healthy boundaries, scripture, testimony and blessing

James 2:14-26

In this post we will finish the rest of chapter 2. it’s about faith without good deeds is dead.

James 2:14 dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone.

When we have real true faith, our lives change. It transforms our conduct and our thoughts. But if we just agree with the Christian ways and don’t change, then it is useless. We are not born again. Believe Gods word. Write the scriptures on your heart. Everything falls into place when we do this. Our actions will match our beliefs.

James 2:15-17 suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, “well, goodbye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all—it is dead and useless.

We do not earn our salvation by serving and obeying God. Salvation is a free gift from God when we ask him to come into our hearts. The good deeds show our commitment to God. It’s a verification of our faith in God. The active obedience we try to do daily will demonstrate that our faith is real. Others will see it. They will want it for the good deeds will come from the love in our heart.

James 2:18-20 now someone may argue, “some people have faith; others have good deeds.” I say, “I can’t see your faith if you dont have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.” Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror! Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?

Faith that has no works is dead and useless. You have to do both. Think and act. Some people say that James words contradict Paul’s. But they don’t. They actually go together. James takes it a step deeper. Good deeds can not give you salvation, True faith always results into a changed life. Paul speaks against those who think they are saved by doing good deeds instead of true faith. James speaks against those who confuse mere intellectual assent with true faith. Like the scripture says even the demons know who Jesus is. True faith involves a commitment of your whole self to God.

James 2:21-24 don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was declared right with God because of what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did—by his actions. And so it happened just as the scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous.” He was even called “the friend of God.” So you see, we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

James and Paul’s words compliment each other. We are not justified by what we do. True faith always results in good deeds, but the deeds do not justify us. Faith brings us salvation; active obedience demonstrates that our faith is genuine.

Before salvation all people are not good. They curse, murder, and fall short (Romans 3:9-18, 23). They are helpless (Romans 5:6-8). Then when we are saved the old worldly flesh is gone. The Holy Spirit comes in with a new life.

Now we won’t be “perfect” as the worlds meaning. If so we would just give up because thanks to the evil we are fallen man. We will be “perfect” as Gods meaning. Which is we strive to obey his commands and ask for forgiveness daily. Our life should be built on consistent behavior and morality. That which reflects Christ. As we grow in our Christianity, we run the race and at the end when God calls us home, it’s because we finished. We will be complete.

The story of Isaac and his son always makes me feel convicted. For him to obey God like this, makes you really think about your own priories. I’m not sure if I could do what he did. He was so close to sacrificing his son because he was so close to God. I WANT that kind of faith. That kind of trust. God blesses Isaac for that faith.

James 2:25-26 Rahab the prostitute is another example of this. She was made right with God but her actions—when she hid those messengers and sent them safely away by different road. Just as the body is dead without a spirit, so also faith is dead without good deeds.

Rehab demonstrated faith in a Gods purpose for Israel. God blesses her by protecting her and her family when the city was destroyed. There are trials in this world. These are promised. We are to have the ultimate faith so when these hurdles come our way we are prepared, they won’t shake us.

I will end on a phrase that I like. Workless faith is worthless faith. 💜