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Marks of a Living Faith

March 1st, 2020

Minoh International Church
Pastor Joseph Ricohermoso
James 2:14-26
ヤコブの手紙 2:14-26

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
James 2:14-19

14 わたしの兄弟たちよ。ある人が自分には信仰があると称していても、もし行いがなかったら、なんの役に立つか。その信仰は彼を救うことができるか。
15 ある兄弟または姉妹が裸でいて、その日の食物にもこと欠いている場合、
16 あなたがたのうち、だれかが、「安らかに行きなさい。暖まって、食べ飽きなさい」と言うだけで、そのからだに必要なものを何ひとつ与えなかったとしたら、なんの役に立つか。
17 信仰も、それと同様に、行いを伴わなければ、それだけでは死んだものである。
18 しかし、「ある人には信仰があり、またほかの人には行いがある」と言う者があろう。それなら、行いのないあなたの信仰なるものを見せてほしい。そうしたら、わたしの行いによって信仰を見せてあげよう。19 あなたは、神はただひとりであると信じているのか。それは結構である。悪霊どもでさえ、信じておののいている。
ヤコブの手紙 2:14-19

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:20-26

20 ああ、愚かな人よ。行いを伴わない信仰のむなしいことを知りたいのか。21 わたしたちの父祖アブラハムは、その子イサクを祭壇にささげた時、行いによって義とされたのではなかったか。22 あなたが知っているとおり、彼においては、信仰が行いと共に働き、その行いによって信仰が全うされ、23 こうして、「アブラハムは神を信じた。それによって、彼は義と認められた」という聖書の言葉が成就し、そして、彼は「神の友」と唱えられたのである。24 これでわかるように、人が義とされるのは、行いによるのであって、信仰だけによるのではない。25 同じように、かの遊女ラハブでさえも、使者たちをもてなし、彼らを別な道から送り出した時、行いによって義とされたではないか。26 霊魂のないからだが死んだものであると同様に、行いのない信仰も死んだものなのである。
ヤコブの手紙 2:20-26


It has been said that faith is like calories: you can’t see them, but you can always see their effects! That is the major theme echoing throughout James’ epistle – results. Living faith produces genuine results of good works.

  1. Initial clarification

James in these verses is not contradicting the apostle Paul. These two men of God used the same word, justified (“considered righteous,” vv.21, 24 & 25 NIV) but with two different connotations. Paul, in Romans 4:1-5 and Galatians 3, is explaining how the sinner is justified, that is, being given a right standing before God. Basically, it is the judicial act of God whereby He declares the believing sinner righteous while still in a sinning state.
これらの節でヤコブが言っていることは、使徒パウロと同じことを言っています。神を信じているこの二人は、「義とされる」という同じ言葉( 21、24、25 節NIV)を使いましたが、実は2つの異なる意味合いがありました。パウロは、ローマ人への手紙4章1-5節とガラテヤ人への手紙3章で、罪人がどのように正しくされるのか、つまり、罪びとでさえ、神の前では正しい地位を与えられることを説明しています。基本的には、神を信じる者は罪人であっても、神の律法によって、たとえ罪を犯したとしても罪人を義とすると言っています。

James, on the other hand, is writing about how the saved person confirms that salvation before others. He is talking about the validation and evidence of such faith. In short, the emphasis of their writings is different.

Paul emphasizes the root of salvation, which is faith in Christ. James, on the other hand, points to the fruit after salvation. Every true believer rooted in Christ by faith will bear fruit, like branches on a vine (John 15:4-5). Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
パウロは、キリストへの信仰という救いの根源を強調して書いています。一方、ヤコブは救いの後に実る成果のことを指し示しています。信仰によってキリストに根ざした真の信者は皆、ブドウの枝のように実を結びます(ヨハネ 15:4-5)。私たちの主イエス・キリストは次のように言いました。

4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:4-5

ヨハネ 15:4-5

Paul talks about the root, James talks about the fruit.

And so, James asks a pivotal question in verse 14 – “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?”

It’s like asking, “What good is it to have a driver’s license if you don’t drive?” None! Then, he proceeds with the marks of a living or genuine faith from verses 15 to 20.

  1. Marks of a living faith – vv.15-20
    生きた信仰の証– 15-20節
  1. It is not indifferent, but involved (vv.15-16)

15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
James 2:15-16

15 ある兄弟または姉妹が裸でいて、その日の食物にもこと欠いている場合、
16 あなたがたのうち、だれかが、「安らかに行きなさい。暖まって、食べ飽きなさい」と言うだけで、そのからだに必要なものを何ひとつ与えなかったとしたら、なんの役に立つか。
ヤコブの手紙 2:15-16

What James is saying is easy to understand. Maybe, we’ve been that needy person and can still remember the empty promises we received instead of real help. Listen to how one pastor paraphrased it:

“For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?” (The Message).
「たとえば、ぼろぼろの服に身を包み、お腹をすかせている古い友人に会って、『おはよう、久しぶり』と言い、そして『キリストを信じて!聖霊に満たされようよ! 」と言ったとします。そしてコートやお腹を満たすスープも用意せずに立ち去ったとします。これはどうでしょうか?「神のような行い」を伴っておらず、「神の話」ばかりするということが、ばかげていてナンセンスに聞こえることは明らかではありませんか?」

What is missing here? James says it’s the evidence of a living faith – real food and real clothes! The apostle John affirms the same view:

17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:17-18

ヨハネの第一の手紙 3:17-18

  1. Living faith is not independent, but in partnership (v.17)

17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:17

17 信仰も、それと同様に、行いを伴わなければ、それだけでは死んだものである。
ヤコブの手紙 2:17

Faith and works go together, like Siamese twins, sharing the same vital organs. You can’t have one without the other. Dissolve the partnership and faith dies.

Maybe, the illustration of Siamese twins is too much. Salt and pepper? Cream and sugar? I think, we get the point. Faith was never designed to live alone, separate from the partner that proves its existence.

  1. Living faith is not invisible, but visible (v.18)

We do not show our faith in Christ only by great deeds of achievement, such as those listed in Hebrews 11, but by the things we say and do … day by day. There is a challenge in v.18: “Show me your faith without deeds …!” This is impossible to do! The only way faith can be expressed in the Christian’s life is by practical loving obedience to the Word of God.
私たちは、ヘブル人への手紙11章に挙げられているように、偉大な功績によってのみキリストへの信仰を示すのではなく、私たちが日々、話したり、行ったりする事によって信仰を示すことができます。 ここで、18節に、私たちへの課題が次のように書かれています。「それなら、行いのないあなたの信仰なるものを見せてほしい。」と書かれています。クリスチャンの人生で信仰を表現できる唯一の方法は、愛を持って神の言葉に従順でいるということですから、行いのない信仰を見せるというのは不可能です!

The word show means “to bring to light, to display or exhibit.”

Some might argue, “Look, there are all kinds of Christians. Some have the gift of works, others are quiet, never displaying their faith.” But that’s like saying some people have the gift of breathing and others don’t!

We delude ourselves if we think it doesn’t matter whether we evidence our faith or not. James’ argument is that if it doesn’t show, we don’t have it.

Didn’t our Lord Jesus say:

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”
Matthew 5:14-16

14 あなたがたは、世の光である。山の上にある町は隠れることができない。15 また、あかりをつけて、それを枡の下におく者はいない。むしろ燭台の上において、家の中のすべてのものを照させるのである。16 そのように、あなたがたの光を人々の前に輝かし、そして、人々があなたがたのよいおこないを見て、天にいますあなたがたの父をあがめるようにしなさい。
マタイによる福音書 5:14-16

  1. Living faith is not merely intellectual, but from the heart (v.19)

19 You believe that there is one God. 
James 2:19a

19 あなたは、神はただひとりであると信じているのか。
ヤコブの手紙 2:19a

This person’s defense against not having any good deeds is to hide behind an impressive knowledge of God’s Word. “I have a sound theology. I believe that there’s one God, just like what Deuteronomy 6:4 says.”

“Really?!” James says, “lock arms with the demons.”

19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
James 2:19

19 あなたは、神はただひとりであると信じているのか。それは結構である。悪霊どもでさえ、信じておののいている。
ヤコブの手紙 2:19

Even the devil has dead faith! (v. 19). Let’s see how the demons acknowledge Christ.

“What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
Matthew 8:29

マタイによる福音書 8:29

She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
Acts 16:17

使徒行伝 16:17

Still, this kind of faith will not save them. The demons have their religious facts straight, but they’re still demons. We can know all the knowledge we want, but until we believe in Christ, we are no more Christian than demons.

  1. Examples of a living faith – vv. 21-25
    生きた信仰の例 – 21-25節
  1. Abraham (vv. 20-24)

James goes back into the OT for two examples of faith that lead to works. The first is Abraham (Genesis 22:1-19). Abraham was anxious to have a son, and God promised one to him. Abraham believed God’s promise, and this faith gave to him the righteousness he needed for salvation (Gen. 15:1-6; Romans 4:1-5).
ヤコブは「行い」につながる信仰の2つの例をあげるために旧約聖書まで遡り(さかのぼり)ます。最初はアブラハム(創世記22:1-19)です。アブラハムは息子を持つことを切望し、神は彼に息子を授けることを約束しました。アブラハムは神の約束を信じ、彼の信仰は救いに必要な義を彼に与えました(創世記15:1-6; ローマ人への手紙4:1-5)。

God had promised Abraham that through Isaac, he would have children more numerous than the sand of the sea and the stars of the heavens. Then God asked Abraham to sacrifice that son Isaac on the altar! Abraham had faith in God, and therefore was not afraid to obey Him. Hebrews 11:17-19 indicates that Abraham believed that God could even raise Isaac from the dead!

In short, Abraham proved his faith by his works. His obedience to the Word was evidence of his faith in the Word. His faith was made perfect (brought to maturity) in his act of obedience.

  1. Rahab (v.25)

James’ second illustration is Rahab (Joshua 2; 6:17-27). This woman was a pagan prostitute, yet her name is listed in the family of Christ (Matthew 1:5). Hebrews 11:31 indicates that she was a woman of faith.
ヤコブの2番目の例はラハブです(ヨシュア記2; 6:17-27)。この女性は異教の売春婦でしたが、マタイ書1章5節では、彼女の名前はキリストの家系として記載されています。ヘブル書11章31節では、彼女が信仰を持った女性であったことを示しています。

She lived in the condemned city of Jericho, and she heard that God had judged the enemies of Israel. She believed the report she heard about God (Josh. 2:10-11), for “faith comes from hearing” (Rom. 10:17).

Keep in mind that Rahab was a believer in the God of Israel before the two spies came to her house. It was her reception and protection of the two spies that proved her faith in God. She risked her own life to identify herself with Israel. Because of her faith, proved by her works, she and her family (who also believed) were delivered from the judgment that came to all the people in Jericho.


Finally, James summarizes his entire discussion in verse 26: “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

When there is separation, there is death. It’s true physically, when the soul separates from the body; and its true spiritually, when faith is separated from good deeds.

People have no right to believe that we are saved if they do not see a change in our lives. A sinner is saved by faith, without works according to Ephesians 2:8-9, but true saving faith leads to works (Ephesians 2:10).

Faith, like calories, cannot be seen, but James says that you can always see its effects. What effects other people see in our life? Is our faith marked by involvement? Is our faith marked by partnership? Is our faith marked by visibility? Is our faith marked by being from the heart?