Faith: Dead or Alive
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.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? James 2:18-20 NLT
From the text, James continues to emphasize that faith and deeds are inseparable. Yet, he poses a retort that someone might come along and argue that it is just a matter of importance. One will think that faith should be preferred while another would insist on the value of deeds. James will not go along with any of these beliefs. He will insist that to claim having faith without good deeds is impossible. The person that will argue with what James is saying has a right to his opinion but this is not a matter of opinion. Having faith in Christ means living for Christ. It involves trusting Christ and receiving the life of Christ. Jesus told the religious leaders: “the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life” (John 5:39-40). Paul challenged the believers to probe if they have faith in Christ for faith in Christ leads to doing what is pleasing to God. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test” (2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV). A living faith because of Christ within will reveal that life. A dynamic or living faith is not barren or idle. As the writer, Kent Hughes observes, “Faith and works are like the wings of a bird. There can be no real life, no flight, with a single wing, whether works or faith. But when the two are pumping together in concert, their owner soars through the heavens.” A Christian who claims to have faith and proves it by doing good deeds reflects the life in and with Christ. When we trust Christ as Lord and Savior, we realize that “we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).