FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD
Date: January 1
Category: Faith Expressed Through Actions
James 2:17, 20b
"So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead)."
"…faith apart from [good] works is inactive and ineffective and worthless."
Faith finds its expression in deeds of love. You might believe in God and accept all the doctrines in the Bible, but according to these verses, if you don't show your faith through good works, then your faith is worthless.
Let's say your brother or sister doesn't have clothes to wear, and you know that you have clothes that you can give them, but instead of helping them you just say, ‘Oh, may the Lord provide for you.' How can the love of God be in you? Let's say your brother or sister is hungry and you just say to them, ‘Oh, may the Lord feed you." Meanwhile, you have the ability to help them, but choose not to. How can the love of God be in you if you don't help those who are in need?
Some people will be surprised when they die. Some people think they will go to heaven because at some time in their life, they may have said the sinner's prayer. It's true there is no other way to get into heaven but to believe in your heart and confess that sinner's prayer. But that new life needs to show itself in your actions, your deeds of love in obedience to God.
When you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, a transformation happens within your heart. The Holy Spirit comes into your heart, and all of the nine fruits of the spirit will reveal themselves in your life. So until we die, we have to keep living the way God wants us to live. We are to examine ourselves. If you are a true believer, you should be conveying all the fruits of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. It says there, "For the fruits of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law."
After you accept Christ, you need to begin growing in that faith. The way you grow in that faith is through the Word of God and through exercising that faith in deeds of love. You don't do good deeds in order to be saved. You do good deeds because you are saved. You don't do what God wants you to do because you want God to accept you, but because you have already been accepted. Once you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, your sins are forgiven, and your guilt has been removed. That's when your new life begins, and the fruits of the spirit must work themselves in and through you.
So faith must express itself in love, love towards God, towards your family, towards all believers and all people. So think of how you can show kindness to somebody today whether it is at work, at home, at school, or anywhere else you may go. God will give you wisdom as to how to express that faith to others.