Updated: Aug 24, 2019
JUST DO IT: FAITH THAT WORKS
Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17b
How can you tell if your faith works? According to James, faith that works is much more than what we say and much more than what we believe. Faith that works is something that is seen. Faith that works is lived out. It is not enough to say you have faith; you have to show faith through what you do, in word and in action. Jesus didn’t save us by our good works but Jesus did save us to do good works. Faith and works go hand in hand.
Faith that works is more than just saying the right things. James asks: Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 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? (2:15-16) As Deitrich Bonhoeffer observed “faith without works is not faith at all, but a simple lack of obedience to God.”
Faith that works is also more than what we believe. You can have all the right theology in the world, and while that is important, it’s not enough to make your faith real. Even demons believe in the one true God and they shudder. We have all met people who say they believe in God. They attend church, they play the part well, but sadly it’s all head knowledge. All that they know stays in their heads but faith that works is not just knowledge; it is action.
Faith that works is evident when we grow in our obedience to God and let that dictate our outward behaviour through obedience to God. The working of our faith is especially obvious when we face trials with joy, knowing that the Lord will bring about good through all that we go through. So let’s endure all our trials and testings with joy and live our faith out loud in the open.
My faith isn’t working if I talk without caring.
My faith isn’t working if I quote the Bible without applying it in my own life.
My faith isn’t working if I pray on Sunday and don’t show compassion on Monday.
My faith isn’t working if I quit rather than joyfully face my trials.