What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If 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? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But 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. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:14-26
I just couldn’t leave these verses yet. I told you yesterday, I’ve been in a thirty year discussion of these and other similar verses. I just wanted to spend a little more time on what if anything the absence or works mean. First, I would never want to judge whether a person is or is not saved. That is something only that person and God knows and if they are like me sometimes only God knows. First I do believe that a Christian will have good works if they have time to do them. As we saw yesterday a person dying who accepts Christ will be saved even though they will have no time to do any good works. Second, just because we do not see them does not mean a person lacks works. Sometime people do good works far from the limelight. So, I think we are not in a position to comment on other’s works.
We are however in a position to commit on our own works or lack of them. If we examine our lives and see we are still living as we always did and we are not working for the Lord, then maybe we need to take a long hard look at our faith. Do we think we are Christian because we go to a certain building most Sundays for an hour or so? Or did we really accept Christ as Lord and Savior? If the first then we are just calling ourselves Christian and are we are just a label. If the second, then we need to see what is keeping us from serving Jesus. We may still be a baby Christian and need to mature in the Faith. Maybe we are so busy with worldly things that we are putting God second.
I think that when a Christian takes stock of their life and sees a lack of good works it is time to rearrange our priorities and start putting Jesus first. Once we do that the works will flow and we will be a light to the world. No works still won’t save us and no they will not keep us saved or add anything to our salvation. What works will do is let the world know who we serve. We serve Christ.
Have a blessed day,