Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Living Faith

Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
~James 2:17 (ESV)

For many years I attended a church that strongly emphasised "being good." Everyone said doing good works gets you into heaven. Doing good works won't get anyone to heaven. It doesn't work that way, no matter how good we are, we can never be good enough. We simply cannot make ourselves sinless. Salvation is through Christ alone. His Work (not our own) saves us. So how does that mesh with what James says in this verse?

Here's what I think. I think James meant that when we have faith in the Savior we begin to want to be more like Him. Our faith encourages us to do good works, to try to be a better person, and to speak, think, and act more the way Jesus would. We have a living God, and we show it with a living faith. An active, lively, jumping around, shout with joy, change our lives faith.

If we believe something we act on it. If I believe it's raining I put on a raincoat, or open my umbrella, or run to get inside before I get wet (when I haven't got an umbrella and raincoat with me). I suppose I could believe it was raining and just stand there doing nothing, but then I'd just be a sopping wet idiot standing in the rain.

And I say again, If we believe something we act on it

If our faith doesn't make us want to act on it, if our faith doesn't show in our behavior, if our faith isn't making us work -- that's dead faith.

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