Can faith alone save us? Yes!
James 2: 14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Do we need to mix our faith with works to be saved? Is this what James was saying in this passage?
Galatians 2:16Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Salvation, or eternal life with God, is a free gift. A priceless gift. We cannot earn a gift. Unfortunately we are taught from an early age that even the gifts that we receive, have to be earned. This is the message we give to children when we tell them, “be good or Santa won’t come”. So Satan has even associated the birth of our Savior, with earning a gift. If a person were to scrimp, and save their entire life, to give the gift of a million dollars to someone, and that person mowed their lawn or shoveled their walk and said, ” now we are even”, this is somewhat comparable to thinking we can earn our salvation.
What then was James referring to? Lets look at the whole passage in context.
James 2: 14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
If we we have faith that God will supply all our needs, and are afraid to give that which we have, then our faith is dead. It cannot profit, or save, the person in need. No glory is given to God, when we hide our light under a basket. If we say we have faith to lay hands on the sick and heal them, and never reach out and pray for and touch the sick and diseased, then our faith is dead. It does not profit, or save, the sick and diseased.
Mathew 10: 7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Jesus wants us to be like him. He gave his life freely for us. And wants us in turn, to freely give to others.