What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
(James 2:14-17 ESV)
Over the last few posts, we have been looking at faith and action. There are lots more verses and examples we could look at! But today we will wrap up with this – faith is an action word.
Those who have faith, will live according to that faith. If we truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and Lord of our lives, then we will take steps to bring our lives into line with that belief. It is not going to happen immediately. In most cases, it is not going to be a miraculous change that will turn us from sinner to saint in a moment. But the evidence of change will be there.
Day by day, little by little, changes will happen as we look at our lives, and act according to our faith. Sometimes our actions will be internal – we might stop doing something we are convicted about.We might start doing something that brings us closer to God (like read our Bibles daily). Sometimes our actions will be external – we might see a need, and know that we can do something about it. We may share our faith with a friend or family member. We might start being regular in going to church, or pack our whole family off to go to the mission field we are called to.
For each one of us, in all of the stages of our lives and walk with God, the actions will be different. But the motivation will be the same – it is the outworking of our faith in Jesus Christ.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:10 ESV)
So in the end, faith is an action word. If we have faith – we will act in accordance with that faith. Sometimes it will be hard, sometimes we might fail to act. Sometimes we may have no idea what to do – but in every case God is with us, and He will guide us and strengthen us to act out our faith, both in our internal lives and in the world in which we are called to live right now.