16th of September 2017 The initial link on James 2:24 Keith Thompson was removed ages ago so I have put my article in it's place.
I came across an response to a Christians' letter by Tsvi Jacobson, one of the writers of yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com, and I read his response to the letter itself. The article can be found here: http://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/talk-is-cheap/
Tsvi Jacobson to the best of my knowledge is a former Messianic Jew and he provides a response in that link to the letter itself. The letter you can read in that link, but Jacobson's reply I will post here and comment on it.
This is what he said:
"My reply to this paper is that having spent many years in Christianity, I rarely if ever saw the poor maimed and blind
invited to anyones home except the soup kitchens where the alcoholics and drug addicts had to listen to a sermon
before being served something to eat. Yet in most Orthodox synagogues you will hear the announcement every
Sabbath. ” If you do not have a place for Sabbath dinner let me know as we have many families that would be glad
to have you.” The truth of the matter is that in many respects JEWS ALREADY DO many things that Jesus himself taught, but
Christians just believe on him
Now, It is a rare occurrence that the blind and maimed are invited to anyone's home, although I admit it would be nice if Christians as a whole would be willing to extend this compassion to any person, considering Jesus himself did which Jacobson rightly points out.
Now it is unfortunate that Mr Jacobson encountered Christians who did not have this attitude to those individuals he mentioned. Had he encountered Christians who did what they should of been doing, there is no doubt within my mind the picture would be different and I wouldn't even be writing this paper to begin with.
I think Christians such as myself can benefit greatly from this form of hospitality being applied in our lives, namely us extending this hospitality to many people. But to say "Christians just believe on him" isn't an accurate picture of genuine Christianity.
Yes there is an emphasis on belief, but this is not to the denigration of deeds, considering Ephesians 2:8-10 and of course James 2:17.
"Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
"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."
Though one is justified by faith in Christ, this doesn't mean the faith is superficial and has no works. Salvation is by grace, but if one is truly in Christ the works shall be there. James 2 I address in this paper: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/james-2-does-it-refute-justification-by.html
There are works in a Christian's life, but this doesn't justify them before God, it's believing first, THEN Christians do the works that have been prepared for us, not to get saved, but as a demonstration of faith to the world.
Hope this article has been a blessing. May the Triune God YHWH give us the grace to carry out the great commission, Amen.