Wednesday 9 November 2022

James 2:14-26

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Faith or belief in God on its own is not enough, it must be backed up with actions or good deeds.  As believers it is our good deeds that show others our faith, it is the evidence that our faith is alive and active.  The passage goes on to give examples of faith and good deeds being outworked in the lives of two Old Testament heroes, Abraham and Rahab.

Verses 19- 20 are very blunt!  It makes it perfectly clear that belief or agreeing with God’s word is not sufficient on its own because even the demons believe.  It’s quite confronting really but the reality for us as believers is that our faith requires action to be of any use.  It begs the question, “How am I currently outworking my faith?” This question can be asked of a new Christian or someone who has been following the Lord for years.  It can be a trap to just sit in our belief in God and this passage of Scripture reminds and challenges us that faith has legs!  I know this passage has given me a prod today!

Dear Lord, help me to live in faith by good deeds.  May my actions point to you Lord.  Amen

Written by Ainslie Woods

2 replies
  1. Sam S says:

    Great digest. James’ advice gets even more weight when you remember that this is Jesus’ brother – he knows what he’s talking about!


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