Faith and Works part 2
Are you ready for some good news?
Faith works! And, yes, that’s really good news.
Today’s Text: “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17, ESV)
For James to remind us that faith without works is dead is not to displace or compete with the Gospel of grace. Instead, the idea of faith at work is simple, common sense. Whatever you really believe, you act upon. Our work doesn’t produce the gift; it simply demonstrates our faith in the reality of the gift.
If I informed you that you had million dollar inheritance and that all you needed to do was report to a lawyer’s office the next day and sign some papers, would you go to the lawyers office?
The answer to that question depends entirely upon another question: do you believe that you have actually received the million dollar inheritance? If you think that it is a gimmick, a timeshare promotional, or a cruel joke, you most certainly will not report to the lawyer’s office. But, if you truly believe, then you will be at the attorney’s office at the designated time.
In other words, if you were to receive a lavish inheritance, and later give testimony about the nature of your new wealth, the narrative would not center around your obedience–- it would center around the generosity of your benefactor. Your obedience did not generate the gift; it simply demonstrated that you had faith for the gift.
An extraordinary gift brings extraordinary change in our behaviors. If you really believe that you have received an extraordinary gift, you will re-organize your schedule, your priorities, and your aspirations in order to accommodate the newfound wealth. Such is the gift of Jesus Christ.
By no means does James mean that your works save you. But, in every way, James means that faith always acts upon what it believes. And that’s the Gospel!
For more information please visit SharingtheLight.org.
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