James has been using Abraham to illustrate the relationship between faith and works. Yesterday he said that Abraham’s faith was completed by his works…
and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” – and he was called a friend of God. (James 2:23)
This is in reference to Genesis 15:6, where God took Abram outside and showed him the stars, saying that his descendants would be like them – too many to count. What made that a remarkable promise is that Abram and Sarai were well advanced in years, and had not been able to have a child. Nevertheless, Abram believed God, and trusted Him to keep His promise. God declared him to be righteous based on that faith and trust.
Fast forward to Genesis 22, where God put that trust through a major test. He asked Abram to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Had Abram refused to do that, it would have shown that he didn’t completely trust God, but his willingness to put his faith into action and obey the Lord showed that his faith was real. It showed that the “conversion” that took place back in Chapter 15 was genuine. (If you are not familiar with that story, please read it in Genesis 22. The Lord did not allow Abram to sacrifice Isaac, but provided a substitute instead - a beautiful picture of Jesus.)
So when James talks about faith being completed by works, he is not saying that faith is the result of works; he is saying that works are the result of faith. Works are the evidence that our faith is real, alive, and growing!
Abraham was called “a friend of God.” What a great title! That is how I would like to be known. Why was Abraham a friend of God? He loved God, and he trusted Him. That’s what it means to be a Christian – to love Jesus, and to trust Him with our lives and our salvation. Are you Born Again? Have you accepted Jesus as your Saviour? If so, you are a friend of God. Now think about that as you go about your day today…
Today’s Good News is that if you love Jesus, and have trusted Him as your Saviour, then you are a friend of God!
Now, go share the Good News…
FAITH in ACTION!
If you feel like you have missed something in this series, it’s probably because the devotionals for the 18th and 19th were late in being posted. (It stemmed from a senior’s moment that I had on Wednesday morning, even though I’m only 45. I completely forgot to write and post the devotional for that day.) I want to stay on schedule with our series, so those devotionals were only front-and-centre for a few hours each. If you missed either one or both, you can view them in the archives. I’m sorry for the confusion.
If you are joining us part way through this Journey in James, you can access the devotionals you have 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.