James 2:14-26

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Faith produces good works

"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe - and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead."

I have had some questions posed to me recently about faith and good works and what's higher than the other. The answer is that they are co-dependent. If you believe everything God says but you don't practice it, what's the good in that? Do you really believe? Or if you do lots of really good things, but you don't really have any faith, than where do you go? You have to have faith. You have to practice your faith. And like Jesus commented on the Pharisees, they did a lot of ritualistic things for pomp and circumstance, but when it came to doing good works for all, that was lost on them. James says, faith without works is dead.

There you have it.

No comments:

Post a Comment