James: FAITH vs Unbelief   

The book of James is addressing faith. The thesis for the book of James is, “True faith vs. a false faith (a lie).”[1] That is, “You say you have faith, but do your works prove this only a lie? Have truly assented in your mind the truths of the gospel?” This is the rhetorical question from this book. The letter starts with faith and ends with faith.

A false faith is like a man who looks at a mirror and walks away, forgetting what he looks like–because he never had true assent to begin with. It was a lie of the mouth. Some say they assent to God’s mercy given to them, but they show partiality (prejudice or favoritism) with the rich, the poor and/or their favorite club or group. However, mercy triumphs over judgment. Their assenting is a lie. It exposes that their mind never assented to the Scripture.

Do demons really “believe in God?” If they truly assented to God’s INFINITE power, then why did they side with Satan, thinking they could defeat INFINITE POWER? You cannot believe God is undefeatable and then do “works” that deny God is undefeatable, by challenging Him as if you can beat Him. No. You never believed in God’s power to begin with. Obviously, if your faith is like a demon, you are a worthless piece of trash.  You say you have faith, but your works deny it.

If your faith is true and you lack wisdom, then you are able to ask God who gives liberally and you WILL actually receive wisdom from God, because you ask without doubting. James says that you WILL receive wisdom. This is true faith. James defines as getting from God what you ask; this is in direct contradiction who define faith as merely asking and not getting what you ask for because their “God’s Will” fallacy.[2] The Bible says here that real faith is proven not by the act of prayer, but by you receiving a fish for a fish, and wisdom for wisdom. If your faith is true, then your actions will show that you have indeed assented to the truths of God.

What is missed here by some is that if you pray for wisdom, but doubt, and thus not receive the wisdom, then you are disobedience to God’s command. Many who find themselves in this place, rather than admit their lack of faith as disobedience will say, “it was God’s will.” This is disobedience piled on top of more disobedience. It is never God’s will for you not to repent in faith and receive His promise of forgiveness in Jesus. It is God’s standing command give to you. It is never God’s will for you to not receive wisdom by your faith in His promise to give it. It is His standing command to you. If you lack faith; you are in disobedience.

Abraham assented that he believed God, and his actions demonstrated this was indeed true when he was about to sacrifice Isaac at God’s word. If you say you assent to God’s sovereignty, then you will not boast about what you will do tomorrow.

James says in the beginning of the letter to take tribulation and learn endurance. As stated this endurance under hardship is true and good. And we ought to obey God here with true faith. However, it does not stop here. James later brings in Job. JOB. This man had learned endurance and hardship in a severe way; however, false humility will cause many to stop here. What does James say about Job who endured? What does it say? He says this story is about “God’s compassion and mercy!” Well, what does this mercy and compassion look like in the actual context? Was it merely invisible spiritual blessings like forgiveness? No. It is recorded God’s mercy to Job was wealth and health. Indeed, Double wealth and health. This is not coming from some overly makeup guy on TNB, sitting in a gold chair. This is Scripture’s definition of God’s mercy: that Job be the double richest and healthiest man in the entire area.  Scripture tells us that God’s mercy is not merely spiritual but physical. Mercy includes health and wealth. And all mercy is by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Your theology must include this.

If your faith is true and not false, then your faith will both endure hardships of life, and you faith will overcome them, even with double wealth and health. God is a merciful and compassionate God.

If your faith is true and righteous, then like Elijah–who was a mere human like you, who opened up the skies to rain through faith — you can ask and God will both rise a sick man from the bed and they will also be forgiven. Faith is proven not by a prayer, but by you getting what you pray for. Jesus says this over and over again in John 13-16, and James his brother, was merely repeating this teaching. Jesus Christ says the exact answer to your prayer is proof that you are a disciple doing disciple things (John 15). And James says this over and over in this letter. A fish for a fish, No rain for a no rain, rain for a rain, forgiveness for a forgiveness, and healing for a healing.

James 1:2–8 (LEB)

Trials, Testing, and Faith

2 Consider it all joy, my brothers, whenever you encounter various trials, 3 because you* know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

What about a trail that involves
lacking Wisdom for something

5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask for it from God, who gives to all without reservation and not reproaching, and IT WILL BE GIVEN to him. 6 But let him ask for it in faith, without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed about. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

What about a trial of sickness?

(James 5:15)

Is anyone among you sick? He should….call….pray….


The command is if you have been blessed, then you “OUGHT” to praise Him. This is not a suggestion. This is also about faith. If you truly believe God has blessed you, then the fruit or work of this faith is praise. It is what God’s precept.  Do not keep it to yourself.

If you are sick, the command is to get healed in a prayer of faith. If you failed to get the result of wisdom because of doubt, James tells us to blame our unbelief and not “God’s will,” which so many do. The same with healing. We are still in context of the Letter of James; we are still in his emphasis on our faith vs false faith(unbelief). The subject did not suddenly and magically change to “God’s will,” or decree. It is not a suggestion to get healed. It is not a suggestion to get forgiveness, if you have sinned. It is God’s standing decree and precept, that you by your faith get healed and get forgiveness. If you fail, the accountability and responsibility is on your faith, not “God’s will (decree).”  If you believe God has commanded you to be healed, then you will prove this by the work of getting healed by your prayer of faith.  If you believe God’s command about forgiveness, then you will prove this by the work, of being born again, by your faith. Because it is God’s standing command to be healed by your faith, then it is always God’s Will(ethic) for you to be healed. Because it is God’s standing command get wisdom by your faith, then it is always God’s Will for you to get wisdom. Always.

James shows God’s kindness, in that our faith is not always mature and strong; and thus, we can call on the elders of the church to help us pray, so that  in faith we receive what we ask for. There are 2 quick things to note. One, do not take God’s help and kindness as if it negates God’s command on your faith to acquire from God, that is, your accountability. Second, if the elders of you church attempt to obey this command, (but I have rarely seen it), and their prayers do not commonly bring healing, they are worthless disobedient trash and should be excommunicated. It is the command of God (i.e. God’s will as in ethics) for faith to get the healing (accountability). It is one thing for lay people to be disobedient, but for the elders to be in direct disobedience of God, is inexcusable.


[1] This basic thesis statement of truth faith verses false faith was brought to my attention by Vincent Cheung.

[2] I call it a fallacy because I see this phrase more than not, used in a category error fallacy by Christians, by mixing up Christian ontology with Christian ethics. Or meaning the right category, but not using the right category in the right context the way the Bible dose.