March 15, 2017
“As the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
How do you know that your life has been changed by the power of God? Well, how do you know that a high voltage electrical line has touched you? When a person comes into a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, it is very obvious to the one who has received this new life and to the people close to Him. When God comes into your soul, you will know it! However, the question can be asked: “Does the Bible teach about the evidence of a changed life?” This Scripture in James is the heart of this epistle, and it gives a clear understanding of a biblical working faith that is evident of a union with Jesus Christ.
Paul speaks of this in Romans, using Abraham as an illustration. Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What were his experiences concerning this question of being saved by faith? Was it because of his good deeds that God accepted him? If so, he would have had something to boast about. But from God’s point of view, Abraham had no basis at all for pride. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” When people work, their wages are not a gift. Workers earn what they receive. “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Romans 4:1-5
There is no contradiction between these verses in James and Romans. Paul stresses the root of faith, while James stresses the fruit of faith. Paul looks at our salvation from the Divine perspective, and James looks at it from the human perspective. Paul sees the fire, and James sees the smoke coming out of the chimney. The two go hand in hand.
Is your faith evident to those around you? Does your faith penetrate your character and actions? Can others tell that you love the Lord?
Prayer Focus: Lord, increase the faith of every member of our church so that it is obviously visible to the outside world. Pray Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”