I'll never forget when I was in high school, going with my youth pastor, Dan, to visit one of the new kids who had visited our church (we'll call him Chris). As we were talking to Chris, Dan realized that he knew a bit about the Bible but perhaps didn't have a great understanding of how we're saved. So he got out a piece of paper and, after defining the words "faith" "works" and "salvation," he drew two equations and asked Chris to pick the right one:
Faith + Works = Salvation
Faith = Salvation + Works
Well, Chris picked the first equation, to which Dan very graciously said, "I have some new news for you!" and then explained why the second equation was more biblical.
We come to the heart of the book of James this week, where we see James making the strong claim that "faith apart from works is dead." What does he mean by that, and what does that do to our doctrine of Sola Fide, salvation by faith alone? We'll dive in and find out together.
I hope that your summer is going well and that you're getting a chance to travel or spend time with your family and do other things that you love. I hope that if you get the chance to visit other churches while you're away that you are gracious and complimentary to them. And if you're here, let's try to greet our guests and make them feel at home. See you Sunday! -Dave