Tuesday, October 18, 2005

James 2:14-17

“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for {their} body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, {being} by itself.”

As I was driving into work this morning, I was listening to the local Christian radio station. One of the hosts was talking about the book of James. I can’t remember what he talking about specifically, but it did get me thinking. I began to meditate on the above scriptures.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this passage throughout the years. Some feel that the Bible actually contradicts itself here. After all, Paul taught us that salvation is by grace through faith, without works, and James taught that without works, faith is dead. A good reading of James shows us, however, that he was not teaching a works- based salvation. He was telling us that true faith should have vital signs.

People can talk a good game. There are many that profess faith in Jesus Christ. James was telling us that those with “real faith” will be revealed by the outworking of that faith. He gave us the example, quoted above, of a destitute person, totally impoverished, with absolutely nothing. We are not to simply bless the person verbally, but to reach out and help them. That is what distinguishes “lip service” from the real deal. Even Paul told us that “faith worketh by love” (Gal. 5:6). Jesus also differentiates between merely professed faith and faith that shows itself. We all know the story of Matthew 25, when Jesus will at that day separate the sheep and the goats. “Insomuch as ye did unto the least of these my brethren, ye did unto me” (Mt. 25:40). If we are truly saved, then what we believe will be demonstrated by what we do.

Take the time today to reach out to someone. Tell them about our wonderful Savior, and then show them Jesus through your actions. I pray that this blog blesses you today. Just another trip into the sometimes scary place called my head!


Tony Myles said...

Thanks for these words... today they are just what I needed.

michigan preacher said...

I'm glad they ministered to you. God bless!