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The Letter of St. James


Good Works The theme of these verses is the ... Christians are to let their light shine which means that they are to do good deeds before others, even the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Letter of St. James

The Letter of St. James
  • To the twelve tribes of the Dispersion

Has not God chosen those who are poor
  • Luke 6
  • 20And raising his eyes toward his disciples he
  • Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of
    God is yours.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit."
  • CCC 2546 "Blessed are the poor in spirit." The
    Beatitudes reveal an order of happiness and
    grace, of beauty and peace. Jesus celebrates the
    joy of the poor, to whom the Kingdom already
    belongs The Word speaks of voluntary humility as
    "poverty in spirit" the Apostle gives an example
    of God's poverty when he says "For your sakes he
    became poor."

  • CCC 2547 The Lord grieves over the rich, because
    they find their consolation in the abundance of
    goods. "Let the proud seek and love earthly
    kingdoms, but blessed are the poor in spirit for
    theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." Abandonment to
    the providence of the Father in heaven frees us
    from anxiety about tomorrow. Trust in God is a
    preparation for the blessedness of the poor. They
    shall see God.

  • CCC 2446 St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls
    this "Not to enable the poor to share in our
    goods is to steal from them and deprive them of
    life. The goods we possess are not ours, but
    theirs." "The demands of justice must be
    satisfied first of all that which is already due
    in justice is not to be offered as a gift of
    charity" When we attend to the needs of those in
    want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More
    than performing works of mercy, we are paying a
    debt of justice.

The Law of Love
  • 37He said to him, You shall love the Lord, your
    God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and
    with all your mind. 38This is the greatest and
    the first commandment. 39The second is like it
    You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40The
    whole law and the prophets depend on these two

Good Works
  • The theme of these verses is the relationship of
    faith and works (deeds). It has been argued that
    the teaching here contradicts that of Paul. The
    problem can only be understood if the different
    viewpoints of the two authors are seen. Paul
    argues against those who claim to participate in
    Gods salvation because of their good deeds as
    well as because they have committed themselves to
    trust in God through Jesus Christ (Pauls concept
    of faith). Paul certainly understands, however,
    the implications of true faith for a life of love
    and generosity. The author of James is well aware
    that proper conduct can only come about with an
    authentic commitment to God in faith.

Good Works (continued)
  • James 224 See how a person is justified by works
    and not by faith alone.
  • Romans 328 For we consider that a person is
    justified by faith apart from works of the law.
  • Ephesians 28-9 For by grace you have been saved
    through faith, and this is not from you it is
    the gift of God it is not from works, so no one
    may boast.

Good Works (continued)
  • It seems that the only Scripture a Bible believer
    knows about good works is that we are not saved
    by them (Eph. 28,9)! Sadly, many have further
    adopted an attitude about good works that they
    are virtually insignificant. There are Biblical
    truths about this important subject. Christians
    are to let their light shine which means that
    they are to do good deeds before others, even the
  • (Protestant Evangelical Outreach)

Good Works (continued)
  • Theres a mindset that has circled through
    Christendom that believes, and then lives out of,
    this Once Im saved, I now just hold on and
    wait until I get to heaven. Jesus said, It is
    finished so Im literally going to rest in
    what he accomplished for me on the cross and not
    concern myself too greatly with becoming the
    Christian God has planned for me.

Good Works (continued)
  • We are not saved because we have done good works
    but because God would have us do good works. So
    good works are a result, not the cause of, our
    salvation. We are saved by grace through faith
    alone, but not by a faith that remains alone.
  • We are created and saved to delight in doing good
    works, humbly loving our neighbor, happily
    exhibiting the grace and love of Jesus to those
    around us and selflessly serving those in need.

Good Works (continued)
  • The third century Roman Emperor Julian wrote
    The Jews take care of the Jews, and the Greeks
    take care of the Greeks, but the Christians, not
    only do they take care of themselves, but the
    Jews and Greeks as well!
  • So, Good Works is a witness.
  • (Protestant Mars Hill Church)

What are Good Works?
  • For I was hungry and you gave me food,
  • I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
  • a stranger and you welcomed me,
  • naked and you clothed me,
  • ill and you cared for me,
  • in prison and you visited me.
  • (Matthew 2535-36)

What Happens If We Do No Good Works?
  • Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal
    fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I
    was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty
    and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave
    me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing,
    ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.
  • (Matthew 2541-43)

Say What?
  • Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one
    of these least ones, you did not do for me. And
    these will go off to eternal punishment, but the
    righteous to eternal life.
  • (Matthew 2545-46)

More Good Works
  • By this is my Father glorified, that you bear
    much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father
    loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.
    If you keep my commandments, you will remain in
    my love, just as I have kept my Fathers
    commandments and remain in his love.
  • (John 158-10)

Teachers in Peril
  • James 31-2 Not many of you should become
    teachers, my brothers, for you realize that we
    will be judged more strictly, for we all fall
    short in many respects.
  • (Im glad that Im only a facilitator)

Questions for Thought
  • What does St. James say about favoritism?
  • Whom is he addressing?
  • How do you respond?
  • What is the Law of Liberty?
  • What does St. James mean about works?
  • How does it differ from Martin Luthers claims
  • How does this difference impact us today?
  • What are some additional Good Works?

One More Question
  • What is the difference between active faith and
    dead faith?
  • Which kind do you have?