Orthodox Christian Church Theology, Praxis, Dogma, and Patristics along with occasional non-Theological blog articles on the fallen World by an Orthodox Scouter.
05 July 2012
Saint Paul vs. Saint Iakavos/James?
There are some people who wrongly think that Saint Paul of Tarsus and Saint Iakovos (James), the (Foster) Brother of Our Lord and First Bishop of Jerusalem disagree about Faith and Works, but they could not be further from the truth. While Saint Iakovos said that Faith without works is dead, Saint Paul actually went further saying perfect faith and works were worth nothing and could not get us in to heaven unless we also had perfect love. Let's read from their epistles:
First from the General Epistle of Saint Iakovos:
So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:12-20)
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26)
Now from the First Epistle of Saint Paul to the Corinthians:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
So, as we can see, both Saint James the Just and Saint Paul of Tarsus agree that Faith alone is nothing.