Real Faith Is Evident

Bill Brinkworth

“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? …17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? …  26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:14-26

The one thing that has kept many out of Heaven, including professing but not possessing Christians, isdiscussed in James 2:14-26. Sadly, those people may have thought they had done what was necessary to obtain Heaven, but found out they were mistaken.  The “faith” that they thought would bar them from an everlasting torment, turned out not to be “real” faith.

Just believing in God is not saving, or trusting faith!  Even the devils believe in God (vs.19).  They even tremble at the mention of Him, yet their “faith” will not save them any more than that kind of faith will save anyone. Satan has even talked to God (Job 1:6-7); yet his knowing the Creator is not going to get him into Heaven. Knowledge is not necessarily faith. I can believe that there is a president in the Whitehouse, but that faith does not make me a member of his family or even part of his cabinet.  Real Christian faith is more than knowing about spiritual things.

The one ingredient that makes faith real is that one trusts one’s belief in a physical way.  That trust is exhibited by oneself, and often observed by others around him, by one’s works.  One believes that Jesus died on the cross for his sins, and by faith trusts that sacrifice as payment for his sins.  One believes by faith that Jesus will hear his prayers; so he talks to Him every day. A believer believes the Bible is God’s Word; so he tries to follow every commandment its pages reveal.  The saved person, by faith, believes that God will meet his every need. The believer patiently waits for Him to meet his needs; rather than impatiently racking up credit card debt, because God did not provide in the time expected. One tithes because God commands it, and the child of God knows God will somehow help him live on less.  These steps out into uncertain situations may seem foolish to one not living by real faith; but to the faithful, these steps are works proving that their faith is real.

Faith without these “works” (proofs) is not real faith.  Three times (vss. 17, 20, 26) faith without works is referred to as “dead” faith.

Many know the “works” part is important and try to incorporate it in their own theology.  Unfortunately, they get the order wrong.  They put the works first, and think that that will save them and prove that they have faith. They think they can work their way to Heaven. To prove their faith, they try to do religious ceremonies or do good deeds.  They try to clean up their life, try to act righteously, and do many other good works. These acts, as noble as they may appear, are not by faith.  They are attempts to pay for God’s approval and are not by faith at all. One cannot work one’s way to heaven.

Faith is an inside job, that works its way out.”

This article was feature in The Bible View #432.

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