James presented a scenario where a Christian encounters someone who is poorly dressed and hungry, and wishes the person well, but does nothing practical to help the person. James then asked, “What good is that?” In today’s verse, he will offer his assessment of that Christian’s faith…
So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17)
Even in the early days of the Church, there were Counterfeit Christians - people who claimed to be Christians, but whose lives did not support their claim.
Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
Counterfeit Christians substitute words for works. They know all the right Christians words. They pray all the right Christian prayers. They can even quote verses from the Bible. But their walk does not measure up with their talk.
Here are two more passages – one from the apostle Paul and one from the apostle John:
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10)
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:17-18)
Again, James is not teaching salvation by works; he is teaching salvation by a faith that works. If our faith in Jesus is genuine, it will show in our love for others.
Today’s Good News is that genuine love for Jesus results in genuine love for others.
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you missed in the archives. (The series started on June 1.)
If this is your first visit to this website, please read the “Featured Post” from March 1, 2018.