James & the Path to all Joy and Flourishing, when Faith is Worked out in us.

James 2:14-26

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is barren? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

jus-ti-fied / adjective: Having done for, or marked by a good or legitimate reason.

“Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way.”

or you could say;

“Rahab proved her faith with actions that showed she trusted God would protect her as a result of her obedience.”

Our words glorify our faith.  Our actions glorify Gods plans.

“So also faith by itself, if it dose not have works is dead.”

faith / noun: complete trust or confidence in someone or something.  a strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension, rather then proof.

ap-pre-hen-sion / verb: the act or power of receiving or comprehending somthing.

Faith is born within us, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So with the Holy Spirit planted in our hearts, fruit should grow from that.  The fruit of works like, an ability to trust when the future is uncertain.  I have often been caught up with the concept of “works and fruit” only looking like “missions and serving”.  But Gods works in our hearts transform us from the inside.  Biting your tongue can be a work of faith that no one will recognize.  As I realize the vastness of Works, I am less caught up with challenging verses like this one.

“Faith apart from Works is dead”

Why have faith if it doesn’t change you?  What is the use of that?  Faith and Works is not about productivity.  Rather it is the conviction of the Holy Spirit working out the roots of sin and self-centerdness in my soul.

Think about your life, if your outlook is never challenged, if you aren’t becoming more compassionate for Gods children.  That is when you need to ask yourself, “Is my faith dead?’

If love is not evidently growing in your heart, your faith may have never taken root in the first place.”

The marks of the faithful Christian walk is love, compassion, grace, thankfulness, joy, humility, servant heartedness…..  Theses are the products of God working out the sin, shame, guilt, self-centredness, pride, vanity, materialism, and every foot hold of the devil.  This is Works.

Works is not what I am doing.  It is what Faith is doing to me.

As the sin is worked out and the love is given room to grow in your heart that is when behaviours will reflect the faith in you.  If the work of compassion is knead into your heart the result will become an extension played out in where you place your time and how you spend your money.

Have faith but be faithful.  That is the space works are born.  These are the moments our Faith is confirmed.

That is the message of James…

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