Whenever I witness that we can never be justified by the law and that works make Grace void I get a quick default response quoting one verse “Faith without works is Dead”.
Bless their hearts, if only they would continue reading that Chapter.
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
~ James 2:21-25
James gives two examples of Great faith, Abraham about to kill his son (Thou shall not murder) and Rahab a prostitute (thou shall not commit adultery) lying to protect the Hebrew spies (You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.)
Two big examples of breaking the 10 commandments, yet they were great examples of faith. So the works James is talking about is not the 10 commandments.
Notice both Abraham and Rahab were not under the 10 commandments, Abraham lived 620 years before the law was given through Moses on Mount Sinai and Rahab was a gentile.
Let’s be honest folks, we all break the 10 commandments even before we get out of the bed. We all need Grace. We all need the finished works of Jesus Christ on the cross.
But works according to the law are impossible to keep. Trying to keep the 10 commandments is opposite of rest, part of every flesh and become works according to the flesh.
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
~ Romans 11:6
Being Dead to the 10 Commandments a.k.a REST
If we are dead to the 10 commandments and married to Christ alone apart from our works, Christ himself will bear fruit to God through us. This is the works according to the spirit and this is the works James was talking about.
When we are under Grace, faith is accompanied by works according to the spirit. This is why Paul says the fruits of the spirit there are no laws against it.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
~ Galatians 5:22-25
The opposite of Rest is Evil
An evil heart is a restless heart. Out of a restless heart all kinds of evil deeds, fornications, thievery, slander comes out. Tell me in history, name a dictator who had a calm heart? And I will name you a king who ruled for 1000 years.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
~ Matthew 15:19
The Greek word for Evil is πονηρός (poneros) and the definition is
“restlessness, full of labours, annoyances, hardships, pressed and harassed by labour’s, bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to faith and steadfastness; causing pain and trouble”
Are you restless in your preaching or ministry? Are you restless with your studies, job, business, health or family?
I submit to you, We have been all guilty of having an Evil Heart. Is there any hope?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
~ John 14:27
Guard your heart against restlessness, look to Christ’s finished works on the cross for a restful and innocent heart.
Confronted with this verse taken out of context? Let me know in the comment section below.