James 2:19 (Misinterpreted Scriptures)

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Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Misinterpretation: Used to say 1) that Trinitiarian doctrine is wrong, because there is only one God, and 2) that belief is not sufficient for salvation, because if it were then the devils would be saved.

Facts: Trinitarianism (belief in One Being—God–Who exists in three Persons) is not the same as tritheism (belief in three supreme beings or gods). In other words, Trinitarians read James 2:19 and agree with the UPC–there is only one God.

Also, just because the devils believe there is one God does not mean that A) they have placed their faith in that one God for their salvation, or B) that they could be saved even if they did place their faith in Christ. The Bible never suggests that devils can be saved. As a matter of fact, Peter says that at least some of them are in "chains of darkness…reserved for judgment" (2 Pet. 2:4 NKJV). In other words, placing your faith in Christ for your salvation is much different than just believing in one God. Muslims believe in one god, but that does not make them saved. Salvation requires that a person place their faith in Christ (cf. Acts 2:21, Acts 16:30-31, Rom. 10:13).

18 thoughts on “James 2:19 (Misinterpreted Scriptures)

  1. Glenn Frazier

    I will say this much, if a true Christian man or woman says they believe in the Word of God and then they turn from their beliefs to say that there were three persons in the Godhead then they have turned to a wicked way of thinking. God is Spirit, and He became Jesus in the flesh so that we might have Salvation from our Sins. and then He became the Spirit again in the Manifestation of the Holy Ghost. So with that being said there was only one Person which was Jesus Christ. The other two were Spirits that had no Flesh and Blood. So when you or if you get to Heaven you will only see one on the Throne and that will be Jesus which is Almighty God in the Flesh.

  2. Dianne

    Reading the comments on this blog made me really appreciate the revelation of true salvation. True salvation is in our faith in Christ. True faith. Not in the things you do according to a man that preaches his beliefs and standards for salvation. But a faith that draws you into a true relationship with God. I saw, after I came to this understanding, my walk with God grow in awesome ways. We are not saved by works or a baptism in water. It is something we do to show salvation but baptism in the Spirit as He infills us is vital.

    Growing up, I used to question how someone could speak in tongues (something I did) and yet not be baptized in water if they were not saved yet. The scripture they use “You must be born of water and of Spirit to be saved” was confusing until I understood when I looked into what it means. Water is not baptism but your birth from your mother’s womb. And baptism started in Judaic law way before Jesus and John were born. It has to do with showing a new start with God and being reborn a new person devoted to living for Him. But is not the new start itself but a representation of that new start that is spiritual.

    We are saved by grace not by our acts. Because we are saved He guides us as our Father when we do wrong and does this in love. One of many that I listen to on a daily basis has helped me so much in the past 3 years is Dr. Michael Brown. He is on the radio and online for 2 hours everyday. He has an amazing testimony of growing up Jewish, coming to Christ, and studying all of this so he could be sure he had come to true salvation. You can find his website at askdrbrown.org and he doesn’t talk like he knows everything. But speaks with love and doesn’t claim to be perfect and will listen and answer the way he understands. Yet not condemn others if they don’t agree like him.

    One of my most cherished revelations was understanding that my trinitarian friends did not believe in three gods and never did. And that they were saved. Oneness never made sense nor does the trinity completely explain the Godhead. Yet, it helps me see just how awesome my Lord and Savior really is. And I love Him more and more every day as He helps my tests become a beautiful testimony for His glory. God bless you Josh.

  3. The Other Josh

    I want to try and develop a few points here that Admin Josh is trying to make.

    – Admin has no problem with baptizing in Jesus Name
    – Admin has no problem with baptizing in the “titles”
    – Admin believes that since Father, Son, and HG are in fact Jesus (a Oneness Pentecostal view)
    – Admin believes that utilizing the titles is just as valid as utilizing the spoken Name

    Does the formula really matter? Church fathers have been willing to use both titles and Name for much of Christian history. The issue really wasn’t big until a rift developed over Oneness and Trinity. It seems to me, title adherents were just a little scared of a Oneness viewpoint, and with their desire to baptise in the Name of Jesus only, Trinitarian view holders figured baptizing in the Name only poisonous as well.

    1. Josh (Site Admin) Post author

      Nice summary, the other Josh :). The only thing I’d clarify is that I wouldn’t say that “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” are Jesus. I would say, though, that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are God.

      In Christ,
      Josh S.

  4. Josh P

    There is one truth, and sad to say, the creater of this blog is the one mis-itpretating these scriptures, not us oneness pentecostals, if you knew this truth and are now denying, I worry for you. The truth will stand.

  5. Frank

    Josh,

    Firstly, I commend your boldness.

    I would like to ask your stance on the following verse.

    1John 2:23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

    The Oneness Pentecostal and Trinitarian views seem to be extreme opposites regarding this passage.

    In Christ,
    Bro. Frank

    1. Josh (Site Admin) Post author

      Frank,

      I don’t know that I’ve ever heard this verse covered in apostolic circles, so I’m unsure what their interpretation would be. However, I don’t think the verse demands a Trinitarian or Oneness interpretation. In other words, the verse could be interpreted by a Trinitarian or Oneness believer with the same results–I.e., that we must believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

      I hope that helps!

      In Christ,
      – Josh S.

  6. Brandirose Shaw

    A check? Really? Look, God did not write a check, he paid in full. There were not checks in the bible…unless I am mistaken. That is almost as silly as saying women should wear dresses because that is what is on the bathroom doors. Give me a break.
    I appreciate your saying the Jesus isn’t even Messiah’s name. Majoring on minors causes sin because you are like the Pharisees if you sit around acting like you have to have an answer for everything and it better add up with what the church is saying. Has anyone actually listened to the message of the Apostolic church from a perspective of a non-believer? I was in an Apostolic church for 13 years. I am not one to give my self partially to anything, I was all in. I decided to really look at things without the rhetoric….you know what happened when I did, I was frightened because I felt like it was causing a crisis in faith…at the end of it though I think I grew in my understanding of God. The dogmatic beliefs of one group is silly. What did people do before the Holy Ghost, Jesus Name movement. Did they all go to hell?
    You are right God does not send people to hell, but overzealous people who ignore that God wrote on mans heart instead of tablets of stone can be a stumbling block and I have seen too many people who give up on church because they think everyone is just that goofy…sad.

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