“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works.”
Faith and _____
Let’s play a word association game.
Peanut butter and…
You probably know how each of these duos go. There are certain things that just go together, pairings that we can easily associate with each other. But if I were to say, “Faith and…”, would we know what’s supposed to go along with it? Or better yet, has the watching world seen enough evidence from us to know its true pairing? What follows your faith?
The State of Our Faith
According to the Scriptures, faith without works is dead. And while works aren’t the life source of our faith, they do reveal the state of our faith. One of the examples that James makes here in this passage is the story of Abraham and Isaac. When the time came for him to be moved to action, Abraham was willing to offer up his long-awaited, one and only son in obedience to God, an act that revealed the substance of his faith.
James writes, “You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was made complete, and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness…” (James 2:22-23a). It was his faith that moved him to action. He trusted that God was able to do the impossible (Hebrews 11:19), and his works were the evidence of this trust he had in Him.
What Follows Your Faith?
Our faith moves us to action and obedience. It’s not what saves us, but it reveals the substance of it, as well as the things we are most willing to give back to the Lord. Whether it means our time, talents, treasures, or testimonies, all that we have belongs to Him in the first place; the works that follow our faith reveal the trust we have in the One who gave it to us.
Remember, we’re not adding our works to our faith; our salvation is on the basis of faith alone. But good works for God’s kingdom are the natural result of the faith we profess. So, does your faith prompt you to action? How are you participating in the work of the kingdom? The world is waiting to see what will follow our faith. Let’s make sure it’s more than just words. Let’s see actions that follow.
Reflect on the substance and state of your faith today. Are you living out of the basis of what Christ has done? Does this lead you to action, sewing seeds of good works? Consider the opportunities you have available to move your faith to action as the Holy Spirit leads you.