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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - James 2:14-26

In this latter part of the chapter, the apostle shows the error of those who rested in a bare profession of the Christian faith, as if that would save them, while the temper of their minds and the tenour of their lives were altogether disagreeable to that holy religion which they professed. To let them see, therefore, what a wretched foundation they built their hopes upon, it is here proved at large that a man is justified, not by faith only, but by works. Now, I. Upon this arises a very great... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - James 2:14-26

2:14-26 My brothers, what use is it if a man claims to have faith and has no deeds to show? Are you going to claim that his faith is able to save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear, and if they have not enough for their daily food, and if one of you says to them, "Go in peace! Be warmed and fed!" and yet does not give them the essentials of bodily existence, what use is that? So, if faith too has no deeds to show, by itself it is dead. But someone may well say, "Have you... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - James 2:17

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. It is like a lifeless carcass, a body without a soul, James 2:26 for as works, without faith, are dead works, so faith, without works, is a dead faith, and not like the lively hope and faith of regenerated persons: and indeed, such who have no other faith than this are dead in trespasses and sins; not that works are the life of faith, or that the life of faith lies in, and flows from works; but, as Dr. Ames observes F2 Medulla... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - James 2:18

Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works ,.... That is, a true believer in Christ may very justly call upon a vain boaster of his faith, who has no works, to give proof and evidence of it, and address him after this manner; you say you have faith, be it so that you have; I have works, you see I have, I say nothing about my faith at present; now, shew me thy faith without thy works , if thou canst; see what ways, means, and methods thou canst make use of, to make it appear to... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - James 2:19

Thou believest that there is one God ,.... These words are a continuation of the address of the man that has works, to him that boasts of his faith without them, observing to him, that one, and a main article of his faith, is, that there is one God; which is to be understood in the Christian sense, since both the person speaking, and the person spoken to, were such as professed themselves Christians; so that to believe there is one God, is not merely to give into this article, in opposition... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - James 2:17

If it hath not works, is dead - The faith that does not produce works of charity and mercy is without the living principle which animates all true faith, that is, love to God and love to man. They had faith, such as a man has who credits a well-circumstanced relation because it has all the appearance of truth; but they had nothing of that faith that a sinner, convinced of his sinfulness, God's purity, and the strictness of the Divine laws, is obliged to exert in the Lord Jesus, in order to... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - James 2:18

Show me thy faith without thy works - Your pretending to have faith, while you have no works of charity or mercy, is utterly vain: for as faith, which is a principle in the mind, cannot be discerned but by the effects, that is, good works; he who has no good works has, presumptively, no faith. I will show thee my faith by my works - My works of charity and mercy will show that I have faith; and that it is the living tree, whose root is love to God and man, and whose fruit is the good... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - James 2:19

Thou believest that there is one God - This is the faith in which these persons put their hope of pleasing God, and of obtaining eternal life. Believing in the being and unity of God distinguished them from all the nations of the world; and having been circumcised, and thus brought into the covenant, they thought themselves secure of salvation. The insufficiency of this St. James immediately shows. The devils also believe, and tremble - It is well to believe there is one only true God;... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - James 2:17

Verse 17 17Is dead, being alone. He says that faith is dead, being by itself, that is, when destitute of good works. We hence conclude that it is indeed no faith, for when dead, it does not properly retain the name. The Sophists plead this expression and say, that some sort of faith is found by itself; but this frivolous caviling is easily refuted; for it is sufficiently evident that the Apostle reasons from what is impossible, as Paul calls an angel anathema, if he attempted to subvert the... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - James 2:18

Verse 18 18Yea, a man may say. Erasmus introduces here two persons as speakers; one of whom boasts of faith without works, and the other of works without faith; and he thinks that both are at length confuted by the Apostle. But this view seems to me too forced. He thinks it strange, that this should be said by James, Thou hast faith, who acknowledges no faith without works. But in this he is much mistaken, that he does not acknowledge an irony in these words. Then ἀλλὰ I take for “nay rather;”... read more

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