Faith And Works – April 18, 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.

Ephesians 2:8, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Over the last several weeks at Cottonwood Creek, I have been teaching a series titled, Legit Faith: All Day, Everyday. This study examines the book of James, which was written by the brother of Jesus. The book of James is kind of a “how to” manual on Christian living, and this week we are taking a look at what James says about the relationship between faith and works. Read these two questions that James asks in James 2:14, “What good is it… if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?”

Some people are confused about that verse and say that James is teaching that a combination of both faith and works saves a person. However, read the question James poses again, “What good is it… if someone claims to have faith…” The key word there is claims. James is simply saying that claiming to have faith is NOT faith at all, if there are no works to show for it. In fact, he says that if you have real faith, you will also have real works that back up your claim. In other words, a person who has true faith demonstrates that faith through actions. So today, if you claim to have faith make sure you let your deeds tell the rest of the story.

Think about it…and have a blessed day!
John Mark Caton, Ph.D