Some Christians have missed James’ point—they think that it is contemplating the cross, preaching the gospel to one’s self, and all sorts of other exercises invented by themselves (and others who think like them) that produce fruit in the Christian life. But like Luther, they seem to by-pass, debunk or otherwise disparage the place of good works.

Yet, Paul in his letter to Titus, ends each of the three chapters with comments about the necessity of true works by the faithful. And the statement of James 1:25 says it all: Christians are “blessed in the doing” (CCNT/P).

Some think that Christians, even though they are “new creations,” are incapable of doing what pleases God. But Paul says that were “created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Ephesians 2:10). They always mess up every attempt to act righteously. If the former were true, and all the exhortations to do good, to live by the fruit of the Spirit and so forth, would be fruitless if not worthless. Indeed, if it were impossible to please God by following His commands (in the power provided by the Spirit, of course) Christians might think it impossible to attempt honoring God in their daily living.

But the fact is, as James assures us, it is in the doing of God’s directive will (found in the Scriptures alone) that we shall be blessed. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

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