“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?”
---End of Scripture verses---
A faith that has no works cannot bless anyone. A faith that is not accompanied and expressed by works is a useless faith (verse 20). It is useless to God, the possessor of the hollow faith, and the would-be recipients of the benefits that are produced by true, biblical faith. “If someone says he has faith but has no works” (verse 14) his faith is all talk and no substance. Only an effectual doer of the word extends and receives the blessings that are furnished by the hand of God (James 1:25).
A faith that has no works cannot save anyone. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Salvation is a free gift from God and there is no way to earn it, but it still requires works of obedience on our part (Hebrews 5:8-9). When we have done all that God commands us to do, we are still unprofitable servants because we have done our expected duty (Luke 17:10). But if we refuse to obey God we reject His saving grace being disobedient servants if servants at all.
“We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). If we see people in need and have the means to help them but refuse to do so, we do not fulfill one of the main purposes that God recreated us for. Words of comfort are warming and prayers are powerful, but if we “do not give them what is necessary for their body,” then we are useless to them and our faith “is dead” (verses 16-17).
May it never be said of any of us that we have a dead faith! That would place us squarely in the same category as Satan’s demons (verse 19)! Not good company to keep to say the least! Let’s try our best to do the good works that we were “created in Christ” to do. We have no greater example to follow after than that of our Savior Jesus who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38) the entirety of His life. Let’s get to work!
More on this subject tomorrow.
Please read James 2:21-26 for tomorrow.
Have a great day!
- Louie Taylor