God never speaks words of condemnation – James pt3

Faith apart from works is dead

Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, Sunday 28 October 2018

HT Tower

I forgot my camera and my phone last Sunday evening. A shame, because we are lighting up the church tower every for a year leading up to the 200th anniversary of the church opening which will be in 2019. We are now in the church’s 200th year.

I got to hear my cajón being played at the evening service, I brought it down at the 10.45 service so that they could rehearse with it.

As a church musician, it was good to sing the Matt Smith song Heart of Worship at our morning service, not just as an act of worship in itself, but to keep what we do in perspective. It is never about the music, it is all about Jesus.

That service continued the series on the letter of James. The theme was obvious as the passage in question, chapter 2 from verse 14, says that faith that does not show itself in works is dead.

But that, although was the theme of the sermon, was not what got my attention. Rather the line that God condemns no one. He never speaks words of condemnation. In his judgement, he warns us of consequences and in his grace, he gives us a way out. Judgement and grace walk hand in hand. The ultimate in grace and judgement is Jesus dying in our place.

There is no contradiction between what Paul said in his letters about being justified and what James says here. Paul tells how we are justified to God by grace alone, James is talking about how we can tell if someone is justified. If God is active in your life it will show. True faith in Jesus Christ changes us to be more like Jesus.

Psalm 139 says, “Search me O God, and know my heart.”

Why not ask God to search your heart now?



2 thoughts on “God never speaks words of condemnation – James pt3

  1. Neil Walpole

    That there is no contradiction between Paul and James is correct, wonder though if the preacher commented on John 3:18:
    18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

    It may not do, but does this verse challenge the preacher’s assertion that God condemns no one?

    1. That depends on whether John 3:18 is about condemning the person who does not believe or if that person condemns themself. There are theologians on both sides of this.

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