It may not be surprising that Genesis 1 and the Book of Matthew are among the most read pieces of literature ever. Fair enough, we might say, as the Bible is a weighty tome for a person of no or little faith to take in. Even among believers, however, there is a tendency to focus on “the exciting bits,” and in so doing often skipping or glossing over the genealogies, ritual laws, and “dry bits.”
We should remember, however, that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 2:16-17 NIV).” Jesus said that man should not live by bread alone, but by the words of God.
Martin Luther had a problem with the Book of James. He, like many, read it as a stand alone document. He viewed James celebration of “works” done in faith as contrary to Paul’s teachings on the sufficiency of faith. As a result Luther relegated James to an appendix in his New Testament translation. But if we read the “Whole Word of God” we need not see rival or contrary “truths” but supplemental and elaborating, indeed enhancing facets of the mind of God. We are saved by grace, God did the work. Faith is a gift of that grace. We if we read James in light of God’s entire message, should do good works because we are saved, not to be saved. If we are a people who have put on Christ, and who are filled with the Spirit of God, how could be any less serving, giving and loving than the model we been clothed and filled with?
Let us dwell in the Word of God, let it guide our actions and our prayers. Let us prepare to go into the world equipped with the full armour of God and in that armour let our sword be intact, sharpened, and full.