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The $64,000 Question

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If you claim to have faith but don't back up your words with action, is your faith genuine?

James 2:14

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

This is perhaps one of the more hotly debated sections in the entire Bible as James discusses the link between faith and works. In modern terms, the question is this: what is genuine, saving faith? People make all sorts of claims, but how do you know if their claims are true? They must be tested.

I don’t think a week goes by that I don’t hear one person say about another, “They certainly don’t act like a Christian.” Usually, this is because of some behavior that has been observed in the life of the “accused” that is inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible. Trouble is, we all have this problem, don’t we? If perfect adherence to God’s Word is the bar we must go over in order to be saved, then I’ll drop a Han Solo (Star Wars) quote into the mix:

“Then I’ll see you in hell!”

Billy Graham echoed James’ concern when he said, “Faith that saves has one distinguishing quality: saving faith is a faith that produces obedience; it is a faith that brings about a way of life.” This passage is not meant to be a dagger that you thrust into the back of some other professing Christian, but rather a mirror that one uses to consider the quality of their own profession of faith.

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