Real Faith is More Than Just Believing
“You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?” James 2:19-20 (NLT)
Did you know the Devil believes in Jesus? So do the demons. But you won’t find any of them in heaven.
Why? Because saying you believe in Jesus doesn’t mean you have faith in him. It also doesn’t mean you trust him to fulfill his promises.
James says faith is more than just intellectual knowledge. Faith is something you do. It’s active, not passive. Real faith involves making a commitment to trust in Jesus.
Now this doesn’t mean we can earn our salvation. The Bible says, “For it is by grace [we] have been saved, through faith . . . not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
What James is saying is that our belief and commitment to Jesus is reflected in the things we do. Our good deeds are evidence of our real and trusting faith.
Maybe you’re struggling to make sense of why your relationship with Jesus doesn’t seem to be working. Could it be you’re not putting your faith into practice?
The Bible says, “Anyone who doesn't breathe is dead, and faith that doesn't do anything is just as dead!” (James 2:26 CEV). The word you see James use over and over is “do.” His message is very clear: real faith shows up in your lifestyle. Your faith should change you and the things you do.
What can you do today to show others your faith in Jesus? How can you serve them, support them, encourage them, and even show them how your faith is changing you?
There’s no better time than right now to take a stand for Jesus Christ and demonstrate your faith. As 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 says, “Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love” (NLT).
Talk It Over
How are faith and works both a part of a growing Christian’s life?
What are some ways your life shows you have meaningful relationship with Jesus?
The Bible is clear that we are saved by faith in Jesus, nothing more and nothing less: “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.
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