Faith and Works


“Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”—James 2:18.

Faith is belief in something transformational. Life overcomes death. Eternity overcomes finiteness. God rules the world and overrules its priorities. To have faith produce no transformation, no outward change in the way this life is lived, is effectively equivalent to having no faith at all.

As James notes, even those opposed to God show an outward effect. “The demons believe—and shudder!” (2:19).

As James also notes, Abraham in the book of Genesis was counted as righteous because of his faith (2:23). However, on the day when Abraham thought that he would have to sacrifice his son, that very faith played out in the form of obedience.

When James writes that faith is completed by “works,” he is not saying that there is any special work to be done to earn your place or prove your faith to God or anyone else. In fact, James is arguing the mirror image of this idea. Rather than works proving faith, faith manifests as works. James’ point is that faith plays out.

Faith, embraced and believed, naturally produces the way forward into some new, personal change that the lack of this faith would never have permitted.

Perhaps you have seen faith play out in this way for you, within your own life. Perhaps you are still seeing faith play out within your life today....

[31 Days of James]