Sunday, April 29, 2007

James 2:14-19 --- Got Faith?

14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

James is loved by many, but also questioned by many. Some people feel that James is a book that smells of legalism. Is James stating that works are a requirement of salvation? No. However, he is stating that we must question if we have true saving faith without the evidence of that faith in the form of good works. Our good works do not save. Rather, they are the indication of our faith. James is emphasizing that we must respond to our faith in Christ; that faith and deeds do not exist independent of each other; and that if we truly embrace Christ our actions will make this evident in good works and obedience to God.

Reading these passages challenges me to take inventory of my faith. Is my faith evident in how I live my life? Am I living out my faith with good deeds and obedience to all that Christ has commanded? How serious am I taking my faith? Am I going as far as Abraham – all the way to the altar? (V21)

Lord, may I respond to your incredible act of love, sacrifice, and atonement with a faith full of life. May I embrace all of you and live out who I now am because I am in you. May my life be characterized by good works and obedience; not because I am trying to earn salvation, but because I am saved; because you live in me. May I daily, like Abraham, take it all the way to the altar. I want a faith that the world can see. Not for my recognition but for your glory.

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