Real Faith Changes Lives
“Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.’” James 2:18 (NLT)
Some people think faith is just a conversation. It’s an idea to be discussed or a theology to be debated.
But faith is so much more than that. James teaches us that real faith transforms lives.
James 2:18 says, “Now someone may argue, ‘Some people have faith; others have good deeds.’ But I say, ‘How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds’” (NLT). Here, James is describing the person who thinks faith can be separated from actions—how believing in God’s Word and good deeds aren’t connected.
However, James also says he can’t see your faith if you don't show it with your good deeds.
His life has been changed by his faith, so James says he can prove his faith by pointing to the way he serves God and the way he serves others.
One way to explain this is to consider love. Love isn’t visible unless you are able to see it in action. In the same way, the only way you know if someone has real faith is by looking at how they live.
James is essentially saying, "If you claim to be a Christian, then I have the right to ask you to prove it through your actions."
The point is, someone as big as God can’t possibly come into your life without changing you visibly. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT).
Talk It Over
How is your faith in God transforming you?
When James talks about faith, he says, “Show me.” How do you show others your faith?
James isn’t saying we are saved by our works. The Bible is clear that we are saved by faith in Jesus, nothing more and nothing less. The Bible says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT).
But, through our faith, God transforms us so that our attitudes and actions become evidence of our trust in him. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (NLT).
If you’ve never placed your trust in Jesus, now is the time to do it. To find out how, watch this video where I share: “What Does It Mean to Follow Christ?”
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Please register for a free account to view this content
We hope you have enjoyed the 10 discipleship resources you have read in the last 30 days.
You have exceeded your 10 piece content limit.
Create a free account today to keep fueling your spiritual journey!
Already a member? Login to iDisciple