Faith that produces works
“...when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.” “We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,” the men agreed. “If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.” Then, since Rahab’s house was built into the town wall, she let them down by a rope through the window. “Escape to the hill country,” she told them. “Hide there for three days from the men searching for you. Then, when they have returned, you can go on your way.” Before they left, the men told her, “We will be bound by the oath we have taken only if you follow these instructions. When we come into the land, you must leave this scarlet rope hanging from the window through which you let us down. And all your family members—your father, mother, brothers, and all your relatives—must be here inside the house.” Joshua 2:13-18 NLT
Rahab demonstrated her faith not only when she expressed it but when she acted upon her belief. “For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below” (Joshua 2:11). James mentioned Rahab’s actions helping the spies as a proof that belief should be acted upon if it is real faith. It is not works that saved Rahab but her faith in God. Works were outward evidence that faith exists. We are justified by faith alone. “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). Faith that saves is unquestionably accompanied by works. “Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds”... Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?” (James 2:18, 20). Our works and our lives will show the faith we claim we have. In fact, because of Rahab’s faith the courage she took to hide the spies could have resulted in her imprisonment or death. She was willing to leave her old life and accept the new life with the people of God. Because of her faith, she made a tough decision in a short period of time. We are always confronted with a decision and if we are trusting God, we will be courageous even if we do not know what will be the outcome of our actions. Real faith will act because we trust the one who called us to a relationship.