James 2:14-26 – What Does It Mean That Faith Without Works Is Dead?

Real, impacting, effectual faith will have results. It will be lived out! Faith is received alone, but it does not just stand alone; it is to be shown. Faith will be backed up by the proof that it is present in a person. If there is no proof, there is a good chance that the vessel is empty of faith. If the label says “coke,” and when you open it and pour it in a glass, all that comes out is “chicken feathers,” you may come to the conclusion that the label and contents do not measure up to each other. The same case is with faith. Faith is given and received by Christ’s work of grace alone. James’ point is not that salvation requires works, an effort to receive it or even to cement it; rather, real faith will result in an outcome that backs it up. Faith will be lived out in the believer’s life, thinking, words, and actions. Faith will create initiative from the realization of who we are in Christ, and then we will live out our lives in Him, through His power and because of our convictions.
Many commentators have suggested that James was reacting against Paul; however, James predates Paul, and they compliment and complete one another rather than contradict. James was reacting to pious, fraudulent Jews as well as the new Christians who were buying into their lies and demonstrating a useless, meaningless un-impacting faith.

Faith is not just an academic subject, something we just debate and talk about, nor is it about emotions; rather it must be real and it must be the motivating impacting force within us. If we have faith and do nothing with it, we are being illogical and absurd. Saving faith is a living faith; it will have genuine results! Thus, our desire, as Christians, will be to put into practice the precepts of the Lord, not because we earn anything, but because we are grateful for what we have and desire others to have it, too. Our faith will have activity that tells others and God that our faith is real.

Richard Krejcir

Read James 2:14-26 and stop to consider what an outsider may say about your faith based on your works? Do you works speak to a real, dynamic saving faith? If not, what do you think is missing? What would it look like for faith to really display itself in your life?

Jesus Paid It All by Elvina M. Hall

Posted on: May 7, 2020 - 10:00PM

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