Monday, March 26, 2012

Choking Words

"You see that a man is justified by faith and not...."

"No, no, no," I interrupt Ally.

You see we're plodding our way through James. After all these months we've memorized clear up to 2:24. No reason to boast in our memory work. And we've hit a verse we just can't get right.
"You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."
We  live a grace centered life. We attend a church that preaches grace. We pray for greater grace. We teach our kids grace. Grace is the only hope for someone like me. When I come to this verse I can hardly even choke the words out: "justified by works."

I'm not planning to overthrow my theology. I read James but I also read Galatians 2:16 and Romans 3:23. But I ask God, "What  do you  mean?!" I have no idea. I think James is an antidote to cheap grace. A grace that requires only belief.  No action of mine can be good enough, therefore no action of mine is required. I can't live that way if I read James. Even that short answer leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

I remind myself once, and again, and again, James is the Word of God. The holy, inspired, infallible revelation of God Himself to one who understands so little as me. And I don't see, not at all.

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