Beloved, as we wait upon the Lord on the promises we have received, let’s remember that faith without works is dead. Keep yourselves in God’s love, wait patiently for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that will lead us to the promised land. Wait in faith…don’t die while waiting. Ensure that your deeds are aligned to your faith. Fight the good fight of faith.
James 2:14-24 MSG
Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half–starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God–talk without God–acts is outrageous nonsense?I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove. Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands? Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham “made right with God by works” when he placed his son Isaac on the sacrificial altar? Isn’t it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are “works of faith”? The full meaning of “believe” in the Scripture sentence, “Abraham believed God and was set right with God,” includes his action. It’s that mesh of believing and acting that got Abraham named “God’s friend.” Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?
When you align your operations to your goals or dreams, that is faith. When you partner with someone and you both discuss the goal but your partner sits in an office to only watch over the dream or goal and ensures that no one steals the dream with no effort, while you are rolling up your sleeves to do the work that will transport you to the destiny – the equation is what James calls “You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.” There, beloved, you have yourself a dreamer…the one who sleeps while you work and takes the glory once the work is done. That is not faith at all.
Faith without works is dead. May the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead revitalise our mortal bodies and propel us to the state of action.