Pristine Grace

James Exposed
by Nicholas Laurienzo

(Discuss this article here)
"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more of grace: otherwise work is no more work". - Romans 11.6

     Brothers and sisters in Christ,.........It is with sincere desire to present this body of work to the audience of this forum. Again I will attempt to show how the Grace of justification is antithetical to ALL works. There can never be a synthesis of these two ideas. Any addition to Grace or a synthesis of Law and Gospel (Grace), would render Paul’s doctrine of Justification null and void. Many religious churchman however, have taught the synthesis, making faith and works one cohesive unit, along with rendering good works,( the fruit of faith), as a ground, basis, and proof of justification. If good works can be seen (by men) as a bonafide proof of Justification, then we must ask two basic questions. 1. What is the numerical quantity of good works that would prove an individual to be Justified? 2. What degree of substantive quality must these good works possess?

     In this article, I will present evidence, that should be sufficient to indict James the brother of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the crime of Judaizing the Pauline doctrine of Justification by faith alone, without the works of law. James the brother of Jesus, is the antithesis of Paul and never fully comprehended the Pauline doctrine of Justification. I do not believe he was even an apostle as some suggest. A false apostle perhaps, but no true apostle of the Gospel of Christ. However that is another subject worth discussion.

     Whether or not the book of James has been considered a Pseudonymous work, is irrelevant for the sake of this discussion. We will only examine the content of the letter to examine it’s overall teachings.

     In James 1:1 the letter opens with an address to the twelve tribes of the dispersion (diaspora). This opening statement gives us a hint at the audience the letter was intended to reach. I do not agree that the twelve tribes should be interpreted allegorically or metaphorically. There is no warrant for such an interpretation in this letter. This letter is neither parabolic or prophetic, compared to such others as Revelations, the Prophets, the parables of Jesus, etc. The Jewishness of the letter would be understood by the Jerusalem Church (Jewish/Christians), for they too, struggled in the transition from Moses (Law) to Christ (Gospel). The Jewish/Christian animosity towards Paul’s Gentile Christianity, is obvious according to the scriptures as we shall see after we look briefly into a portrait of James.

     A brief portrait of James

     For the sake of brevity, please read the scriptures listed. I will follow with my comments.

Mark 6:1-4 Jesus makes reference that He is without honor among His own family and kin.

John 7:1-13 vs.5) Jesus’s brothers did not believe in Him. vs.7) His brothers were not hated. Christ was hated. vs.13) His brothers feared the Jews and were silent.

Acts 12:17 Notice how Peter after his imprisonment, makes sure to differentiate James from the brethren. This would at least indicate to me that James had some importance over the other brethren. At least to Peter it was important to make this distinction.

Acts 15:1 The "certain men" Who came down from Judea were of the circumcision party.

Galatians 2:12 "Certain men from James" were of the circumcision party.

Act 15:18-21 James statements in these verses are to say the least, incriminating. James response was not at all similar to Peter’s response. James avoided the language of circumcision but still placed four yokes of bondage on the Gentiles. Abstain from pollution’s of idols, from fornication, from things strangled, and from blood. These four commands are still from the LAW of Moses. In verse 21, James supports his statement by appealing to MOSES! No mention of Christ! No mention of the Gospel! Contrast James statements to Peter’s statements in Acts 15:7-11. Peter makes reference to Christ and the Gospel!!

Acts 21:20-25 When Paul went to Jerusalem, the brethren received Paul gladly. However Paul did not fare well with James. Paul was glorifying God for Gentile conversions. And James and the Elders said to Paul that thousands of Jews were converted also to Christ and "are all zealous of the law".James knew by that time, that Paul was against Moses as a way of Justification. See how the James gang tries to trap Paul in vs.21 then in vs. 22 they challenge him "what is it therefore? In verse 23 They exercise authority. Vs. 24 They ask Paul to recant by telling him to shave his head as a sign of submission to the LAW. Beloved Paul was to crafty for them, and seized every opportunity he could get to preach the Gospel. Paul became "all things to all men"

     Acts 21:26-30 Paul’s seven days of preaching the Gospel was enough for the Jewish Christians. They wanted him KILLED! Where was JAMES? Why did not James stand up in defense of Paul?

     Read all of Acts 22 My question is this. Why was Paul so hated in Jerusalem? And why was James and his followers still allowed to enter into the temple and synagogues unharmed? It was because James the usurper was the head of the Jerusalem Christian church. His false gospel of Justification by WORKS was tolerable to the Pharisees!

     Gal 2: Paul’s statement in vs. 4, makes reference to false brethren who were determined to bring Paul and the Gentile Christians into submission to the LAW. Verses 6-7 can be a reference to James and his followers in this context. Verses 11-14 state that the James gang caused Peter and Barnabas to stumble. Peter must have feared James. Why? Paul defends the Gentile Christians with vs.16 This statement of Paul is in direct opposition to James 2:24. Paul concludes chapter 2 with vs.21.

     Part II

     In this portion, we will examine the Anti-Paulinism of the letter of James. Let’s look at the James statements.

     James

James 2:14 "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and not have works? Can faith save him?
2:17 " Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
2:20 " But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead.
2:21 " Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the alter? 

     I must make comment here. James is dead wrong on his interpretation of Abraham. In Genesis 15:1-6 God promised Abram seed from his bowels. When Abram believed this promise from God, in vs 6, it was accounted to him for righteousness. Abram was Justified long before Isaac was even born. James twisted the scripture to mean that Abraham was justified when he offered up Isaac. This should be enough evidence that the writer of this letter clearly intended to misrepresent the facts. Also James uses the argument of Abraham to misrepresent Paul’s use of Abraham as we will see in part three from Paul’s conclusions.

2:22 " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

     The Genesis account does not support this conclusion. Abram’s faith was already perfect before Isaac was born!!. That is why it was accounted to him for righteousness. FAITH ALONE JUSTIFIED ABRAM!!

2:23 " And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

     James uses the same biblical passage, Genesis 15:6 in attempting to prove the opposite point that Paul was trying to convey. James added " and he was called the Friend of God", which was not in the Genesis account.However,to a Jew who could trace his lineage and blood line to Abraham, this statement was of extreme importance.

II Chronicles 20:7 " Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?

Isaiah 41:8 " But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend". 

     The writer of James full well knew that physical decedents of Abraham( whom the letter was addressed ) would take this statement personal, and exploit their pride of being of the lineage of Abraham. I believe the writer put it there to further instill animosity towards Paul and the Gentile Christians. Paul the Apostle said in Romans 2:28,29 "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God". Paul refutes any such notion that a person could be considered a True Jew on account of him being a physical, circumcised, descendant of Abraham. James and his followers hated that statement from Paul. However, James used the term "friend of God" to lend credence to his false doctrine of a Justification by works.

2:24 "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only".

     This statement is in clear opposition to Paul’s statements. Further proving that the writer of James would not and could not accept Paul’s doctrine of Faith Alone. I might add that Faith is a gift from God. This gift (Faith) looks only in one directionand has only one object in view. Faith looks to Christ’s substitutionaryatonement (ALONE ) astheonlyproofgroundand basis of our Justification.When a sinners look inward, or depend on their own worksas a proof, ground, or basis of their Justification,then they will fare no better than Peter did, when he took his eyes of Christ, and started to sink.

Matthew 14:22-31 vs30 "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord save me."

2"26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also".

     Again another wrong conclusion.Let’s analyze this statement. [ body/faith] [spirit/works]

     Can we really agree that the monergistic, effectual work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration and the gift of the Holy Spirit (faith) is DEAD?

Titus 3:5,6 " Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour." 

     These verses shatter James false notions of synergism. Faith alone, in and of itself is always vibrant and alive because faith is the sole gift and efficacious power of God alone. To call faith dead, is a repugnant statement, and an affront to the very life giver Himself, God alone!!

     Part III

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believethto the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:16,17

     The Apostle Paul on Justification by Faith Alone

     Unmistakably there is a sharp contrast between Paul and James. Including the book of James and other mentions of James the Lord’s brother in scripture, James offers NO support or advancement of the Gospel. One would be hard pressed to find even a morsel. Now with Paul, that is a whole different story as we shall see.

Romans 2:11-16 vs13 "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified"

     I want to start with the above verse for one primary reason. Many who support James, use this verse to argue that James and Paul are similar in their understanding when discussing the relationship between Faith and Works as a means and or proof of Justification. On the surface of this statement, one may conclude that Paul and James are in agreement. However if this statement were to agree with James, Paul would be contradicting himself in the following chapters of Romans, and in the book of Galatians. If we exegete this passage in it’s context, we will see no contradictions. Chapter 2, opens with a stern rebuke against those (primarily Jews-"O man") who judge one another, and they themselves do the same things. Paul proceeds in this chapter to show that Jew and Gentile are alike.

Vs 11 "For there is no respect of persons with God." vs12 "For as many as have sinned without law (Gentiles) shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law (Jews) shall be judged by the law." 

     Both are guilty of sin. Jew and Gentile alike.

Vs 13 " For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified".

     Now this is a true statement in this context. The point that Paul was making, is that Jews were good hearers of the Law. Every Sabbath the Jews would enter the synagogue and hear the Law as it was read from Moses. The Jews thought that they were superior to all the nations around them. But just hearing the law is not good enough. The Law demands perfect obedience. Not only by obeying the letter of the Law,(outward observances), but also obeying the intent and spirit of the law from the heart (pure and sinless motives and desires). This type of obedience would then render a man Justified. Only one man in history is and was able to perform this type of obedience. That is the God/Man Jesus Christ!

Matthew 5:27,28 "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

     The Jews lost site of the true function of the Law.The Law magnifies the righteousness of God, and tells mankind how depraved and incapable we all are in attempting to satisfy the requirements of the law. The Law necessitates a Redeemer from it’s curse.

Vs 16 "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my Gospel"

     Paul’s main thrust of chapter two, is to show that God is the only perfect and infallible judge. This judgement is based on the Gospel Alone! Only God knows the hearts of men. That is why any form of works displayed, can NEVER be a proof of Justification before God and men. We sinners can NEVER see into the heart of others. Performance of good works can NEVER be a measuring stick of ones justification..

Vs 25 "For circumcision (Jews) verily profiteth if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made un-circumcision"

Vs 26 " Therefore if the un-circumcision (Gentiles) keep the righteousness of the law, (faith alone in Christ’s righteousness) shall not his un-circumcision be counted for circumcision?"

     Paul’s major enemies were Christian Judaizers. Those of James. Jews

Vs 27 "And shall not un-circumcision which is by nature ( all men are born un-circumcised ) if it fulfil the law, (faith alone in the Gospel) judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision (Jews) dost transgress the law?"

Vs 28 " For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 

vs 29 " but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God"

     Only the Master Physician, Jesus Christ can perform this kind of heart surgery. All of God’s elect are true Jews. And all of the non-elect, are not true Jews. No amount of works that we can perform will ever satisfy God. And we do not need the praise or approval of men as a proof of our Justification. Unlike James, who needs some sort of proof of Justification. Faith Alone is not enough with James. James says, I’ll show you my faith by my works. What a prideful and arrogant statement. As if his works are perfect before God and men, to Justify himself.

     If we read Romans and Galatians with the understanding that Paul was answering the attacks against him by Judaizers of the Gospel, we will understand the book of James more clearly.

     Romans 3:7-12 Please read

     Paul in these verses was stating that the truth of God (Faith alone in the Gospel) was considered by some to be a lie, in that it totally nullified Law keeping (Moses). The Judaizers made slanderous allegations against Paul, that nullifying Moses was an evil thing. Paul says that he proved both Jews ( who had the Law) and Gentiles ( who did not have the Law) to be under sin.

     There is none righteous. There is none that understands. There is none that seeketh after God. All are gone out of the way. All are unprofitable. None does good.

Romans 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh (Jew and Gentile) be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

     This is the function of the Law. All attempts in adherence to the Law as a means or proof of Justification is futile. The schoolmaster is done away with. It brought us to Christ. It is finished! There are those who say "the law points us to Christ as a way of salvation. Then once saved, Christ points us back to the law as a way of life". That is nonsense! As if the law could add anything to our faith in Christ. Observance to law would then make Christ’s imputed righteousness deficient.

Vs 21 "But now the righteousness of God (who is Christ) without the law ( Christ pre-existed the written code) is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets."

The law and prophets witness, testify, and derive their righteousness from the Eternal One, Christ. Not the other way around. There is no law that makes Christ Righteous, He is Righteous by His very being and essence. And there is no written code that makes the elect righteous either.
Christ in us, and us in Him, through faith alone, is our only hope, righteousness, and justification. NO WORKS!

Vs 22 "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of (or in ) Jesus Christ unto all (Jew and Gentile) and upon all them that believe: (faith alone) for there is no difference:"

Vs 23 " For all (Jew and Gentile) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"

Vs 24 " Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"

Vs 25 " Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God."

Vs 26 "To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth ( faith alone) in Jesus".

     There is no hint of a synthesis of faith/works in these versus. To Paul it was strictly Faith Alone, in Christ Alone.

Vs 27 " Where is the boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith." (Faith alone)

     No boasting with Paul!

Vs 28 "Therefore we conclude that a man ( Jew and Gentile) is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
No works! No deeds! No proving before men! Faith Alone!

Vs 30 "Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the un-circumcision through faith.
Faith Alone

Vs. 31 " Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea we establish the law."

     Paul answers his critics who slandered and misrepresented him. Paul was not voiding the law, but rather stating that faith alone in Christ’s righteousness is the fulfillment and embodiment of all law keeping. It is as if we the elect who believe in Christ, have satisfied all the requirements of the lawImputed righteousness declares to us that we are just and righteous in the sight of God. We have fulfilled the law in Christ through faith alone.

     Some that are of the James and Augustinian persuasion, will say that this verse means that with the assist of enabling Grace, we can now establish and perform the works (good works, not dead works) of the law as a way or proof of justification. This is wrong. The written code could not penetrate the sinful human condition and bring eternal life and justification in the old covenant, as all men (regenerate or not) failed to obey it’s precepts perfectly.What the law needed was fulfiller, and Christ is the answer and fulfillment of the law. The Gospel ofChrist establishes the law WRITTEN IN THE HEART! AND NOT ON TABLETS OF STONE OR PARCHMENTS.

     Regeneration and faith alone in Christ alone IS THE PERFECT ESTABLISHMENT OF THE LAW.

Romans 4:1 "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?"

Vs 2 " For if Abraham were Justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

     Now there are those, especially Roman Catholic apologists, who contend that this verse does not deny justification by works, but rather denies boasting before God. The key word is "IF". Paul in arguing his pointsis quite comfortable with taking his opponents premise, and in this case {one can be made righteous by works } andrunning it to it’s logical conclusionIf one can be made righteous by works he could boast. But that "IF" is impossible with men!

Vs 3 "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

     What more can be said? Faith Alone! James is not content with this statement. James needs the works of Abraham, to complete Justification. To James it is {FAITH & WORKS } = Justification . Not Faith Alone? This is what James is teaching. No matter how much someone tries to wiggle, and twist James, to save face.

James 2:20 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

     Faith never depends on works for it’s life. For faith is always living. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Faith can never dead.

James 2:21 "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered up Isaac his son upon the alter?"

     If James is right. Then Paul said in Ro.4:2 Abraham would have something to boast about before men would he not? But James is dead wrong.

Ephesians 2:8,9 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast"

     Paul is crystal clear!!!

James 2:24 "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only?"

     This statement by James, directly contradicts Paul’s doctrine of Faith Alone!

Romans 4:4 "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of gracebut of debt."

Vs 5 "But to him that worketh not but believeth (faith alone) on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Read following verses I will add comments.

     Vs 6 God imputes righteousness without works. James disagrees.

     Vs 7 By faith alone, without works sins and iniquities are covered and forgiven. James disagrees

     Vs 8 Non-imputation of sin toward the elect by faith alone. James disagrees

     Vs 9 The blessing of Justification toward Jew and Gentile alike by Faith Alone. No works. James disagrees.

     Vs 10 -11-12 Righteousness [ Justification ] was reckoned to Abraham prior to any works. Faith Alone. James disagrees.

     Vs. 13 -16 Righteousness and justification through faith alone. James disagrees.

     Verses 17-21 Here in this passage is Paul’s inspired meaning of the essence of faith. He uses the Abraham account as an example. Paul shows that Abraham did not look to any substance within himself nor circumstances surrounding his life. Abraham did not consider his own dead child producing abilities, nor Sara’s dead womb. "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief""but was strong in faith, giving glory to God" Abraham was Fully persuaded that what God had promised, he was also able to perform.

     Vs 22 "And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness"

     Vs.23 "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him:

     Vs.24 "But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, , if we believe on him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead;

     Vs 25 "Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

     This is Paul’s explanation of the Abraham event. No mention of works, no mention of offering up Isaac as a justification by works. There is no hint of a dead, incomplete, or imperfect faith here. To Abraham and Paul, it is Faith Alone in the promise of God. Faith alone! In Christ alone! NO WORKS AT ALL as a means or proof of Justification.

Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"

     Faith alone in Christ alone is all sufficient for assurance, hope, peace, and confidence. No amount of works that you and I perform can ever add to faith. To rest our hopes in anything other than faith in Christ is futile. To look to any form of works as a proof or justification in your life or another’s life is also futile. James does not agree.

Romans 10:1-4 "Brethren, my hearts desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, (Christ ), and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness ( Christ ) of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth."

     Justification is a verdict of righteousness. But not ours! It is only Christ who is the righteous one.This righteousness is imputed to the elect, and realized by faith alone. James cannot agree with this understanding. James requires some kind of works to complete faith. James is not discussing fruits and consequences of a true and living faith. James says that faith alone is insufficient, and that works are necessary for justification.

     So far after reading these articles how do you think the Apostle Paul would respond to these statements? I believe Paul would thus respond.

James 2:14 "What doth it, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?"

     Yes James. No amount of works we do are ever perfect in the sight of God. We are saved by Grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Christ Alone.

James 2:17 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone"

     James you do not understand the essence of Faith. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 James you need a proof you can see. However the gift of faith that the Holy Spirit has given me, is a living substance, and provides a living hope. Faith alone in Christ alone is all the evidence I need. Jesus said "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe" Why do you insist on seeing works?You cannot see into the hearts of men. Your judgement will be at best faulty.

James 2:18 "Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: Shew me your thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

     James you are an arrogant man. Even if you showed me that you fed every starving Jew and or Gentile in the world. And gave all your money to the poor. Your works are still filthy rags. Only Christ’s righteousness will suffice.

James 2:20 "But wilt thou know , O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

     James, why are you calling me a vain man. You are obsessed with works. Don’t you know that I killed the followers of Christ. And had them put in jail and beaten. Let me tell you something James. 

"We are the circumcision who worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man ( including you James ) thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is of the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but DUNG, that I may win Christ. And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of (or in) Christ. The righteousness which is of God by faith."

     See James, all your works are DUNG.

James 2:21 "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the alter? 

     No he was not James. I don’t know how many times to tell you. He believed the promise of God and was justified. Way before Isaac was even conceived. Why have you twisted the Genesis account of Abraham? Was it to justify you works gospel. That is a horrible thing to do.

James 2:22 " Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect." 

     Are you telling me James, That God justified Abraham with an imperfect and insufficient faith? Do you really think you good works can make my faith alone in Christ perfect?

James 2:23 " And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed Godand it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."

James your application of this verse is devious. It is true Abraham believed God. But you are using this statement to mean believing is more that just faith alone. You mean it to be works also. You preach a false gospel James. You preach a faith + works = Gospel Justification.

James 2:24 "Ye see then how by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

     Well James, it is clear to me that you must be placed under anathema for teaching Justification by works. Remember I wrote that if it be of grace it is no longer of works. And if it be of works it is no longer of grace. James works and grace are antithetical to one another. Why do you insist to synthesize them?

     Because Paul has written so much on this topic of justification, I wanted to cover the main points without glossing over them. I know some may think this is lengthy but it is necessary to try and break through all the years that tradition has held the book of James to be high canon.

Acts 13:38,39 "Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man ( Christ ) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by Him ( Christ ) all (Jew & Gentile alike ) that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."

     Please read the whole of Acts 13. Throughout Paul’s missionary journeys, if there were ever a people that were against Paul’s message of the Gospel, they would be mainly (1) Talmudic Jews.(2) Judaized Christians. (3) Pagan and Hellenistic Gentiles. Of course all those sects that are against the message of Grace alone could be listed, however I wanted to summarize Paul’s enemies from that historical time period into those three categories.

     The Pharisaical religious machine was in full operation when Christ entered history ( and still is today, allegorically speaking.) There were Synagogues throughout Gentile lands. In fact, this religious machine was powerful enough to persuade Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor to decide against Christ, even though Pilate had acquitted Jesus four times.

Matthew 23:15 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."

     Strong and truthful language from our Lord Jesus. Paul and Barnabas encountered the same hatred and venom not only from Pharisaical Jews, but from Christian Judaizers also. The message of Justification through Faith Alone, in the person and work of Christ Alone, is the foundation that the Church stands on. In denial of this doctrine, the church falls.

Romans 8:33 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that Justifieth."

     The heart of Paul’s message in relation to Justification, is the very fact that Justification is the Sovereign work of God alone! From eternal Election, our human existence in and though history, and finally our Glorified state in the new Heaven and Earth, it is all the work of God in and through His son Jesus Christ, and revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in regeneration. To Paul, no element of human efforts or merits can ever play a part in Justification. Unlike James, a Christian Judaizer, who links human action and cooperation as a vital and necessary part of Justification.

1 Corinthians 6:11 "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

     We the elect are seen and treated by God the Father, through Christ, as sinless, sanctified and justified. We are of the status of "WERE", although sin still is present in our old man. This is the what the Christ event has done for us. ALL of our sins have been expiated by the Christ. We are holy and righteous IN CHRIST!

     In our regenerate state, we experience all manner of temptations, commission of sin, either by action or thought. The Spirit lusts against the flesh, and the flesh lusts against Spirit. We war daily with our members.

"O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death.?" I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law (faith alone in the Gospel of Christ, is the fulfillment of ALL law) of God: but with the flesh the law of sin." Romans 8:24,25.

     The soteriology of Paul, places the burden of righteousness/justification solely on the merits of Christ. This Justification is Imputed alone to the elect. This righteousness is wholly alien and extrinsic to man.It is never inherent or intrincic to mans nature. Man by nature and birth is depravedEven the works an elect regenerate child of God may perform would still be tainted by sin, thus disqualifying them from being a proof, ground, or basis of Justification. James and his followers, the Roman Catholic Church, some Reformed folks, Evangelicals, Arminians, Pentecostals, and the like, still look to works as playing either a major role ( ground or basis ) or a minor role ( proof ) in securing the verdict of justification. Paul excludes both roles! MAN OFFERS NOTHING TO JUSTIFICATION IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. 

Titus 3:5-7 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." 

     And James has the audacity to say that Abraham was Justified by works and not faith alone!!!!!

     Please read the whole letter to the Galatians. The whole thrust of this letter is to expose and refute the Christian Judaizers.

     Paul in Galatians1:6-9 places an anathema on all those who would pervert the Gospel of Justification. Paul also in verses 11 -12, certifies that his Gospel was not learned from men but rather Jesus Christ Himself.

Galatians 2:16 "Knowing that a man is not Justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of (in) Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

     Again the whole polemic of Paul is to refute James and his followers. For they were the ones who were against Paul’s Gospel of Justification.

     Vs 17,18 Paul’s critics accused him and his followers of being sinners in stating that they were justified by faith alone in Christ alone without all works. Then Paul says if that he rebuilds (Moses) the things he destroyed, he would then be a transgressor of the Gospel. There is NO synthesis of Grace and works in Paul’s writings.

Vs.21 "I do not frustrate the Grace of God: for if righteousness (justification) come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

     Again as I shared earlier. To Paul, the whole of the Law encompassed not only ceremonial and cultic principals peculiar to Israelites, but also all moral and ethical conduct required from the heart.. Man is totally incapable of satisfying the law! Thank God for Christ our Saviour who redeemed us from it’s curse.

In Chapter three of Galatians vs1, Paul’s stern rebuke is challenging. Foolish Galatians who has bewitched you? It was James and his followers spewing out their false gospel of works.

Galatians 3:6 " Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness . 

     Faith Alone no works!

Vs 7 "Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham"

     I can just see James and his followers, along with the Jews, who heard or read this statement. Gentiles by faith alone are Children of Abraham? Can you see why Paul’s Gospel was so hated?

     Verses 8,9 God justifies the heathen through faith alone. We the elect are blessed with Abraham The scriptures foretold of the Gospel..

Vs 10 All those who preach a proof or justification by works, are still under the curse.

Vs.11 "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for the just shall live by faith."

     Shall we add to this and say we are justified in the sight of men by the law? Nonsense!! Men are not God,. Justification is God’s business alone. We need no further proof of justification. Faith alone is the answer of a good conscience.

Vs. 12 " And the Law is not of faith: but the man that doeth them shall live in them."

     Paul again reiterates the uselessness of the law as a way of justification. To Paul it is faith alone.

     Versus 13-14 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the lawthat the blessings of Abraham will come on the Gentiles through faith alone in Christ alone!

     In Chapter five of Galatians Paul continues to strengthen his argument in defense of Justification by Faith AlonePaul knows his Gospel, and knows the enemies of the GospelHe asks them. Who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth? Paul says that these Judaizers were not from God. And then says these teachings are leaven. Jesus also warned us of the leaven of the Pharisees.

Galatians 5:11 "And I, Brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? Then is the offense of the cross ceased."

     Paul is stating to his audience that the offense of the cross would cease if he preached a justification by works. Also his persecution would also cease. Faith Alone brings the wrath of all religions onto the elect. Especially false Christian ones.

Hebrews 10:38,39 "Now the Just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul"

     So far reading all that has been written by Paul, pertaining to Faith and Justification, what are we to understand from this scripture? Any looking to works as a way or proof of justification is futile. It is considered a drawing back or drawing away from faith alone. But here is the marvelous news. We the elect are not of them that trust in good works as a proof or means of justification, thus going back unto perdition. We believe in Christ alone through faith alone as our only justification.

     Here is a link to Martin Luther's commentary on Galatians. Glean whatever truth you may. http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/...b/gal-inx.html

     Part IV

     Historical Evidence & Observations     

     James The Just

     In this final chapter, we will consider James from an historical perspective. Quotes will be supplied from various authors that were written not long, perhaps 2-4 centuries after the death of James.

     My intention is to place information before this audience, as we would also in a court of Law during trial proceedings. Whether or not this information is 100% accurate is not the issue. If the historical writings are accurate, then it further supports our claims against James. If it is somewhat, or not at all accurate, then we have nothing in Scripture to vindicate James either. James loses either way. The burden of proof will be on the reader to find scriptural evidence or historical evidence as pertaining to James the Lord’s half brother, that would vindicate James. Show me from the Scripture, and or historical writings where James was a champion of the Gospel.

     My comments will follow the cited passages.

Thomas 12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that Thou wilt leave us. Who is it that will become great over us?" Jesus said unto them, "Whithersoever ye are come, ye will go to James the Righteous. It is for the righteous' sake that heaven and earth were created.

     Taken from heretical Gospel of Thomas, we will get a glimpse at the aura that surrounded James and his followers. James clearly ascended to being the head of the Jerusalem Church. When Christ went into the temple at Jerusalem and overturned the money tables, the religious leaders wanted to stone Christ. Paul, Peter, John, and the true followers of Christ were also hated, and their lives were always in jeopardy until their death. Has James the righteous become great over us?

"The Lord, after he had given the linen cloth to the priest's slave, went to James and appeared to him. (Now James had sworn not to eat bread from the time that he drank from the Lord's cup until he would see him raised from among those who sleep.) Shortly after this the Lord said, 'Bring a table and some bread.'
And Immediately it is added: He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to James the Just and said to him, 'My brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Adam has been raised from among those who sleep."
[Gospel of the Hebrews] 9:1-4

     In another heretical book written around that time period, we read more falsehoods. It is my opinion that these books were written as propaganda to further lend credence to James. We know from scripture, that James and his followers were already against the Pauline message of the True Gospel, which is Justification through faith alone.

"Control of the Church passed to the apostles, together with the Lord's brother James , whom everyone ... has called the Righteous..." - Eusebius (quoting Hegesippus, an early second century Jewish Christian writer), Ecclesiastical History, 2.23

     Why was James called the Just or Righteous one? "There is none righteous, no, not one". And no one man controls the Church. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, and he leads His Elect by the effectual working of the Holy Spiritand truth.

     Quoting Hegasippus, Eusebius states that James 'the Righteous' 'was holy from his birth'..."

     Hegasippus also described him as a "Nazarite"

"He drank no wine...ate no animal food; no razor came near his head; he did not smear himself with oil, and took no baths. He alone was permitted to enter the Holy Place [the Holy of Holies in the temple], for his garments were not of wool but of linen [i.e., priestly robes]. He used to enter the Sanctuary alone, and was often found on his knees beseeching forgiveness for the people, so that his knees grew hard like a camels...because of unsurpassable righteousness, he was called the Righteous and...'Bulwark of the people'..."
- Eusebius, The History of the Church 2,23

     What a pious man James was. James still followed the Mosaic Law. Hardly a Christian, would you not agree? Jesus our Lord said "If they hate me they will also hate you" "If they persecute me, they will also persecute you". Nothing James has done in the above quote would appease or impress God. And James says "Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works". All of James righteousness is still filthy rags (DUNG).

     You can now see why Roman Catholics, clergy and laity, along with all other false cults, practice salvific suffering. Flagellation, Starving, Bloodletting, Cloistered monastic life, etc. etc. These ignorant souls think they can merit God’s justification, or in the case of Protest-ANTS, prove to men they are justified. In third world countries where the poor and ignorant are exploited by the Roman Church and her whore daughters, these folks nail themselves on crosses and walk the cobblestone streets on their knees till they bleed on Good Friday. Satanic will worship at it’s finest hour. Rome and her whore daughters, love the book of James. This book allows them to justify their works religion.

     From the death of the last true Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, there have been numerous writings from men claiming to be Christian, and also non- Christian historical writings. We will only seek information from the early periods up to and including the fourth century. Below is a writing from Hegesippus:

Concerning the martyrdom of James, the brother of the Lord, from Book V.
[James, the Lord’s brother, succeeds to the government of the Church, in conjunction with the apostles. He has been universally called the Just, from the days of the Lord down to the present time. For many bore the name of James; but this one was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank no wine or other intoxicating liquor, nor did he eat flesh; no razor came upon his head; he did not anoint himself with oil, nor make use of the bath. He alone was permitted to enter the holy place: for he did not wear any woollen garment, but fine linen only. He alone, I say, was wont to go into the temple: and he used to be found kneeling on his knees, begging forgiveness for the people-so that the skin of his knees became horny like that of a camel’s, by reason of his constantly bending the knee in adoration to God, and begging forgiveness for the people. Therefore, in consequence of his pre-eminent justice, he was called the Just, and Oblias, which signifies in Greek Defence of the People, and Justice, in accordance with what the prophets declare concerning him.

Now some persons belonging to the seven sects existing among the people, which have been before described by me in the Notes, asked him: "What is the door of Jesus? "And he replied that He was the Saviour. In Consequence of this answer, some believed that Jesus is the Christ. But the sects before mentioned did not believe, either in a resurrection or in the coming of One to requite every man according to his works; but those who did believe, believed because of James. So, when many even of the ruling class believed, there was a commotion among the Jews, and scribes, and Pharisees, who said: "A little more, and we shall have all the people looking for Jesus as the Christ.

They came, therefore, in a body to James, and said: "We entreat thee, restrain the people: for they are gone astray in their opinions about Jesus, as if he were the Christ. We entreat thee to persuade all who have come hither for the day of the passover, concerning Jesus. For we all listen to thy persuasion; since we, as well as all the people, bear thee testimony that thou art just, and showest partiality to none. Do thou, therefore, persuade the people not to entertain erroneous opinions concerning Jesus: for all the people, and we also, listen to thy persuasion. Take thy stand, then, upon the summit of the temple, that from that elevated spot thou mayest be clearly seen, and thy words may be plainly audible to all the people. For, in order to attend the passover, all the tribes have congregated hither, and some of the Gentiles also."

The aforesaid scribes and Pharisees accordingly set James on the summit of the temple, and cried aloud to him, and said: "0 just one, whom we are all bound to obey, forasmuch as the people is in error, and follows Jesus the crucified, do thou tell us what is the door of Jesus, the crucified." And he answered with a loud voice: "Why ask ye me concerning Jesus the Son of man? He Himself sitteth in heaven, at the right hand of the Great Power, and shall come on the clouds of heaven."

And, when many were fully convinced by these words, and offered praise for the testimony of James, and said, "Hosanna to the son of David," then again the said Pharisees and scribes said to one another, "We have not done well in procuring this testimony to Jesus. But let us go up and throw him down, that they may be afraid, and not believe him." And they cried aloud, and said: "Oh! ohl the just man himself is in error." Thus they fulfilled the Scripture written in Isaiah: "Let us away with the just man, because he is troublesome to us: therefore shall they eat the fruit of their doings." So they went up and threw down the just man, and said to one another: "Let us stone James the Just." And they began to stone him: for he was not killed by the fall; but he turned, and kneeled down, and said: "I beseech Thee, Lord God our Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

And, while they were thus stoning him to death, one of the priests, the sons of Rechab, the son of Rechabim, to whom testimony is borne by Jeremiah the prophet, began to cry aloud, saying: "Cease, what do ye? The just man is praying for us." But one among them, one of the fullers, took the staff with which he was accustomed to wring out the garments he dyed, and hurled it at the head of the just man.

And so he suffered martyrdom; and they buried him on the spot, and the pillar erected to his memory still remains, close by the temple. This man was a true witness to both Jews and Greeks that Jesus is the Christ.
And shortly after Vespasian besieged Judaea, taking them captive.]

     It appears, that Hegesippus has a bias in favor of James. Hegesippus claims that James is a fulfillment of prophesy. More propaganda in my opinion. There are many references to James being the Just One. This elevation of James is not good. John the Baptist said "I must decrease, but He (referring to Christ) must INCREASE

     In another passage, Hegesippus interprets a passage from Isaiah as being fulfilled in the person of James. Can anyone doubt the impact and control that James possessed in the early Jewish Church? The Judaized form of Christianity that James and his followers espoused, denies the Gospel.

     Let us read another death account from Josephus the Jewish historian. Antiquities book xx

[AND now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Ji~idea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five Sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, be delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable ~f the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent. Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.]

     The account of Josephus, seems to be strictly from a political point of view. And as well should be from a man who was Jewish and was not writing from a Christian perspective. The charge of breaking the law is a bit vague though. What law? Could it be because James spoke in the name of Jesus? How had James survived that long then? As mentioned earlier in this writing. I strongly feel that James form of Judaized Christianity was tolerable to the main stream Judaism of that day, because Moses (law) was not rejected as a basis or proof of Justification. James and his followers could survive in that climate. James Judaized form of Christianity may have been viewed as just another sect of Judaism along with a myriad of others that were prevalent in that day.

     As long as the OFFENSE OF THE GOSPEL is stripped away, all that would remain would be a religious power struggle. I think this is what James got caught up with. A struggle for supremacy. James and the Judaized Christian advocates growing and competing with the Pharisaical religious machine.

     Now some may say that James was a martyr for the Gospel. But as I contend, James did not have or teach the Gospel of Justification by faith alone. No more than Roman Catholic crusaders who were killed by the Muslims could be considered Christian martyrs either.

     For those on this website, who are interested in further study on the subject of James the Lord’s half brother, there are plenty of web sites that will aid in your quest. Below is a link to early writings.

     http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/

     Conclusion

     In the previous post, I supplied a link to Early Christian Writings. Of course there are also many writings from a non-Christian and historical perspective, however if we are to understand the very early sentiments whether oral or written from the 1st to the 4th centuries concerning James and the Jerusalem Christian Church, we have to keep the Biblical mentions of James within their proper historical context.

     The Roman Catholic (Western), Greek Orthodox (Eastern), and the Protestants (schismatics of the Western Church), love to appeal to the early fathers for their identity and foundation. Especially Rome and the Orthodox sects.

     I for one, do not see in the Soteriology of these so-called fathers a continuation of the Pauline message of Justification by Grace Alone through Faith Alone, without all works! In my opinion, I believe that even during the life of the true Apostles of Christ, there were enemies of the Gospel.

     False Teachers, False Apostles, False Christs, False Prophets, False Brethren, etc. etc. The one teaching they share unanimously is the teaching of a "WORKS" as a ground, basis or proof of one’s Justification. James the Lords half brother was indeed one of these "False" people. And the early fathers were not much better either. Without the Gospel, there is NO Christianity.

     Such ideas as:

  1. Faith being imperfect without works.
     
  2. Works are necessary for Justification.
     
  3. The meritorious nature of good works.
     
  4. Good works earn believers special rewards in heaven.
     
  5. Good works increase one’s Justification.
     
  6. Good works are proofs that men are Justified, and so forth, are ideas rooted and based in ignorance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

     Sinful humanity has always wanted to get credit for something he has done. From Adam and his fig leafs, to our contemporary religious scene, WORKS and existential theology in all forms, plague mankind. It really does not matter if one is a Muslim, Buddhist, Talmudic Jew, Shintoist, or Christian, If Justification is linked to just one minute element of human cooperation, in any way shape or form, IT IS A FALSE GOSPEL!!

     The heretical Clergy, via an unbiblical clergy/laity system, have bound the consciences of men throughout centuries with all manners and false notions of a WORKS based salvation. Such ideas of

  1. Church membership roles.
     
  2. Tithing
     
  3. Sabbath keeping.
     
  4. 10 commandment keeping.
     
  5. Water Baptisms
     
  6. Circumcision
     
  7. Sacraments
     
  8. Priests and ministers could forgive sins.
     
  9. Sanctuaries
     
  10. Bells
     
  11. Stained glass widows
     
  12. Holy water
     
  13. Clerical robes
     
  14. Monastic life.
     
  15. Humanly ordained ministers
     
  16. Seminary factories who produce clones to be installed like parts, as pastors.
     
  17. Holy Days
     
  18. Holy Seasons.
     
  19. Holy Land.

     The list could go on and on. All of these actions, thoughts, and works, are symptoms of a false Gospel.

     ECT 1 and ECT 2 are further symptoms a corrupted Gospel.

     God led me to this forum / website in January of 2006. I never even considered questioning the Letter of James. I, like most of us, have been conditioned to think that this letter is high canon because it was in my "official bible". I even considered, when I was a Roman Catholic, the apocryphal books to be High canon, because that is what the church taught me to believe.
When the debate arose on James last year, I was silent, however I was reading the arguments from both sides. That led me to research this matter on my own. It was God’s Grace alone that opened my eyes. That is the beauty of not being a member of a certain denomination or group. I was free to examine, and trust the Lord to guide me into truth. If I were to be a member of a church, and questioned the letter of James, the higher ups would have put me out of their fellowship. I have before, many years ago been put out of a church for disagreeing with them.

     Below is a brief list of some helpful historical sources, that will provide more information pertaining to James. The list is not exhaustive but a starting point. There are more passages within these writings that are not listed that would also shed further light on James.

Ascents of James (from the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 1. 33-71 & 4:35 and more
Epiphanius on Nazoreans, James, and Successors
Gospel of the Hebrews (quoted by Jerome.. On Famous Men 2
Gospel of Thomas 12
Eusebius (quoting Hegesippus) Ecclesiastical history 2.23. 4-7
Eusebius Ecclesiastical history 3.11 & 4.22.4
Eusebius (quoting Hegesippus) Ecclesiastical history 3. 19.20
Eusebius (quoting Hegesippus) Ecclesiastical history 3. 32..
Flavius Josephus. Antiquities 20. 200-201...20:9:1
In Nag Hammadi Library: Apocryphon of James..First Apocalypse of James...Second Apocalypse of James...Gospel of the Egyptians.
Eusebius Eccl. Hist. 7:19
Ethiopic Didascalia ch XLIII
Protoevangelium of James

     More on the identity, aura, tradition and history that surrounds James, from a wide variety of early writings not listed above.

     SUMMARIES

     The child Jesus while living at home, heals James from a deadly viper bite.

     James was called the "brother of God."

     The title "Son of Man" was ascribed to James at the last supper.

     James was to be the first in a line of Christian Caliphates.

     James received his position of head of the church from Jesus Himself.

     James was made the Just Bishop of Jerusalem after the Lord’s ascension.

     James receives his office directly from the Apostles.

     James held his rank from the beginning of the corporate life of the Jerusalem community.

     James is called the "chief of Bishops" and "Archbishop"

     Peter calls James "the Lord and Bishop of the Holy Church".

     Clement addresses James as "the Lord and bishop of bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the holy church of the Hebrews and Churches everywhere excellently founded by the provinces of God, with elders and deacons, and the rest of the brethren"

     James as administrative head of the church

  1. Receives reports.
  2. Engaged in disputations.
  3. Assigned Peter to specific tasks.

     James, as "chief of bishops" is portrayed as the Christian counterpart to "Caiaphas.......the chief of priests."

     Peter insists that no teacher or prophet is to be believed unless he has been certified by James.

     Peter gives all his writing to James for safekeeping.

     James is the first in a long line of apostolic succession. The primacy of James has been rejected in the West from the time of Irenaeus onward however was continued in the East.

     During the second century the title of "High Priest" was used frequently within the church. To many early christians, James, as the first among the bishops stood at the head of an order of Christian priests.

     In Recognitions, there are parallels between Jewish and Christian ordination. "Let there be elders and deacons, like the Levites; and subdeacons, like those who carried the vessels of the court of the sanctuary of the Lord; and an overseer, who shall likewise be the guide of all the people, like Aaron, the head and chief of all the priests and Levites in the city." This Christian priestly ordination is traced to the Church of James.

     There was a group within Christendom who viewed the death of James in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem.

     Epiphanius and Eusebius both concur that James entered into the sanctuary of the Temple and that he actually went into the "Holy of Holies" James also wore the high priestly petalon on his forehead.

     I firmly believe that early tradition was deliberately molded and shaped to favor one or more groups within early Christianity. Is it any wonder that we see in the writings of Augustine a blend of pagan and corrupt Jewish thought. The clergy, the sacrifice of the Mass, justification by works, the priesthood, has it origins and infancy to James and his followers historically. Augustine carried the torch for James. Augustine never ever taught the Pauline doctrine of Justification by an imputed righteousness. NEVER!!! And dumb, blind Protestants such as R. C. Sproul and his minions exalt Augustine and Aquinas as champions of the church! How awful and shameful!

     From the writers Hegesippus, Eusebius, Epiphanius, and the Ps Clementines, we see a strong nationalistic, pietist, and cultic views of James. In the Clementines more emphasis was toward church structure and ethical matters. Most of what has been written about James portrays James with an interest in Jewish piety and legalism. That is why the whole thrust of the book of James in the Bible, is concerned with good works as a basis of justification.

     Some will say that even if James lived that kind of Life, James never required it for Salvation. POPPYCOCK!! James clearly attempts to overthrow Paul’s message of Justification through faith alone without all works!

     Also in the Ps Clementines issues of church authority are alluded to. The Jerusalem church was seen as the pure church, although others were recognized, appeals to James and the Jerusalem church were necessary for correction in doctrine. Also, James is seen as the sole head above the apostles of the church. Just like the Pope of Rome. Only as Gentile Christianity accepted the control from Jerusalem, they could remain pure.

     In all fairness I must admit that from the early writings, James has been considered to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus, practice the Lord’s supper, and even the practice of water baptism. Also Eusebius said that James confessed that "Jesus our Savior and the Lord is the son of God".

     However, Roman Catholics, Arminians, evangelicals and a myriad of Protestant sects also pay lip service to these tenants of Christianity. But the fact still remains. WHERE IS THE GOSPEL OF JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE ALONE THROUGH FAITH ALONE, WITHOUT ALL WORKS!

     The agreement or disagreement with the letter of James, would not to me at least, be a cause for dis-unity. However the Gospel of Christ Alone must be Pristine and without any form of works. We can enjoy fellowship in Christ only in that sense. If the letter of James is used to espouse some idea of works as a proof or ground of justification. Then I will be at odds with you, and our fellowship broken.

     The End.

     May the Lord grant His people with all knowledge and wisdom, in Love for the true Gospel.

     Nicholas

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