James 2:17-18

Verse of the Week:  James 2:17-18  “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

Encouraging Thought: God’s Word is reliable and true.  God never lies! And according to the Bible, salvation is a gift from God – free and clear.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” We do not have to work for our salvation; if we did then it would not be a gift.  And verse 9 adds, “not of works…”

In Romans 3:28, Paul says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

The Bible is God’s holy, divinely-inspired Word.  It contains no errors; therefore, it does not contradict itself. 

Words of Wisdom:  Paul says that we’re saved strictly by faith, while James talks about the importance of works.  Incidentally, Paul doesn’t tell us not to work.  He just says that our works won’t save us.

In Philippians 2:12, Paul says, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  He’s not telling us to work for our salvation, but with reverence to God, we are to show our salvation by the things we do.

John agrees.  In I John 3:18, he says, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  We don’t tell others we love them; we show our love by the things we do (our deeds) and the things we say (in truth).

Even Jesus said in Matthew 7:26, “And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.”  So what happened to the house built on the sand?  According to Jesus “…the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Verse 27)  Jesus expects His disciples to do what He says. 

Our works don’t save us, but as believers, we’re expected to work.   A Christian without works is like a car without gas.  It may be gorgeous, but it’s worthless.  That’s why James said, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”  God wants others to see your faith by your works.  How else will they know that you’re a Christian?