Pastor’s Corner: Faith that Works

This past week was the Labor Day weekend holiday. We live in a community that rightfully can be thankful for promoting a good strong work ethic and excellent sense of community. I would like us to ponder how we view the relationship between faith and our works or actions (as well as our speech). Scripture teaches that we are saved by grace through faith alone and not by our deeds (Romans 1:17 and 3:28) and yet Paul will say in Ephesians 2:8-10 that we are saved through faith and grace alone but have also been created to do good works. This leads us to the passage that I would like to highlight James 2:13-26. James in this passage starts out by asking us two questions: What good is faith without works? Can that kind of faith save? He goes on to teach us that faith in God whether it is the true Triune God of Scripture or a “god” of our own making or imagination is not enough. We can know something is true, but not act on it or implement it in our lives in such a way that it is a faith that is truly working in our lives to make us more like Jesus. A faith in God without growing in works is ultimately a useless faith. A saving faith in Jesus is demonstrated in our lives through His followers growing in doing the works of Jesus. James will say that faith is dead and useless if not accompanied by deeds and actions. It is not that we can save ourselves through these actions, but that our growing in doing the works of Jesus show that Jesus is at work in our lives transforming us. I, nor anyone else, can judge if you are in right relationship with God, however, we need to be willing to look in mirror of God’s Word and examine if we have a certain type of intellectual assent that knows things, but has no interest in submitting to the transformative grace that Jesus wants to bring into our lives. Jesus wants to change us and sometimes we resist. Jesus has prepared good works for us to do now, not just a reservation in heaven. Let us examine our lives to see how we can be transformed by Jesus to do good works now and be in right relationship with Him for eternity as well.

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