Faith Without Works Is Ineffective – April 19, 2016
James 2:14, What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If 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? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But 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. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Colossians 1:9, For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light.
My blogs this week- examine the vital relationship between faith and works. James says that if a person claims to have faith, but doesn’t have any deeds to show for it, he probably does not have real faith. James then went on to illustrate that point saying in James 2:15, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If 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? Notice that rhetorical question… What good is it to do nothing? The obvious answer is that it does no good at all. James was saying that faith without works is about as ineffective as telling someone who is cold, to be warm without giving them a jacket or telling someone who is hungry to be well fed without giving them something to eat. Doing nothing accomplishes nothing. So faith without action is not helpful at all.
Martin Luther said “We are not saved by works; but if there be no works, there must be something amiss with (our) faith.” So, Martin Luther was saying exactly what James was saying, faith without works is missing something and is rendered ineffective. Today, add some good works to your faith and thus making your faith more effective.
Think about it…and have a blessed day!
John Mark Caton, Ph.D