Faith and Works - James 2

Faith and Works

James 2:1-26

        Faith without works is dead.  That's the point that James wants to make.  "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead."  James 2:17.  "But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?"  James 2:20.  "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26. 

        The questions are asked, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  Can faith save him?"  Here we are looking at the profession of faith, not the possession of faith.  Someone simply says that he has faith.  He substitutes words for works.  This is a dead faith.  It stinks!  Bury it!

        A dead faith may be doctrinally correct.  "You believe that there is one God.  You do well.  Even the demons believe--and tremble!"  Demons believe in God.  They believe in the doctrine of the Trinity.  They believe in the biblical account of creation.  They could even sign the statement of faith of some orthodox, Bible-believing churches.  Demonic belief is solely intellectual, a mental assent that may affect the emotions, but does not involve personal trust or commitment.  At least the demons tremble.

        James says, "Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works."  Then he gives us two examples of faith and works.  The first is Abraham.  "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?"  Yes, he was.  James offers a Scripture, Genesis 15:6, to prove it.  The second example is Rahab.  "Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?"  Of course!  Read Hebrews 11:31.

        The truth is that real, saving faith is never alone.  Salvation received is salvation revealed.  It is received by faith, and revealed by works.  Consider Ephesians 2:8-10.  "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."  It has often been said, "Faith is the root; works are the fruit."  Believers are saved unto good works.

        One final word.  There are those who "profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work."  Titus 1:16.  While it is true that faith without works is dead, it is also true that works without faith are dead.

 

        Heavenly Father, thank You for Your great salvation.  We want our light to shine for Jesus that You might be glorified through our lives.  Bless our testimony.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

The Power of the Tongue - James 3

 
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