I continue to work on my book, The Law of Love. Following is an excerpt:
One of the hardest passages in scripture to reconcile with the rest of the Gospel is James 2:24 “You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” For nearly 2000 years believers have used this and passage as a pretext to say that ‘faith alone’ in Jesus is not enough to be saved you must also do the ‘works’ required by the Law of Moses.
Although James does say that what a believer ‘does’ is an integral part of being justified, what many do not realize is that James is not referring to ‘works’ associated with the Law of Moses. In fact, when James quotes the Law of Moses, he is telling us NOT to live by the Law of Moses.
In James 2:8, he says “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.” Then he immediately he contrasts doing right by keeping this “royal law” to living by the Law of Moses. The comparative word to note is BUT:
“But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.”