Why the Demons Tremble (Mon. Jan. 31)

The word of the day is “demons.”  In today’s reading of James 2:14-26, the apostle explores the question of faith and works.  For James “works” are necessary to faith for its “perfection” (vs. 22) that is, its “expression” (vs. 14-16), “fruitfulness” (vs. 16), and “completion” (vs.22 Strong’s #5048). As the apostle argues his point, he makes a startling statement: “You believe that there is one God.  You do well.  Even the demons believe—and tremble” (OSB vs. 2:19).  The devil and his accomplices, the demons, are not atheists. Nor are they sceptics.  In the Gospels, we find that the demons confess who Jesus is.  They say that they know that He is the “Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24).  Again, the…

The Difference between Works and Good Works (Feb. 8, Mon.)

The word of the day is “by.”  The controversy over faith and works since the Reformation era of the Western Church makes many uncertain about how how faith relates to good works. Today’s reading of James 2:14-26 argues that “good works” are necessary to faith. The apostle writes, “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (vs. 18).  In the Orthodox view, the phrase “by my works” suggests an answer to the question of faith’s relationship to good works.  However, a discussion of this phrase shows that faith is not only essential to good works  But it determines the difference between works and good works (vs. 18). The Source of Good…