Monday April 18, 2022
Scripture 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? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If 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? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Life Lesson: Our faith is either proven authentic by what we do, or our faith is disproven by what we do. Our actions are the material witness to our faith.
– Now such a teaching is most confrontational in that it unmasks the substance of our faith, whether it be authentic or without merit. Many will baulk at such an interpretation of faith. Why? Because many would like to believe their faith is substantial even though their actions might mitigate against their profession of faith.
– James asks the question, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” Here’s the dilemma, those who want to entertain the idea that they can profess sincere faith while never acting on their faith are going to have a real problem with what James is saying here.
– Faith is not merely a profession from our mouth, it is confirmed by actions that flow from our heart. Paul wrote in Romans 10: 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
– It is not enough to merely say, “I believe”; our actions must line up with that profession of faith. Take for example the thief on the cross. Now he was not able to do any great acts to prove his faith, he merely cried out to Christ to remember him. However, the fact that this condemned man who had previously ridiculed Christ on the cross would then cry out to Christ expressing his conviction about Christ entering His kingdom was without any question an act of faith that clearly demonstrated the authenticity of his faith. That man’s last words not only entertained the idea that Christ could save him; they stated the man’s conviction that Jesus Christ is Lord, that Christ is Savior and King, and that beyond the pale of this life only Christ was able to help him!
– Not just words! Words combined with a clear demonstration of heart felt conviction! Faith is not just some ethereal idea, it is substantive! Heb. 11: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Saving faith pushes past the natural objections and impediments of this world and grabs hold of the cloak of Christ! There are those who say, “I love you” and do nothing and then there are those who prove their love by what they do! Rom. 5: 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” See also John 3:16 and John 15:13. Faith is confirmed or denied by our actions!