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Faith In Action

15 If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, stay warm, and be well fed,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself. (James 2:15-17)

Continuing on the theme of warning the believers of the dangers of faith without deeds, James gives a small illustration of a faith that does not save. In the scenario, a fellow believer is in desperate need of basic necessities, like clothing and food. But, instead of giving them what they need, a person who claims to have faith states “Go in peace, stay warm, and be well fed,” without supporting them in any physical way, even though they have the ability to “give them what the body needs.” James asks a very obvious question, “What good is it?” Did those words help those people in need? John the Baptist spoke about this topic of transformed faith put into action in Luke 3:10-14:

“10 “What then should we do?” the crowds were asking him.

11 He replied to them, “The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He told them, “Don’t collect any more than what you have been authorized.” 14 Some soldiers also questioned him, “What should we do?” He said to them, “Don’t take money from anyone by force or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

Max Anders stated, “Sympathy is valuable when this is all a person can give to the suffering. This speaker, however, had the ability to feed the hungry and clothe the needy.” The apostle John also spoke about faith in action in 1 John 3:18, “Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.”

Finally, in verse 17, James summarizes the matter, “In the same way faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself.” Faith in Jesus leads to following His nature and character every day. Christ actively displayed His love for His people. In the same manner, believers that claim to have faith should be able to produce fruit through action, helping those that they can with what they have. God blesses us to bless others, giving us unique talents and positions to serve our unique communities that we have access to. May we accompany our words of faith with action.


Isaac De Guzman


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