40 DITW - Day 24
40 DITW - Day 26

40 DITW - Day 25

SCRIPTURE:
James 2:17-18 (NIV) 17  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18  But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

OBSERVATION:
James says to those who are believers, it is not enough to profess that you believe in Jesus and that He is your Savior and Lord - there is a second part to the profession of faith...a changed life.

Some of those who are in the church professing to be Christians are not!

UNDERSTANDING:
Faith is not some kind of nebulous feeling that we work up; faith is confidence that God's Word is true, and conviction that acting on that Word will bring His blessing.

Jesus says, Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21 (NIV)

People with dead faith substitute words for deeds. They know the correct vocabulary for prayer and testimony, and can even quote the right verses from the Bible; but their walk does not measure up to their talk. They think that their words are as good as works, and they are wrong. Any declaration of faith that does not result in a changed life and good works is a false declaration. That kind of faith is dead faith. John Calvin, wrote, "It is faith alone that justifies, but faith that justifies can never be alone." The word "alone" in James 2:17 simply means "by itself." True saving faith can never be by itself: it always brings life, and life produces good works.
The person with dead faith has only an intellectual experience. They may understand the doctrines of salvation, but he has never submitted himself to God and trusted Christ for salvation. He knows the right words, but he does not back up his words with his works. Faith in Christ brings life (John 3:16), and where there is life there must be growth and fruit. Again as Jesus points out in Matthew that we know the tree by the fruit it produces.

I like how The Message puts it...
17  Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?...20  Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?

Faith and works are inseparable, two sides of the same coin.

LIFE APPLICATION:
Lord thank you for saving me and freeing me from the death trap of sin.  Thank you for the life I have found in you, now as your Spirit is at work in me making me more like you I pray that my outward actions will reflect the inward work of the Holy Spirit.

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