Faith proven by obedience
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:14-17
James begins by asking this question, “What good is it if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” Faith is needed in order for a person to get saved. The concern of James is the nature of the faith that is required for salvation. Saving faith will not only result to a relationship with God but will also be manifested in our actions. Oftentimes we claim to have faith and yet we lack works. James is saying that saving faith produces good deeds and without these good deeds the faith we claim we have is dead and useless. If there is no act of obedience, the claim of having faith is suspicious. In fact, in verse 19 James argued that “even the Demons believe!” The demons are not saved because the knowledge they have about God did not change the direction of their life. If we claim that we have faith, it should change the direction of our life. Saving faith is embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior of life. This means that His will becomes the desire of your life. It also means that you trust His working in the daily activities of your life. Jesus told His disciples that being in a relationship with Him will result in producing fruit. “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples” (John 15:8). The “fruit” and the “deeds” that Jesus and James talk about are the results of abiding in God. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Verbal evidence claiming having saving faith will be proven genuine once obedience to God is manifested. So if there is no change in the way you live and the direction of the life you take, then you need to be sure that you have the saving faith. Saving faith is revealed in the way we live. Saving faith is a work of God. Come to Him, confess your need of Him, and ask Him to change your heart.
Noel De Guzman