luther it sounded as if James thought you must earn salvation, especially when James said  “a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (2:24).  But according to the introduction to the Book of James found in the Discipleship Study Bible, James is not requiring works for salvation. James in fact is not really addressing salvation but instead he is addressing how we live in community, how we respond to God’s Grace in our lives.

So, when I listen to James as a teacher, someone who is teaching me how to live in community, I hear that relationships aren’t  always easy…but in response to God’s Grace I should continue to work do the hard work of getting alone with others.

You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. (3:18, The Message)


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