Spiritual Meanings (Part 1)

The physical and literal things of the Bible have spiritual meanings. They represent other things than what we see literally. The Bible tells us to look for the spiritual meaning of a verse and to compare them with other verses that have the same spiritual meaning.

1Co. 2:12-14:
(12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

2Co 4:18:
(18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

To understand the meaning of the word, or verse, you must read it in the context of the other surrounding verses to see what is the spiritual meaning of that verse.

Before looking at spiritual meanings, it is important to have an understanding of the following:

(1) Know the theme of each book
(2) Know the basic theme of each writer
(3) Know that the whole Bible was not written to you

(1) Know the basic themes of each book

Reading a novel without knowing the theme or subject of the novel will make it difficult to understand.  Knowing if a novel is a mystery or comedy will help you to understand as you read. The same is true of each book in the Bible.

The Old Testament
Historical Books (Genesis – Esther)
Poetic Books (Job – Song of Solomon)
Prophetical Books (Isaiah – Malachi)

The New Testament
Historical Books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts)
Letters to Christian individuals and the Church (Romans – Revelations)

We can further examine each book to understand the theme. For example, the book of Romans is often called the Constitution of the Christian Faith. This book has more Old Testament quotations than any other Epistle. It is essential that one understands Romans before firmly grasping the truth of the other New Testament Epistles. This book provides a foundation for understanding the gospel and the New Testament.

Galatians is called the Magna Carta of the Christian faith. Along with Romans, an understanding of Galatians will set the Christian free from the principle of law and sin.

(2) Know the basic theme of each writer

In the New Testament, it is helpful to understand that the themes of the apostles in the Epistles.

Paul is the author of grace and works.
James is the author of works and evidence.
Peter is the author of suffering and hope.
John is the author of love and fellowship.

This does not mean that Peter did not write about grace or Paul did not write about love. This is a basic guideline for understanding the themes. To understand the importance of knowing the theme, see Understanding the Book of James.

The gospels also contain separate themes for each book. Keep in mind that the gospels contain different style of writing and were primarily written for different audiences.

(1) Matthew
Theme: Jesus is King
Written to the Jews.

(2) Mark
Theme: Jesus is Servant.
Written to the Romans.

(3) Luke
Theme: Jesus is Man.
Written to the Greeks.

(4) John
Theme: Jesus is God.
Written to the world.

(3) Many of the books were not written to you.

Rom 15:4:
(4)  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

The Old Testament was written for our learning. It was not written to you to do them, but for you to learn from the experiences of those to whom it was written. This is especially true of the historical accounts in the Old Testament and the New Testament. You may apply them to you spiritually, but be sure that there are no contradictions from other parts of the Bible, especially from the letters addressed to the churches of God and to the Christian. These are the letters from Romans through Revelation.

With these basic principle in mind, it becomes easier to understand the spiritual meaning of the Bible including types and anti-types.

(continued)

 

The Parables of Matthew 13 (Part 2)

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

The parable of the mustard seed refers to a man while the parable of the leaven refers to a woman so we know that these two parables go together as one, as the man and the woman belong together.

These parables are also positioned next to each other.

If we look at these parables as one, we can see a comparison between the man and the woman. As we mentioned before, we are to be seeking the spiritual meaning.

In scripture, the man represents the head, spirit, or mind while the woman represents the body, the soul, and the emotions.

We can see an example of this in the Gospel of John.

In chapter 3, Jesus speaks to Nicodemus who represents the spirit, while in chapter 4, Jesus confronts the woman at the well who represents the soul.

Nicodemus was not born again and lacked faith in God.
However, Jesus never mentions anything about being born again to the woman. The woman spoke about the things of God but was no longer worshiping God. This represents the soul that has become worldly.

We are both man and woman spiritually because we are both spirit and soul.

There are numerous other examples in scripture; however, the main thing is to understand the spiritual meaning.

The Man and the Mustard Seed
(Mat. 31:32; Mar. 4:30-32)

The man and the mustard seed is about faith.

Jesus said, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed you can move a mountain. (Mat. 17:20)

The mountain represents an insurmountable obstacle that can only be removed by faith. Even in the Old Testament, God was separated by a mountain from his people. Without faith, we can not come to God, nor can we overcome the things of the world.

However, if we emphasize faith, (although it is small as a mustard seed
which cannot be readily seen outwardly)
, it will grow into a large tree and the birds of the air will lodge in the branches.

The Greek word for “lodge” is ““Kataskenoo” and comes from two Greek words. Kata means “under” and skenoo means “tent“.

The man who takes a mustard seed is one who has faith and emphasizes spiritual things. This is speaking about one who abides, resides and walks by faith, because he or she has grown spiritually.

 Since the man is a picture of the head, spirit, mind, he or she that is living or abiding in faith is a spiritual person.

The spiritual Christian has the mind of Christ.

The Apostle Paul says
“I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, so then,
with my mind I serve the law of God, with the flesh the law of sin
(Rom. 7:25).

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
(Phil. 2:5).

We have the mind of Christ
(1Co. 2:16).

Thus, if you are spiritual and emphasize faith, there is no obstacle that is too great that cannot be removed.

A person who is walking by faith is not dominated by feelings that comes from the soul.

Feelings of fears, anxiety, sadness, etc. may arise, but is soon
subsided or overcome by the spirit of the mind, that is filled with the
knowledge of the Word of God rightly divided.

This is because the Word of God has entered into the mind, and into the heart of the soul, and the soul (emotions) is subject to the mind.

The body is subject to the head as the church is subject to Christ
and as Christ was subject to the Father. (1 Cor. 11:3)

Of course it depends on big faith or little faith.

Little faith will save you for eternity and big faith
will save you here and now, in difficult situations and any obstacles.

The mustard seed which is very small, and a herb (vegetable),
grew up to be a big tree with branches where the birds of the air can take refuge.

The birds of the air is a general term for “spiritual beings” and can refer to both spiritual Christians and the wickedness in high places. The birds that are taking shelter in the mustard tree refer to spiritual Christians who are gathered together around the one who has grown in faith.

Jesus also said to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

“Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom
of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took,
and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”

Leaven is likened to yeast which makes bread to rise or causes
something (or someone) to be puffed up. It is compared
to the doctrine of the Pharisees which has to do with
a religious system of works. Works is what one must do to be righteous.

Attempting to please God through works, makes one
righteous and causes one to be proud and puffed up.
The result is hypocrisy, malice and wickedness.

The kingdom of heaven is the realm of the spiritual.

The woman which represent the body or a church took,
and hid 3 measures of meal till the whole was leaven.

The Greek word for “meal” is aleuron or flour, which is the basic
ingredients of bread.

Bread speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ in salvation.

The three basic ingredients of salvation is:

1. The Cross,

2. Redemption and eternal life (the Gospel of God)

3. The Word of God.

 In this parable, there is something added to the three main ingredients.
In other words, there is something added to salvation.

There are many churches that teach salvation by works, or faith plus works, and add to the Gospel of God and the whole becomes leavened, puffed up, pride, evil. This is the doctrine of the Pharisees

The Apostle Paul says, if any other man or even angels preach any other gospel, other then the one of Grace and faith, let him be accursed.

They pervert the Gospel of Christ. (Gal. 1:6-9).

Many Christian churches are emphasizing works after you are saved. Even after you become a Christian, do not teach nor emphasize works to please God.

Works are the result of grace and faith. All is of grace and faith.

God gives to us by His grace and we receive it by faith.

Grace and works do not mix.
(Rom. 11:6)

Faith is what pleases God and without faith it impossible to please Him.
(Heb. 11:6)

To add works (leaven) to the gospel of God is to pervert the gospel and is the main teaching regarding the hid leaven.

(continued)

The Parables of Matthew 13 (Part 3)

The Hid Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price

What is a treasure?  A treasure is anything that is precious to that person.It may not have any value, but to those that cherish it, it is a treasure.

What is the treasure that this parable speaks of? Some say it is the nation of Israel. Others say it is the Church. Both Israel and the Church are precious and are treasures, but these are not the treasures that this parable is speaking of. In this parable and other parts of the Scripture, the treasure refers to the Word of God; the Gospel of God. Contained in this treasure is the knowledge of Christ, the gospel, the mysteries, etc. This is the wealth of God and it is the Word of God.

Israel is precious, but Israel is not the treasure. The Church is precious, but the Church is not the treasure. Faith, love, hope, power, gifts, joy and everything and anything that is good is precious, but they are not THE TREASURE. They are parts of the treasure, and they are the pearls of the treasure. But what is revealed to me is my treasure. It is the revelation of the Word of God which is the treasure. In this parable, it is the Word of God and, in particular, it is the Gospel of God, that opens the door to the wealth of God.

The wealth of God is the knowledge of Christ Jesus being revealed to us by His Holy Spirit. Christ is the treasure and Christ is the Pearl of Great Price.Christ in his death is my treasure and when I enter into this treasure, into this wealth of deposit, I find the Pearl of Great Price, Christ in Resurrection.

Christ is the revelation of God. God is revealing Himself to us by His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ is called the Word of God. Everything is in the Word of God, everything is in His Son, Christ Jesus.

Keeping your eyes on Jesus means to keep your mind and your heart
on the Word of God, and letting the Word of God rule in your mind and in your heart. Trusting in God means to trust in Jesus Christ, and trusting in Jesus Christ means to trust in the Word of God. Spending time with God means to spend time with Jesus Christ, and to spend time with Jesus Christ means to spend time in His Word, the Scriptures, the Bible.

I cannot know God except through His Son Jesus Christ, and I cannot know Christ, except someone preaches the Word of God to me or I spend time in His Word.

Now let’s look at the word treasure as used in scripture.

2Cor. 4:3-7:
(3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hidden to them that are lost,  (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  (5) For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  (6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  (7) But we have this treasure “thesaurus” in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2Cor. 4:10-11:
(10) Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  (11) For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus (the Pearl of Great Price, Jesus in Resurrection) might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

And again in the following verse:

Col. 2:3:
(3) In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.


The word treasure in the New Testament comes from the Greek word thesauros (a deposit, i.e. wealth). A treasure is a deposit. It contains things
precious and valuable.  In the Bible, the treasure refers to the Word of God.

The revelations of what it contains becomes valuable to the one to whom it is revealed. It refers to the Word of God, the mysteries, the gospel, and the knowledge. The knowledge that God has revealed to us becomes a treasure to us.

The wealth that is the revelation of the Kingdom of Heavens, is the Word of God that is given to us by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

It is the glorious Gospel of God, the dying of the Lord Jesus Christ that the life of our Lord may shine forth to others.

The treasure is all the preciousness contained in the Word of God and the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Pearl of Great Price.

The Cross of Christ is the key that opened the door to the wealth of God,
and the Pearl of Great Price is Christ in resurrection, revealed in Glory:

To the Christian, the treasure is the Word of God which is hidden in God.
(Eph. 3:9; Col. 2:2-3).

The treasure that was given to the unbelievers, in the Parable of the Hid Treasure is the Gospel of God, the good news that Christ died for our sins.

But this is a parable of the unbeliever. The treasure in this parable, is a treasure hidden in the world.

Before a friend of mine became a Christian, he was a Buddhist by birth. He believed that there was a God, but he did not know Him. He was introduced to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and accepted Him as the way of salvation.

The Gospel was always there among the religion of the world, hidden to him but in due time, he found it or I should say, God found him.

He accepted the Gospel of Christ as the only true way to salvation and did not hide it again among the religions of the world.

In the parable, the man buyeth the field (world). The world’s religions are based on a system of works. To buy the world with the gospel hidden in it is to mix grace with works.

Rather, he took it out from the world from other religious teachings and made it his by hiding it in his heart. He knew this gospel was different, and made it my own. The gospel became his treasure.

Now the gospel is the key that opens the door to God’s treasure,
and there I see a lot of precious things (pearls).

But when I see the Pearl of Great Price, I realize everything is in Him and He is most precious.

Now the treasure, or the gospel that was hid in his heart, will shine forth that others may see the resurrected Christ in his life, which shines forth as the Pearl of Great Price.

Had he rejected the gospel and said it is the same as Buddhism, he would have hid the gospel again in the world.

He would have bought the world with the gospel and all the other religions in it together.

By doing this,  He would have been bought by the world’s gospel
which is based on works, or what “he must do”.

The MAN that found the hidden treasure and hid it again, is like the man in the Parable of the Talents who was given a talent, and dug in the earth and hid it.

He was labeled wicked and he was cast into outer darkness, awaiting the final judgment. (Mat. 25:25-26, 30).

This MAN, who found the treasure, hideth it, and for joy goeth. He is also like to the man in the Parable of the Sower, who heard the Word,
and immediately with joy received it. However, he had no root and withered away. (Mat. 13:20).

If this man who found the treasure (The Gospel of God) accepted the death of the Cross, and made it his own, he would have been saved.

Hiding it in the world and buying the field (world) means he added the teachings of other religions of the world by adding works to the Gospel of God.

The word “selling” comes from the Greek word “poleo”, which means to trade, barter. This is what the world’s religion does. The religions of this world negotiate salvation by works of doing certain rituals.

Had this man not hid the Gospel of God, he would have become the merchant man in the next parable and seek for fine pearls which are the wonderful things of God.

When one finds the Pearl of Great Price, the Christian realizes that all the wonderful things of God, are all in Christ Himself.

As young Christians, we seek for gifts such as power, holiness, grace, wisdom, mercy, love, etc. The Christians at Corinth did not know this truth as they were seeking worldly wisdom. The Apostle wrote to them that wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption are in Christ.
(1Co. 1:30)

You are a merchant man when you become a Christian for not only did you buy, (to be bought by Christ), but now can sell (to dispose of all and be bondslave of Christ) to obtain the Pearl of Great Price.

The word “sell” in the Parable of the Hid Treasure is “poleo”, which means to barter or negotiate. The word “sold” in the Parable of the Merchant Man is “pripasko”,which means to dispose into slavery.

The unbelievers negotiate salvation by adding works because they think that must do their part.

The Merchant Man sold or gave everything, to know more of the deeper things of the treasure, and found that it is all in Christ, who is the Pearl of Great Price.

When we know Christ in resurrection as the Pearl of Great Price (polutimos; extremely valuable), then we will be a master of our own household, and able to bring forth things out of our treasure both new and old.

The man in the Parable of the Treasure accepted all the religions and the Gospel as the same. That is why he is an unbeliever.

The Merchant Man who sought and found the Pearl, not only believes that Christ died on the Cross, but that He rose from the dead, and is the Pearl of Great Price in Resurrection. He is seeking Him and not things (goodly pearls).

Salvation by the Gospel of God, is based on what Jesus did on the Cross for us, and his resurrection from the dead. 

When you add works to what Christ had done on the Cross, then we are teaching that salvation is grace + works and it becomes like other religions of the world.

This is what many churches are preaching today. Other religions of the world have their own way of salvation and it is based on what one must do.

This is what the woman in the Parable of the Leaven did. She mixed leaven (works) with the flour, the basic ingredients of bread.

He is our Bread of life through the Gospel. When this truth is hidden in the religions of the world, the unbeliever cannot be saved.

In the parable, the woman is teaching the doctrines of the Pharisees.

The man that found the treasure was hidden in the world because he hid it again.

He left it there among the religions of the world, then buys the field or the world’s religion.

He is seeking to be redeemed by the religion of the world and is not a believer.

Like many of the other parables, the main theme is salvation.

It is the GOSPEL, the WORD OF GOD, or THE WORK OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS that is often the theme of the parables.

Understanding the Word of God and its meaning is precious to me and becomes a treasure to me.

All the Word of God is a treasure or a deposit of wealth, but to me, it is those things that I understand that is precious, and is added to my treasure.

If I misunderstand the meaning of the Word of God, I may have lots of knowledge of facts of the Word of God, but I cannot bring out things both new and old from the treasure, from the Word of God.

I cannot share with others the precious things from the Word of God to add to their treasure.

The Parables of Matthew 13 (Part 1)

Introduction to the Parables of Matthew 13

There are eight parables in Chapter 13 of the Gospel of Matthew. These parables are often taught separately; however, they will be better understood when they are compared to each other. Chapter 13 begins with the parable of the good and bad soil (Mat. 3-9) and concludes with the householder (Mat. 51-51). The eight parables are as follows:

1. The Bad and the Good Soil  (Mat. 13: 3-9)

2. The Wheat and Tares  (Mat. 13: 24-30)

3. The Man and the Mustard Seed  
(Mat. 13: 31-32)

4. The Woman and the Leaven  (Mat. 13:33)

5. The Man who Hid the Treasure  (Mat. 13:44)

6. The Merchant Man finds the Pearl of Great Price  (Mat. 13:45-46)

7. The Good and the Bad Sea Creatures  (Mat. 13:47-50)

8. The Householder  (Mat. 51-52)

Before we begin, it is important to have a word about parables. Parables are literal stories with spiritual meanings. These meanings often remain hidden making the parable difficult to understand. Even the disciples had a difficult time understanding Jesus.  In the last parable, Jesus summarizes his teachings by explaining the importance of parables to the Christian. Let’s take a closer look of the last parable regarding the householder.

Parable of the Householder (Mat. 13:51-52)
(51) Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.  (52) Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

When one understands the parables, you are like one that is instructed in the spiritual things of God, and can bring out spiritual treasure from the Old and the New Testament, to teach your household. This household may be other Christians or your Church.

Some do not understand the spiritual meaning of the parables, for they contain the hidden deeper spiritual things of the realm of the heavens, of God. If this is the case, then how can you teach anyone?

Like the parables, the Scriptures have many deep spiritual treasures of God. Teaching the literal things of God is helpful, but it will not make one grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord. It tends to makes one puffed up in literal knowledge.

1 Cor 2:11-14:
(11) “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  (12) “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”  (13) “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth,  but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”  (14) “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

If you say that we should only take the things of God literally, then
you are in the realm of the natural, and you do not understand
the deeper spiritual things of God.

There isn’t a verse in the Bible that says to take the Bible literally. On the contrary, there are many verses that indicate the opposite.

1 Co. 2:10:
(10) God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit, for the Spirit
searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.

1 Co. 2:13:
(13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

2Co. 4:18:
(18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen is temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The Meanings of the Parables

Let us look at the eight parables, and align them so that we can understand and explain them correctly.

1. The Bad and the Good Soil  (Mat. 13: 3-9)
The bad and the good

2. The Wheat and Tares  (Mat. 13: 24-30)
The good and the bad

3. The Man and the Mustard Seed  
(Mat. 13: 31-32)
The good

4. The Woman and the Leaven  (Mat. 13:33)
The bad

5. The Man who hid the Treasure  (Mat. 13:44)
The bad

6. The Merchant Man finds the Pearl of Great Price  (Mat. 13:45-46)
The good

7. The Good and the Bad Sea Creatures  (Mat. 13:47-50)
The good and the bad

8. The Householder that can bring out both the Old and New  (Mat. 51-52)
Conclusion

Looking closely at all of the eight parables, we can see that they are all about the believers and the unbelievers. Jesus spoke all of the eight parables in this chapter in a certain sequence to give us a pattern, and to arrange them so we can understand the meaning of the other unexplained parables.

Parables 3 and 4 
Parable 3 concerns the man and the mustard seed while parable 4 concerns the woman and the leaven. It is appropriate for these parable to go together for the man (head) goes together with the woman (body).
Thus, we have the good (mustard seed, faith) and the bad (leaven).

Parables 5 and 6
Parable 5 concerns the man who hid the treasure (bad) while parable 6 concerns the merchant man who found the Pearl of Great Price (good).
Once again we have the bad and the good.

The Alignment:

(1) Parable 1:  The Sower
The good and the bad

(2) Parable 2: The Wheat and the Tares
The good and the bad

(3) Parable 3 and 4: The Mustard Seed and the Leaven
The good and the bad.
These parables should be taught together, so we will refer to this as parable 3.

(4) Parable 5 and 6: The Hid Treasure and the Pearl of Great Price
The good and the bad.
These parables should be taught together, so we will refer to this as parable 4.

(5) Parable 7: The Sea Creatures
The good and the bad.

Now we have five separate groupings of the parables. Since Jesus explained parables 1, 2 and 5, we will look at parable 3 (3 & 4) and parable 4 (5 & 6).

(continued)

Understanding the Book of James

A Message of Faith and Works

Many misunderstand the book of James concerning the relationship between faith and works. It is misunderstood by the unbelievers, and also by many who are saved. This is largely due to the fact that James and Paul seem to be contradicting each other!

Let’s compare two verses from each writer. First we will begin with Paul’s writing concerning faith and works from the book of Romans.

Rom 4:4-5:
(4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5) But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Now let’s see what James has to say about this in the book of James.

Jam 2:20:
(20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Paul makes it abundantly clear. Works has no part with faith. We are saved by believing on him. It is by faith alone. So what about James? How can faith without works be dead?

This conflict will not be resolved until we can understand the theme, and subject of the book of James.

Without this understanding, James’s writings will seem to be in direct conflict with Paul’s writings about the same subject.

James’ epistle is not in conflict with the theme of the Apostle Paul, but rather compliments Paul’s writings.

Paul is the author of grace and faith, and James is the author of works and evidence. Paul is speaking of the source, which is grace and faith, and he is speaking from God’s point of view. James, on the other hand, is speaking of the result of faith, which is works.

KEY TO UNDERSTANDING:  Works is the evidence of faith.

You will have no conflicts if you remember that James is speaking from man’s point of view and is concerned with the evidence of faith in the believer.

Man cannot see one’s faith, which is in the heart, thus he can only verify one’s faith by the person’s works.

If he does not see a man’s works, then he is saying, to me your “faith is dead being alone”.

If I see your works, then to me, your faith is real and so your faith is made perfect to me, by what I see, but not before God.

The Pharisees and all those that are trying to show that they are holy, may succeed as far as a man can see. But God looks at the heart, and this is where the real motives comes from.

God will not condemn you as long as He sees your faith. Man will not condemn you as long as he sees your works.

That is, condemn or judge you as guilty. God knows that if you have faith in Him, good works will follow; and to God faith alone is what saves you.

Man deems that you have faith when he sees your good works,
but to him you are saved because of your good works.

When a person says to you that he is a Christian, you may believe and welcome him or her.

But if you do not see goodness manifested in his or her life, you may have doubt of the person’s salvation.

So to you he is justified by works. However we can be mistaken and we only judge or draw a conclusion by what we can see.

There is standoff if you do not understand this as the Christian will stick to Ephesians 2:8,9; and the other religious groups will stick to James 2:20, 26.

You must realize that religious people are speaking from man’s point of view and you are speaking from God’s point of view.

James says; “Was not Abraham our father justified by his works when he offered up Isaac upon the altar.” (James 2:21)

But Paul says; For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

Jesus answered and said unto them,  Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites,  as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (Mark 7:6)

If one has faith, it is absolutely true that works will follow. But we must remember that good fruit only can come from God, through His grace, and by our faith, that comes from His love.

A good tree will bring forth good fruit.

God looks at your faith and seeing your faith, He will perform the work in you and eventually through you, and bear the fruit for His glory.

His glory is the attribute of God, and the fruit that is produced by Him, is what others see in you. They come to know Him as they taste the fruit.

A man cannot distinguish a good fruit from a bad fruit immediately, for we cannot look into man’s heart and his motive. Works may deceive the man but not God.

James views the Christian from man’s point of view, and Paul views it from God’s point of view.

James is saying, if you have faith, then works must be evident or your faith is to me is dead, being alone. It is dead to man for man cannot see your faith. James is the book of pure religion, observance, or doing what a man believes in.

He says, if a rich man comes to your gathering, you say to him, come and sit on this good chair, and a beggar comes and you make him sit on the floor, these things ought not be so
(James 2:1-4).

If you believe, than out your mouth, both blessing and cursing should not come, (James 3:10-12). James is saying your works, must substantiate your faith or it is dead to me.

James says; “be ye doers of the word and a hearer only”.

What does God’s word say? “The just shall live by faith”, and “from faith to faith.”

Do not put the cart before the horse. Have faith in His word and good works will follow.

Do not try to put the fruits on the tree. When the tree is mature it will bear fruit.

We need to take good care of the tree, by watering it and taking care of it.

Do not worry about the fruit, a good tree will produce good fruit.

We must learn to sit with Christ and learn of Him, before we can walk in this world, and stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 2:6; 4:1; 6:11).

When a baby is born, surely the parents do not expect the baby to do any work.

The baby must be nurtured and fed and loved, before the baby can even begin to walk.

The parents must spend many hours with the child, imputing in the child, their values and desires, and the way of life as they see it.

   Even Jesus’s childhood life is not mentioned until he was twelve years old. God is very patient. Abraham had to wait 25 years, before his first son of promise, was given to him.

The Jews had to wait hundreds of years, before being restored as a nation.

God did not send His Son to die on the Cross, immediately after Adam and Eve sinned.

Jesus came 4,000 years later and died on the cross. God does things in His time, and we must be patient, and wait on Him, so good works will be produced in us and through us.

  Now let us view the well known verses, that is often quoted, by those who misunderstand the book of James.

Chapter 2:14-26

James asked the question in v.14.
“What doth it profit, my brethren,  though a man say he hath faith,  and have not works; can faith save him?”

Notice that James asked a question, but does not answer it.  Why?

Simply because he is looking from man’s point of view, and cannot answer either yes or no, unless he sees the evidence of works.

When he asked “can faith save him?”

He cannot say NO, because faith and only faith does save. He cannot say YES, because he must see works first, and without works, to him, faith is dead.

In James 2:15-20, the key phrases are:

“one of you say”

“a man may say,”

“show me”,

“I will show thee”.

  “Wilt thou know o vain man.”

By these key phrases, one can see that he is speaking from man’s point of view. What a man sees is works, for man cannot see faith, thus he can only judge by his works. When a person says to us that he is a Christian, we take his word for it, but we wait and look for evidence of his faith.

If we see good works then we believe he is saved, but if we don’t, then to us his faith is dead. That is what James is saying. Faith without works, to me,  is dead, being alone.

James goes on to talk about Abraham;

“Was not Abraham our father justified by works,  when he offered Isaac his son, upon the altar?” 

“Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”

That is true, but only to you and I, for we judge only by what we see. God sees the heart and if He sees no faith, his works, though there may be many,  will be burnt up like wood, hay and stubble. It must be based on Gold, Silver and Precious Stones (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Apostle Paul says this about Abraham. concerning the same incident.

“What shall we say then, that Abraham,  our father, as pertaining to the flesh hath found,  for if Abraham were justified by works, he hath something of which to glory,  but not before God.” (Romans 4:1-2)

Before men yes, for men see the works which is the evidence of his faith, but God looks at the heart.

So the question must be asked. Are you saved by faith plus works?

If you say yes, salvation is by faith plus works, then you have a problem with Ephesians 2:8-9;

“For by grace are you save through faith, and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God,  not of works lest any man should boast.”

If you say, “No!” then you are saved by faith alone and not of works, and faith must stand alone, even in your walk with God.

Now you can explain why James says “faith without works is dead being alone.”

James is speaking from man’s point of view and saying TO ME, I must see your works or your faith is dead being alone.

A good illustration is found in Luke 7:36-50. Jesus is talking to a Pharisee named Simon, about the woman who washed His feet with her hair. He points to all her works, for Simon cannot see her faith.

But when Jesus turns to the woman, he says in v. 50; “Thy faith has saved thee.”

He did not say, they works has saved thee. Because it is faith that saves,
but works is the evidence that man can see to verify that she has faith.

Thus: Faith without works, is dead to man (James 2:20).
and Works without faith, is dead to God (Hebrews 11:6).

Christianity is:

 not “works” but grace (Romans 11:6).
not “law” but faith (Galatians 3:12).
not “trying” but trusting.
not “laboring” but resting (Matthew 11:28-30).
not “feelings” but knowing
not “I” but Christ (Galatians 2:20).

Christianity is from grace to grace and from faith to faith.

Everything that God gives is by grace and everything we receive is by faith.

“THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH”

Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38.