Faith and Works
“Faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” (James 2:17)
I heard a Christian teacher one time say that he wished the book of James had never been written. He felt the book emphasized works and not faith. I don’t agree with his conclusion at all.
If you’ll read James, you’ll see that the point he was making is that if you are saved you have made Jesus the Lord of your life; therefore, you will have works in your life.
After saying that faith without works is useless, James uses the example of Abraham, who was “justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar” (James 2:21). Abraham’s faith “was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected” (verse 22).
We are not saved by our works. The apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by grace, through faith, and it is not a results of works.
Then in 2 Timothy 1:9 Paul says that the power of God has saved us and called us, “not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus.”
I believe that James was saying that if we are saved, our lives will show it by our works. The works are evidence that the Holy Spirit is residing within us.
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